Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer is officially here, so you know what that means! SYNC recently announced the list of audiobook pairings up for grabs this summer, and today kicks off week nine of the program for 2016. Here's what you can grab through Wednesday of next week...for free!

This week's YA title is Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, performed by Philip Church for Listening Library.

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In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend Robby have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things.

This is the truth. This is history. It’s the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it. You know what I mean.

Funny, intense, complex, and brave, Grasshopper Jungle brilliantly weaves together everything from testicle-dissolving genetically modified corn to the struggles of recession-era, small-town America in this groundbreaking coming-of-age stunner.

This week's other title is The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, performed by MacLeod Andrews for Listening Library.

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“What’s for dinner?” seemed like a simple question—until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic, to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers’ adaptation of Pollan’s famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices.

In a smart, compelling format with updated facts, plenty of photos, graphs, and visuals, as well as a new afterword, The Omnivore’s Dilemma serves up a bold message to the generation that needs it most: It’s time to take charge of our national eating habits—and it starts with you.

As I said earlier in the program, I've never read an Andrew Smith novel, but I'm thinking that the fact that TWO are featured in the SYNC summer program is a good sign that I should. :D

Will you be picking up either of these titles? Remember, they're only available through Wednesday, and new titles will be put up on Thursday for download. To download this week's titles, just click here to be taken to the SYNC download page.

I hope you take advantage of this program. I've been doing it for the last several years, and I've had the opportunity to listen to a ton of great audio for free.  If you've never tried audiobooks before, it's a great opportunity to do so without the obligation of buying one that you might not enjoy.  And if you love audiobooks, well, it's a great time to stock up on some titles you may have missed or discover new ones.  Win/win.  =)

Happy listening!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

{WOW} HUNTED by Meagan Spooner

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 with 10 comments

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's WoW selection is...

's Pick:

Title: Hunted
Author: Meagan Spooner
Series: Hunted, book #1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 14, 2017

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Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

I have been waiting for this cover since I discovered this book was a thing -- so...since January of last year -- and it does not disappoint! And the synopsis! Wow-wow-wow! I want this now!!! Beauty and the Beast retellings are my absolute favorite and this one just might be the most badass version yet...

What are you desperately waiting for this Wednesday? Let us know in the comments or share a link to your own WoW post!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Title: The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Narrator(s): Bailey Carr
Series: n/a
Length: 16 hrs 43 mins
Publisher: Audible Studios, Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Source: purchased audiobook, galley received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

We haven't done a joint review in ages, but we love getting together to chat about MoMa books or just cute contemporaries in general, so here we are.

What made us read this/initial thoughts:

April: I immediately purchased this because it's a MoMa. Say no more. I'm not sure what it is about her books, but I can't get enough. She has a way of balancing the deep subjects with the fun and weightlessness every contemp should have. I adore her her books.

Jen: April kind of forced this one on me. I had a review copy, but the closer to release it got, the less I realized I actually wanted to read this book anymore. And I told April this. So, after she listened and loved it, she bought me an audiobook copy, too, essentially forcing me to read it so I could love it, too. It was cute as expected but also not what I expected, which kind of worked for me.

The Story:

Jen: So, I read scandal in the synopsis and assumed it was some gross love affair and I was all set to hate Andie's dad. And he was kind of douche at the beginning, but I loved what became of their relationship. And I love that the scandal changed all of Andie's summer plans, thereby changing HER. I did not like her character at the onset of the story.

April: I'm with Jen. When I read scandal in the synopsis, I assumed the same thing. I was glad it was not, but I would have been okay either way. Andie's summer plans pretty much go to shit because of her fathers misfortune, and that's just what she needs because she's very up tight early on.

The Characters:

April: Andie grew on me. I didn't love her starting off. She made me sooo mad, but I understand why she was the way she was. By the end of the story, I loved her. I enjoyed all the side characters as well.

Jen: As usual, MoMa's characters are well-fleshed out, like people you might actually meet on the street. Andie was kind of the opposite of Emily from Since You've Been Gone in that she had a great group of friends and her love interest was the one without.

The Friendships:

April: Ahh, I loved the friendships in this book. I had a group of girls I was close with in High School. Some I'm still close with, others not so much. I know that if texting had been a thing while I was in school, the text chains would have been our thing. Maybe not at girly though. I loved the crap that goes down towards the end.. no spoilers, but I felt a realness in it all. Been there, seen that kinda thing.

Jen: I've never had a group of really close friends, just one or two at a time, so it was nice seeing what that might have been like. Though it did seem like a lot of work. All those text chains! Of course, when I was in high school, cell phones were still relatively new and the iPhone definitely didn't exist, lol. But I also liked that this group of friends wasn't portrayed as perfect, that they had their ups and downs and that sometimes, there's just no coming back from a mistake.

The Romance:

Jen: It might be more what Clark does than who he is, but he might be my favorite MoMa love interest yet. And I loved that, for once, I got to see the romance actually last over the course of the book. Sure, there's that tension that leads to problems and the inevitable happy ending, but usually all of that happens late in a book and the characters aren't really together before that. This was truly a sweet summer romance.

April: I loved Clark. Like Jen, I liked what he did, but also, physically, he's described to be the perfect guy for me. He has officially shot up to the top of my book boyfriend list. He's just over all a swell guy and I've always fell for the nice ones.

The Family:

April: Andie's relationship with her father isn't so great starting out. He's actually a bit of a dick. I mean, how do you not know what's going on in your child's life?  But do to unexpected circumstances, they begin to find each other again and that was one of my favorite things about this story. <3

Jen: It's pretty much just Andie and her dad and though that's through no fault of their own, it's still not really a sob story. They've moved past it and pretty much past each other, too. Which is kind of sad, but thing's take a turn for the better with Andie's dad having to take a step back from politics due to the scandal. I actually liked their interactions by the end of the book.

That End of Summer Feeling:

April: Everything about this story screams "Summer Feeling".  There are no twists and turns, it's just a fun summer book. A bit predictable, but like Jen says below, most contemporaries are. I think that's what makes them good summer books. When I'm laying out by the pool or on the beach, I don't want anything that's gonna make me think to hard. Just a good fun entertaining read.

Jen: Not gonna lie, The Unexpected Everything was, well, a little expected and predictable. But most contemporaries are for me, so I try not to hold that against the book. The book did leave me with that perfect summer feeling, that anything's possible and every day promises something new, so it gets bonus points for that.

The Narrator:

April: I have never listened to Bailey Carr, but I loved how she Narrated TUE. Her voice fit Andie's Character to perfection.

Jen: This was my first time listening to Bailey Carr, but I thought she did an adorable job with TUE. In fact, I searched her on Audible and added some more of her audiobooks to my wishlist. ;) She was just the embodiment of Andie and how I pictured her sounding.


April: I loved it so much. Sometimes you just need a cute book to listen too. I had just come back from vacation, and TUE got me through the week following, which is always rough when you have to go back to work. I'm so happy Jen decided to listen to it too, even though I forced her. haha. She's usually the one pushing books on me! :) I knew that she would at least like TUE, and I just adore reviewing books with her.

Jen: TUE was adorable and very much a MoMa book. I'm very glad April made me read/listen to it, too. I would have missed out on a very cute story otherwise. That April is one smart cookie and maybe she knows me better than I know myself sometimes. :D

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Morgan Matson grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children's department of Vroman's Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.

Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she moved back East to attend the New School, where she received her M.F.A in Writing for Children. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan's three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW "Flying Start" book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone's Book Prize. It has since been published in five different languages and six different countries.

In the meantime, Morgan moved back to California, went back to school again and in 2011 received an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

Her second book, Second Chance Summer, was published in May 2012 and draws largely on her experiences spending summers growing up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Morgan currently lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can. She is currently writing another book, to be published in 2014.

Find Morgan:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TumblrGoodreads

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hey, bookies! I'm participating in the campaign to promote Jessica Brody's new contemporary YA novel A Week of Mondays -- which I absolutely adored, so watch for my review soon! -- and as a special introduction to the campaign, some of us bloggers shared a guest post from Jessica herself last week. Also, in the coming weeks, look for more stops along this tour from bloggers like myself, sharing the Mondays we'd MOST and LEAST want to relive for seven straight days. It promises to be loads of fun! And possibly maybe slightly humiliating.

And this week is MY turn. ;0)

Title: A Week of Mondays
Author: Jessica Brody
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Ellie is having the worst Monday of her life. She messes up her school speech for the class vice presidency position, she manages to take the world's worst school picture, she bombs softball tryouts, and the icing on top of this awful cake: her perfect boyfriend who is in a high school rock band dumps her. At the end of the day, Ellie wishes she could redo everything. When she wakes up the next morning, she discovers that it's Monday again! She has six more chances to redo the day in the hopes of having everything go exactly the way she wants. But in the process, she just may find out that what she really wants and what she actually needs are two very different things.

So, I've got vacation on the brain, knowing I get some time off very soon, and it got me to thinking about my most favorite vacation Florida! We spent a couple of nights in Pensacola, which was gorgeous. Then we went to Orlando and visited Universal Studios for a couple of days and spent one fun-filled day at Disney's Magic Kingdom before heading back home.

But two days at Universal Studios was just not enough time. More accurately, two days at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was not enough time. I could spend days and days there and still not see and do everything I wanted.

So, the Monday I'd want to repeat for seven days straight would be the Monday when we arrived at Universal Studios and first ventured into Diagon Alley. I could ride the Dragon Challenge as many times as I wanted before I threw up. I could eat chocolate frogs to my heart's content. I could have all the butter beer money can buy! And then I'd get to wake up the next day and do it all again!

The day I come back from vacation, hands down. No one is happy to be back at work the Monday following vacation. All of those emails. Playing catch-up and wishing you could have another vacation to recuperate from the vacation you just came back from. But to have to do that Monday over and over again? Yeah, I'd rather not go on vacation at all, if that's the case. :P

What Monday would you most/least like to relive?

About the author:

Jessica Brody is the author of several popular books for teens, including the Unremembered trilogy, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, and The Karma Club, as well as two adult novels. She splits her time between California and Colorado.

Find Jessica:

WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr

Happy reading!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

So, since my end-of-the-week post isn't just about what I got in my mailbox or on my Kindle each week -- though that is a big part of it, I won't lie -- I decided to change up the title and intro a bit.  I might tweak the format a bit over time, but for the most part, it'll contain the same stuff: stuff I got, stuff I did, and stuff that's coming up on the blog.  Plus, I get to use the awesome GIF you see here and blow kisses to all the people who sent me lovely books and bookish things.  Oh, and I've started linking up to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer since I'm not using a specific meme title anymore.

Wow. It really felt like summer in Texas this week. We haven't breached 100° yet, but we're close. Just two more weeks until water park shenanigans. That's what's getting me through this. :P I don't know what I'll tell myself when we're back from vacation. o_O

If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably saw me posting about our new addition to the family last weekend. It wasn't planned, but Katie is a brilliant negotiator...and also has the most adorable sad puppy face. Also, she was trying to name him when I came up with Weasley, and well, you know how it goes once you name something. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Okay, okay. On to the books. Here's what I scored this week...

From Publishers:


I won a copy of And I Darken by Kiersten White from #FirstinLine! I've been so excited to read this, ever since Rachel Hawkins raved about it when I met her back in March for #PenguinTeenonTour. I'm not the biggest White fan, but I've heard this book is such a departure from her regular fare, and even my bestie Sabrina loved it, so I'm sure I will, too.


I made a rather awesome swap with someone who wanted a bunch of my HCs. I kept telling myelf to donate/sell them, but that seems like a lot of trouble. Guess it paid off, huh? :P And then I traded for an ARC of First & Then because it was really cute and I wanted a physical copy. I still want the HC, too, because it's really cute under the jacket. =)

New #booksfortrade | Have You Seen This? post with some new books up for grabs! I'm still looking for a few high profile ARCs, like Throne of Glass, The Near Witch, and Scarlet (Gaughen), plus some other 2016 releases.


Boy Meets Boy

I can't wait to give Boy Meets Boy a listen! You can grab this title and another from SYNC this week, but only through Wednesday.


The Last Boy and Girl in the WorldVengeance RoadJust Listen

Got a bit of variety from the library this week. ;0)

So, that's my haul. =) What fabulous bookmail did you get this week?

The Week in Review:


The Near Witch (The Near Witch, #1)Vengeance RoadThe Truth About ForeverJust ListenThe Last Boy and Girl in the World

Current Giveaways:

Promotional/Discussion Posts:
Currently Reading:

A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, #1)By the time this posts, I may or may not have finished this book already. It's very engrossing, so I don't want to read a page here and there. I want to finish it in one fell swoop, and sometimes the family prohibits that. :P

Currently Listening:

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)I'm reading/listening to this for the third (fourth?) time so that I can get to that ARC of Gemina that is screaming my name every time I walk past my bookshelf. I know all it will bring me is pain and feels, but I want to be as prepared for that as I can be. Which is to say, not at all.

Recently Read/Needs Review:

A Week of MondaysCaraval (Untitled, #1)Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms, #1)A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes, #1)
The Unexpected EverythingThe Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn, #2)A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)The Last Star (The 5th Wave, #3)

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