Saturday, January 31, 2015

Monthly Recap #01: January 2015

I cannot believe we're already a month into 2015! I swear the older you get the faster time flies by. So new year, new blogish me, I decided I'd start doing these monthly recaps. Well at least I plan on it, who knows how well I'll end up sticking to it.

So here's what happened on the blog:
January 2015


Tempting the Pirate by Tamara Hughes
Impulse Control by Amanda Usen
The Rules According to Gracie by Stefanie London
Her Sexy Sentinel by Jenn Burke

Favorite Read:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Least Favorite Read:
Unmaking Hunter Kennedy
(I didn't review it on the blog but my thoughts are on Goodreads)

Weekly Memes:

Weekly Haul #41 [01/04/15]
Weekly Haul #42 [01/11/15]
Weekly Haul #43 [01/25/15]

-The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
-The Evolution of Mara Dyer
-Rusty Nailed

Challenge Progress:

I unofficially decided to do this at the beginning of the year which is why I also decided to start doing these posts, to keep it updated. I finished for January! Yay me! 

Series Read:
The Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin

I've completed 5 out of the 50 this month. The rest are gonna get harder!

So that's how my month went in the blogging world. Not bad! Plus I've been doing a decent job so far in replying to comments and finding something original to comment on a portion of the blogs I visit! I'm still not perfect on it but I'll get there :) Bring on February!!

Tangled Talk #04: What the shelf?!

Help! I need some opinions.

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So I have this dilemma. I have two decent sized bookshelves. I mean they're el cheapo but they're sturdy and they work well enough the quality isn't the problem. The problem is...the number of books I greater than the capacity of the two shelves combined to hold.

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What? You're surprised? I didn't think so...

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Ahem...moving on...

I solved that, at least for now, by buying a third bookshelf. Different brand, two more shelves though it seems 2 of them aren't going to be adjustable so I'm worried about putting it together. But the thing is it's taller and should hold quite a few books with plenty of room to spare. Don't worry though I'm sure this time next year I'll be whining and crying to you all because I'm out of shelf space again. If you've been around this blog before on weekly hauls then you know how I am. You know I'm right.

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Right now I'm kind of in limbo on what I'm going to do with them. Part of the reason the new shelf is still in the box and I'm procrastinating putting it together. Right now the two shelves I've had are sort of in a big old cluster fuck state. I had to move them from where they were and in doing so I went from nice and organized to, well throwing the books just anywhere on the shelf with no rhyme or reason or method to the madness. 

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It's driving me crazy! I'm pretty OCD about stuff like this. I  can't even stand to look at them right now because of all the chaos. I'm very Monica in that sense.

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Oops...not that version of Monica.

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The hyper organized, everything having it's place and needing it to be in that place version of Monica. But I don't know how I should organize them. I used to have them alphabetized by author's last name. Then under that author I had the titles alphabetized as well. In the case of series I would group those books together and they would be grouped together by the series title. For example under JLA's section of books I own I had all of the Covenant books together before all of the Lux books. Make sense? I'm sure you get it.

I've been thinking though. Part of me wanted to have separate shelves for books I've read and books I still need to read. But then the problem is once I finish a book or group of books I'd then need to reorganize once again to find room for them on the shelf of read books. That would become a huge pain in the ass.

So then do I organize it by favorites? I can just see myself surrounded by piles of books pulling out my hair because I can't decide which book I like more than the other ones. And then what do I do with the books, once again, that I haven't read yet?

Should I do some sort of fun color coded thing? It sounds fun and visually it would be pretty to look at but how am I supposed to find a book quickly if there's no organization going on whatsoever?

What about by book title?

By size?


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How do YOU organize, or lack there of, your shelves? Have you thought of something that I haven't? I'd love to hear what you've done yourself. Hopefully help make up my mind because for every good idea I have I come up with about 2-3 reasons why it could backfire on me down the line. I don't know what to do. Here's what I have to work with.

The chaos right now:

There's probably about 3 dozen more books piled up on and around the vicinity of my desk...hence the need for more shelving. 


So that's my problem. Leave me a comment on how you sort your shelves if you have a minute and you'll probably have my undying love and gratitude lol! And thanks for taking an hour and reading this. (We've established in previous posts I don't know how to be brief...) 

Have a great weekend! xoxo

Friday, January 30, 2015

REVIEW: The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #3) by Michelle Hodkin

Title/Series: The Retribution of Mara Dyer | Mara Dyer #3
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: November 6th 2014
Format: Hardcover | Pages: 470
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Amazon
★★★★★ (5/5) Stars!!!

Michelle Hodkin | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn't stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.

It dawned on me when I had about 100 pages left in this book that it is going to be extremely hard, practically impossible even, to write a review for this book. At least one that's spoiler free. But I'm going to give it everything I have and see what happens. If you're reading this I manged to come up with something. Yay me!
I've had weird dreams. I've had weird hallucinations. But weird didn't even begin to touch this, whatever this was.
I never expected to get as attached to this series as I have. But from the moment I picked up The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, through every word and every sentence and every paragraph I fell deeper and deeper into this twisted, dark, hauntingly beautiful story. The intensity, the darkness, the complete mind fuckery has been steadily building since the very first book. It rarely lets up and I often found myself wondering if I myself was going to come out of this series sane. Truly I've had some very strange dreams.
I should have been more frightened than I was. I should have been terrified. But I just felt like I was watching all of this happen to someone else.
At the start of each sequel I would think there's no way I could handle things getting any worse than they did previously. Yet there was no way in hell I could even think about putting them down. The more twisted it got the faster I would push myself to get to the next page. To say Retribution was the most shocking would be an understatement. The depths of darkness that this book went to had me absolutely hopeless throughout most of it. Doubting an ending could be possible that I would find satisfying.
Jamie held a slice in each hand and was looking back and forth between them. "I want to double-fist the shit out of this pizza."
Even when things look bleak Michelle Hodkin manages to sneak in moments that had me laughing out loud. I am in love with her writing style  You name an emotion and she has more than likely managed to pull that out of me within this series. I will read anything this woman writes. No, truly. If she published a book of nothing but old grocery lists I would be rushing to buy it. I have fangirled and shouted about how much I've loved this book or that book in the past, but this series was so different for me. It's that one. The one. The one that has me sitting here wondering how am I ever going to pick up another book and feel that same enjoyment and level of emotions. Yeah, it seems I'm slightly obsessed. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go wallow in this book hangover. They should make a patch for that, one that pumps you full of endorphins to help get you over the hump.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

That's What HE Said Thursday #22

Every Thursday, the girls over at Chapter Break are hosting a fun new meme! To learn more about "That's What HE Said Thursday" click here.

My Quote:

"I don't want to put things off, even though we haven't been together a really long time. I don't want to wait--you never know what can... Look. I adore you, and I want a home. Again. With you."

Simon Parker to Caroline Reynolds
by Alice Clayton

Simon always gets my heart going like crazy and I think that this moment right here is one of my favorite Simon moments. For him to get to this point was just something I didn't think was possible. And to have him kind of tongue tied even, Mr. Confidence as he normally is, was just the sweetest thing.

Swoon Thursday #38

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by YABound!

Here's what you do:
From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering.

This week's pick is from:

Rusty Nailed (Cocktail #2)
by Alice Clayton
Adult, Contemporary, Romance

"I just need you." His eyes burned into mine, stormy and full of want. "You--I need you," he repeated, thrusting deeply, stringing me out right on the edge.

It was those eyes that pushed me over that edge. And when he followed, it was epic.

Short but oh so steamy. I. Love. Simon! Sigh. So what are you swooning over this week? :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

ARC REVIEW: Her Sexy Sentinel by Jenn Burke

Title/Series: Her Sexy Sentinel
Author: Jenn Burke
Publisher: Entangled Covet
Published: January 26th 2015
Format: eARC | Pages: 200
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Publisher
★★★ (3/5) Stars!

Jenn Burke | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

A paranormal category romance from Entangled's Covet imprint...

The most dangerous thing they could do is fall in love...

Callie Noble fled to Ottawa to escape danger. But she is far from safe. Overwhelmed by a strange new power she can't control, Callie is terrified and painfully incapacitated. Her only hope is to seek the help of the one man who broke her heart...

Derrick Llewellyn is one of the Sentinels charged with the protection of the city's mysterious secret. Seeing Callie again is a shock enough, but the electricity between them is stronger than ever. Still, loving another marked individual is forbidden, and Callie needs his help—not romantic complications.

But there are forces at work in the city, and Callie finds herself inexorably drawn into a world filled with danger and untold magics. A world where loving Derrick isn't just's the surest way to drive them both mad.

I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating.

I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. As it was I struggled with how to go about rating it or even what it was I would say about it. It actually didn't even spark my interest until about 100+ pages in, at which point it was finally becoming more clear and explained better how this magical world and the people within it worked. Once I started understanding that better I began to care what was going to happen next.

Both Callie and Derrick were interesting characters. It made it more interesting having one person who has known about and lived withing the magical community since childhood and then to contrast that with someone who doesn't realize what's happening to them and thinks there's no way magic could actually exist. It made for some interesting conflict and opportunities for them to be at odds about how things should be handled. One going on gut instincts and the other thinking they know everything. I felt like Callie and Derrick each portrayed those types of characters really well.

While I liked them both separately, as a couple I wasn't feeling it at all. Everything felt too forced and way too intense. The type of intensity that just didn't seem normal or healthy. Which, and I can't explain why due to spoilers, but in a sense I realize that's part of the whole forbidden thing. But I felt like it went above and beyond and it just didn't feel natural. I found that I was way more into the murders, the mystery and the magical aspect of it than I was about the romance. And that's...just normally not me. Usually I'm all about the kissing and the swooning and don't get me wrong there was plenty of it and it got steamy but as a couple I felt disconnected from Derrick and Callie. Hence the reason for my struggle with the rating.

Honestly the mysterious deaths and the danger were enough to keep me tuned in and drove me all the way to the end of the book. I highly enjoyed those, though I will say the killer's "weapon" of choice was...different. Regardless there was enough of all the good to make this book enjoyable and worth the read. 

Thanks Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekly Haul #43

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's basically a way in which we get to show off the lovely new goodies we got over the past week/month however you decide to do it.

(Click on the covers to go to their Goodreads pages)

For Review:

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One Real Man (Real Men #3) by Coleen Kwan

Penthouse Prince by Virginia Nelson


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Surviving the Rachel by Aven Ellis

Inspire (The Muse #1) by Cora Carmack

Only 2 review books requested and two books bought. I think that's a pretty good improvement for me!! I guess I'm a work in progress. One of these days I'll learn complete control lol. So what did you add to your shelves this week? :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

REVIEW: The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin

Title/Series: The Evolution of Mara Dyer | Mara Dyer #2
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: October 29th 2013
Format: Paperback | Pages: 527
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Amazon
★★★★★ (5/5) Stars!!!

Michelle Hodkin | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.
They aren't.

She couldn't imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

This review will probably be on the shorter side because it's going to be hard to put my thoughts into words without spoiling anything. Plus I'm not even really sure what it is I even am feeling at the moment. All I do know for sure is Michelle freaking brilliant!
Time was supposed to heal all wounds, but how could it when Jude kept picking the scab?
First of all I finished The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer feeling like there wasn't any way to top it. I was pulled in immediately and my emotions were pulled up to the highest of highs and brought down so low I wasn't sure I'd be able to claw my way back to the top. But that was just the first book in this series and now after reading this one? That was all a simple child's bedtime story in comparison. I'm stunned. I'm shocked. I feel emotionally drained. And it's taking every last shred of willpower I have to be sitting here typing this and allowing myself to clear my thoughts, instead of picking up the last book and starting it immediately. Couldn't be topped? Pfft! I'd laugh at myself if I wasn't so drained.
My father might be right. If I lost Noah, I might just lose my mind.
My affection for these characters has only deepened. Especially with both Noah and Mara's brother Daniel. Daniel's unwavering support and faith in his sister at one point even brought me to tears. And Noah? I can't even describe it! No matter what Mara wants to try in order to figure out what's happening to her he's there solidly supporting her. If she said she wanted to...I don't know, travel deep into a jungle and visit some shaman or witch doctor or something that most of us would just look at the person and laugh and think you can't be serious? Noah would charter a jet and fly her there then hold her hand as he hacked his way with a machete through the jungle to find whoever she was looking for. He's the guy who will move heaven and earth for her, never once doubting what she said to be anything but reality. And I'll admit there have been plenty of moments through this series so far that I often doubted her myself and had to wonder if things were actually happening or not.
But no one could protect me from myself.
I still have no idea what's going on! If one question gets answered, it brings with it a whole fresh set of new ones to have me totally baffled. There was even a darker edge to this one. I was even more so on the edge of my seat as the story twisted and turned and really messed with my head and even had me a little bit freaked out. I'm so not joking! Especially when I was reading it late at night. I was so very much pulled in and emotionally invested in the story that it had me on edge. I'm both excited and really worried to pick up the last book. Part of me just doesn't want it to end period because I'm so hooked. Another part of me is just praying that it ends well since my recent track record with series enders is...not so good. *Deep breath* I'm going in... 

Huh...look at that. This review is longer than I thought it'd be!