*REVIEW* The Six Rules of Maybe


Scarlett Hughes is overly involved in the lives of everyone around her and exceptionally interested in the habits of her neighbors: a young goth girl, a forgetful mailman, and an older couple who gets excited by email spam. But Scarlett is thrust solidly into her own life when her sister, Juliet, returns home from school—pregnant and surprisingly married to a sweet, handsome man whom she seems to have no interest in, but who is hopelessly in love with her. Forced to take a look inward for the first time, Scarlett discovers the necessity of dreams, as well as the necessity of facing reality and speaking the truth.

The Six Rules of Maybe is the first book I've read by Deb Caletti and based on my feelings about this book, I think it's doubtful that I will read another book written by her. Which honestly COULD be a mistake because I think that her writing is simply beautiful at times. It's extremely descriptive, however I just didn't think that style of writing matched the premise of the book somehow. It seemed to make the book DRAG and DRAG and contained way more words than I found necessary to tell Scarlett's story.

The Six Rules of Maybe introduces us to Scarlett, a teenage girl extremely involved in the lives of others. Scarlett is a giver--constantly trying to go above and beyond for others. We see this in her interactions with her best friend, Nicole, and with a cast of unusual neighbors. There's Clive Weaver, an older potentially-senile old man who is having a hard time letting go of his past career as a mailman, the Martinelli's, an older retired couple who seem to be getting involved in a mail scam, and Fiona St. George, a Goth student who airs out her conflicted feelings in the form of chalk drawings on the sidewalk. Scarlett becomes enmeshed in their worlds as she struggles to help.

What Scarlett is not prepared for is the return of her sister, Juliet. Juliet returns home and she is not alone, she's married and is having a baby. Scarlett develops strong feelings for Hayden, Juliet's husband, and the two bond as Juliet remains distant and scared of letting her new husband truly into her heart. Will this family survive? Will Scarlett learn to put her needs and desires above others? And will she finally learn and realize some honest truths about herself and what guides her actions and feelings?

I think this book had a lot of potential. There's a GOOD story hidden in there, hidden behind words and words and words. To say this book was wordy, too descriptive, and too long would be a MAJOR understatement. There also seemed to be some characters that were just there so that there could be MORE lengthy and unneeded conversations, descriptions and scenes. I really wanted to like this book but I found myself increasingly frustrated as I went through it. Frustrated and frankly bored at times. All in all, I'm happy that this book is now behind me.

*REVIEW* Survive


Hatchet meets Lost in this modern-day adventure tale of one girl's reawakening.

Jane is on a plane on her way home to Montclair, New Jersey, from a mental hospital. She is about to kill herself. Just before she can swallow a lethal dose of pills, the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black. Jane wakes up amidst piles of wreckage and charred bodies on a snowy mountaintop. There is only one other survivor: a boy named Paul, who inspires Jane to want to fight for her life for the first time.

Jane and Paul scale icy slopes and huddle together for warmth at night, forging an intense emotional bond. But the wilderness is a vast and lethal force, and only one of them will survive.

Survive was an interesting book. While I can't say that I LOVED it, it was enjoyable in it's own way. It's a super quick read, it's fast-paced, and the whole element of imminent danger and death lurking around every corner (or up every slope!) will definitely keep you flipping the pages.

Survive introduces us to Jane, a girl who has been struggling with her mental health for many years. Depression and suicidal thoughts run rampant in her family, and Jane's father committing suicide on Christmas Eve has haunted Jane for way too long. So long in fact that Jane is now ready to take her own life to end the pain. She's got her plan formulated and is ready to take the plunge on a plane ride home. She never could have predicted she'd be taking a plunge so very different from the one in her plan.

Right as Jane is about to swallow a lethal dose of pills in the airplane's bathroom, she is tossed around like a ragdoll and wakes up colder than she ever thought possible. The plane has crashed in a snowy mountainous terrain and she and Paul, an annoying male passenger, are the only survivors. Jane and Paul begin an epic fight for their lives, a fight that has Jane unexpectedly wanting to live, fighting to live, and falling in love.

I kind of thought I may like this one a bit more than I did, but it didn't quite grip me in the way I imagined it would. I did end up tearing up a bit at the end and I was actually a little surprised to experience that emotion... so the book may have touched me more than I initially thought. It's definitely worth a read so scoop it up when it releases in August. Happy Reading! *XOXO*

Expected publication date: August 2, 2012 by Razorbill

*thanks to Around the World Tours*

Waiting on Wednesday (28)


"Love is just the beginning... of the end."

Mason Starling is a champion fencer for Gosforth Academy, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Until now. When a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan and unleashes terrifying creatures onto Gosforth’s campus, Mason barely escapes alive. Without help from the mysterious stranger who appeared in the midst of the storm, she might not have made it at all. But now, in the aftermath, Mason’s life begins to spin dramatically, mystically out of control, and the only one who seems able to help her is the stranger who can remember nothing but his name: Fennrys Wolf.

As Mason and Fenn uncover more about Fenn’s past and the strange events that surround them, they realize that Mason’s family — and its dark allegiance to the ancient Norse gods — is at the center of everything. A predetermined fate seems to be closing in on Mason, but is it possible to change one’s destiny?

Readers who fell in love with Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange trilogy and those who love Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series will be captivated by the sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action of Starling.

Expected publication date: August 15, 2012 by HarperTeen

Can't wait for this one!! I think the description says it ALL! :)

*REVIEW* My Life Next Door


A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

Omigosh, what a WONDERFUL story! I am so in love with this book. If you scoop up one contemporary read this summer, make sure it's this one. My Life Next Door is beautifully written. It's heartfelt, romantic, touching, relatable, and one of those books you just can't put down. And the boy? SWOON.

My Life Next Door introduces us to Samantha, a girl trapped in a world she doesn't truly feel like she belongs in. Her mother is a state senator, running for re-election, and her sister is off to the Vineyards for the summer with her boyfriend before she begins college in the fall. All of this means that Samantha has a LOT of time to herself, a lot of time for her to participate in one of her favorite hobbies: watching the Garretts.

The Garretts are the neighbors, the neighbors that Samantha's mother has forbidden her to interact with because she doesn't agree with their lifestyle, because the Garretts are a HUGE family. Samantha's mother thinks it's wrong to forgo birth control THAT many times. But Samantha has always been fascinated by the large family next door--the family that seems so warm, so affectionate, and so unbelievably happy and content in their lives. Samantha never could have predicted she would become a part of that family and experience all those emotions herself. But she never could have predicted the night Jase climbed up her trellis.

Jase, one of the Garretts, has known Samantha has watched his family for years. He decides one night to climb up her trellis and join her on her roof and what follows is one of the sweetest love stories I have ever read. Readers are blessed to follow along as Jase and Samantha fall deeply and madly in love with one another. We see Samantha enfolded in the embrace of Jase's family, which is perfect for her as her friendship with her best friend, Nan, seems to be crumbling apart. But then an event happens, an event so horrible and tragic, it seems as Jase and Samantha will just not be able to overcome it. Can love survive against the worst odds? Or are some romances just made for summer?

I refuse to spoiler this book because that would be CRIMINAL. This book may be my favorite I've read all year. It's got EVERYTHING: Love, romance, firsts, friendships, addiction, overcoming hardships, facing reality, you name it! And then there's Jase. Goodness gracious, what a FABULOUS character. I want a Jase of my very own!!

Seriously though, the writing in this book is superb. I FELT the love growing between the characters and felt like I was a part of it all. That's so rare. And I love how it didn't feel rushed, like some YA romances can feel. The characters meet and BOOM! We're all madly in love. Nope, didn't happen like that in this one. This book was REAL. I almost expect to run into Jase and Samantha on a beach somewhere. You OWE it to yourself to snag this book when it releases in June. You will love it!!

Expected publication date: June 14, 2012 by Dial Books for Young Readers.

2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge: Green or Pinched Mini-Challenge

For the March wrap-up contest for the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge, participants must find ANY book with a green cover and do a cover review. I have chosen Blood Lite, edited by Kevin J. Anderson:

It looks a little teal in the picture, but it's definitely green in person. I ADORE this cover. In fact, the cover is the whole reason I picked this one up to begin with. I think the vampire is just so funny looking, which is of course the whole point considering the premise of the book! I like the bat umbrella and the blood raindrops are a nice touch!

It's not too late to get involved in the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge. Check out the right side of my blog for more information.

*REVIEW* My Life in Black and White


What if you lost the thing that made you who you are?

Lexi has always been stunning. Her butter-colored hair and perfect features have helped her attract friends, a boyfriend, and the attention of a modeling scout. But everything changes the night Lexi's face goes through a windshield. Now she's not sure what's worse: the scars she'll have to live with forever, or what she saw going on between her best friend and her boyfriend right before the accident. With the help of her trombone-playing, defiantly uncool older sister and a guy at school recovering from his own recent trauma, Lexi learns she's much more than just a pretty face.

I really, really enjoyed this book. Natasha Friend tells a tale of a girl who feels like she has lost everything, and shows us how she slowly gains a better understanding of who she is, and the things that truly matter to her. Once I started reading it, I found that I couldn't bear to put it down. It's thoughtful, laugh-out-loud funny at times, and one of those books that will have you thinking about your own life, forgiveness, friendship, and the love you have for yourself, your family, and all your loved ones.

The story begins by introducing us to Alexa, more commonly known as Lexi, who is an extremely pretty girl about to begin high school with her BFF, Taylor. The girls have ruled the middle school together and have been inseparable for many years, Lexi cannot imagine her life without Taylor. Lexi also has a super cute boyfriend, Ryan, who looks like he just stepped out of an Abercrombie & Fitch ad. Could life get any sweeter?

Lexi and Taylor figure that waiting until school starts to begin their high school social lives is unnecessary as they crash a summer party Jarrod, Taylor's older brother, is throwing. But the evening turns to tragedy when Lexi walks in on a betrayal that shocks her to her very core. She makes the decision to flee the party, a decision that will haunt her the rest of her days as it leads to a horrific car accident--a car accident that leaves scars inside and out.

Readers are taken on a journey with Lexi as she comes to terms with the fact that her looks are never going to be the same and that she has to find new ways to define herself, other than being "the beautiful girl". We also experience her pain as she deals with the shocking betrayal of someone she thought she could always count on to be right there by her side. Is it possible to redefine yourself, to find new meaning in life and to learn to accept imperfections? And is it possible to cut out a friendship that has meant the very world to you? Reading this book will get you thinking about ALL of these things.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. It was a quick read, but the story stayed with me after I put it down. It's a touching story about loss, acceptance, recovery, hope, friendship, family, and moving forward in life. There is something in this for everyone. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Expected publication date: June 28, 2012 by Viking Juvenile
*thanks to Around the World Tours for the ARC*

In My Mailbox (22)

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Here are books I've either won, been given, borrowed, or bought this past week:

Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

For Review:
My Life in Black & White by Natasha Friend
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Survive by Alex Morel
*thanks to Around the World Tours*

Yayyy! I love great book weeks and this one did not disappoint! I've already read My Life in Black & White and it was really, really good. In fact, I'll be posting my review of it later today. What did YOU get this week? I'd love to take a look so leave me a link! Happy Reading! *XOXO*


I am sooo excited that I have 250 Followers! *squee*

To celebrate, I am having a contest where YOU get to choose the book you win!

Here's the details:

-Book will be ordered through The Book Depository so this contest is INTERNATIONAL! Woot! (provided that they mail to your country, of course)

-Choose whatever book you want, up to $20 USD.

-Because this is a giveaway celebrating my FABULOUS followers, you MUST be a follower to enter the contest.

Please fill out the info below to be entered to win. Best of luck to you all... and as always, Happy Reading! *XOXO*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*special thanks to my super sweet fiance for making my graphic*

Waiting on Wednesday (27)


Hatchet meets Lost in this modern-day adventure tale of one girl's reawakening

Jane is on a plane on her way home to Montclair, New Jersey, from a mental hospital. She is about to kill herself. Just before she can swallow a lethal dose of pills, the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black. Jane wakes up amidst piles of wreckage and charred bodies on a snowy mountaintop. There is only one other survivor: a boy named Paul, who inspires Jane to want to fight for her life for the first time.

Jane and Paul scale icy slopes and huddle together for warmth at night, forging an intense emotional bond. But the wilderness is a vast and lethal force, and only one of them will survive.

Expected publication: August 2, 2012 by Razorbill

I really can't wait to read this one! I work with teenagers and suicidal thoughts are not new to me, so I'm very interested to see how the author portrays Jane as she goes through such a rough period. And then a plane crash! This will be the second plane crash book I've read this year and I'm hoping I enjoy this one even more.

Teaser Tuesday: The Six Rules of Maybe

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title and author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser comes from The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti:

It was one of those times I believed in the subconscious, that it existed, at least, like the books said it did. I just wasn't so sure it was always doing those things without us knowing. Probably, you and your subconscious only pretended to keep secrets from each other. I pictured the subconscious as this thing the general population had to get us off the hook for the stupid things we did, the same as Catholics had confession. pg.74

I haven't gotten very far into this one yet... the premise is that the main character's sister returns home pregnant and married. The main character develops a crush on her sister's new hubby. That's about all I know! I try to avoid spoilering myself so that books are a surprise as I go. Guess we'll see how it goes! What are YOU reading? I'd love to read your teasers so leave me a link! :)

*REVIEW* Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)


2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3), "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub" (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn't-have-done at a time.

This book was SO cute! I wanted a lighter read after the last book I read, and Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) was exactly what I needed! This book had me smiling, laughing, and totally rooting for the main character, April, as she gained some independence, learned more about who she is, what she wants, and what life is really about.

The book begins by introducing us to April, a junior in high school who has just learned the horrible truth--her dad and stepmom are moving to Cleveland and expect her to uproot her life in the middle of junior year and come along for the ride. Considering her mom had moved to Paris not that long ago, and April had chosen not to move then, she cannot IMAGINE uprooting her life now to move to CLEVELAND. Ohio. Away from all her friends and Noah, her boyfriend of two years. Her boyfriend who April is about to do THE deed with. How can she leave now?

To the rescue? Her friend Vi. Vi's mom, Suzanne, has gotten a role in a traveling production, leaving Vi alone at her house. Vi is stoked about the idea of having a housemate and not having to live alone the rest of her senior year of high school. A plan forms, deviousness ensues, and April's dad is tricked into thinking that April will be staying with Vi and her mom in a completely supervised environment.

Hilarity ensues as the girls are left to their own devices and make some very interesting choices. From an overflowing dishwasher, to a Hula purchase, to an expensive emergency vet appointment for Donut, the cat they adopt, things are never quiet at casa de April and Vi. Add to the mix boys and you never KNOW what will happen. Oh and Noah, the amazing boyfriend? Things might not be exactly as they seem in that department.

I don't want to spoiler any more of this book so I'm leaving it at that! Just know that this is a super fun read and you won't be disappointed. By the end, you'll be so flippin' proud of April and the growth she achieves. She may have learned some of it the hard way, but April learns that in life, some risks are worth taking and that playing it safe rarely gets you true happiness. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Manic Monday! (21)

Welcome to Manic Monday! Manic Monday is all about finding things to look forward to on Tuesday, because who loves Monday? And we all know Tuesday means NEW RELEASES!! So each Monday, I'll highlight a book or two that are coming out the next day. Just a little something to help you find that silver lining!

The book I'm highlighting this week is The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting:


In the end, all that's left is an Echo.

Before, Violet's morbid ability to sense the dead led her to uncover dark murders and long-buried secrets in her small town. Now that she's working with a special investigative team, Violet hopes she can help even more people—whether by saving a life or catching a killer.

Although she's relieved to finally be honest about what she can do, her instant connection with her mysterious partner, Rafe, is both confusing and unsettling, and their unique bond creates tension with her boyfriend, Jay. When she discovers the body of a college student murdered by "the collector," Violet refuses to give up on the case. With her own relationship on the line, Violet doesn't realize that the serial killer is looking to add to his collection and that she may have caught his eye. Will the life Violet has to save be her own?

YAYY! What a wonderful series! The Last Echo is book three in The Body Finder Series. If you haven't checked it out before, do so!! There will be a fourth book in the series, due out in 2013. Enjoy! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* Sapphique


Finn has escaped from the terrible living Prison of Incarceron, but its memory torments him, because his brother Keiro is still inside. Outside, Claudia insists he must be king, but Finn doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment? And can you be free if your friends are still captive? Can you be free if your world is frozen in time? Can you be free if you don't even know who you are? Inside Incarceron, has the crazy sorcerer Rix really found the Glove of Sapphique, the only man the Prison ever loved. Sapphique, whose image fires Incarceron with the desire to escape its own nature. If Keiro steals the glove, will he bring destruction to the world? Inside. Outside. All seeking freedom. Like Sapphique.

Hmmm. I'm really not sure how to review this one! Sapphique is the follow-up novel to Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. I have not been shy with my displeasure with the first eighty to ninety pages of this book. Completely and utterly boring for me. I quite enjoyed Incarceron, but it's sequel really had me struggling--struggling to form a connection to characters I once cared for, and struggling to form a connection to the story. While I very much cared about the characters and the conclusion of the first book, Sapphique really struggled to engage me and reading it felt like a CHORE for quite some time.

It's not all bad though... once I got through the mind-numbingly awful beginning, the story really picked up and I found myself remembering what I had liked about the world Catherine Fisher had created in Incarceron. The story became fast-paced and I quite enjoyed the frequent switches between POVs. I think it really helped the story along. We journey with the characters; Finn, Claudia and Jared on the Outside, dealing with the queen and an imposter to the throne, not to mention assassins and the Steel Wolves; and Attia, Keiro, Rix and the Warden on the Inside, as they race to the very heart of Incarceron to try to find their escape while preventing the destruction of the prison as a whole.

The blemish on this book for me is surprisingly not the slow and torturous beginning, but rather the confusing ending. I was left with the feeling of "huh" and I really hate to end a series like that. I shouldn't be all that surprised though, considering that these books are VERY out there and hard to imagine and visualize at times. I think this series could REALLY work for someone who likes these types of books, but I don't foresee it being a series I personally return to.

Spring Break: Week in Review

So Spring Break is officially over and it's back to the grind tomorrow *sniff*. I'm trying to be positive... when we go back to school tomorrow, there are only nine weeks left until glorious summer vacation. Continuing with the positiveness, I thought I would reflect on what I got done this week.

Reading: I finished Sapphique by Catherine Fisher. I really wanted to read more, but I just had too much to do. And if you read my earlier post about sequels, you know that Sapphique was full of challenges for me. I'm happy to say that it DID get better and I found it easier to get through than the first eighty-some pages. I plan on writing my review on it tomorrow so be on the lookout for that!

The house: For those who don't know, I recently moved with my fiance and four cats from an apartment to a three bedroom house. It's a GREAT house, but it was built in 1956 so you can imagine that it needs some work. We've been busting tail the past month or so (we moved in on March 17) and we had some projects we wanted to tackle while we were both off for spring break. We painted the last bathroom, I painted a shelf in the downstairs bathroom, we fixed some doors, and did MAJOR yardwork. I'm bummed to say we still have HOURS to go in that department since the yard was left to it's own devices for several years. Yeah, I forgot to mention that this house had been uninhabited before us for almost three years. So while we didn't completely get things done, things are looking WAY better around here.

The wedding: We're getting married June 2013. While it seems like that is ages away, we want to get done as much as possible so next school year isn't insane for us. So we met with two florists over the break and came up with an estimate that we can live with. I love flowers, so I'm super stoked we've got a plan. We also did some research going to a variety of craft stores since we have several DIY projects we want to do for the wedding.

The loved ones: We had Easter, which was great cause we got together with my family at my grandmother's house. My family had gotten out of the habit of Easter gatherings so it was nice to get together with everyone. Dan, the fiance, helped his parents with a major remodel of their kitchen, I finally got to meet the best friend's boyfriend, and I got together with another bestie for a much needed dinner and chat.

So all in all, I think it was a successful week. I spring cleaned the whole house (much needed!), did all the laundry, and did our grocery shopping for the week since we're going on a new health plan tomorrow. The fiance and I spent some highly needed quality time together, and we spent some chill time with the cats. The move hasn't been easy on them either cause we've been so busy all the time. I think we all needed some time to just relax on our sectional couch as a family.

So... the coming week: Back to work (meh), got to write and post my review of Sapphique, I need to post a review of a green cover for the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge, and I plan on posting my 250 Follower Giveaway. Good things to come! I hope you all have had a great weekend and are as ready to face the coming week as I am. Cheers! *XOXO*

Waiting on Wednesday... SPRING BREAK EDITION!

Yes, I am on SPRING BREAK! Not the "MTV-inspired, college-aged student" kind, but the "OMG, I need a break from students cause I work in a high school" kind. And it is GLORIOUS! I never knew that as an adult, I would look forward to Spring Break MORE than I did as a kid but I sure as heck do! It's a much needed break from the day-to-day annoyances that start creeping up as the school year starts to wind to a close. We're about 3/4 of the way through the year now and will only have NINE WEEKS LEFT when we return. YIPPEE!!! :)

Anywho... I digress. As usual. Here's my WoW pick of the week!


Have you ever been tempted to look into the future? To challenge predictions? To question fate?

It’s human nature to wonder about life’s twists and turns. But is the future already written—or do you have the power to alter it?

From fantastical prophecies to predictions of how the future will transpire, Foretold is a collection of stories about our universal fascination with life’s unknowns and of what is yet to come as interpreted by 14 of young adult fiction’s brightest stars.

Release date: August 28, 2012

YAYYYY! What a GREAT group of authors in on this one! And a story about Rose and Dimitri? UM, YES PLEASE! Cannot wait to sink my nails into this one! What are YOU waiting for? Leave me a link, I'd love to check it out! *XOXO*


Happy Friday!! :) Welcome to FUN FRIDAY where I reveal something about me, some personal tidbit that will allow my followers to get to know me better. I follow several blogs and I sometimes wonder who the bloggers REALLY are behind the words, so I thought it would be a cool thing to open up a bit and to reveal more about who Karen really is.

Today's tidbit: I do not handle stress well. At ALL. When things start to feel overwhelming to me, I completely fall apart. My job is HIGHLY stressful at certain parts of the school year so that makes things very interesting for me. I get moody, cranky, irritable, quick to snappy and sarcastic remarks, and I cry. Easily and a lot. I used to think it was just the job, but I've been in the same position for five years and I still go through periods where I feel like I'm losing my mind, so I'm really starting to think it's me!

Going through the same thing again this year has promoted a lot of self-awareness and reflection for me. I'm getting to the point in my life where I'm seriously considering starting a family (after we get married next year, of course!) and I really can't imagine taking on the stress of being a parent in my current situation. So I'm thinking that I need to work on my reactions to stress. I need to find ways to calm myself, to stay in perspective, and to not get so worked up. Easier said than done! But something has got to give because this just won't work if anything else gets added to my plate.

So I'm hoping exercise may help, I'm going to try getting into a normal routine with that. A lot of people swear by meditation but that feels a little silly to me. But perhaps some nights taking a hot bath and reading with a glass of wine will do the trick. The stress from this school year is far from over so I'll definitely get some practice in the next couple months!

Hope you all have a fantabulous weekend! Hope you all find some time to spend with loved ones. Family and friends are the things that really matter in life *XOXO*

My Thoughts on Sequels

I'm currently reading Sapphique by Catherine Fisher. This is the sequel of Incarceron, a book I read in July 2010. I rated Incarceron 4 of 5 stars when I was finished with it, showing that I quite enjoyed it so imagine the surprise I'm feeling as I'm reading Sapphique and not enjoying it one little bit...

I'm actually experiencing stress in this situation because I despise leaving things unfinished. So I'm trying to force myself through this book even though I'm finding I don't care about these characters, where the story is going, or what ultimately happens. Those are hardly good emotions when reading a book. And it's slowing my reading WAY down. I've been trudging through this book all week and I'm only on page 86 of 462.

So this has got me thinking about sequels and how disappointing they can sometimes be. How can a book be SO good, and then be followed up with something so unexciting, so unengageable, so... meh? And the sad thing is, I think this happens frequently. While I don't read many two book series, you see a dip in the second book in MANY trilogies. But in those instances, there's usually a third book that comes in and saves the day. Sadly for Sapphique, that is not the case.

Another example of a book two disaster, in my opinion, is Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund. Rampant, it's predecessor, was an AMAZING book. Now, Ascendant did not suffer from the same ailments that Sapphique does... I was highly interested in the story, but the ending left me pissed off, unsettled, and kind of bummed out. That's one series that I would jump for joy over if a third book was planned.

Anyway... that's my ramblings of the day. I really wish Sapphique was holding my attention more than it is now. I don't want to call it quits and put the book down because there was SOMETHING about the first book that I liked, some attachment I once felt to the story and characters and I think I would always suffer from a "what if..." if I put the book down for good. I just hate that it's this much of a struggle and that my personality prevents me from leaving things unfinished. I think I WILL start another book to read simultaneously though, a book that can provide a much needed relief when I'm ready to quit reading for good! A book that may prevent me from feeling like this:

Hope you are all having a fabulous week! It's almost FRIDAY!! *XOXO*

2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge: March Update!

Soooo... March was a really slow reading month for me. I only read and reviewed three books total, only one of which qualified for the TBR PILE Reading Challenge. I blame moving. Moving is a time SUCK. Every time you think you've gotten things wrapped up, you realize there's ten more things that still need to be done ASAP. So I'm trying to be positive and be happy that I found time to read three books in a super jam-packed month.

The book that I read for the challenge is Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. Check out the link to see my GLOWING review! Hope your month was a little bit more successful than mine in terms of reading. Here's hoping April is an even better reading month for us all! :)

*REVIEW* Miracle


Megan survived the plane crash—but can she survive the aftermath? An intense, emotional novel from the author of The Unwritten Rule and Between Here and Forever.

Megan is a miracle. At least, that’s what everyone says. Having survived a plane crash that killed everyone else on board, Megan knows she should be grateful just to be alive. But the truth is, she doesn’t feel like a miracle. In fact, she doesn’t feel anything at all. Then memories from the crash start coming back. Scared and alone, Megan doesn’t know whom to turn to. Her entire community seems unable—or maybe unwilling—to see her as anything but Miracle Megan. Everyone except for Joe, the beautiful boy next door with a tragic past and secrets of his own. All Megan wants is for her life to get back to normal, but the harder she tries to live up to everyone’s expectations, the worse she feels. And this time, she may be falling too fast to be saved....

Miracle follows the story of Megan, a girl who is the sole survivor of a plane crash, and her journey as she tries to deal with all that has happened. Will Megan be able to pick up the pieces and find a way to move on with her life? Or will everyone's expectations of her throw her into a tailspin she may not be able to recover from?

The story begins when Megan wakes up to learn that she has survived a plane crash and that the other people with her on the plane did not make it. The problem? Megan doesn't remember the crash or what happened afterwards. Rather than coming clean with this fact, Megan lies to the doctors, her parents, and everyone, because a strange thing has happened... everyone is viewing her as a miracle, as a gift from God himself. And Megan is too afraid to let people down, not when they're looking at her as if she is a special gift from above.

As Megan goes through the motions of her day-to-day life, she starts to become more and more isolated. Something inside her is broken... and no one seems to notice. No one except Joe, a troubled neighbor dealing with his own issues of grief, loss, and an inability to move on. As flashes from the crash and aftermath start to assail Megan, will she be able to handle it, make peace with the events and move on? Or will she continue to unravel?

I'm really on the fence with this one. There was SO MUCH potential with this book for it to be a truly moving story. But for some reason, I just couldn't seem to get there with the main character. While I read about her pain and saw the images through her eyes, for some reason an emotional connection to her and her story was missing for me.

And let's talk frustration... I was SO frustrated with Megan's parents throughout this entire book. Maybe I can't relate because I don't have children and I can't imagine what it would feel like to be told that my daughter had died and then to find out that she had survived, but I wanted to smack them! HOW can you not insist that your child speak to a therapist after surviving such an ordeal? HOW can you sit by and watch her unravel, her interests and personality change, her stop hanging out with all of her friends, and DO NOTHING? I just found that so unbelievable. Yes, they're thrilled that their "Miracle" Megan survived but COME ON! The girl is clearly struggling with some serious PTSD and you're doing not a darn tootin' thing about it!

*deep breath* Maybe it's the counselor in me, but that really peeved me. All in all, the story wasn't bad and it could be worth a read. I'm hoping that it will touch some people emotionally in a way it didn't for me, because it's definitely powerful material.

Miracle releases June 5, 2012. A special thank you to Around the World Tours for the ARC.
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