Saturday, July 29, 2017

If you haven't noticed...


If you haven't noticed, the blog has been pretty quiet besides memes lately. The reason why is:
Image result for i'm moving

I mentioned it on Twitter, but I don't remember saying it here. The blog will be back to normal on August 5th once the internet is back on at my new place! In the mean time, I'll keep posting memes and maybe I'll be able to put up some reviews at work while I'm there. 

Just wanted y'all to know I didn't leave you hanging! 

Thanks, 
Nikki

Friday, July 28, 2017

Listen Up: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno


I don't normally talk about the audio books I listen to because most of them are backlist, but I really want to start! So, I'm starting Listen Up to write short reviews on the books that I listen to! 
Audio, 7 parts
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Read from: July 16-20, 2017
Stand-alone
Source: Library 
For fans of: Stand-alones, Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Music, YA


     From the New York Times bestselling author of 99 Days and How to Love comes a stunning new contemporary novel—all about boy bands, girl bands, best friends, and first love—perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson.
     It was always meant to be Olivia. She’s the talented one, the one who’s been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, is the levelheaded one, always on the sidelines, cheering Olivia on.
     But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.
     It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.
     Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.

*MY THOUGHTS*

     I've loved all of Cotugno's previous books, so when I saw that she had another coming out this year, I jumped on the chance to get it in my hands. It took me awhile to get around to it, but I'm glad I hadn't given up on it!
     Olivia and Dana are best friends. They've grown up together and have done everything there is to do together in thier small town. Olivia was the one who was meant to be the big star. She was the one who was supposed to go on to become the pop star, and Dana was always there to cheer her on. Until one day, Olivia and Dana are BOTH there to become the pop star. And they can see there's only room for one person. 
     The only thing that made me knock off a star for this book was the extreme predictability of it. As soon as one thing happened, I could guess exactly what else would be happening. And I called it right everytime. Including the end. It would have been a bigger punch to the gut to me had I not been able to figure it out. But because I figured out the ending, I knocked off a star. 
     Everything else was on point. The story itself took me back to my childhood with every mention of The Spice Girls. I'm not going to call it "historical fiction," because that just makes me feel old. But I really wish there were more of those references. 
     I also liked the narraator, Erin Spencer. She did such a great job of doing all the girls' voices, snd even the voices of the males in the book. None of them sounded the same and I loved that. I hate when I'm listening to an audiobook and they all seem to sound exactly the same. There's no way to tell them apart and that bothers me. 
     I knew that I would like this one because I love Cotugno's other works. She is quickly becoming one of those authors that I would read anything they write. Including a genre or something that I wasn't fond of. 
Overall, I give this

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

ARC, 333 pages
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Published by: Scholastic
Read from: July 23-24, 2017
Stand-alone
Source:  #BooksforTrade (Thank you Miss Print!) 
For fans of: Contemporary Romance, Sparkly Covers, Realistic Fiction, YA 


     Can’t buy me love…
     Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—
     She wins!
     In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.
     Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

*MY THOUGHTS*

     First let me say, I LOVED the premise. I'm not sure why this premise has been popping up lately, but I'm all here for it. And I'm glad there's teens that are winning. It teaches them the value of money and trust. Especially this book. Because although there were some things I was happy with her doing, for the most part I wanted to scream at her.
"There's something to be said about life education. Books can't teach you everything."
pg. 71
     Maddie's life isn't one to write home about. She has two friends and a home life that's faling apart. One day she takes a risk and buys a Lottery ticket even though she's skeptical. She ends up hitting the jackpot! Her life immediately changes, and Maddie realizes that it's not so easy to recognize her true friends... Including a cute coworker of her's....
"You are my hero. [...] Like super-rich hero. Like Batman. Or Tony Stark."
pg. 75
     For the most part, I DID like this. BUT, there was one thing that kept me from really falling for it.... Maddie. There were so many times I wanted to yell at her for what she was doing. Granted this was her money and she was a teen, so I knew she would go a little crazy, but that's just it. I thought it would be A LITTLE. I expected her to do all of these things, BUT she had to go over the top. And because of that I wanted to yell at her. 
"It's amazing what money will do."
pg. 119
     Another thing that kept me from completely falling for this one was the romance. It felt like it was tacked on a the end. There isn't much focus on it until the end. It left me wanting more. As soon as it started the book was over. I've come to realize that West's novels are more about being a contemporary than a romance. 
"I believe in making our own luck. [...] But a tailsman now and again can help motivate us."
pg. 135
     However, as always, I did like the writing style. Kasie West can always win me over with her words. I wasn't completely convinced from the characters, but the premise and the writing style helped me to read this book in about 24 hours. I have been a fan of her's since her first book! I can't wait to see what else she comes up with!
"I can't avoid every place where people say ignorant things. I wouldn't have anywhere to go."
pg. 292
     Although some things kept me from falling head over heels for this one, it did not stop me from reading it in a day. This book will make you laugh and will bring up the question: What would YOU do with that amount of money? 
Overall, I give this


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

WoW: Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel Jose Older


This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what we're waiting patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) for! It's hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine!

Shadowhouse Fall (Shadowshaper, #2)

     The extraordinary sequel to the New York Times bestseller Shadowshaper is daring, dazzling, defiant.
     Sierra and her friends love their new lives as shadowshapers, making art and creating change with the spirits of Brooklyn. Then Sierra receives a strange card depicting a beast called the Hound of Light -- an image from the enigmatic, influential Deck of Worlds. The shadowshapers know their next battle has arrived.
     Thrust into an ancient struggle with enemies old and new, Sierra and Shadowhouse are determined to win. Revolution is brewing in the real world as well, as the shadowshapers lead the fight against systems that oppress their community. To protect her family and friends in every sphere, Sierra must take down the Hound and master the Deck of Worlds . . . or risk losing them all.

Published by: Arthur A. Levine
Expected Publication: September 12, 2017

Why I'm Waiting: I'm not sure what made me miss out on the first one, but now that I've read it, I will NOT miss out on the sequel. I can't wait to see what the Shadpwshapers are up to! And also, how can I NOT be excited for this beautiful Black Girl Magic on the cover! I REALLY hope that they have Anika Noni Rose doin the audiobook again. She did an amazing job last time! 

Will you be waiting on this with me?
What are you waiting on this week? 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Top Ten Books I Didn't Think I'd Like, but I Did!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the BookishEach week we will post a new Top Ten list . Everyone is welcome to join. 

This week's topic is:
A Freebie!
TTT is on hiatus until August, so I'll just be doing some freebies to fill it's spot! 
Top Ten Books I Didn't Think I'd Like, but I Did! 

No Good DeedShadow and Bone
Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)I See London, I See France (I See London, I See France, #1)
BangOptimists Die First
#famousFinding Audrey
The Serpent KingYou Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Stacking the Shelves #231 & the Weekly Wrap-Up!

This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what all we borrowed, bought, and received for review. It's hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

From #BooksforTrade: 
There's Someone Inside Your House

Bought: 
Amid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy, #1)

From the library: 
The End of Our StoryAnd Then There Were Four

The Weekly Wrap-Up!

Monday 07/17/17:  Review- Hidden Figures: The Movie
Tuesday 07/18/17: Top 10 Tuesday: Freebie! It's on hiatus until August, so I picked- Top Ten Books on my Backlist I want to Get to! 
Wednesday 07/19/17: Waiting on Wednesday: A Stranger in the House by Shari LaPena
Thursday 07/20/2017:  Review: This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes
Friday 07/21/17: Blog Tour Stop: No Good Deed by Kara Connolly
 Saturday 07/22/17:  Listen Up: Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

Me on Instagram: 

My puppy wasn't having the best day and I couldn't figure out why so I spent the entire day upset because I didn't know what was wrong with him. But after work when I got home, I held out a treat for him. He took it tentatively and left behind a tooth. lol He was back to his old antics after that. And then to make it better, I got one of my most anticipated of 2017 that same day. 
 
I was super lucky to find these in my local Wal-Mart! I've been saying for years that they needed to make a coffee fflavored one. Hell if you know me then you know that my favorite way to eat Oreos isn't with milk, but with coffee ice cream lol I'm so happy they combined two of my favorite snacks! 

I took almost the entire summer to FINALLY come up with an actual building storytime for Build a Better world. I ended up doing different variations of the Three Little Pigs and then they made the houses. The kids loved it and I was so excited that they actually liked it! If you were struggling to think of one (instead of the generic Build a Better World by being a "better person" that we've done already) you can use this idea too! 

What went on at your blog this week?!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older


I don't normally talk about the audio books I listen to because most of them are backlist, but I really want to start! So, I'm starting Listen Up to write short reviews on the books that I listen to! 
Audio, 6 parts
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Published by: Arthur A. Levine Books
Read from: June 11-14, 2017
Shadowshaper, #1
Source: Library 
For fans of: Series, 


     Cassandra Clare meets Caribbean legend in SHADOWSHAPER, an action-packed urban fantasy from a bold new talent.
     Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra's near-comatose abuelo begins to say "Lo siento" over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep.... Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.
     Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order's secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick's supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family's past, present, and future.

*MY THOUGHTS*

     I'm not sure why this book didn't originally make it to my TBR. To be honest, I just plucked it off the shelf from the library I work at because I needed something to listen to at my desk while I was planning stuff. Whatever the case may be, I'm glad I decided to listen to it. 
     Sierra is a normal girl who live in Brooklyn and likes to paint. Until a dude from the Walking Dead comes and busts up her friend's party. After running away, she finds out about Shadow Shapers who connect with the living world through different arts. She thinks there's no way that its real. Until she realizes that it's more real than she thinks... 
     What first drew me to this book was the mention of the Caribbean legend. I love finding out things about different cultures and this was right up my alley.I loved finding out new things through Sierra's character and I loved all the rich, culture that was displayed throughout the story.
     Speaking of which, Sierra and her family, Robbie, and everyone just felt so real. I know that's one of the most cliche things to say, but it's true. I really loved the way she was there to I connected to them. As if I was really in their group of friends. From the way they talked to the way they handled their business, they all felt so real and well rounded. 
     I also thought this book was very well written. I started out listening to it in my car, but it got to the point where I had to bring it in to work and listen while I was planning things because I couldn't stop listening to it. And the narrator is Anika Noni Rose so that was even more amazing. And then there were times where she actually sung some parts of the book which made it SO MUCH BETTER. 
     This book was already good, but pair a great story with a great narrator and amazing characters, and you have an absolutely unforgettable book.  I can't believe I waited this long to read this. But now that I have read it, I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel. 
Overall, I give this

Friday, July 21, 2017

No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

ARC, 228 pages
Release Date: June 18, 2017
Published by: Delacorte Press
Read from: July 19-22, 2017
Stand-alone
Source: Publisher for the Blog Tour
For fans of:  Time travel, Science Fiction, Retellings,  Adventure, YA


     Fans of Dorothy Must Die will love this reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Girl power rules supreme when a modern girl finds herself in the middle of a medieval mess with only her smart mouth and her Olympic-archer aim to get her home.
     Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.
     Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?
     Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.

*MY THOUGHTS*

     When I heard there was a Robin Hood re-telling I was just excited. But then I heard it was going to be a Robin Hood re-telling with a female Robin Hood and I was more than super excited. I love r-tellings that make the story their own in some way and I love re-tellings of rare told stories even more, so No Good Deed was right up my alley.
     Ellie Hudson is making her way to the U.S. Olympic team. She must qualify for the team while she's in England. But as she's following someone, she ends up making her way all the way to the Middle Ages. She wants to get back as soon as she can, but there's so much suffering going on in Nottingham and it would be rude not to do all she could to help first. And with that, she finds hersekf falling into the role of the legandary Robin Hood.....
     To say this was a historical fiction book, I actually enjoyed this one. I'm known to DNF them, (and sometimes really early on lol) but this one kept my attention the entire way through. There was a bit of time when it got too heavy with the history, but it was mostly at the beginning so it wasn't that bad.
     Another reason this isnt a typical "Nikki" book is the time travel aspect. I'm not normally a fan of time travel because they're normally either heavy on the history or heavy on the science. I tend to get annoyed with info-dumpy time traveling, but this one wasn't like that at all. She literally just went from one place to the next and I thought that was pretty cool. There wasn't a need to complicate it and for that I was glad.
     However I was not a fan of the plot. There were too many "coincidences." Like her parent's were both professors of history and physics. All the tools she needed to throughly think about time travel and all the people she would know. I guess I would have liked it better had she been thrown into it and just had to survive. That sounds harsh, but it's what I wanted lol
     Although this isn't my typical book, it was still something that I throughly enjoyed. I love finding books that I don't think I'll like and end up liking them. It really helps open my eyes as a reader and tells me not to give up on certain genres.
Overall, I give this

Thursday, July 20, 2017

This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes

e-ARC, 384 pages
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Published by: HarperTeen
Read from: July 15-18, 2017
Stand-alone
Source:  Edelweiss (I received a copy of this book from the Netgalley and the Publisher in exchange for a just and honest review. This did nothing to influence my review.) 
For fans of: Contemporary, Romance, Sparkly Covers, DEAR, Realistic Fiction, YA 


     Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened.
     When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.
     As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.
     Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.

*MY THOUGHTS* 

      After reading Girl Against the Universe in two sittings I added this Stokes book without even reading what it was about. Hell I don't think I even got a good look at the cover but I still added it. I had heard this was a little heavier than what she ususally writes, but I didn't mind because it was her. And I was right not to worry because it was still so good. 
     Genevieve Grace awakes from a coma and doesn't remember what put her there at first. As things start to come back, she realizes that there was a crash and her famous boyfriend didn't make it. The other person involved in the accident is the one person who everyone assumed was guilty because of his past. Genevieve starts to realize that maybe their anger to Brad might be misplaced. 
     I really couldn't put this book down. I was reading it in line at the grocery store, at the desk when I was at work, at lunch from work. Just everywhere. I was hooked on wanting to know what Genevieve would do next. I was rooting for her, but then I got mad at her, and then I was happy with her again. I was all over the place with my feelings for her character and that's how I knew I loved the book. Whenever I can feel so much for them, I know that it's something I love.
     I also really love Stokes' way for words. Her writing style always sweeps me away to wherever the book is set. And this one is set in the beautiful state of Utah. I've never been, but from this book I imagined being at the park where she volunteered and seeing all the cliffs and different views that she saw in the book. It literally took me away to the Utah and made it easy to imagine the setting. 
     And of course, last but not least, I loved the super relevant message from this story. A lot of times people don't give a second thought to their words or actions because they are behind a screen. But this book makes the reader really think about the person on the other side of the screen and whether or not what they may have said or done was justified. It's such an important message to remember in this digital age and to remember what you say can really affect some people. Remember to keep kindness first.
     There's not too many books that I say should be considered required reading in schools. To be honest, there's only been two this year so far: THUG and This is How it Happened. Teens need thi message to make sure they think about more than just the amount of retweets or likes they'll get. 
Overall, I give this

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WoW: A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena


This bookish meme tells the blogosphere what we're waiting patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) for! It's hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine!

A Stranger in the House


     From the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, a new thriller featuring a suspicious accident, a wife who can’t account for herself, and unsettling questions that threaten to tear the couple apart
     You come home after a long day at work, ready for dinner with your wife.
     But she’s not there. And it looks like she left in a blind panic. Her cellphone and her bag are still in the house.
     You fear the worst. You call the police.
     And they tell you that your wife’s been in an accident. She lost control of her car as she sped through a street on the worst side of town.
     The police think she was up to no good.
     You refuse to believe it.
     Then you start to wonder. You’ve been married for three years and you thought you knew her better than anyone on Earth.
     But maybe you don’t.
     In your house, everyone’s a stranger. And everyone has something to hide. Something worth killing for.
 

Published by: Pamela Dorman Books
Expected Publication:  August 15, 2017

Why I'm Waiting: I JUST finished The Couple Next Door (Late to the party I know smh) but I really liked it. I'm also super interested in seeing if this novel lives up to her previous one. Plus, this premise sounds SO GOOD and I love the title and I JUST CAN'T WAIT OK?


What are you waiting on this week?
Will you be waiting on this with me?
Was this a great pick for my first adult WOW?