Monday, September 29, 2014

Mini Review: As You Turn Away

ISBN: 1495919501
Pages: 285
Source: Xpresso Book Tours

Two hearts, one life-changing summer, and a long-awaited second chance... When Quinnlan Reynolds left home at 18, she escaped her small, Georgia town and her suffocating upbringing. She started a new life as a ballerina, and tasted freedom for the first time. But four years later, her first visit home turns tragic. Reeling, Quinn tries to piece her life back together again. But doing so is easier said than done when sexy Jonah Walker saunters back into her life. Quinn shattered Jonah's heart once, so getting involved with her isn't something he's sure he's ready to do again. He became someone he didn't recognize when he left home. He's spent the last years burying his pain by keeping everyone in his life at arm's length. Now he needs to get to know his family again, and finally become who he wants to be. But neither Quinn or Jonah can stay away from each other, especially when old feelings resurface. Something is pulling them back together, and they can't deny their chemistry for long. One Georgia summer could change both their lives forever, if they can work through their past to have a future together.

Hey everyone! Welcome back to another review! Today I've got Molli Moran's heart wrenching beautiful southern tale following the story of Quinn and Jonah, so let's just get into the story.

I read in the author's review that this story was as much of a creative outlet for her as it was a healing story. That alone makes the beauty that is As You Turn Away so much more poignant. Now, if you look at my rating, you'll see a 3.5 and might wonder why not a 4? I confess, I'm in a fantasy mode right now and anything that's not fantasy is really serving as a buffer so my brain doesn't explode. I really liked this book and it made me curl up on the sofa with feels, but it didn't have the fantastical action that my brain was craving. Enough of this explanation, let's actually get talking about the book!

Quinn and Jonah parted their ways four years ago and now four years later, they are back in their little town in Georgia and the tension is off the charts. Quinn is back because her life is falling apart and she's trying to pick up the pieces and put them together. Jonah is back because he's had enough of pushing his family away, he wants to get to know them again. Their relationship was cautious from the start, Quinn unsure of how life is going to be and Jonah who is still hurting from Quinn's abandonment. The story follows their relationship and how it grows and develops into something a ton stronger than what it was 4 years ago. I had a little bit of trouble with Quinn at first, but as the story continued, her character grew and I found myself connecting with her and feeling her pain and loss. Jonah caught my attention from the start. His simple lifestyle with a Southern swing to it along  with his abandonment issues and insecurities made him so adorable and my heart was taken. My favorite character is Jamie, Reece's son aka Jonah's nephew. He was adorable and watching Jonah bond and interact with him was too cute for words. Overall, the characters were really well developed and you find yourself pulled into their lives and their stories. They weren't perfect, they all had their fair share of flaws but they were so real and amazing. As You Turn Away is inspiring, it's beautiful, and definitely unforgettable! 

3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lips Touch, Three Times

ISBN: 0545055857
Pages: 266
Source: Own

Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls:
Goblin Fruit
In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?
Spicy Little Curses
A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.
Six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?

Hey everyone! So I recently picked up a new Laini Taylor book called Lips Touch: Three Times which is a novella bind up of three different stories. The illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful and each story is really unique but they share a common theme: a deadly kiss. Without further ado, let's get into the reviews~

Goblin Fruit
This was probably my least favorite out of all the stories. It was short, a bit under developed, and just not that interesting. Our main character is a gypsy girl who longs for a normal life. Her family believes in goblins and her grandmother saved her younger sister from the grasps of the evil goblins. The goblins in this story possessed a type of fruit that once someone takes a bite they become addicted and want more. The only way they can get more is if they go to goblins and the goblins only want one thing: their soul. Our MC wants a normal life, she wants to be noticed by someone, she wants to live. So the goblins get super fancy and one of them shifts into a handsome young man. I'm pretty sure most of us can predict what's going to happen and I really wanted to bang my head at how naive she was, even after her grandmother's ghost told her to run away.

Spicy Little Curses
This was my favorite out of the stories. It's based off of the story of Orpheus, loosely. In India, there's a widow who everyone knows as the Old Bitch. Sorry, I don't usually curse, but that's her actual name. Her job is to carry the souls of the dead to the underworld where they will be judged. In the underworld there is a demon who enjoys the deaths of innocent. After an earthquake kills 20 something children, the demon strikes a bargain with the Old B  . He allows her to save all the children and in return he gets to curse one beautiful girl with the voice of death. She reluctantly agrees and warns the girl to never say a single word. Years pass and the girl never speaks, then a man walks into the picture, a young soldier. Love happens, and the girl decides that if he asks her to marry him, her first word ever will be Yes. 
Spicy Little Curses was intriguing and held my attention throughout the story. I loved the development of the story and the connections to Orpheus. In a short period of time, it had me sitting at the edge of my seat, especially towards the end. 

This was one heck of a complex and confusing story. I would have loved it a lot more if it was longer and more detailed/explained, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. One day, Esme wakes up to find that one of her eyes is now a pale blue color. Upon seeing it, her mother freaks and they run away. Unbeknownst to Esme, her mother is from a world of dark beasts, their queen was her mother's foster parent and she was bred for her beautiful red hair which the queen had a special liking to. The story is so complex with different aspects of magic and mythology. It weaves the past and present together and at times I struggled to catch up with the different twists. I have to say that I definitely really liked the story and my only problem with it was I wish it could have been a full blown novel. Maybe with dual perspectives of the past and present. 

OVERALL, this was a pretty good bind up. It definitely retained Laini Taylor's beautiful writing and her ability to create interesting and complex stories. My one gripe with this book is only the first story which I didn't like at all. Other than that, it was pretty decent. 

3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Making Faces

ISBN: 9781301673872
Pages: 405
Source: Own
Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.
Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

Hello everyone! So I've raved on and on about how amazing Amy Harmon is and I've only read/reviewed one of her books! That's completely tragic (Rithmatist reference right there ) so today I'm finally going to bring you my second review of an Amy Harmon book and believe me when I say it was just as fantastic as the first. 

I can't even attempt to summarize this book into words because my brain is still attempting to recover from the massive impact this book has had on me. First off, DAMN YOU deceiving book cover! It took me forever to convince my dad to let me buy Making Faces because he was put off by that half naked dude on the cover, but now that I've finished it, it makes so much sense now! But seriously...that cover is so deceiving and so many of friends are already put off by the book. WHY???  

Okay, now that I got that out of the way, this book is absolutely beautiful. Like A Different Blue, it's not just a love story, it's something so much more and teaches you so much. The freaking characters in this book are so freaking beautiful and scarred and wonderful that I can't even put how much I love them into words. Making Faces is about a love that goes beyond what's outside to the beauty that lies within. It's about not looking at one's appearance because what is inside is so much more beautiful.

Bailey Sheen. He is my new superhero and I love him so freaking much. Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, he lives his life slowly getting weaker and weaker BUT that doesn't deter him even the slightest from living his life to the fullest. He is so unbelievably wise about some things that you just fall in love with him. He's so optimistic and happy and takes every little thing into account and is thankful for it. He's the light in the story, the one who makes you look deep inside yourself and then makes you laugh out loud. 

Ambrose Young, oh I can't even put my feelings into words. he's this beautiful but tortured person. Son of an Italian underwear model, he definitely has the good looks. After 9/11 he feels the urge to do something more and enlists in the army. His best friends join him and they go off to war. Only he returns, scarred and broken. This story just explores his healing, his acceptance of his "disfigurement," his finding of love, and letting go of the past. I think he'd be great friends with Blue, like just friends because he belongs with Fern.

And that brings me to Fern Taylor, my beautiful heroine. Fern's had a massive crush on Ambrose for the longest time and after the war, she's one of the only people who actually understand him and reach out to him. She's strong, willful, and so unbelievably happy. She loves romance and has been writing romance novels since she was young. She's the rock for Bailey and Ambrose, but there are times where she needs a rock herself.  

The title, when I made the connections completely blew my mind. Making Faces not only is Fern's connection to her "lack of beauty" or Ambrose's war scars/former Adonis self, but it's also something as simple as a game that Fern and Bailey made up to keep each other laughing at wrestling games when Bailey was sad that he couldn't take part of the sport.

This book is so raw, beautiful, and teaches you to appreciate the little things in life. Amy Harmon once again creates amazing characters, gives you a truck full of feels, and makes you want to hug every single person you see. This book is just amazing, so highly highly recommend. And one note: screw you Becker. (Read and you'll know what I mean.) 

Everybody is a main character to someone. There are no minor characters. Think of how Ambrose must have felt watching the new in Mr. Hildy's class, knowing his mom worked in one of those towers. He's sitting there, watching it all on TV, probably wondering if he's watching his mother's death. She might be a minor character to us, but to him she's a leading lady. (Bailey's Wisdom right there)

Everyone who is somebody becomes nobody the moment they fail.

I have no pride left, Ambrose. No pride. But it was my pride or my life. I had to choose. So do you. You can have your pride and sit here and make cupcakes and get old and fat and nobody will give a damn after a while. Or you can trade that pride in for a little humility and take your life back. (Go Bailey!)

I'm not Bailey, Fern. And I'm not going to ever replace him. You two were inseparable. That worries me a little because you're going to have a Bailey sized hold in your life for a long time...maybe forever. I understand holes. This last year I've felt like one of those snowflakes we used to make in school. The ones where you fold the paper a certain way and then keep cutting and cutting until the paper is shredded. That's what I look like, a paper snowflake. And each hold has a name, And nobody, not you, not me, can fill the holes that someone else has left. All we can do is keep each other from falling in the holes and never coming out again. (Ambrose )

True beauty is the kind that doesn't fade or wash off. It takes pressure. It takes incredible endurance. It takes the slow drip that makes the stalactite, the shaking of the Earth that creates mountains, the constant pounding of the waves that breaks up the rocks and smooths the rough edges. And from the violence, the furor, the raging of the winds, the roaring of the waters, something better emerges, something that would otherwise never exist. And so we endure. We have faith that there is purpose. We hope for things we can't see. We believe that there are lessons in loss, power in love, and that we have within us the potential for a beauty so magnificent that our bodies can't contain it.

If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?
Does he make the legs that cannot walk and eyes that cannot see?
Does he curl the hair upon my head 'til it rebels in wild defiance?
Does he close the ears of the deaf man to make him more reliant?
Is the way I look coincidence or just a twist of fate?
If he made me this way, is it okay, to blame him for the things I hate?
For the flaws that seem to worsen every time I see a mirror,
For the ugliness I see in me, for the loathing and the fear.
Does he sculpt us for his pleasure, for a reason I can't see?
If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me? 
~Fern Taylor
5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Monday, September 22, 2014

Music Monday: Something You Need

Hey everyone! I haven't done a Music Monday in FOREVER and I thought I'd bring it back. I don't know what I'm really going to do in these videos yet so if you guys have any suggestions let me know.

So this week's song is Something You Need by Against the Current which is one of my favorite bands ever! The video above is a quick audio video that I made by editing a picture I pulled off of Tumblr.

It's just so catchy and I have literally been playing this non-stop ever since I heard it. Against the Current recently released the lyric video for this song which you can find here. They also released the music video for their song "Another You (Another Way)" which is also another one of my favorites. You guys can go watch and listen to it here. Definitely go check them out and give them so love because they are seriously awesome!

I think that's all I have to say for this post...ack so awkward, but I'm definitely going to work on bringing this back and making it more fun and interesting. Quick question, I recently found a long music questions list on Tumblr and I think I can pick a song for each question to feature for a Music Monday. Let me know in the comments below if you'd be interested in that! Thanks so much for reading and I hope you guys enjoy the song!!

Foreverly Obsessed,

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Clockwork Princess

ISBN: 1406321346 
Pages: 565
Source: Library

Tessa Gray should be happy—aren't all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

Hey everyone! Today I've got my review for Clockwork Princess! This actually took way longer to read than I expected because I was so busy with SAT prep and summer HW, but I finally finished it at the end of August and now I"m bringing you guys the review! Yay :) So let's get into it~

Clockwork Princess it the last book in the Infernal Devices trilogy. If you want to check out my review for the first two books you can click them here:

I honestly don't remember much about the first 100-200 pages because I read a couple pages every single day. I didn't really have the time to sit down and really read the book which I'm really sad about. I do remember laughing, especially at the Benedict Lightwood part. Come on, after all he's down to Charlotte, he definitely got what he deserved. At least, that's what I think. 

Personally, I still feel like the story deals more with the characters growing than the action. Throughout the books there is this constant fear of Mortmain and when he is going to strike, but I didn't feel the tension as clearly as I would have thought. Instead, the tension is in the characters' relationships with each other, Jem and Will's particularly. 

From the beginning to now, Tessa Gray has seriously grown on me. She's become more confident in herself and her abilities which is amazing. She's also become a stronger character compared to the scared girl she was at the beginning of the book. Jem Carstairs is still a darling and honestly one of the sweetest characters I know. Will I even need to get started on Will Herondale? He's grown so much it's too incredible to put into words. Cassandra Clare has definitely created these really beautiful characters that you love so so much that at the end of the book, their happiness is all that matters. 

Okay, the biggest part of the story. THE LOVE TRIANGLE! No idea why I just put that all in CAPS but I did. I'm usually super wary of love triangles and if you asked me to name my favorite, the only one (before this series) that popped into my head would have been Kylie, Lucas, and Derek from the Shadow Series by CC Hunter. Similar to that love triangle, I was able to fall in love with both characters but I managed to build a bias which doesn't make much sense, but let me explain. I love Jem and I love Will, but I lean more towards Will and Tessa as opposed to Jem and Tessa. I just feel like their characters fit a lot better together and I still can't nag the feeling that if Jem wasn't dying and hadn't proposed to Tessa, she would have been with Will a long time ago. They've got this connection that just can't be denied. The conclusion of this love triangle was freaking fantastic! It just blew my expectations completely and I was so freaking happy with the ending. It was perfect and I couldn't think of a better ending for these characters.

And lastly, the final battle scene. There's not much to say without spoiling it but it was pretty damn epic and I would kill to see that in real life. It was mind-blowing and awesome and Tessa guys!

So that's it! The Infernal Devices has come to a close. I definitely loved these books a lot more than I expected to and I definitely recommend it. I think if you're struggling with the Mortal Instruments, you should give the trilogy a shot because it allows you to get a sense of Cassandra Clare's writing. I'm still not sure if I'm going to continue with the Mortal Instruments, but I'm definitely going to be considering it. And one last note, all you Mrs. Herondales, I would just like to peacefully say that I am in way a threat to your relationship with Will. He's a sweetheart and a beautiful person, but Jem Carstairs still has my heart. XD 

4.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Q&A With Claudz!

Hey everyone! Welcome back to any post, a couple of days ago, I was nominated by my wonderful friend Claudz who blogs occasionally here but has recently started her own fashion blog: Cloudy Ethereal for the Liebster Award! Sadly, I was already nominated before but I've decided to do the questions anyway! Let's get started~

1. What is your favorite memory?
I don't know what's my absolute favorite memory because I have so many! The first one that comes to mind was BookCon 2014. It was my first time attending a book convention and it was awesome! I got to meet my favorite booktubers, authors, and GRUMPY CAT! 
2. What is your life's motto?
Um..."Now go forth and spread beauty and life." This is a quote from the Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan (which is fantastic)! 
3. What is your biggest regret?
One of my biggest regrets was thinking that I could do something on my own without any help. That's kind of vague but it revolves around a certain event in my life that I'm not going to go into detail about. Yeah, I was a little full of myself  
4. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
I want to say something like give the money to charity and organizations, but to be completely honest...I'd save half and spend the other half on books. 
5. Who is someone you can't live without?
My friends and family. I know that's more than one person but they are honestly the only people who keep rooted on the earth, otherwise I think my imagination and I would have drifted far away by now ~
6. What would your dream house look like?
Just a regular house on the outside, but on the inside, a room for books, a room for my bunnies, and a house full of laughter. 
7. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Hm...I would either want to control an element, speak to animals, dreamweave, or be able to manipulate objects. Sorry, I just can't pick one.
8. What is your favorite food and why?
Ice cream, I can forever eat ice cream and I'll never get tired. That or ramen because it's ramen. 
9. What would you do if you only had 24 hours to live?
Hug everything I love and read as much as I can...while hugging everyone and thing that I love.
10. What would you do if you were famous for one day?
I would go meet the entire BBC Merlin cast, go to different castles in Europe, and go to all those cool bookstores in England! I'm kind of replacing being famous with having a lot of monetary resources available... 
11. If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?
I wish everyone would stop being so damn judgmental because it bugs me a lot especially in regards to religions and stereotypes. And the seriously people stop being so pessimistic! 

Foreverly Obsessed,

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BLITZ: Louder Than Words

Louder Than Words
Release Date: 09/16/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson's life lately. Her dad died, her mom numbs the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends have slowly abandoned her. 

Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe and should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt that made her desperate to escape the final moments of Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details to herself and trust no one.

Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky boy, recently transplanted from New York City and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she can't let him get too close. And summer is just long enough and hot enough to keep a boy like that at arm's length.

But by the time Rex's charm wears down her resistance, it's too late. He's put Ellen on the "just friends" shelf and has shifted his romantic attentions to the impossibly annoying and perky anti-Ellen. Even worse, the teacher who tried to get her to sleep with him is still at it, preying on other girls while Ellen struggles to come to terms with what happened.

With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside. After all, it's the only safe place she knows when the only thing louder than words is the fear of being rejected.

A line three women deep greets me. Of course there's no line for the men's room. "Screw it," I declare and pop inside. It's a single-toilet bathroom with a lock. Who cares, other than that the
hygienic conditions are worse than the ladies’ bathroom. I take my time placing three layers of toilet paper on the seat before using it. I scrub my hands extra thoroughly. After I've stalled long enough and no one has pounded on the door urging me to hurry up, I exit.
"Hello, Ellen."
Mr. Hamer looms over me. He's very tall and close enough that I can smell the beer on his breath. I don't meet his eyes. I don't want him to think a repeat of THE KISS is likely to happen, ever.
"How are you?"
I can't pass because he and the ladies’ bathroom line combined block my path. "I'm fine." I can't bring myself to ricochet the same pleasantry his way.
He gently takes my arm and backs up, pulling me past the ladies waiting but doesn't release me. I should yank away but part of me warns that sudden movements would be bad.
When he's effectively trapped me between him and the wall, he leans in and says, "I hope you aren't beating yourself up over what happened. It was just one of those crazy things done in the heat of the moment that didn't mean anything. Students often develop crushes on their teachers and sometimes they … act on those feelings."
Wow. He’s trying to play me? Un-friggin-believable. I want to call him out, but he’s offering a return ticket to normalcy, the appearance of normalcy. As galling as his little fairy tale is, I take the ticket. "Right. Sure."
"I hope there won't be any lingering awkwardness. I want you to know I'll respect your privacy, about what we discussed, you know," he leans closer, "about your mother. That's all."
As he talks, I can see a ground of black pepper stuck between his teeth. I can't tear my eyes away, until it occurs to me that I'm staring at his mouth.
"Uh, thanks. I appreciate that."
God, why am I so lame? Why can't I say what I mean? Why can't I just open my mouth and say, "You kissed me, you asswipe. I didn't, don't, and have never had a crush on you." Well, okay once upon a time I might have had a little crush on him. But not anymore, and it was never anything I would have acted upon. Ever. The curtain's been ripped away and instead of Oz I see him for what he is: a douchebag. I just want to get my tacos and go home. I turn to walk away but he takes my arm again.
"It's forgotten. Okay?" He smiles, but his eyes are two cold black pits.

Get your copy:

About the Author
Iris St. Clair is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that's another bio.)
No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.
In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.

Iris believes in the two-year "fish or cut bait" dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.

Author Links:
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