Cold Hard Truth: A Review

Cold Hard Truth by Anne Greenwood Brown

My Rating: 3/5 stars!

Cover Rating: 4/10 It’s not my style. A lot of contemporary books have covers that aren’t really my style, but it’s a generic contemporary cover that fits the book for the most part. It is kinda sweet, but still not my thing.

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Publish Date: April 3rd, 2018

Number of Pages: 304

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Emmie O’Brien is a former good girl now on the fringe. She spent a crazy year involved with Nick, her mom’s drug dealer; after her arrest she was lucky to go back to her old life. But she’s haunted by the choices she made—first, to be with Nick, and then later, to testify against him. Max Shepherd is a senior varsity hockey player with serious anger issues. His grief over the death of his girlfriend causes him to see injustice wherever he looks. When they meet in community service, Max is drawn to Emmie’s calm energy, but Emmie knows better than to get too close to anyone. When friends of Nick show up seeking revenge, Emmie is forced to come to terms with her past, while Max has to control his protective instincts. They must trust one another, especially when Emmie’s situation takes a dangerous turn.

Opening Sentence: “Emmie O’Brien knew she was supposed to run.”

Musings:

I may have had a slow start in getting into this story, but that didn’t stop me from not wanting to put it down once stuff really started to get crazy. I did have some minor issues with this book, but I enjoyed it immensely. It was a thrilling read at various parts for sure!

What I Enjoyed:

The action. Towards the end of this novel things get real. The stakes are raised high and I was biting my nails just thinking about what could happen.

The suspense. As far as Emmie’s story goes, her recent past catching up to her and the times where fear is a legitimate feeling made my heart stop more then once. I was always wondering how things were going to get worse for her.

Emmie is tough as nails. So much happens to Emmie and she faces it all with a calm that I don’t know I could ever muster. It helps her handle situations with a greater ease and you can’t help but admire her.

Emmie’s support system. Although she hadn’t been to school for a long time her best friend is still there for her. Once Max comes into her life his protection just by being a strong hockey player with a I always have to act complex was actually cool to see. I liked that his weakness as a person made him the perfect person to be there for Emmie. Also, I love that Emmie’s dad is so protective of her and makes sure that she is always safe.

Emmie’s Truth. I love Emmie’s story and why she did some of the things she did. She was in a situation that sucked and she tried. I didn’t agree with her choices, but she made decisions as she saw was best for her and was forced to live with the consequences.

What I disliked:

Emmie’s and Max’s stories being hidden from each other for so long. I feel like it would have been so much better if they both knew each other’s story a little earlier and by the time the reader knows both of their stories completely you just get frustrated with them for not saying anything. I feel like I understand Emmie taking longer, but Max’s story would at least have been mentioned to her just passing through the hallways in school. It was a little drawn out.

I was simply enjoying the story. I wanted to love this story, but something about it kept me at a distance. I think it could have been much better then it was, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is I really wanted to change.

Final thoughts:

Cold Hard Truth is a not so light contemporary that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With thrilleresque vibes it will keep you reading until all the questions you have are answered.

About the Author:

I am the author of the following Young Adult novels:

COLD HARD TRUTH (contemporary/romance);

GIRL LAST SEEN (contemporary/suspense);

and the paranormal mermaid trilogy: LIES BENEATH, DEEP BETRAYAL, PROMISE BOUND.

I also write adult romance under the name A.S. Green.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

If you haven’t seen it already I am hosting a giveaway for “In Sight of Stars” by Gae Polisner!

Here is the rafflecopter link!

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

-Till next time!

Special Interview/Giveaway with In Sight of Stars Author Gae Polisner

Hello everyone!

Today’s post is a special one, because I got to interview the author of one of my all time favorite books of the year and she offered to do an exclusive giveaway right here on my blog so that you all could have a chance to receive a signed copy of her beautiful book “In Sight of Stars”. *disclaimer* **This is a US only giveaway** (I apologize to my international blogging friends).

In Sight of Stars is an absolute gorgeous thing of a novel and if you haven’t already you can read my rave review of it here.

Anyway you’re not here for my words right now (or at least you shouldn’t be, I mean, I have a queen as a guest).

On to the interview!

1. Gae, you have written many books. How was the writing process for In Sight of Stars different from your other books?

Each book brings a totally different process for me, but IN SIGHT OF STARS was most tough for me to trust that I could bring the element of art to life, especially since I was dealing with VanGogh. My mother is an artist so she helped – and pushed me – on that, and so your next question makes me smile because this leads right to that. . .

2. In Sight of Stars has this beautiful mix of an ethereal beginning that bleeds into more and more clarity, how did you decide that that was the best way to write your story?

When the book opens, Klee is in the middle of a psychological break. He is not himself, and doesn’t have control over what is happening with, and to, him. I really wanted the reader to feel the disorientation and delusion (not to mention the desperation) Klee is feeling, and, I imagine from the reading I did, that it is much like Van Gogh felt at times in his life.

I was referencing Klee’s connection with Van Gogh in the opening of the original draft, but it was my mother – who is an incredible artist herself, and one of my best BETA readers – who suggested I might want to make the opening “like a Van Gogh painting come alive.” I had literally just watched my mother-in-law hallucinating from too-strong pain meds, and the minute my mom suggested it, it freed me in a way I was needing to be able to go fully there.

As for being the best way. . . we never know that, whether anything we’ve done is the “best way.” ☺ I’m sure I’ve lost readers with the opening, too. But I presume the readers who need the story, who connect, will find what they are looking for.

3. In the book, art is a tone setter for emotions that fly. What is a painting that you think best captures Klee’s emotional journey?

Oh wow, what an amazing question. I mean, obviously Van Gogh’s work would capture it. . . The most obvious: Starry Night.

I know for many it is simply a gorgeous painting, which it is, but for me, the painting feels tumultuous, and many have spoken to the haloed suns in his work pointing to problems with his vision, whether due to too much absinthe, lead in the yellow paints he used, or toxic but not lethal overdoses of the medication known as digitalis…

But VanGogh’s Wheatfield With Crows (and, of course, Daubigney’s Garden) were the two paintings that inspired the scene I tried to set in the first several days of the story. . .

But, I could also point to a few Paul Klee paintings – as you know, that’s who my protagonist is named after. . .

Paul Klee- Little Tree Amid Shrubbery

Bird Wandering Off

And by the end of the story, I believe his emotional journey forward could be more encapsulated by a VanGogh painting filled with light and hope like this version of Wheatfield with Cypresses.

I find it notable that both the starting and ending point of that emotional journey – a proverbial wheatfield – remain the same, but the light and hope of the setting (Klee’s own mind) can be seen as healthier and changed.

4. Books don’t appear from nothing. What was your inspiration for writing In Sight of Stars?

I’ve talked about it in a few blog posts . . . the first scene I ever wrote in the book was the one where Klee draws on Sarah’s paper:

[Sarah] works across from me. Her hair spills onto her paper like a shiny black waterfall, and her hand moves the charcoal in tight gray lines.

. . .I stare at her hair, then at her hand, then I reach out and trace the

strands with my charcoal.

“Hey! What the fuck, Alden?” Her eyes search mine, then dart back to my marks on her paper. “What the hell is your deal?”

I yank my hand back, burnt, but it’s too late, several kids have jerked

their heads around. And I’m already an alien for showing up here senior year.

Originally the first lines of the book, now, not appearing until pages 9 – 11, this scene was the catalyst for the whole story that came after, because, as the daughter of an artist, and a writer myself, I know the danger in touching someone else’s work. You don’t. Not without their permission. And, the thing is, Klee knows this too. And, so, in that moment I also suddenly knew a ton about Klee and who he was going to be when we meet him: a kid who knows better, but is in such a fragile place he can’t stop himself. He gives in to an impulse, feels utterly compelled. It’s literally the first instant when Klee is out of control. The first inkling we have that he is. And Sarah forgives him. More than that, there is something about his impulsivity, his compulsion, that draws her to him. Yet it will ultimately be the same thing that undoes them. To me, this interaction is one where love, pain, and art all collide.

The story evolved from there, from asking myself the question, “But, why?” Why was Klee in that fragile state? Why was it so intrinsically related to art, and specifically the art of Van Gogh?

5. Of all your books, which is the one you struggled to write the most and why?

Oh, hands down, JACK KEROUAC IS DEAD TO ME, the one that comes out next. It’s darker and maybe more commercial than my other books – a good thing – but I’ve struggled to make sure there’s a reason I’m telling the story other than, “Oh, cool, dark story,” that the journey my main character takes actually matters, that the readers’ reading actually matters. Plus, for some reason, I seems to struggle more writing female MC’s than male ones. Funny, huh?

6. Writing is a journey. What was the beginning of your journey to becoming a writer?

I still can’t believe I’m actually a published writer. The journey was long, checkered, and never seems to get too much easier to write a good book and get that book published (and see copies sell). If you want to get a sense, here’s a blogpost I wrote in 2014 called “Chutes and Ladders Redux” (and, yes, apparently I have a thing for Chutes and Ladders and board games from my childhood, as you know all too well from IN SIGHT OF STARS):

http://ghpolisner.blogspot.com/2014/10/falling-failing-and-chutes-ladders.html

7. One day I could only hope to write a book that shares as much truth as In Sight of Stars. What is your advice for an aspiring writer?

Oh, you know, all the usual: Read a lot, Rewrite a TON, expect your first few manuscripts to be practice runs. But maybe most of all, trust your own unique voice. There are no unique stories, only the way YOU tell them.

8. Not all must be serious. What is something you turn to that brings a smile on your face every time?

Oh, even in my darkest moments, I find humor, and hope that translates to my stories (although in JACK KEROUAC, I’m not sure…)

In IN SIGHT OF STARS, Sister Agnes Teresa brings that humor with her wry sarcastic exchanges with Klee over Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. In THE MEMORY OF THINGS, it’s why I chose Kyle to watch Cow and Chicken with the bird girl, maybe one of the stupidest, most ridiculous TV shows that ever was.

I think one of the biggest things that draws me to others is their sense of humor, so I try to impart that in the relationships in my stories – a repartee (?) in my dialogue, sometimes light, sometimes cutting, but always a sense of humor.

9. Writers must always be readers first. What are some of your favorite books?

Yes, they must. YA: Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork, and books from my childhood like A Wrinkle in Time, or Judy Blume YA’s (vs MG’s). Adult: OMG, anything by Barbara Kingsolver. Her writing astounds me. A book called To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal (he also writes YA). But so many. So many.

10. When at first you don’t succeed… The writing process can be difficult and knowing our weaknesses is invaluable. What is something you struggle with when you write your first draft?

Everything. Everything. Creating a story rather than just strung together moments. Figuring out WHO my characters are and why they ultimately matter. Finding enough stakes, enough drama. Everything. Did I say everything?

Again I want to thank you for writing a story that I have come to love so much! I am so happy that I had the chance to read your words. Especially during a time of struggle personally. It means the world that you reached out to me. Thank you! – Tiana (The Book Raven)

I’m so grateful for you sharing your book love, and so grateful to be connected. Hope this period of struggle passes quickly, and the period of pure joy that will arrive before the next struggle checks in (because they always do, don’t they?), is extended and rejuvenating, and fills your soul with hope to spare.

[END of Interview]

This is the first time on my blog where I ask myself “Did this really just happen?”. I’m a little star struck. I had just fallen in love with Gae’s writing and had been researching her other books so I could add them all to my tbr.. and she contacts me?! Because of my review!?! This has been one of the most surreal and wonderful experiences of my life!

Anyway… time to link what you really came here for the Giveaway!

Click the rafflecopter link HERE.

You all really don’t want to miss on one of my absolute favorite books of the year!

Thanks for reading! *internally screams* (my professionalism is slipping) You all have to check out this book! Anyway enter the giveaway and check out Gae’s books! Her writing is incredible!

Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

The ABC book challenge: It’s absolutely Fabulous!

Another day another chance to keep on moving forward with the ABC book challenge! This time we’re taking a look at books featuring the “f” and oddly enough I’m being taken back to my Sesame Street Days.

Memorable books that start with “F”:

Fire

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there’s more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren’t afraid of becoming the monster her father was.

Fire is one of the best fantasies I have ever read! I love this book and I will recommend it always!

Fairest

In the kingdom of Ayortha, who is the fairest of them all? Certainly not Aza. She is thoroughly convinced that she is ugly. What she may lack in looks, though, she makes up for with a kind heart, and with something no one else has-a magical voice. Her vocal talents captivate all who hear them, and in Ontio Castle they attract the attention of a handsome prince – and a dangerous new queen. In this masterful novel filled with humour, adventure, romance, and song, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine invites you to join Aza as she discovers how exquisite she truly is.

This was the adorable fantasy I needed in childhood. I read it in my teens and I enjoyed it immensely.

Books I would love to devour that start with “F”:

Fresh Ink

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.

I am very excited to see this anthology out in the world! I have an arc that I hope to read very soon! It’s one of the coolest books I’ve seen around in a long time!

Falling Kingdoms

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….

I’ve heard so many good things about this series for so long! I would love to finally get my hands on a copy to read.

Thanks for reading! Have you participated in this challenge? Leave your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

July TBR

This Tbr is going to be relatively small. It’s camp Nanowrimo and I honestly don’t know how much reading I’m going to be doing. (Hopefully my usual hour a day, but you never know). These will all be Netgalley reads because I am 20 books behind and I want to finally be caught up.

Currently reading:

The Beauty That Remains

Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death wants to tear them apart.

Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Despite the odds, one band’s music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.

There is so much grief felt in this book. All three have felt the loss of someone dear and I’m curious to see how they all come together in the end.

Tbr:

Big Water

Seventeen-year-old Christina McBurney, grieving the loss of her twin brother, Jonathan, to consumption, has run away from her Parkdale home. She believes her mother wishes she had been the one to die, and she plans to find work far away as a nursemaid or teacher. Christina’s cousin Peter is the first mate on the Asia, a steamship that transports passengers and freight throughout the Great Lakes, so she seeks him out to secure passage to Sault Ste. Marie.

But when a violent storm suddenly rises, the overloaded and top-heavy steamship begins to sink. Christina, heeding the warnings from her cousin, somehow makes her way to the hurricane deck. A large wave tosses her overboard, but just before she loses consciousness, she is pulled to safety.

Hours later, adrift on the wide-open water of Georgian Bay, in a lifeboat full of corpses, Christina is nervous about being alone with Daniel, a brooding young man with a likely criminal past and the only other passenger left alive. But they both know that working together is the only way they will find the strength to make it to safety.

Big Water is a fictional account of the real-life story of the only two survivors of the sinking of the SS Asia in 1882.

I love unique stories that are based off of not well known real life events. It sheds a different light on history and I really enjoy it.

To Kill a Kingdom

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

I am finally going to be reading this book this month! If that’s not motivation to read the above two books with lightning speed I don’t know what is?

In Sight of Stars

Seventeen-year-old Klee’s father was the center of his life. He introduced Klee to the great museums of New York City and the important artists on their walls, he told him stories made of myths and magic. Until his death.

Now, forced to live in the suburbs with his mom, Klee can’t help but feel he’s lost all the identifying parts of himself—his beloved father, weekly trips to the MoMA, and the thrumming energy of New York City. That is until he meets wild and free Sarah in art class, with her quick smiles and jokes about his “brooding.” Suddenly it seems as if she’s the only thing that makes him happy. But when an act of betrayal sends him reeling, Klee lands in what is bitingly referred to as the “Ape Can,” a psychiatric hospital for teens in Northollow.

While there, he undergoes intensive therapy and goes back over the pieces of his life to find out what was real, what wasn’t, and whether he can stand on his own feet again. Told in alternating timelines, leading up to the event that gets him committed and working towards getting back out, Gae Polisner’s In Sight of Stars is a gorgeous novel told in minimalist strokes to maximal effect, about what makes us fall apart and how we can put ourselves back together again.

This book is amazingly rated and I feel honored to read it. Everything about it screams awe inspiring.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed my short tbr. I look forward to reading all of these titles! Let me know what your reading next down in the comments!

-Till next time!

The App that Saves My Life: Habitica

For a long time I have struggled endlessly to maintain motivation to actually do things that result in me being the me I want to be. It’s so easy to be lazy and give into thoughts that my apathy convinces me are true. So easy to let things go and believe “what’s the point? Nothing is going to come out of this anyway… so why bother?”

At first, I made a list of things that I wanted to do every day for self-improvement. It became what I called my daily instructions and it worked, but not completely. It was still really easy to let some things go undone and still try to call the day a success. So I added a motivational prize of the ability to buy something I really want to have every 30 Days that I complete all my tasks (which is still in place although I still haven’t made it that far yet).

Then one day I was looking through twitter and found a tweet by Akemi Dawn Bowman that said:

When I looked in the comments and someone had mentioned that an app like that did exist and it was called Habitica I HAD to check it out. Habitica is nerdy and full of questing and finding drops and collecting pets all by doing tasks in your daily life and I LOVE it!

At first it took me a little bit to figure out how to use this most effectively and what things should go in the three different sections habits, dailies, and to-does, but eventually I finally got the hang of it and it has made me more productive then ever!

There are two features that absolutely made me fall in love with this app Questing and Pets that could grow to be Mounts!

Right now these are the base pets I have collected:

They can be all different colors and when you feed them the correct food they grow up to be a mount that your character can ride. Everything is collected by random drops from doing tasks and habits during the day.

Right now this is what my character and rewards set up looks like:

As for Questing you have to be working with a party and once a member of the party submits a quest you can choose to accept or deny your participation. Quests give you extra experience, unique drops, and quest pets to collect on your journey. In order to complete quests all you have to do is commit to your habits and dailies!

There are so many nuances and specifics to this nerdy productivity app. One thing being guilds. If I spoke about all these things this post would go on for ages! But, I will leave you all with this: should you decide to use this app and have any questions let me know! I will definitely help you out. I love this application so much and I think it deserves a lot of love.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Life Update: Duolingo Spanish Tree Complete!

Hello everyone! I am so happy to write this post for all of you today, because I finally finished a goal of mine that has been years in the making. Completing the Duolingo Spanish Tree!!!

This little digital trophy means a lot to me. It commemorates the fact that I finally committed myself to learning Spanish and that I have made some significant progress! This is definitely just a stepping stone on my journey, but I hope that it will only get easier from here.

Duolingo has a different interface from what it once had, but the one thing that I hope to achieve now is a Golden Spanish Tree. It’s going to take a long time to get there as skills now have 5 levels each and it will take a long time, but eventually I know I can do it! Right now, I have 4 Golden skills and a few that are at level 3 and level 2. Each level is harder to complete and takes more time so I know that it might take a year or more to get my tree Golden. For now, I will dedicate myself to get skills to level 2 and three and get the easiest skills to be Golden.

For now, I am just excited that one of the things I never thought I would complete got completed! Plus, the one other thing I’m proud of… my 86 day streak!

Whatever it is you want to accomplish, don’t give it up. If you continue working slowly towards your goals you never know that it could be closer to completion then you think. I know I’m going to be applying this to as many things as I possibly can in the future. Who knows? Maybe all the dreams I once had will be a reality!

Thanks for reading! Do you have something you are slowly working towards each day? What are some of your goals?

-Till next time!

Tags and Why I Don’t Always Like Them

Tags are wonderful ways that us bloggers connect with one another and share common posts that are fun and interesting to do. However, sometimes they can get repetitive and that’s why I don’t always enjoy doing them.

When I first started blogging I adored tags. I did them all the time and had fun doing them, but very quickly I found a trend. There were different tags carrying different names but the questions seemed to be all the same. Favorite book (in any genre), favorite author, favorite character, favorite and least favorite of everything under the sun. I found myself time and time again using the same books over and over to do different tags and after a while I had had enough.

For me, variety is important. I hate doing the same sorts of things with the same sorts of questions all the time and so I had starting dwindling with my tags and it wasn’t long before they completely stopped being featured on my blog. However, I do miss doing tags and every once in a while I do find one to be unique and I do my best to participate.

The other thing I did to combat this boredom I had gained from tags was to create my own. The Dreamy Book Covers Tag. It was a lot of fun to create my own tag that I felt showcased a love for something that we don’t always appreciate enough, beautiful covers! However, I think I got to the point were I was so exhausted with doing tags that any tag was no longer fun to do.

Even though this post is about why I sometimes don’t like tags it is also here to say how I will approach them in the future. I will try and participate in tags as much as I can, but I am going to be a bit more choosy in the tags I do. I like tags that engage me and force me to really think about what answers I am putting out there. I also really want to start creating more tags. I’ve always been told to “be the change you wish to see in the world” and I think that helping to create a new variety of tags can help keep things fresh.

Thanks for reading! Have you ever gotten tired of doing tags? What are your thoughts on this topic?

-Till next time!

Busted: A Review

Busted by Gina Ciocca

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publish Date: January 1st, 2018

Received: Netgalley provided an earc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Catching cheaters and liars is a lucrative hobby―until you fall for one of the suspects. Perfect for fans of Veronica Mars, this new novel from the author of Last Year’s Mistake will steal your heart!

Marisa never planned to be a snoop for hire. It wasn’t like she wanted to catch her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl. But as her reputation for sniffing out cheaters spreads all over school, Marisa finds herself the reluctant queen of busting two-timing boys.

And her next case? It’s for ex-frenemy Kendall. She’s convinced her boyfriend, TJ, has feelings for someone else and persuades Marissa to start spying on him. But the more Marisa gets to know sincere and artistic TJ, the more she starts to fall for him. Worse yet, the feelings seem to be mutual. Marisa knows she needs to give up her investigation―and the spoken-for guy who may just be the love of her life. Then she uncovers new secrets about Kendall and TJ, secrets that take “cheater” to a whole new level…

Opening Sentence: “SCALING THE BACK OF A HOUSE SPIDER-MAN STYLE HADN’T BEEN PART of my Saturday night plans.”

Musings:

Busted is an easy breezy all around good time kind of read. Looking back on it a lot of it is quite comical in the best of ways. So much hiding and drama come together to create a novel anyone could enjoy!

Things happen in this novel that border on insanity all because of a happenstance at the beginning of the novel. As the story progresses things get more and more complicated in unique and fun ways and I found it difficult to put this book down!

Busted is one of those novels that I don’t want to say too much about because everything connects and it’s so much fun to experience for yourself. I could see this being an amazing romantic comedy of sorts as a movie. The extent that Marisa goes to to catch a boy in the act of cheating is impressive and as she gets closer to Kendall’s boyfriend TJ, things get increasingly complicated.

I adore Busted. It’s such a fantastic read that I highly recommend!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

Beyond the Surface Book Club: Why I Have Taken a Break

In January I desperately wanted to be able to continue this book club, but every day and every month I was finding it harder and harder to do so. It was hard with all the things I was putting on my plate mixed with a lot of things going on in my personal life that made committing to this book club in the way I should have was very difficult.

For other reasons, I was finding it difficult to be able to always have a book for the month every month and sometimes I could only purchase one at the end and couldn’t even read my own book of choice.

Another thing was that I didn’t like the way I was organizing everything and I wasn’t finding time to fix it. I really wanted to create a place of discussion for the club on Goodreads and it wasn’t happening and I think it had a lot to do with how everything was set up and I wish to fix it. All this will take time to do and I hope to start it up again in the future.

This book club is so important to me because it centers around having a place to discuss the things that we find hardest to discuss mental health. I want to be able to dedicate my time more effectively towards creating a community that speaks out without judgement in a way that is engaging and enjoyable for others. It will take time, but hopefully I can restart Beyond the Surface again soon!

Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions on how best to set up the book club let me know in the comments!

-Till next time!

Thank You, Markiplier!

I wasn’t going to make a post today. In truth, mostly out of laziness and other parts simply not feeling like writing anything at all. However, by some miracle I had the day off work today and by some other miracle I divided to click on a video that helped me to remember some of the things I feel are most important.

A video called THIS GAME IS SO IMPORTANT | Hearts and Heroes by Markiplier.

I have never mentioned it before but I am a huge YouTube gaming fan and one of my favorite people to watch whom I’ve watched for years has been Markiplier. Watching this 4 hour 21 minutes video in one sitting is oddly enough one of the things I truly needed to see and do at this point in my life.

You see for me, I’ve always struggled because I’ve always wanted to create something that made people feel the happiness and joy that the books and authors and creators on YouTube have given me… and for so many years Markiplier has been both an inspiration and someone I deeply admire. This video reminded me that we all start from the tiniest of seeds and that if we reach out into the world and take baby steps someday sooner then you would ever expect your dreams come true.

This video made me cry (I’m still crying writing this) because I’m at in a point in my life where I feel like I’m floundering and yet so many good things have happened up until now that I feel I should be immensely proud of. Such as this platform… this blog that I have neglected and tried to get back to and failed to and tried again, this blog that has almost 2,000 followers… 2,000… and to think that I reached that in just over a year baffles me.

The person in my life that haunted me most is no longer a shadow on my shoulder. Everything that they ever did to try and keep me from the people and things I loved most have been completely reversed and the freedom I know feel from that is inexplainable. I will probably discuss that more in detail in a later post because it is something that means so much to me and I think I finally want to share that with everyone.

Yet, there are so many things that I have yet to settle within myself. So many wants and hopes and things that I almost dare not dream or think of. Yet this post makes me want to dare to dream them. Being an author. Starting my own YouTube channel. Continuing Beyond the Surface (more on this later). Learning Spanish. Learning other languages. Being a poet. Going to Japan. Finding love. Being someone I can be proud of. Doing things that I never even imagined.

The creators of the game Hearts and Heroes spent 2 whole years of their lives creating it. The resulting product resonated with me so strongly I’ve been beside myself because of it. It makes me think of the dedication, hope, and love that we all should always put forth in every single thing we do and want to do and into every interaction we have.

This game filled with characters of all shapes and sizes feels like it was made to inspires all those people who have fear in their hearts to dare think to go after what they hope for in life. Maybe it’s unrealistic, maybe it’s getting lost in a fantasy, but the hope, the hope is so very real.

So, to you out there reading this I just want to say thank you! Accomplishing the changes and hopes that we want in this world takes a community of people and you guys, you guys are my very own little community and for that I am grateful.

I wish for all your dreams to come true whatever they may be.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! I’ve finally stopped crying.. gosh this made me feel all the feels.

-Till next time!