Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

First and foremost, I want to thank you all for visiting WLABB and welcoming me to the community with open arms. I am so grateful that I was invited to contributed to the blog and am having the best time doing it.


Friday, December 29, 2017

Top 10 of 2017: Top 10 Books I am Looking Forward to in 2018





















This week I will be participating in the Top 10 of 2017 hosted by Nancy & Christy from Tales of a Ravenous Reader,  Rachel from Fiktshun, Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales, Jaime from Two Chicks On Books Fallon from Seeing Double in Neverland,  Take Me Away To A Great Read, and  Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales!

Today's Top 10: Books I am Looking Forward to in 2018

I have 397 books on my 2018 Goodreads shelf. Needless to say, there are a ton of books I hope to read. I had previously featured my most anticipated debuts of 2018, and now I will be sharing some of the non-debuts I am excited about.

Obsidio
Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman
Series: The Illuminae Files, #3
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

BookCon and BEA were just incomplete without a new Illuminae Files book dropping. I am way past my dose of this amazing series, and am therefore chomping at the bit for this book. These books are packed with action, humor, and even some swoons. They are also visual feasts for the eyes.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Top 10 of 2017: Best Book Friendships of 2017





















This week I will be participating in the Top 10 of 2017 hosted by Nancy & Christy from Tales of a Ravenous Reader,  Rachel from Fiktshun, Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales, Jaime from Two Chicks On Books Fallon from Seeing Double in Neverland,  Take Me Away To A Great Read, and  Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales!

Today's Top 10: Best Book Friendships

I had done a Top Ten Book Boyfriends not too long ago, and I also realized that many of my favorite book BFs were in the books I mentioned in my Best of 2017 post. Therefore, I made an executive decision and decided to talk about some of the best friendships I read about this year.

Warcross
Marie Lu
Series: Warcross, #1
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

Emika's relationship with her team grew over the course of the book. They had to have a sort of bond, because that was the only way they could work effectively and survive the game. I would say they were solidly friends by the end of the book, and I am hoping to see a lot more of them in the forthcoming  books.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Top 10 of 2017: Best Debuts of 2017





















This week I will be participating in the Top 10 of 2017 hosted by Nancy & Christy from Tales of a Ravenous Reader,  Rachel from Fiktshun, Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales, Jaime from Two Chicks On Books Fallon from Seeing Double in Neverland,  Take Me Away To A Great Read, and  Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales!

Today's Top 10: Best Debuts of 2017

I read about 50 debuts this year, and there were a bunch of really great ones! I have already featured a few on my Best Books of 2017 and Best Covers of 2017, so to avoid being repetitive, I am featuring even more debuts I adored.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
F.C. Yee
Series: #1
Publisher: Amulet Books

This was an uproarious tale, packed with action, folklore, and fantastic characters. It was just fun, fun, fun, and I did a little happy dance when I found out there was going to be more Genie Lo!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Top 10 of 2017: Best Covers of 2017





















This week I will be participating in the Top 10 of 2017 hosted by Nancy & Christy from Tales of a Ravenous Reader,  Rachel from Fiktshun, Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales, Jaime from Two Chicks On Books Fallon from Seeing Double in Neverland,  Take Me Away To A Great Read, and  Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales!

Today's Top 10: Best Covers of 2017

Everyone knows I'm a cover-ho, so I love this topic, however, I am only going to pick from books I read and try not to repeat any from previous days. Here we go!

Whichwood
Tahereh Mafi
Series: Furthermore, #2
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

This cover made me stop in my tracks when I first saw it. I love the way the grey tones are mixed with pops of red, and it really does a good job of capturing the story too. The cover features Laylee in full mordeshoor dress, along with some other symbols relevant to the story. It also depicts the physical cold of the environment, while conveying the isolation Layee is experiencing. A great combination of aesthetics and symbolic meaning.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Top 10 of 2017: Best Books I've Read in 2017





















This week I will be participating in the Top 10 of 2017 hosted by Nancy & Christy from Tales of a Ravenous Reader,  Rachel from Fiktshun, Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales, Jaime from Two Chicks On Books Fallon from Seeing Double in Neverland,  Take Me Away To A Great Read, and  Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales!

Today's Top 10: Best Books I Read in 2017

I feel like I have been overly blessed by the book gods this year, because I have read so many good books. Therefore, it was really hard to pick just ten, but here are some standouts from my reading year.

Daughter of the Pirate King
Tricia Levenseller
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King, #1
Publisher: Feiwel Friends

There was absolutely nothing I didn't love about this book. Alosa was an amazing heroine. She was smart and sassy, brave and bold. Some of my favorite parts were when Alosa and Riden were verbally sparring. They were a perfect match, and I am giddy with anticipation to continue their story.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

To all who celebrate, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas! It's been such a lovely week. I didn't get to read as much as I normally do, but I got to do some mom-ing. It feels like a long time since I have donned that hat. It's nice to be needed again.

Friday, December 22, 2017

In a Nutshell Reviews

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

The Sweetheart Sham
Danielle Ellison
Series: Southern Charmed, #1
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
In a small town like Culler, South Carolina, you guard your secrets like you guard your cobbler recipe: with your life. Georgia Ann Monroe knows a thing or two about secrets: she’s been guarding the truth that her best friend Will is gay for years now. But what happens when a little white lie to protect him gets her into a fake relationship…and then the boy of her dreams shows up?

Enter Beau Montgomery: Georgie’s first love, hotter than ever, and much too much of a southern gentleman to ever pursue someone else’s girl. There’s no way to come clean to Beau while still protecting Will. But bless their hearts, they live in Culler—where secrets always have a way of revealing themselves.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hilarious “fakeship,” a scorching-hot impossible relationship, and a heartwarming best-friendship that will make you want to call your best friend right here, right now.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Off The Topic - Sloth's Alaskan Adventure

Several years ago when he was just a wee sloth, Sloth went on one of his favorite adventures - an Alaskan cruise! For this throwback Thursday, follow along with Sloth's Alaskan adventure!


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Daughter of the Siren Queen - Tricia Levenseller

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for Daughter of the Siren Queen!

Daughter of the Siren Queen
Tricia Levenseller
Series: n/a
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Waited on by: Sam
Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope to See Under the Tree

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

Books I Hope to See Under the Tree!

The obvious answer is ALL THE BOOKS!!! But, I do have a list of books that I would read immediately if I had them in my hot little hands.

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You
Lily Anderson
Series: n/a
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

I recently read the companion novel for this book, Not Now, Not Ever, and I thought it was fabulous! It was nerdy fun at its best, and I would love to read the story starring characters, who were featured in NNNE. In fact, I want to read all Anderson's books, because she is hilarious.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Review: Love, Life, and the List - Kasie West

Love, Life, and the List
Kasie West
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: HarperTEEN
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.
Love, Life, and the List, was one of my Can't-Wait Wednesday picks back in October, and I am happy to report, that this book delivered beyond my expectations. Here is my "Heart List" sharing all the reasons why I loved this book so much:

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

This was a good and bad week. I was really disappointed, when my eye procedure was canceled two hours before I was supposed to go. *Sad* BUT, the good thing is that my prodigal daughter has returned! I am so happy to have her for these two weeks.

On the Blog:

Friday, December 15, 2017

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Discussion: 2018 Reading Challenges


This Week’s Topic: Reading Challenges 2018

It's that time again! The time when we set our goals for the new year, and I am really excited to pick my reading challenges for this year. I have not finalized my list or picked my books for the challenges, but I do know I will be doing the following challenges. 

The #2017Throwback is hosted by Jamie at Books and Ladders, and challenges you to "throwback" to 2017 by reading a different book every month that was published in 2017. This is a great challenge for me, because there are quite a few 2017 releases I own, but never got to. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Last to Let Go - Amber Smith

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith!

The Last to Let Go
Amber Smith
Series: n/a
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Waited on by: Sam
How do you let go of something you’ve never had?

Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She’s transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hometown, her family, and her past behind.

But all of her dreams are shattered one hot summer afternoon when her mother is arrested for killing Brooke’s abusive father. No one really knows what happened that day, if it was premeditated or self-defense, whether it was right or wrong. And now Brooke and her siblings are on their own.

In a year of firsts—the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom—Brooke must confront the shadow of her family’s violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Anticipated Debuts of 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

Top Ten Anticipated Debuts of 2018!

Truth: This is not the actual topic this week, but I am doing the same topic during Top Ten of 2017 week, so I thought I fill in with this one. I like to make an effort to read a lot of debuts, and have discovered a ton of new and fantastic authors this way. So, without further ado, here are my top anticipated debuts for the upcoming year.

(More 2018 MG & YA debuts can be found here.)

Fat Girl on Plane
Kelly deVos
Series: n/a
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: June 5, 2018

First, there is the whole fashion designer wannabe angle. Then, there is the dual timeline approach, which I always love. The synopsis sort of eludes to a very empowering story too. I'm all in on this one.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: Foolish Hearts - Emma Mills

Foolish Hearts
Emma Mills
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult,  Contemporary
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.
Back in September, I shared a list of authors I NEED to read. Emma Mills was on this list, and I cannot believe it took me so long to read one of her books! This book was such a joy to read, and exactly my cup of tea.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

We had our first snow storm yesterday, and I am so grateful it was on a weekend day, because my commute would have been a struggle in this weather. Snow days are really the only thing I miss about teaching. The Simon trailer just came on the TV, so I am crying again. 😭It's so good!

Things I Saw Online:

A few weeks back I justified buying another ebook for charity, and I am so impressed with how much money was raised - $30,144!

A post shared by Penny Reid (@reidromance) on

Friday, December 8, 2017

Blog Tour: The Heartbreak Cure - Amanda Ashby

















The Heartbreak Cure
Amanda Ashby
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
How to get over a heartbreak:

Step one: Eat your body weight in brownies.

Step two: Throw yourself into your dreams of becoming a famous writer.

Step three: Beg your (hottie) ex-neighbor to act as your fake boyfriend.

Step four: Skip step three unless you’re ready for some serious fallout.

After being dumped and humiliated over the summer, Cat Turner does what any sane girl would do. She asks bad boy Alex Locke to be her fake boyfriend and show the world (and her editor at the school newspaper) that she's fine. Problem is, the more time she spends with Alex, the more she risks getting her heart broken. For real this time.


Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a swoony bad boy who will melt your heart, brownies, and witty banter. One, two, or all three might prove addictive…

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Bookish Confessions: I Love Memes!


This Week’s Topic: Weekly Memes

You love them. You hate them. You love to hate them, but any way you slice it, there are tons of  weekly memes out there that a multitude of bloggers partake in. I am on the love-side, and here are some reasons why.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Curses - Laure Eve

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I can't wait for The Curses by Laure Eve!

The Curses
Laure Eve
Series: The Graces, #2
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Publisher: Amulet Books
Waited on by: Sam and Kiersten
Picking up the pieces after the chilling events of the previous year isn’t easy, but the Graces are determined to do it. Wolf is back after a mysterious disappearance, and everyone’s eager to return to normal. Except for Summer, the youngest Grace. Summer has a knack for discovering the truth—and something is troubling her. After a trail of clues leads her to what could be the key to both her family’s mysterious past and the secret of Wolf, she’s determined to vanquish yet another curse. But exposing secrets is a dangerous game, and it’s not one Summer can win alone.

At Summer’s behest, the coven comes back together, reluctantly drawing their erstwhile friend River back into the fold. But Wolf’s behavior becomes unpredictable even as Fenrin’s strength fades, and Summer must ask herself whether the friend she so loves is also planning her family’s ultimate, cursed demise.

This riveting sequel to The Graces is saturated with magic, the destructive cost of power, the complications of family, and the nature of forgiveness.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Places I Want to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is...

Bookish Places I Want to Visit!

Books have transported me to so many wonderful lands. It was quite difficult to pick only ten, but these were the first that came to mind, and I am still hoping this happens:


Monday, December 4, 2017

Blog Tour: The Truth Beneath the Lies




















The Truth Beneath the Lies
Amanda Searcy
Series: n/a
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Fight or Flight.

All Kayla Asher wants to do is run. Run from the government housing complex she calls home. Run from her unstable mother. Run from a desperate job at No Limit Foods. Run to a better, cleaner, safer life. Every day is one day closer to leaving.

All Betsy Hopewell wants to do is survive. Survive the burner phone hidden under her bed. Survive her new rules. Survive a new school with new classmates. Survive being watched. Every minute grants her another moment of life.

But when fate brings Kayla and Betsy together, only one girl will live.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sundays with Sam - The Sunday Post

Sundays with Sam is a combination of Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My Week in Review

Another quiet week for me, but my co-bloggers did some cool stuff. Kiersten went to see Mean Girls the musical in DC, and Noor went to a signing event for Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart. I am pretty jealous of both of them.


Friday, December 1, 2017

In a Nutshell Reviews: Beyond YA

In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights. This edition is featuring some of my recent non-YA reads, and I just realized they all feature hockey players.

Run Away with Me
Mila Gray
Series: Come Back to Me, #3
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
Emerson Lowe and popular ice-hockey player Jake McCallister have been best friends since third grade but just as their friendship starts to morph into something more, a terrible event occurs that heralds the end of innocence for both of them. Within a week, Jake’s living on the other side of the country and Emerson is left alone to pick up the pieces of her life in a small town determined to paint her as a liar.

Seven years on and Emerson is still living on the beautiful Pacific West island of Bainbridge, helping her family run their outdoor adventure company. The last thing she needs is Jake turning up, bringing with him old memories and opening up old wounds. But Jake—even better looking than Emerson remembered and on the cusp of a bright sporting future—seems determined to revive their friendship no matter how much Emerson tries to push him away and soon they’re in the midst of a passionate summer romance that neither of them wants to end.

But if they’re to have any kind of future, they’re first going to need to confront the past, a past that most people want to stay buried.