If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman Review

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In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

 

Hello, all! Long time, no see. I’m still here, reading and traveling. Unfortunately, I’m also working and busy with all things life. I haven’t managed a lot of reading lately, but I’ve tried to squeeze some in.  These two books weren’t on the top of my reading list, but I gave them a go anyway after seeing a million previews for the movie version of If I Stay (which, of course, can’t be nearly as good as the book).

I went into If I Stay knowing it was going to be heartbreaking. I’m definitely more emotional and touched by things the older I get. Even a poignant moment in Scandal can get me misty-eyed, but I digress.  Almost immediately Mia loses her family in a tragic accident. We learn this through Mia’s eyes as she battles for her life, not in this world or the next. But is she really battling for her life? Or is she battling with herself? Mia’s struggle within herself is the whole premise of this story. She is left with the choice of dying and reuniting with her family, or living with the pain of their loss.

This is a truly gut-wrenching story. That’s probably why so many people are drawn to it. In an instant, everything can change. Your whole life can be turned on its head. How you deal with it may be what defines your entire life. Where She Went, obviously, continues Mia’s story. These aren’t amazing, read-me-over-and-over books, but they are worth reading at least once for the thoughts they can provoke. Life is fleeting. How will you choose to live yours?

-Teri

 

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Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead Review (Spoiler Free!)

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For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Has everyone else been waiting as long as me to get their hands on this book??? I have to say that I loved it. I’ve never really been as invested in the Adrian/Sydney story story as I am Rose/Dimitri. I get a little flushed just thinking about Dimitri….*swoon*. That being said, I loved Adrian a bit more as I kept reading.

To ensure this post is spoiler free, I will keep it short. If you’ve enjoyed Mead’s books in the past, you will not be disappointed. This book continues her work flawlessly and, of course, leaves a heck of a cliffhanger. I’m only sad the next installment will be her last in this series.

-Teri
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Turks & Caicos, Part 1

 

Hello, all! As promised, I am starting my traveling series. Our first stop? Fabulous Turks & Caicos. In case you aren’t sure, Turks & Caicos is located on the end of the Bahama chain of islands in the Caribbean.  It was a short flight for us here in Nashville, as I’m sure it is for most east coasters. Definitely a plus if you’ve traveled to anywhere in the Pacific. I get the worst jet lag!

Turks Collage

For this trip we stayed at Seven Stars Resort on Grace Bay in Providenciales. There are tons of places to stay and they are all beautiful. We were very pleased with Seven Stars. Not only do they offer free Wi-fi (who can live without this???), but they also offer many free beach amenities as well. Beach and pool lounge chairs, including umbrellas, are all included with your stay. They have complimentary use of our Hobie Cats, kayaks, surfboards (or paddle boards, like us), snorkeling equipment and pool floats. This is a huge plus. Here in the states, they charge an arm and a leg for stuff like this. We did pay to do a snorkeling excursion, but Turks boasts an amazing reef for snorkeling and scuba diving. And if you find a conch, which I did, you get to keep it. Have you seen a better souvenir??

As you can see in the pictures below, Turks & Caicos offers amazing water color and clarity. We were able to see the bottom as far out as we could walk. I really don’t think I have seen a more picture perfect beach with beautiful turquoise water. Nothing was overcrowded as far as we could see in either direction. They have the water roped off for a swim zone and activities within or beyond that. As you can see, we took advantage of several of the free amenities. Having tried paddle boarding in Waikiki, Turks & Caicos is much more friendly to the flat-water paddle boarder. Obviously we only get to practice on lakes here in Nashville. If you’re adventurous like us, Seven Stars offers a great way to do a lot of activities but not have to pay for them individually.

Turks Adventures

The location of Seven Stars was a huge plus. There was a grocery store just down the street. We love to eat out, as you’ll see in Part 2 of Turks, but it’s nice to have snacks and drinks available in your room. We struggled with this in Aruba, so we couldn’t have been happier to walk to the store on our first day to stock up.

There isn’t a lot of traditional shopping in Turks, but plenty of souvenir shops. We always look for pint glasses, for my husband, and mugs, for me. Some of the items were a little pricey, but typical for tourist destinations. All the shops we visited were within walking distance to Seven Stars simply because we chose not to do a rental car. I don’t think there was anything I had in mind to bring back that we were not able to find. And trust me, I love to shop.

Look for all of our food ventures in Part 2 of Turks and Caicos which is coming soon.

-Teri
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City of Bones Movie Review

Better late than never, right? So I never quite made it to see this movie in theaters. I couldn’t convince my husband (or myself, really) that it was worth it. I was probably right.

Let me preface this by saying it’s been a while since I read a Shadowhunter book. Having read all of The Mortal Instruments (currently out) as well as The Infernal Devices, this movie was confusing. So many things just weren’t explained or they were drawn out. I understand that with a movie there are time constraints that authors don’t have to deal with when writing books. However, if I hadn’t read the books, I would have been completely lost.  I was a little lost just having been months out from the books.

That being said, it was overall enjoyable. I love bringing characters to life and seeing them on screen. Lily Collins is great as Clary, and I can definitely see why she is up and coming in Hollywood.  Jace wasn’t my personal cup of tea, but I’ve heard the girls swoon. Perhaps it’s my old lady syndrome shining through. Something tells me Hugh Jackman couldn’t have pulled it off (yes, he’s my favorite).  Still, some Wolverine might have helped this movie. There is just too much vital information in the books that can’t reach the big screen. I feel like the heart of the books wasn’t alive here.

I haven’t heard wether or not any of the following books are to be adapted, but I highly hope so. I love anything that will get people interested in reading. Movie adaptations are great for that. Book sales go through the roof when something hits theaters. Personally, I like to see if the movie can measure up to my imaginative mind. So far, I’m a tough cookie.

-Teri
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Changing Directions…

Under constructionHey, everyone! It’s been a while, huh? Things have been crazy for me lately. As you all know, I’m fairly new to the blogosphere. I’ve been looking for my niche, and I think I have found it. I looooooooove reading. Turns out, I’m into more than just books. I also love to travel. When I started this blog, I also intended to make it travel incorporated. At first I wasn’t sure I could visit enough locations to make it worth your while. Now I’m thinking it’s the only way to make this blog into what I set out for it to be.

I will still be reviewing all the books I can’t stop reading, but now I also intend to incorporate books including my recent locales. I will be providing information on destinations including lodging, activities, eateries, etc. Hopefully I will provide you with some helpful information that may sway your future vacation spot. Bare with me as I start this new direction. I think it’s going to be great once I get the ball rolling.

-Teri
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Insert Girlish Squeal Here

Holy Lust Charm, Batman. I have loved very few book-to-movie adaptations. Sorry, Twihards. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth have been the only ones to really keep me coming back for both the book and the movie (insert favorite scene here). Yes, you have bewitched me, body and soul. But I digress.

I have not hidden my love for all things Richelle Mead, specifically Vampire Academy. I have read these books repeatedly. That being said, I was quite leery going into this movie. The trailers seemed to be lacking the depth I was drawn to in this series. Talk about misleading. Zoey Deutch is the epitome of Rose Hathaway. She is tough as nails and always quick with the wit. She just might be my spirit animal (behind Jennifer Lawrence, of course).

Two words. Dimitri. Belikov. I was really quite meh about him leading up to this movie. He seemed ok, but not what I had pictured in my head. Let me tell you, I was swooning and pretending my name was Roza at the end. Total dreamboat.

All teenage fandom aside, the movie did not stray far from the book. As always, some things had to be changed so the story could flow in a timely manner. Like many opinions I’ve seen, Mia wasn’t my favorite choice. I think I always pictured more of a Luna Lovegood type character, but half the fun of books is your imagination. If you’ve loved this series, don’t give up now and run (don’t walk) to see Vampire Academy in theaters. I’m really hoping the sequel is going to make its way to the big screen too.

-Teri
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Cress by Marissa Meyer Review

 

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If you have not read The Lunar Chronicles, what are you thinking?  Go pick up Cinder, which is the first book in the series.  They are a fabulous play on some of your favorite classic tales. Did you just have it wirelessly delivered to your reading device? Good job.

Moving on. I loved this book. Admittedly, I should have brushed up with the first two before picking this one up.  There are a lot of characters to keep up with, and I had kind of forgotten some important plot points. However, I was able to get back up to speed pretty easily, and get swept back up in all the drama without much of a hitch.  The women in these books are all amazing in their own way, but Meyer did an great job of bringing them all together in one book. Each leading man definitely has his own swoon factor, too, and who doesn’t want that?

At 560 pages, this is the longest book thus far in The Lunar Chronicles.  Even with hours of enjoyment, I was weeping for more when I finished.  I just realized that the fourth book in this installment isn’t out until 2015.  Pure. Torture. Happens every time with a great series. Let the countdown begin!

-Teri
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The Nycren by Lola StVil

It all ends now.

Purchase on Amazon US Purchase on Amazon UK Purchase on Nook

About Lola StVil

lola

Lola was seven when she first came to this country from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She attended Columbia College in Chicago, where her main focus was creative writing. In addition to plays, she also writes screenplays and short stories.

She has been commissioned to write for ABC, CBS and Princeton University. She won the NAACP award for her play “The Bones of Lesser Men”. In addition to being nominated for LA Weekly awards. Her work has also received positive reviews from The LA Times, Variety and LA Weekly.

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Guardians Series

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Book 1: The Girl

The prophecy says I will fall in love with team leader and Angel, Marcus Cane. The prophecy also says that our love will cause his mission to fail and end the world.

Whatever.

This human is not worried. Why?
Because I do not intend to fall in love with Marcus.

The truth is I hate him. I hate his warm brown eyes with flecks of gold, his chiseled face and broad shoulders.
I hate how over protective he is just because a few thousand demons are after me.

In fact, I couldn’t care less about Marcus or his perfect telekinetic girlfriend.
And when I see him holding her, I don’t die a little inside…

 

Book 2: The Fallout

Just because she has wings,
doesn’t mean she’s an Angel…

It’s front page news on every Angel gossip rag:“Marcus & Ameana: Gone The Way Of “Brad & Jennifer.”So, Who Is The “Angelina?” Emmy Baxter—a mere mortal!”

Ameana tries to avoid her ex and his new love by focusing
on the other evil out to destroy the team. But soon her pain
turns to fury.

And before the end…a girl plots revenge, a leader is on the edge
and an Angel falls.

Add to Your Goodreads Shelf | Purchase on Amazon

 

Book 3: The Turn

There. Will. Be. Blood.
After the Council hands down a severe punishment,
A Guardian declares war on the Angel world.

Before the end
Lives will be lost
Love will be tested
And blood WILL flow…

Add to Your Goodreads Shelf | Purchase on Amazon

 

 

Book 4: The TriplexThe team finds the locaton of the Triplex, but in order to destroy it and save the world, a horrific decision must be made. Can Marcus do what he needs to do in order to complete the mission? Or will his heart get in the way…Add to Your Goodreads Shelf | Purchase on Amazon

 

 

 

 

Book 5, Part 1: The Quo


WARNING: This book contains a scene in chapter 20 that is for mature audiences only. Readers can skip this chapter without missing any info vital to the plot.
A team divided.
A leader in turmoil.
A love tested.

Now, it’s the heroes who need saving

Add to Your Goodreads Shelf | Purchase on Amazon

 

Book 5, Part 2: The Lyris

The end of the world is not coming; it’s here

An impossible decision…
A massive war…
A Guardian silenced forever…
(Please note chapters 29 & 30 are for mature audiences)

Purchase on Amazon


Book 6, Part 1: The Shoma

In order to reunite the Council and save both our world and theirs, the Guardians need to assemble three missing pieces of an ancient relic called The Shoma. But their search is derailed by their love lives and entanglements. Surrounded by evil and under the threat of annihilation our lives depend on this one team. But with all the sex, scandal and secrets, who has time to save the world?

Purchase on Amazon

 

Short Stories

(THIS BOOK HAS SPOILERS, SO IT IS BEST READ AFTER BOOK 1 (The Girl))
Please note this is a book of short stories about the Guardians and their lives before the mission. This book is 20k words long and has nine short stories including
*Julian’s Core
*Rio’s secret crush
*Julian & Femi’s first meeting

*The days & nights of Tony-Tone and more…

Short Stories From Book 5
Can’t get enough “Guardians?”
Read these short stories AFTER reading book 5 part 2 and find out:
Why Marcus made the decision he did at the end of book 5.2
How Jay and Miku hooked up for the first time
and where Mouse came from!

 

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Back on track!

 

Hey, everyone! I kind of fell off the face of the earth there for a bit. I’m back now! What a year it has already been.  I’m going to cover some recent reads and also some things I’m looking forward to this week.I just returned from a fabulous vacation in Turks & Caicos.  You know what that means! Lots of books to share. I started a brand new series on the plane ride down and I haven’t managed to put it down yet. I’ll end the suspense.

celestra

 

Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking. 
When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds. 
Skyla discovers Logan holds the answers to the questions she’s been looking for, but Logan’s reluctance to give her the knowledge she desires leaves her believing Logan has a few secrets of his own. 
Skyla’s bloodlines may just be connected to the most powerful angelic beings that roam the earth, and the more she knows, the more danger she seems to be in. 
Suddenly an entire faction of earthbound angels wants her dead, at least she still has Logan, or does she?

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are a TON of books in this series.  I’m making my way through book 5 now. I seriously could not put them down (much to my husband’s chagrin). This series bounces around a lot and there are several people you have to follow.  Sometimes Skyla grates on my nerves with all of the men after her and her lack of a decision. Seriously, what has everyone fawning over her?? It’s a bit of the Bella Swan complex, only I like her better. All joking aside, this is a captivating series with some super hot men. Totally worth the quick read if you have the time.

Now on to some things I’m looking forward to this month. The Lunar Chronicles return with Cress! I love this twist on our classic stories. Cinder was surprisingly delightful, and Meyer continued my enjoyment with Scarlet. I can’t wait to see what the next book in this series has to offer. Just a couple more days and I’ll know!

Kasie West is back with Split Second this month, as well. Pivot Point captured my heart and I completely forgot the sequel would be arriving this month. I’ve started so many series that I can’t keep up with when they all come out. Luckily, Goodreads reminded me of its arrival! I’m dying to know where Addie’s story is headed, but I have a feeling I’m in for another cliff hanger.

cress combo

 

Look for a review of Cress later this week. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

-Teri 
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The Line by J.D. Horn Review

 

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To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.
Despite being powerless herself, of course.
Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.

 

I grabbed this book as a Kindle First and was pleasantly surprised. I really struggled to get into it.  The first few chapters were filled with so much information that it almost became a DNF. I powered through, and I’m glad that I did. Talk about a dysfunctional family! They make the Adams family look like the Cleavers.  Mercy is a perfectly flawed protagonist, and I found the old lady in me shaking my head at some of her decisions. Seriously, what were you thinking?

I must emphasize that there is a lot going on throughout this book.  You really have to pay attention to keep up. There are a ton of people bouncing around, dead and alive. Once you get past the gist of everyone, it truly is a great story. There’s a lot of promise in this new author.  I’m looking forward to the future of this series.

-Teri

 

 

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