Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: The Survival Kit by Francesca Freitas

Posted by Wajiha Q at Thursday, October 23, 2014 0 comments
Title: The Survival Kit
Author: Donna Freitas
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Published October 11th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Format Read: Hardcover, 351 pages
Goodreads/Amazon/Book Depository

Description from Goodreads
When Rose’s mom dies, she leaves behind a brown paper bag labeled Rose’s Survival Kit. Inside the bag, Rose finds an iPod, with a to-be-determined playlist; a picture of peonies, for growing; a crystal heart, for loving; a paper star, for making a wish; and a paper kite, for letting go.

As Rose ponders the meaning of each item, she finds herself returning again and again to an unexpected source of comfort. Will is her family’s gardener, the school hockey star, and the only person who really understands what she’s going through. Can loss lead to love?

My Review:

I'm not sure why I'm so interested in reading books about death and loss. Maybe it's because I've never experienced the loss a loved one, and so I want to know and understand what it's like. However, I don't think I fully understand it yet, and I don't know how I'll react if something that horrible ever happens to me. But I've read and loved a couple of novels that portray honest emotional responses to loss, and I've just added The Survival Kit to that list of wonderful books, because this novel is simply beautiful. It's sweet and I really, really enjoyed reading it.

I liked that Rose's mom leaved her a 'survival kit' to help her go through her loss and grief. I liked that each item in the survival kit eventually helped Rose during hard moments, and that Rose knew exactly when she had to use them.

The beginning of the book was really slow, the first chapters were like an introduction to either the objects in Rose's survival kit or the characters, but thankfully around 60 pages or so a few interesting stuff began to happen. Although I usually don't like reading slow-paced books, I liked how The Survival Kit took its time to talk about Rose and what was going on with her. I got to know her really well which is why I ended up deeply caring for her; I believe I wouldn't have loved this book as much as I did if it just gave me a glimpse of her life.

After her mom's death, Rose finally acknowledged Will, and the two just clicked. They realized that they understood each other really well, so they became good friends and then more than friends. But since things were going so smoothly between the two of them, I already knew that there would be a little bit of drama towards the end.

Will is an okay love interest. Well, maybe he's more than okay. I really like that he's mature and responsible, and I totally get why Rose is so into him. He's an amazing hockey player and he's got the looks and all. But when he did this huge mistake I was like:
How can you not care Will???

I really enjoyed the book though. The ending was so beautiful, and I love how the author listed all the songs on Rose's playlist at the end of the book.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Trailer + Giveaway! UNSTRUNG by Kendra C. Highley

Posted by Wajiha Q at Thursday, October 16, 2014 0 comments
UnstrungUNSTRUNG by Kendra C. Highley
Lexa Pate, seventeen-year-old thief extraordinaire, has burned a bridge or two in her life. You don’t make a career out of stealing other people’s property without making enemies. When a risky job goes from bad to worse, Lexa and her adopted family find themselves on Precipice Corporation’s hit list because they’ve accidentally stolen the wrong thing—plans for a new model of genetically engineered super humans. Now, every bounty hunter, cop on the take, and snitch in the city is after them. Lexa’s world crumbles around her as she fights to keep her family safe even as someone strolls out of her forgotten past. Quinn claims to know who Lexa really is, but can she trust a stranger she met while robbing his boss? More importantly, does she really want to know what Quinn has to tell her? 

Based on the fairy tale Pinocchio, UNSTRUNG takes you into a near future world where the lines between fake and real are blurred, all that’s pristine isn’t always innocent, and being a criminal isn’t always wrong.
 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Release Day Review: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin (repost)

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, October 07, 2014 0 comments
Title: Queen of Someday
Author: Sherry D. Ficklin
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (more like 3.5)
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication: October 7th 2014 by Clean Teen Publishing
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley
Goodreads/Amazon/Book Depository

Description from Goodreads
ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES...

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

My Review:

CONS:
- The book focused on what was happening inside the palace, but I was a bit curious to know what was going on outside of it. Sophie constantly said that there would be a war if she didn't marry Peter and become the queen of Russia, but I didn't feel that the stakes were that high. And this is why I believe that the alliances among the European countries should have been explained in detail, because I didn't fully understand how fragile they were.
- When is the story set? I know that it takes place in the past, but I don't know the exact year. I've never been good at history, so I don't know much about Queen Catherine.

PROS:
- I liked Sophie's transformation during her time in the palace. It was interesting to see how this innocent and brave girl became the strong queen of Russia. I was rooting for her from the very beginning, especially since everyone wanted to get rid of her. During her stay in the palace she learned about love, loss and betrayal, but I liked that she didn't let these things faze her; she accepted her fate, and learned to make the best of life.
- I love the historicalness of this book; I was a big fan of the balls, banquets, maze like halls and rich gowns.
- The story wasn't predictable. Whenever I thought I knew where the story was going, something unexpected always happened. I was more than half way through this book and still didn't know how it would end.
- The side characters are very interesting. Obviously, I liked all those who are on Sophie's side, especially Sergei - he was kind and understanding from the very beginning.

All in all, this is not your typical happy ending book. It's happy/sad, but I love the way the book ended. The main character is great and doesn't whine about how unfair her life is. Although I had a few issues with the setting, I truly enjoyed reading Queen of Someday. If you like a lot of drama and intrigue then this book is for you.

Beyond the Gloaming Book Blast + Giveaway!

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, October 07, 2014 0 comments
Beyond the GloamingSebastian and the Hibernauts: Beyond the Gloaming

It is Easter, 1973 and twelve year old Sebastian Duffy has some serious self-esteem issues. He is beaten by his parents, bullied at school, steals from his friends and still mourning the death of his brother. To cap it all, strange things have begun happening around him and he is finding it hard to distinguish dreams from reality. After a nightmarish assault, he wakes in the Gloaming, a shadow world inhabited by ghosts. There to greet him is Porrig, a creature from Hibercadia, a magical realm crafted from Celtic dreams. Inhabited by Fir Bolg, Tuath and Milesians, it has been overthrown by brother gods from another dreamworld. One brother, Phobitor, is a tyrant and even the Tuath, who took to their underground sidhe millennia ago, are concerned. Sebastian discovers that he alone can save Hibercadia by finding an enchanted spear. Teaming up with the Hibernauts—a mercurial sorceress, an orphaned druidess, a taciturn warrior, a snuff-sniffing leprechaun and a lovelorn poet—he embarks on a fantastical quest, but can he succeed when he is yet to find his magical potential or even his courage, and half the realm is bent on his destruction?  
add to goodreads

Praise for Beyond the Gloaming

I cannot say just how much I have enjoyed this book; you are a very accomplished writer with a wonderfully rich imagination. Your use of the English language is amazing and your ability to create the many different speaking styles in the book and to maintain them is remarkable. You have an incredibly inventive mind and readers will come to love the many wonderful creations in this novel, it is jam-packed with the most wonderful and inventive characters; new, exciting and beautifully realised. ~ The Oxford Editors

An imaginative epic...an intricate and fully realised fantasy world with a big cast of likeable characters that are charming, well drawn and endearing, with wonderfully apt names. The depth and breadth of your high-voltage imagination, and the richness of the world you create is very impressive. ~ Sam Mills, author of Blackout, The Boys Who Saved the World, and The Quiddity of Will Self

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review + Giveaway! Unrequited | Girl Meets Boy Band by Emma Gray

Posted by Wajiha Q at Wednesday, October 01, 2014 0 comments
 Full tour schedule here.
Hi, there! I haven't been very active this week, but I promise I'll reply to all your comments and visit your blogs.
I have a blog tour scheduled for today. Read my review below and enter the giveaway!
Unrequited
by Emma Grey
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (more like 3.5)
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Music, Romance
Release Date:  May 26th 2014
Format Read: Ebook, YA Bound Books BT

Description from Goodreads

Give her 5 Seconds of Summer. Now.

Or maybe the seriously-hot med student who rescued her on a train—and who could be Douglas Booth's twin! Perfect formal partner, much?

But when Kat comes face to face with Angus Marsden himself, things start to get complicated. Very. Throw in a deranged female popstar, final exams, a part in the musical and a mum who just doesn't get it—and where is her best friend?

When did life get so crazy? Kat's just an ordinary schoolgirl.

Isn't she?
My Thoughts:

I had so much fun reading this book! I've read novels about celebrities and actors, but I haven't read any book about a boy band before! Needless to say that I enjoyed this book very much. It does have its negative points, but we'll get to that later.

First let's talk about how cool this book is! OMG. The coincidences that occur in Unrequited are so improbable to happen in real life; there are stuff that would happen only in some crazy fangirls' dreams, and that's why I think this book is so fun to read. (Warning: Don't expect the story to be realistic, because you'll only be disappointed.) I can't help but compare Unrequited to a shoujo manga, because it's full of those cliches that are very common in shoujo. And I believe that this book would be an AMAZING shoujo manga, if it were ever made into one.

While I was reading this book, I spent most of the time fangirling. I enjoyed reading it also because I kept my sister updated with what was happening with Kat, Angus, Joel and Sarah. And obviously we both fangirled together. (Yep. That's what sisters are for. =D)

Although it seems like I overly enjoyed reading this novel, there are things I want to complain about. Firstly I think that the book started off really, really well, but towards the end it lost its spark. At first it was very addicting with lots of moments that made me grin like an idiot, but then the story became predictable, and I knew exactly how it would end which was a little bit boring. Also, the lyrics of the songs in this book aren't that good, and I didn't like any of them except for Somehow. Nevertheless, I still had so much fun reading this book. However, I believe I would have enjoyed Unrequited a lot more, if the author managed to keep the spark till the very end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves 1D or any other boy band, especially to those who love to fangirl!

Read the first three chapters at: www.unrequited.com.au

About the Author
Emma Grey has two teenage girls, a three-year-old boy, a couple of businesses and another teen novel in the pipeline. Her first book, 'Wits' End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum' was published in 2005.


Author Links:

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up (5): Busy Week and One-Day Trip To Milan

Posted by Wajiha Q at Saturday, September 27, 2014 0 comments
The Sunday Post hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

What I read.

What Happened This Week.
Fan Art.
Books I got.
Covert Kissing by Laura Pauling - Thank you Laura for providing me with a copy!
Puppet by Pauline C. Harris  - This has the same cover of Marionette, but thank you Patchwork Press!
Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini - Cait raved about it, so I ordered it from TBD, but it hasn't arrived yet. :(

What I'm reading.
 
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted @ Book Journey
In real life.
I didn't get to read a lot, because it's been a pretty busy week. Earlier this week our kitchen counter got damaged, so we had to buy a new one. I helped mom with scrubbing our kitchen cabinets clean and assisted my dad with reinstalling the new countertop. It was a lot of work, and I'm grateful that my mom didn't make me wash our kitchen utensils. Phew! 

My sister and I started looking for a job which has been hard to find because of you know, the crisis. But we feel that the current situation is slightly better than last year, and with all the people who emigrated, we think that it may be easier to get a job. 

I also got to visit Milan again! We had to go to the embassy so we drove to the city, and after we got our ID cards we decided to go see the cathedral since we were already in the area. No matter how many times I've been to Milan, I never get tired of it!
Here are some photos I took during our one-day trip:

Friday, September 26, 2014

My Top 5 Korean Dramas with Life Lessons

Posted by Wajiha Q at Friday, September 26, 2014 0 comments
 TOP 10 KDRAMAS is a feature here @ Jiha's file where I list 10 (or less) Korean dramas/Kdrama related stuff that I like.

It's been a while since I shared one of these posts, so today I wanted to talk about five kdramas with life lessons. If you're looking for meaningful dramas then you're in the right place! So, let's begin!

5. Emergency Couple. This drama is about a divorced couple who have sworn not to see each other ever again, but then find themselves working at the same emergency room as interns. I think this drama shows (to a certain extent) a realistic portrayal of a broken marriage. It talks about second chances, love and forgiveness. I like that it touches some serious topics, but I like it also because it made me laugh. So, don't go into this drama expecting it to be all serious. There are lots of funny scenes, cliches, and there are medical scenes as well. If you want to know more read my full review HERE.

My favorite quote:
“There is no right answer in life. No one knows if they’ll be happy by getting married to someone. Don’t look for answers. Right and wrong answers co-exist in every decision. Wise people make a choice and make it the right answer. Foolish people regret the wrong decision and make it the wrong answer. There is no right answer in life. There is only the process to make it the right answer.”
4. School 2013. This one is all about teens. The class 2 is at the bottom of their school, so a new teacher is assigned to get the students to study. I really like this drama. I think it's very honest and realistic. I like how it talks about teachers who really care for their students, troubled teens who become bullies, and teenagers who are pressured into getting good marks by their parents. This is a serious drama, but my favorite thing about it is Go Nam Soon and Park Heung Soo's friendship. The bromance is just amazing! I mean, look at these:

3. King2Hearts. To be truthful, I had a hard time getting into this drama because of all the political stuff, but after 4 episodes or so things got truly interesting. So, what's it about? In this drama Jae-Ha (a South Korean prince) and Hang-Ah (a North Korean female soldier) work together to bring peace between North and South Korea. Everyone knows Jae-Ha as an irresponsible prince so his elder brother, the King, makes him join a special training session with North and South Korean soldiers. Here he meets Hang-Ah, and as the story goes on the two eventually get engaged. I like this drama, not only because it has a very touching story, but also because it involves royalty. I like how it portrays loyalty, sacrifice and honor. I highly recommend this!!!

2. Scent of A Woman. Read my full review HERE. This drama is very, very touching and it made me cry a lot. It's about a woman, Lee Yun Jae, who discovers that she has cancer. What I love the most about this is how the protagonist grows and changes throughout the drama. She used to let other people boss her around, but when she understands that she has only 6 months to live, she starts taking revenge on those who've mistreated her. This drama pushes you to live life the fullest and appreciate every single moment.
1. I Hear Your Voice. This is like my favorite drama of all time. I love this drama for many reasons, and not only because the protagonist is played by Lee Jong Suk who (if you don't know) is my favorite Korean actor. So, in this drama the protagonist is a guy who can read people's minds; he has this ability because he got involved in a "car accident" when he was a kid. Well, it wasn't actually a car accident, someone attempted to murder him, but he was saved by a girl. I've watched it so many times, and I don't get tired of it. Ah, the feels. So many feels! This is a beautiful drama. The characters, the romance, the songs, I love everything about it. It has lots of meaningful messages, so go watch it!

And that's it! I hope that you found something interesting. And if you've watched any of these dramas, I'd love to hear your thoughts. I feel like It's Okay, That's Love should have been in this list, but I haven't finished watching it yet, so I didn't add it.

SIMILAR POSTS:
My Favorite Kdrama OST 2013
My Top 10 Kdramas for first-timers
My Top 6 Rich Guy Poor Girl Kdramas
My Top 5 Swoon Worthy Korean Actors 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fan Art Up! (8): The Survival Kit Inspired Nail Art

Posted by Wajiha Q at Thursday, September 25, 2014 0 comments
FAN ART UP! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

Another bookish inspired nail art! 
I'm currently reading The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas. It's a contemporary novel that follows a 16-year-old girl whose mom just died. 
I love the cover, so I came up with this simple nail art. 
I painted my nails red, and then I drew a few lines.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

Posted by Wajiha Q at Monday, September 22, 2014 0 comments
Title: Of Scars and Stardust
Author: Andrea Hannah
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Genres: YA, Thriller
Release Date: October 8th 2014 by Flux
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley

Description from Goodreads
After her little sister mysteriously vanishes, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham has a choice to make: stay snug in her little corner of Manhattan with her dropout boyfriend, or go back to Ohio to face the hometown tragedy she's been dying to leave behind.

But the memories of that night still haunt her in the city, and as hard as she tries to forget what her psychiatrist calls her "delusions," Claire can't seem to escape the wolf's eyes or the blood-speckled snow. Delusion or reality, Claire knows she has to hold true to the most important promise she's ever made: to keep Ella safe. She must return to her sleepy hometown in order to find Ella and keep her hallucinations at bay before they strike again. But time is quickly running out, and as Ella's trail grows fainter, the wolves are becoming startlingly real.

Now Claire must deal with her attraction to Grant, the soft-spoken boy from her past that may hold the secret to solving her sister's disappearance, while following the clues that Ella left for only her to find. Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella's past—and her own—in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found.

Review:
Gosh, it took me so long to read this book! When I was halfway through it, there was a part of me that wanted to quit and mark it as DNF, but I kept reading because I hardly ever give up on books. I struggled a lot to get myself into the story. The book started right away with the mystery of the wolves' existence, and I kept wondering whether they truly existed, because Claire certainly believed they did. There were times when I thought that maybe she was really crazy and imagining things, but then again I wasn't sure what to believe. I liked that it kept me guessing, and I think it was A LITTLE BIT intriguing, but most of the time I felt that it was tiring. I was bored for the most part, and to be honest I skipped a few pages of this book just to get it over with. I have little patience with slow placing books, so I don't know how I even managed to read this till the very end.

Claire was such a confusing character, as the narrator she didn't tell the story clearly. She didn't give you the details and the facts, because she had difficulty in remembering things? Maybe it was done to build up the tension and suspense, but it didn't work for me.

I was expecting this book to be about Claire's venture to find her sister Ella, but the story ended up to be a totally different one. I usually like reading unusual books, but that didn't happen with Of Scars and Stardust. I didn't like that there were so many loopholes, and the ending! It was so frustrating! In the end we did get the truth behind the wolves' existence, but I hated that it didn't explain what happened to the other characters.

Overall, I didn't enjoy reading this book at all. Although I found it a little bit interesting, I was confused and bored most of the time. The main character was annoying, and I hated that the story wasn't well told.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway! The League ~ Sulan by Camille Picott

Posted by Wajiha Q at Wednesday, September 17, 2014 0 comments
Hello, there! I'm so excited to share this book with you guys. Check out my review below!
Full tour schedule here.

Episode One: The League ~ Sulan
by Camille Picott

My Rating: ★★★★
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Cyberpunk
Published June 2012 by Pixiu Press
Format Read: Ebook via CBB Book Promotions

Description from Goodreads
Sixteen-year-old Sulan Hom can’t remember life before the Default—the day the United States government declared bankruptcy. As a math prodigy, she leads a protected life, kept safe from the hunger and crime plaguing the streets of America. She attends the corporate-sponsored Virtual High School, an academy in Vex (Virtual Experience) for gifted children. 

Beyond the security of Sulan’s high-tech world, the Anti-American League wages a guerrilla war against the United States. Their leader, Imugi, is dedicated to undermining the nation’s reconstruction attempts. He attacks anything considered a national resource, including corporations, food storage facilities—and schools. When Sulan witnesses the public execution of a teenage student and the bombing of a college dorm, she panics. 

Her mother, a retired mercenary, refuses to teach her how to defend herself. Sulan takes matters into her own hands. With the help of her hacker best friend, Hank, Sulan acquires Touch—an illegal Vex technology that allows her to share the physical experience of her avatar. With Touch, Sulan defies her mother and trains herself to fight. 

When Imugi unleashes a new attack on the United States, Sulan finds herself caught in his net. Will her Vex training be enough to help her survive and escape?
My Review:

I haven't read anything like this book, and I think it's amazing!

This Dystopian/Cyberpunk novel takes place during a crisis that hit the US, and the main character is Sulan, a 16-year-old math prodigy. No kidding you guys. This girl can solve any complex equation without using a calculator, and she does it in less than 10 seconds. Cool, isn't she? Her skills are very impressive and that is why she's not safe. Apparently, Imugi (the antagonist) is determined to kill all the brilliant minds of America to prevent the nation's reconstruction. So, Sulan knows that she's in danger and finds a way to learn how to protect herself.

Avatars and Virtual School.
I'm not familiar with the Cyberpunk genre, so I found this book very, very captivating. Sulan goes to a virtual school, and it's not like those boring online courses. It's so much more! Students are able to use Vex (Virtual Experience); they have their own avatars which they can control with their minds, and they get to interact with each other like they're actually attending school. Yep, technology is incredible! I think the world building is amazing, and I just love how the virtual system works. However, I feel like this book is a bit short because I want to explore the world more and there are many things that I'm curious about!

Nerd and Badass Fighter.
Sulan is an amazing heroine. I like that she's strong-willed, and that she's  determined to learn how to fight, even though her mom doesn't want her to. She knows that she won't stand chance against Imugi if she doesn't know the basics of self defense, so she undergoes a not-so-safe training. Although she lacks physical strength, I like that her brilliant mind makes her a deadly opponent.

There is a little bit of romance, but it doesn't focus on it. This novel mainly centres around Sulan's training and the battle against Imugi. And there are some great action scenes; I especially love the one at the end.

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fast paced and action filled book!

I received this book from CBB Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review. 

About the Author

Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings. To visit Camille, go to www.camillepicott.com.

Find Camille Picott online: Website | Facebook |Goodreads


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bookish Outfits: Lola and The Boy Next Door

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, September 16, 2014 0 comments
Bookish Outfits is a feature here @ Jiha's File where I share outfit ideas inspired by books! So, for today's post I want to share two outfits that are inspired by Lola Nolan.


Synopsis from Goodreads
Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the negihborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

My thoughts:
- I truly hate Max. ARGH Why is he such a jerk!
- I love Cricket! Well, that's to be expected. I usually fall for the bad boy, but Cricket's good-guy nature is very cute and adorable.
- Lola is a one of a kind. She has a unique sense of fashion and I like that she doesn't want to blend in. She isn't perfect and she makes mistakes just like any other person.
- Lola's parents are unusual and very overprotective, but I think they're cool.

The Strawberry Outfit.
"Today I'm a strawberry. A sweet red dress from the fifties, a long necklace of tiny black beads, and a dark green wig cut into a severe Louise Brooks bob."
The Picnic Outfit.
"I settle on a similarly checked red-and-white halter dress, which I made from an actual picnic blanket for the last Fourth of July. I add bright red lipstick and tiny ant-shaped earrings for theme, and my big black platform boots because walking will be involved."
 I think these are cute outfits, but not something I would wear.
  Have you read Lola and The Boy Next Door? Did you like it? What do you think of the outfits?

Excerpt + Giveaway! Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, September 16, 2014 0 comments
Finding Mr. Darcy: High School Edition
Release Date: 09/16/14

Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Liza Johnson takes fangirl to a whole new level of crazy when she decides to take dating advice from her literary hero: Jane Austen.

With the help of her best friends, Liza sheds her ancient-speak and complete Austen wardrobe for something a bit more modern in an attempt at finding her very own Mr. Darcy.

Enter Will, the new kid and Liza's Darcy incarnate. Add her BFF's ex to mix and the sexy Brit who kisses with an accent, and Liza is in trouble.

So, what's a girl to do? Without her mom to go to relationship advice, Liza turns to the only person she can truly trust with matters of the heart via her mother's copy of COMPLETED WORKS OF JANE AUSTEN.

It's too bad Austen's heroines have never played Spin the Bottle or Seven Minutes in Heaven. Liza's determined to find her true Austen-esque happy ending, but if she can't trust herself instead of books, she just might end up in her own tragic love story.

Excerpt:
Janie burst through my bedroom door and stared me down, hands landing on her hips. “You’re delusional if you think you’re wearing that.”
I looked down at the outfit I wore to school. “Looks fine to me.”
“Ugh, Liza! Why can’t I have a normal best friend?”
“Normal? You have pink in your hair!”
“Whatever.”
Janie walked in and I got up to shut the door. I was pretty sure Dad sat downstairs watching the Jays, his Triple-A baseball team, but still. He didn’t need to overhear our girl conversations.
 Janie toted a backpack along with her, which slightly frightened me. “Is that your word of the day or something?”
“What?”
“Whatever. You’ve said it to me like five hundred times today.”
She rolled her eyes. “What-ever.” We busted up laughing. “Come on.” She tugged on my arm. “It’s makeover time.”
“Oh no. I was afraid of that.”
Janie meandered toward the bed. “What are you reading?”
I reached out for the magazine, but Janie snatched it from me. “About Cole Foster.”
“Cole Foster?” She frowned at the glossy pages.
“If they ever remake Pride and Prejudice, he’d be the perfect Mr. Darcy.”
“Cole Foster? Isn’t he from that stupid soap on channel five?”
I yanked the magazine from her hands. “Yes. He’s gorgeous. Very agreeable if you ask me.”
“Whatever.” She plopped down on my flowery quilt and winked at me. “And who would play Lizzie?”
 “Duh, that’s easy. Me.”
Janie shoved my shoulder. “You are delusional. If you are going to get Cole Foster, or Mr. Darcy, or any boy to even look at you, you need a makeover. A clothes makeover.” She stood up and went straight to my closet. “Where’s that purple top I got you for your birthday?”
“What purple top?” I mumbled.
Janie spun around with her hands on her hips.
“You know, the one that doesn’t have anything J.A. on it.” She circled her finger around her chest as if I was a child that needed a demonstration.
“The only purple top I have is the ‘Jane Austen is my Homegirl’ t-shirt.”
“BS.” Janie turned around and fanned through my clothes. “I gave you that shirt for nights exactly like this. Now where is it?” The hangers raked against the bar as she searched my closet.
I pointed to the very end. “All the way to the right.”
“Thank you,” Janie said. Her smile grew as she pushed aside all my precious t-shirts. “This is going to look so good on you.”
“I don’t see why I can’t wear this.” I looked down. WWJD What Would Jane Do? “It’s new.” And it was awesome.

About the Author
Erin Butler is lucky enough to have two jobs she truly loves. As a librarian, she gets to work with books all day long, and as an author, Erin uses her active imagination to write the kinds of books she enjoys reading. Young Adult and New Adult books are her favorites, but she especially loves the ones with kissing scenes.

Erin lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, a stepson, and doggie BFF, Maxie. She prefers to spend her time indoors reading and writing, but will venture out for chocolate and sunshine. She is the author of BLOOD HEX, a YA paranormal, HOW WE LIVED, a contemporary New Adult novel, and FINDING MR. DARCY: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION, a contemporary YA.
Website - Goodreads - Twitter - Facebook

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Release Day Book Blitz: Louder Than Words by Iris St. Clair

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, September 16, 2014 0 comments
Louder Than Words
Release Date: 09/16/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson's life lately. Her dad died, her mom numbs the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends have slowly abandoned her. 

Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe and should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt that made her desperate to escape the final moments of Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details to herself and trust no one.

Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky boy, recently transplanted from New York City and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she can't let him get too close. And summer is just long enough and hot enough to keep a boy like that at arm's length.

But by the time Rex's charm wears down her resistance, it's too late. He's put Ellen on the "just friends" shelf and has shifted his romantic attentions to the impossibly annoying and perky anti-Ellen. Even worse, the teacher who tried to get her to sleep with him is still at it, preying on other girls while Ellen struggles to come to terms with what happened.

With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside. After all, it's the only safe place she knows when the only thing louder than words is the fear of being rejected.


Excerpt
He glares as Rex passes. My brother is on the large size—about six feet and built like a football player, though he played with drums, and not pigskins, on the football field. He’s usually so mellow people no longer notice his size after five minutes of meeting him. Since becoming my guardian, however, he’s taken his role a bit too seriously. He’s not averse to using physical intimidation to scare off any males who try to get too close to me. For the most part, I’ve been grateful for it. At least he cares.

Rex doesn’t show the usual signs of nervousness at my brother’s intimidation attempts. Best to whisk him outside as quickly as possible, which I do.

“Sorry about my brother.”

“Wow, yeah. I suppose it probably did look suspicious from all sorts of angles—your face, the two of us crammed into your little bathroom, my hands all over you.” He smirks and doesn’t seem the least bit perturbed.

“Your hands were not all over me.”

“I was putting on the Band-Aid. They were there.”

His exaggerated insistence about something that wasn’t borders ludicrous. “You’re so weird, Rex Jacobi. Most boys would be swearing up and down that nothing happened, over-compensating even. But you … ” I shake my head. “You know my brother could throw you against the wall hard enough to make you stick, right?”

“You think your brother would do something like that?”

He’s got me there. “Well … no.”

“Didn’t think so.”

“You don’t have to look so smug about it.” I point to the street. “Okay, so I guess you better go then. Don’t want you to be late for your date.” I give him a slug in the arm and hope it’s light enough to convey no more than minor annoyance, boredom, or gentle teasing.

He nods. “Yeah, sure.”

For a second I think he’s going to say something else because his mouth drops open and he draws in a breath. The moment passes and he trots down the apartment building stairs, doesn’t even glance back over his shoulder.

The look on my brother’s face, on the other hand, is both infuriating and heart-breaking. Infuriating he thinks I’d act like such a ho, and heart-breaking because absolutely nothing happened to even give Robbie a moment’s worry about my chastity.

About the Author
Iris St. Clair is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that's another bio.)
No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.
In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.

Iris believes in the two-year "fish or cut bait" dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.

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