A Need So Beautiful (A Need So Beautiful #1) by Suzanne Young

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Need So Beautiful (A Need So Beautiful #1) by

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Balzer & Bray

We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten...

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.
My Thoughts:

A Need So Beautiful is a novel that will stay with you. It's different. The whole time I was trying to figure things out, and I have to say I was pretty close with my predictions, but the ending threw me for a loop.  Harlin absolutely made the book for me. It was nice to go into a novel with the main character already in a stable relationship and watch her struggle to maintain it with Harlin.The Need forces Charlotte to do things she doesn't want to do. When she tries to fight it, the pain is overwhelming. Harlin stays with her, he fights to keep her with him even though he's clueless what he's fighting against.

The ending is where everything goes down. You'll see what choice Charlotte makes and how much of a sacrifice it is. I felt my heart strings tug a lot in the last few pages.

I cannot wait for book two! I have to see what happens next, because for once, I am clueless on what could happen. This really was tied up so nicely it could've been a stand alone book, so I am interested to see what Charlotte will be up to!

Read this one if you like stories about helping people, angels, supernatural stores and great romance. 

WINNER!! Crush Control Arc!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The winner of Jennifer Jabaley's CRUSH CONTROL arc is.....  *drum roll*

Erin Millar!

Thanks to everyone who entered and don't forget to enter our other great giveaways!

Are You Going To Kiss Me Now? Giveaway

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wanna Win It??? Just comment below with your email address! Contest closes July 31st 2011! Open to US Only!

FANTASTIC BOOK REVIEW: Win Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris!

FANTASTIC BOOK REVIEW: Win Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris!

CRUSH CONTROL Review and Giveaway!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Title: Crush Control 
Author: Jennifer Jabaley
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: ARC

Reading, Writing and Waiting is excited to be part of Jennifer Jabaley's CRUSH CONTROL blog tour! 

I read through CRUSH CONTROL at lightning speed because I couldn't stop myself!  I remember reading about this sale in Publisher's Marketplace and thinking how awesome it sounded, and it didn't disappoint.  I loved it!

Here's the blurb:

Willow has spent most of her life as her mother's sidekick in a popular Las Vegas hypnotism show. So when she and her mom move back to their sleepy southern hometown to start over, she thinks she's in for a life of quiet normalcy. Except that her new life turns out to be anything but, when she kinda sorta hypnotizes Quinton, the hottest guy on the football team, to fall madly, deeply, head over heels in love with her. But what started out as an innocent way to make her best friend, Max, jealous soon gets way out of hand, and Willow begins to wonder if the mind - and more importantly, the heart - is something you can really control.

From the first chapter, I was a fan of Willow.  She's quirky and funny and 100% relatable.  When her dog starts humping hot guy, Quinton's leg at the park when they first meet, I was as humiliated for Willow as she was for herself. 

Willow's BFF, Max, once chubby nice guy turned hottie, is swoon-worthy, but not above letting Willow know when he's disappointed in her for considering using hypnosis herself.  But once the popularity takes hold and Willow can honestly say her hypnosis is helping others, it's hard to turn back...until it all goes very, very wrong.

Threaded through the story is a secondary plot about Willow's mom and grandma and what it takes to accept your child for who they are.  It's equally well done and heart-warming. 

This is a five star book that I plan to read again and again. 

Do you want to own the Crush Control ARC?

All you need to do is leave a comment with your email address.  Extra points for tweeting the contest - just make sure to @JamieMBlair me, so I know you tweeted!  Winner will be picked at random on FRIDAY, July 22!

The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball

Saturday, July 16, 2011

By Risa Green
Paperback, Published 2010 Sourcebooks
Source: Sourcebooks

In a world where nothing is certain, a little magic couldn't hurt...right?

Erin Channing is convinced that she’s the most boring, normal girl on the planet. But when her kooky aunt mysteriously dies and leaves Erin a pink crystal “answer ball” that really is magic, Erin’s boring, normal existence gets turned upside down. With the help of her two best friends, Lindsay and Samantha, Erin deciphers a set of cryptic rules for how to use the ball, while at the same time finds herself falling for a guy she thought she couldn’t stand. But when Lindsay and Samantha try to convince her to break one of the rules and use the ball to solve their own problems, the plan backfires on them, and Erin realizes that she must use her common sense and intelligence to get everything back to, well… normal.

My Thoughts:
This book was very enjoyable. I laughed a lot at the main characters and her friends. True to teenage form there is very definitely a moral to the story and the main trio, Erin, Lindsay and Samantha, go through some extreme character growth by the end. They get into several jambs, that upon further attempts to extricate themselves just land in more hot water. This book is a light, easy read, perfect for a day at the pool.----Michele

Are You Going to Kiss Me Now? by Sloane Tanen

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Are You Going to Kiss Me Now?

Published May 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire (first published April 27th 2011)
Source: Sourcebooks Fire


High school junior Francesca Manning is an outsider, an aspiring writer and secret devourer of celebrity gossip mags. A fake essay to Seventeen wins her the celeb-schmoozing opportunity of a lifetime, but after the plane crashes, she's stranded on a desert island with five of the most clueless, self-involved headcases to escape Hollywood. Happily skewering their foibles in witty observations on her iPhone proves surprisingly educational for Francesca. The group must work together to survive-if they don't insult each other to death first.

My Thoughts:

I'm lovin' all the great summer reads I've been sent lately. Are You Going To Kiss Me Now? was the funniest novel I've read in a long time. It took me back to the day when Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie started The Simple Life. Posh celebrities and their lifestyles crack me up. If they only knew how the other half of us live, right? This novel had the same kind of humor. I literally wanted to reach in and smack some of the characters for being so dumb.

The plot wasn't terribly involved, so if you are looking for a light read to throw in your beach bag that will entertain you for a while, this is it. You'll be able to zip through this one fairly quick and maybe get a laugh or two.

Original Sin (Personal Demons #2) by Lisa Desrochers

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Original Sin (Personal Demons #2)

Paperback, 398 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Tor Teen 
Source: Review Copy from Tor Teen


Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies.

Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too…tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently-acquired guardian angel.

Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears—and they’re not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Frannie’s guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp.

And not everyone will get out of it alive.
My Thoughts:

Going into this novel I knew there was a new point of view coming, thanks to Lisa's twitter teasers, but I wasn't sure who it would be until I got into the the book. I was surprised to find out it was Matt, Frannie's twin brother, whom we met in Personal Demons. It took me a while to get into his perspective on things mainly because he came off a little too pissed off at Frannie and Luc's relationship. I've always been Team Luc. But after reading further, I discovered the view from his eyes was imperative to propel the story forward and possibly lead us into book three. 

Luc is still Luc. Hot as ever and totally into Frannie, willing to do anything for her. And yes there are some smexy time scenes in this book. I can always count on Frannie to deliver those. That girl has some raging hormones. 

Gabe is still in the picture too, but he really only appears in the first and last 3/4 of the book. He wasn't really vital in the meat of the plot line this time. Frannie's attraction to Gabe is still there even though she and Luc are an official couple now. Is is wrong to lust after an angel? Because Frannie seems like she's always ready to jump his bones, which doesn't bother me because I love the love triangle and tension it creates. 

There's nothing like two guys jealous over a girl.

We meet some new demons this round as well. I like the spin Ms. Desrochers created on demons and biblical mythology. It was a cool twist. When you meet the villain, you'll want to punch them, or maybe that's just me.

This sequel is a must read for Personal Demons fans. If you haven't read book one and like demon vs angels stories, run out and get it. You won't be disappointed.

Double Take Covers: Tempest by Julie Cross

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The cover alone makes me want to read this one! I gotta find out about these people on the cover! Tempest hits shelves January 3rd 2012 by Thomas Dunne.


Jackson thought he had all the time in the world with Holly. Until time took him away from her . . .

Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy . . . who just happens to be able to travel through time. It’s all just harmless fun until the day Jackson witnesses his girlfriend, Holly, get fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years, but it’s not long before the people who shot Holly come looking for him. And these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit (or kill) this powerful young time-traveler. Jackson must decide how far he is willing to go to save Holly . . . and the entire world.

Double Take Covers:

OMG you guys look! Nightshade 3!! Expected publication: February 21st 2012 by Philomel. I can't wait!

Is true love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Double Take Covers: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

This book looks awesome! The cover is a little creepy but I like it. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer hits shelves September 27th, 2011!

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
          It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

Double Take Covers: The Near Witch

The Near Witch, release date August 2, 2011, has a stunning cover! Make sure to mark this one on your to be read list!

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 
And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

Sometimes It Happens

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Simon Pulse 
Source: Galley Grab
On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer. Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction--and one night, into a passionate kiss.

The novel opens on the first day of senior year; the day Hannah is going to see Ava, Sebastian, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, everyone is paired up once again, but not the way you might think...
My Thoughts:

There's nothing like a good contemporary in the summer. They can totally lift your mood because they are fun and the plots aren't super complicated, kind of like a romantic comedy. Ms. Barnholdt wrote TWO WAY STREET, another contemp novel that I feel in love with, so I was excited to review this novel.
The main character (MC) of Sometimes It Happens had such a great voice, as well as all of the secondary characters. If you've read any of my reviews before, you know the voice of the novels make or break a book for me. In young adult fiction, the teen voice has to ring true. If the MC sounds like an experienced adult or uses phrases that no teen would say I totally get turned off. YA is all about making mistakes and learning from them while you are coming of age and the voice needs to represent that.
I'm glad to say Hannah, our MC, pulled me in immediately. I loved how the novel switched from present time to past (over the summer) so we could watch things unfold. I understood why she liked Noah by reading the past parts of the story and then understood how guilty she felt by reading the present part of the story.  

I would recommend this novel to any YA contemp fan. Readers who enjoyed novels like The Duff, Twenty Boy Summer, The Sky is Everywhere, Something Like Fate, Sarah Dessen novels, Anna and the French Kiss and Rachel Hawthorne novels will fall in love with this story.

The Book of Lost Souls by Michele Muto

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Book of Lost Souls

Kindle Edition, 324 pages

Published March 6th 2011
Source: Author Provided ARC


When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Ivy has heard it all before - that her father, who left when she was seven – was involved with the darkest of magic.

Making the rumors worse, someone uses an evil spell book to bring back two of history's most nefarious killers. Ivy's got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But she’ll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits that want her and her friends dead: the school’s resident bad boy and hotter-than-brimstone demon, Nick Marcelli. Nick’s offering Ivy more than his help with recovering the missing book – he’s offering her a way to ditch her scaly reputation as a lizard-lover. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and as Ivy soon discovers, it’s going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to survive long enough to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week’s end.

My Thoughts:

I must say that this cover is quite alluring. It immediately drew my interest and I had to find out more. I was pleasantly surprised to find the story is a blessedly fresh new take on the supernatural world. There is lots of mystery, plotting, subterfuge and generous handfuls of comedy throughout the story. While there is a love triangle, it does not overwhelm and derail the plot line. I particularly liked the group of friends and their intra-dynamic.

The story itself is fast-paced, had me laughing out loud and rooting for bad-boy love interest Nick. This YA novel is definitely worth the wait.


Love Story by Jennifer Echols ARC Review

Love Story

Expected publication: July 19th 2011 by MTV Books
Source: Galley Grab


She's writing about him. he's writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines..

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.
My Thoughts:

I love Jennifer Echols. Her contemporary YA stories hook me every time. I think I've read GOING TOO FAR at least three times. So, when I saw this book listed on Simon and Schuster Galley Grab I just had to read it.

This book is different than most YA contemp stories currently out there. Our main character (MC) Erin is a writer, just like many book worms out there. We follow along with Erin as she goes through her first critique session and watch as it doesn't go along as planned. We also get to read some of her work, including some steamy historical romance pieces that are based on events that have actually happened to her. No one would ever know this story is about her and the guy she used to lust after if said guy, Hunter, wouldn't happen to have joined her writing class on the second day.

I was embarrassed right along with Erin while Hunter read steamy scenes that obviously included him. I would've been mortified. I kept thinking OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD.

Another cool thing about this book is we get to read some of Hunter's writing, which obviously includes Erin. It was a way to get inside his head without the book having dual points of view. Let me just say, I don't know if I could've ever written about groping someone for my class. lol These two are very brave.

The only thing I didn't like about this book was it ended too quickly. I wanted more closure at the end. Sure it was implied what would happen, but I wanted to experience it with them. I wanted the showdown. For that reason I had to give this novel a 4/5 just because I felt a little gypped.

Read this one if you like a contemporary romances!

Dream Smashers by Angela Carlie -- Review

Friday, July 1, 2011

Title: Dream Smashers
Author: Angela Carlie
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 30, 2011)


Available at Amazon.

Sixteen-year-old Autumn is a human heartache. Everywhere she turns people are stomping on her hopes and dreams. Her mom’s a tweaker. She’s lived with her chain-smoking grandmother for as long as she can remember. Even her best friend has issues. Autumn seems to be the only responsible person she knows and she’s sick of putting up with it all.

When she meets Evan, a hot guy without a worry in the world, she can only wonder if he’s for real or just another Dream Smasher.

A girl who no longer wants to care and a boy who cares enough for the both of them. Dream Smashers is a love story, but most of all, it’s about letting go.

I'll admit, I haven't read many Indie books.  The ones I have read were written by friends, like fellow reviewer, Stephanie Jenkins.  So, when Annie asked if I'd like to review Dream Smashers, I figured it would be a great way to jump into the Indie waters so-to-speak. 

The jacket copy sounded right up my alley, and I dove right in.  The first thing I noticed was how good of a writer Angela Carlie is.  At times her similes and metaphors are reaching and overwrought, but her descriptions create a world we can walk through with the main character, Autumn, who is well fleshed out and three dimensional.  Autumn's best friend, Rainy, is her total opposite and a riot to read.  Most of the secondary characters were all written well, and I hated Autumn's meth addicted mother, Jacinda, like I think I was supposed to, but that's tricky because... 

Dream Smashers is written in multiple points of view.  While the bulk of the book is written from Autumn's first person perspective, the reader does get to spend some third-person time inside Jacinda's head and Evan, the eventual love interest, as well.  Jacinda's chapters made me feel like I'm supposed to understand what she was going through and feel sorry for her.  But, I didn't want to feel sorry for her, because this was Autumn's story, not Jacinda's.  I'm not 100% convinced that the manuscript needed the point of view shifts, and that's where I'm conflicted.

Other than the point of view shifts, my conflict also came in the form of Evan, who is an absolute knight in shining armor.  Because he had no flaws, he was a flat character.  But, he was also something we never (or very rarely) see in mainstream young adult fiction: a "Jesus Freak" (as he's referred to in the book). 

At first, this was a little bit off-putting, even thought I'm a Christian myself.  But, I was put at ease because Autumn felt the same way I did.  It felt a little awkward to Autumn, being around a guy that was as faithful as Evan.  So, her reaction was real for her as someone who isn't a huge believer, which she wasn't at first. 

I caught myself thinking at night about this aspect of Dream Smashers that is so different, and I found myself liking that Evan was a "Jesus Freak" (again, that term is used in the book), because that's who Evan is, and he owns it.  It turns out that Evan is just what Autumn needs and shows her how to have faith and believe, which had always been something that was missing from her messed up childhood with a drug-addicted mom.

The book ends on a high note with Autumn growing into her own person and realizing she owns her dreams for the future, and they'll only be smashed if she lets them.

Overall, a distinct voice and different spin on what could've become a typical YA issue book, making Dream Smashers stand out from other gritty contemporary novels. 

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