October Wrap-Up

halloween

Happy Halloween!!

Any bookish Halloween plans or costumes? I think a bookish Halloween party would be awesome, but I’m at the mercy of my children this year. Trick or treating it is!

I’ve read 18 books this month.

This month’s pick for favorite is an easy one!

The Wrath & the Dawn

The Wrath & the Dawn

What books have you enjoyed this month?

Happy Reading,

Alison

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Stacking the Shelves #34

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

It was a light week for me. I only picked up 3 new books. At least I’m being efficient. I’ve already read both books that I spent money on. 🙂

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Clean Teen Thursdays ~ The Fill-In Boyfriend

To see what Clean Teen Thursdays is all about check out this POST. 🙂

fillin

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Content Observations: There isn’t any foul language or sexual content in this book. There is kissing, but the most extreme that gets is with Gia stating she had a make-out session. It’s not even described or further commented on. So, it’s fairly chaste kissing as far as the content goes. It’s perfect for teens that are fans of romance novels but looking to keep things clean. 🙂

Discussion Questions:
1. Was Bradley in the right to break things off with Gia over her obsession with her friends? What about his timing?

2. What lessons on lying might you learn from Gia?

3. Bec called Gia’s behavior in the beginning cowardly. Was she?

4. Was Bec right to interfere in her brother’s life?

5. Did Gia later do things that were courageous?

6. Did Bec do any growing herself?

7. What lessons might be learned about social media concerning the video?

8. Gia said that if expressing personal feelings made others feel bad then she’d rather keep them to herself. Is this always the right thing to do?

9. How did Gia outgrow her friends?

10. What growth was evident in Gia and her relationships (be sure to think of her relationship with her mom and brother, too)?

Happy Reading,

Alison,

Sweet Liar ~ Release Day & Review

sweet

Sometimes lies are sweeter than the truth.

Beauty is alluring; it can disguise the ugliness beneath. But scarred beauty is even more potent to a girl who vowed never to let her heart be broken again. It was an easy vow for Candy to keep until she met Jonah, an arrogant boy with a face that would be too perfect if not for the scar that marred the skin beside his eye.

That imperfect boy earned her trust and won her heart, but the ties that bind people together are fragile, especially when lies are told. Trust is also fragile, and once broken, doesn’t heal like a heart. Trust has to be earned again, and Jonah desperately wants Candy’s trust back.

But Candy has more than Jonah to worry about. Her father is in trouble, and she intends to help him whether he likes it or not. People tell her he’s a bad man, and that may be true, but he’s not all bad. Deep down, she understands his brand of badness because she’s so much like him.

When Candy finally learns the truth, she’ll have to grow up fast, let go of old grievances, and realize that being vulnerable doesn’t make her weak. In fact, opening herself up may be the very thing that makes her whole again.

Goodreads * Amazon

My 4 Strong Stars Review

If you haven’t already read Like Candy, then please go HERE to check out the first book in the series. This review will contain spoilers if you haven’t already read the first book. 🙂 This is such a unique series. There aren’t many YA romantic thrillers out there.

So, I was only 20% in when I encountered my first shocker of the book. The first of several things to come that I didn’t foresee. This story is full of little twists and turns. I got all of the answers I was looking for from book one – What exactly is her father involved in? Is he guilty of a crime? If so, was there a good reason? What is Jonah’s involvement? And his father’s? Yep, but I’m not going to reveal any of those here.

I will say that Candy’s search for these answers will leave you madly flipping pages. There are some very intense, heart-pounding moments in this book. There are some comical moments and sweet moments mixed in, too. The nervous energy is always palpable, though, as you know there’s at least one man out to do Candy harm.

Ultimately, I quite enjoyed this series. I would absolutely read it if Debra decided to write more on it. By the end of the book you will have all the answers you were originally looking for, but you’ll still be left wanting more. Fans of contemporary YA, romance, and crime thrillers will find this a great blend of the three!
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Happy Reading,

Alison

Teaser Tuesdays ~ Truest

teaser free-clip-art

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Today my teaser is from ~ Truest

truest

Silas Hart has seriously shaken up Westlin Beck’s small-town life. Brand new to town, Silas is different than the guys in Green Lake. He’s curious, poetic, philosophical, maddening– and really, really cute. But Silas has a sister– and she has a secret. And West has a boyfriend. And life in Green Lake is about to change forever.

Truest is a stunning, addictive debut. Romantic, fun, tender, and satisfying, it asks as many questions as it answers.

“I wish this book were water, so I could take a bath in it. I want my toes pruny from it.”

So the good days I swallow like grace on a spoon.

“The collision of common and celestial holds her like a jealous palm.”

That’s just three of the many quotes I enjoyed from this book. If you’d like to see my short review, you can find it HERE.

I’m looking forward to your teasers!!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Clean Teen Thursdays ~ Anca’s Story

Want to know what Clean Teen Thursdays is all about? Check out this POST. 🙂

ancas

Dare you read Anca’s Story?

Three young children smuggle themselves into Auschwitz in search for their parents.

If you’re looking for werewolves, vampires and faeries and paranormal fantasy, try somewhere else. The only wolf in this story is very real, and the only connection with vampires is the distant Transylvanian mountains in Romania, where this story begins.

If you’re looking for light-reading where they all live happily ever after then again, try somewhere else.

If you want serious, no-holds-barred literary fiction set against the background of real historic events then this is for you.

Saffina Desforges made her name writing hard-hitting crime fiction.

This book is about that most horrific crime of all: genocide.

Goodreads * Amazon

Content Observations:
This book was written with a YA audience in mind. There’s no foul language and no sexual content. However, you can expect extreme violence. This book paints a vivid picture of what the Jews experienced during the Holocaust.

Discussion Questions:
1. In the beginning of the story, Anca has already dealt with some extreme adversity. She remains upbeat, though. How do you think you would feel in her situation.

2. What did you think about Maxim’s decision to cut Anca out of Raisa’s life?

3. Anca said with a true friend, “One could be true to oneself and not fear to lose that friendship.” Do you agree? How would you describe friendship?

4. When Anca chose to leave Izabella’s, should she have left the children behind?

5. Do you think Henryk should have confessed the truth to Anca?

6. Do you think the citizens should have fought back, or was it right for them to do whatever work the Germans required?

7. Ultimately, Elone married a German man. Anca said she separated the Nazi from the German. What does this say about her character?

Happy Reading,

Alison

Teaser Tuesday ~ The Bronze Horseman

teaser free-clip-art

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Today my teaser is from ~ The Bronze Horseman

 
bronze
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Clean Teen Thursdays ~ A Long Walk to Water

Not sure what Clean Teen Thursdays is about, check out my first POST. 🙂

long

The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Goodreads * Amazon

Content Observations: This is a fairly short read, but it packs a big punch. There isn’t any strong language or sexual content. You can, however, expect extreme violence without it being graphic.

Discussion Questions:

1. Salva felt fortunate to be able to attend school, although it took him an half to get there. How do kids in this country view the privilege to have an education?

2. What are your thoughts to the religious aspect to the war? Is it okay to force people into a religion?

3. For seven months out of the year, Nya’s days were spent getting water – dirty water? How does this make you feel about tasks you must do and find yourself complaining about?

4. It would have been so very easy for Salva to give up hope. Have you found yourself losing hope in much less dire circumstances? Any new perspective on this?

5. The Nuer and Dinka tribes were constantly at battle against each other. Both sides probably spent a lot of time seeking revenge instead of forgiveness and understanding. Any thoughts on this?

6. Ultimately, Salva has water wells drilled for the Nuer people. What does this say about his character, and does this inspire you in any way?

Happy Reading,

Alison