Thursday, October 30, 2014

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: A World Without Princes (The School for Good and Evil #2), ends 11/5

"So let me get this straight," Hester glared, straddling a gilded sink next to Anadil, both in their saggy black Nevers' tunics. "Tedros wants to kill Sophie. Sophie wants to kill Tedros. And unless you find an ending with one of them now, everyone in this school dies."

Agatha nodded weakly, leaning against one of Honor Tower's ivory bathroom stalls, fitted with a sapphire toilet and tub. She never thought she'd be so happy to see two witches in her life.

A World Without Princes is the follow-up to The School for Good and Evil, which I reviewed in August 2013, and is the second of three books, the last of which will be out soon. In that review, I called it a mashup of The Hunger Games and the Harry Potter series, and this book follows that vein as well.

Official synopsis:

In the epic sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel, The School for Good and Evil, Sophie and Agatha are home, living out their Ever After. But life isn’t quite the fairy tale they expected.

When Agatha secretly wishes she’d chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. But the world she and Sophie once knew has changed.

Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. New bonds are forming; old bonds are being shattered. But underneath this uneasy arrangement, a war is brewing and a dangerous enemy rises. As Agatha and Sophie battle to restore peace, an unexpected threat could destroy everything, and everyone, they love—and this time, it comes from within.

Soman Chainani has created a spectacular world that Newbery Medal-winning author Ann M. Martin calls, “a fairy tale like no other, complete with romance, magic, and humor that will keep you turning pages until the end.”

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quick Pick: Better off Friends, by Elizabeth Eulberg

  • Opening lines: Guys and girls can be friends.
    Way to get to the point, Levi. 
  • Reason I picked up the book: The premise sounded cute, and I've read other books by the author, too.
  • And what's this book about?
  • For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

    Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

    From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?
  • Favorite paragraph: 
I wanted my old Levi back.
Even if it was only as friends. 
The way he lashed out at me made me realize how delicate our relationship was. But he was too important to me, such a huge part of my life. I'd take him any way I could. Sure, there would always be something unspoken between us. An attraction we wouldn't act on. But would a high school romance really be worth sacrificing our friendship? 
No, we were better off friends. 
  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes a cute, quick read. You'll probably guess what the ending is, but it's fun seeing the characters get there.
  • Something to know: Elizabeth Eulberg mostly writes books about teens.
  • What I would have changed: Although I (correctly) predicted the ending, I felt that the book ended almost immediately after - I would have liked to have had another chapter or two.
  • Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I buy this book? Click here.

    *Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Keep Me Safe, by Maya Banks (Slow Burn #1), ends 10/29

    There was no limit to the possibilities and Ramie already knew the killer looked ... ordinary. Good-looking even. Neat and clean. Precise in his movements and meticulous in his dress.

    Most women would find such a man harmless in appearance and would be liable to feel comfortable and at ease around him. He was, no doubt, charming and likeable.

    What kind of world was it when such monsters lurked in seemingly benign waters?

    Slow Burn is the newest Maya Banks series, and it's just as good as the others I have read by her. Similar to her other books, it will be a trilogy, as well, and the first book gets the series off to a good start; the other books will follow characters who exist in the same world as Caleb and Ramie.

    Official synopsis:
    A sizzling story of a woman who risks her life and her heart to find a wealthy man’s missing sister - the first novel in a sexy new romantic suspense series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks.

    When Caleb Devereaux's younger sister is kidnapped, this scion of a powerful and wealthy family turns to an unlikely source for help: a beautiful and sensitive woman with a gift for finding answers others cannot.

    While Ramie can connect to victims and locate them by feeling their pain, her ability comes with a price. Every time she uses it, it costs her a piece of herself. Helping the infuriatingly attractive and impatient Caleb successfully find his sister nearly destroys her. Even though his sexual intensity draws her like a magnet, she needs to get as far away from him as she can.

    Deeply remorseful for the pain he’s caused, Caleb is determined to make things right. But just when he thinks Ramie's vanished forever, she reappears. She’s in trouble and she needs his help. Now, Caleb will risk everything to protect her - including his heart ... 

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Tumble Inn, by William Loizeaux, ends 10/28

    "Shall we send it?" she asked, riding the wave of her own enthusiasm. 

    "All right. But it's crazy," I said. "It won't fool anyone. Nothing will come of it."

    As it happened, everything would come of that ingenious letter, thought we couldn't have known that at the time. Now I wonder if Frann would have written it if she could have foreseen the path it would take us on, and if, in particular, she could have known where that path would lead her. For that matter, would I, the next morning, have so casually dropped the stamped envelope into the mailbox at the end of our block, through that little swinging door that you have to pull open, and when it closes of its own accord, it means you can't get the letter back?

    The Tumble Inn mostly takes place in a secluded part of New York, where Mark and Fran live and work. It details how they became innkeepers, what their lives were like as innkeepers, and how it changed once their daughter, Natalie, was born.

    Official synopsis:
    Tired of their high school teaching jobs and discouraged by their failed attempts at conceiving a child, Mark and Fran Finley decide they need a change in their lives. Abruptly, they leave their friends and family in suburban New Jersey to begin anew as innkeepers on a secluded lake in the Adirondack Mountains. There they muddle through their first season at the inn, serving barely edible dinners to guests, stranding themselves in chest-deep snowdrifts, and somehow, miraculously, amid swarms of ravenous black flies, conceiving a child, a girl they name Nat. Years later, when Mark and Fran are nearing middle age and Nat is a troubled teenager, Mark's life is ripped apart, forever changed, and he must choose between returning to his old home in New Jersey or trying to rebuild what is left of his life and family in the place of his greatest joy and deepest sorrow.

    The Tumble Inn is a moving drama about home and about the fragility and resilience of love.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    Book Review: Real, by Katy Evans

    Review by: Gwendolyn Mulholland

    They're all gushing over the whole "experience" except Kyle, who's scowling as he climbs behind the wheel. " That was one weird-ass interview. in a fucking hotel room?" he protests.

    "Tell me about it." My woman's pride is pricked because somewhere down the line I'd convinced myself the guy wanted to sleep with me. Instead, he offers me a job? Not bad, but totally unexpected, that's for sure.

    I think I've got my sensors out of whack, and he's probably the one to blame too.

    Real is the first book in the Real series by author Katy Evans. It showcases Underground Fighting Star, Remington Tate and Brooke Dumas, the woman he hires to train him. That is the premise of the book's story line but the book does delve a little deeper when Brooke finds her sister high on "Coke" when she is thought to be traveling the world. This romance story is heavy on the sexual innuendos and fantasy so if you are not looking for that sort of reading, then this is not the book for you.

    Official Synopsis:
    Remington Tate has a bad-boy rep in and out of the ring, a granite-hard body, and a raw, animal power that sends his female fans into a frenzy. But from the moment their eyes lock, the only woman he wants is Brooke Dumas. His desire is pure, all-consuming, and REAL.

    Hired to keep his perfect body working like a machine, Brooke finally has the lucrative sports therapy job she’s been dreaming of. But as she tours the dangerous underground fighting circuit with Remy and his team, Brooke’s own body becomes alive with the most primal of hungers. If what happens between Brooke and Remy is ever as light as a flirtation, it quickly becomes an erotic obsession for them both, and promises so much more.

    But their white-hot lust has a dark side—and when Remy’s deepest secret comes to light and Brooke’s familial duties demand action, will the pair be able to hang on, or will everything that once seemed so real suddenly fade away like an illusion?

    Saturday, October 11, 2014

    GIVEAWAY: Ripley's Believe It or Not! Reality Shock, ends 10/25

    *Disclosure: Books I Think You Should Read did not receive compensation for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

    Ripley's Reality Shock Book Giveaway

    Sponsor: Ripley's Books

    I've partnered up with Queen of Savings and a few other bloggers to bring you this giveaway - it would be a great prize for anyone interested in Ripleys-esque facts, or would make a fun holiday gift!

    Reality Shock! is the 2015 edition of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! bestselling annual series. This incredible collection is loaded with unbelievable facts, amazing stories, and incredible animals. With amazing photography, zany stories and unbelievable facts and figures, this book is sure to be a favorite with adults and children alike.

    Prize: Ripley's Reality Shock Book
    Dates: 10/11-10/25
    Open to: US Residents 18+

    Enter to win using the widget below. Good luck!

    Thursday, October 9, 2014

    Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Vampires of Manhattan, by Melissa de la Cruz, ends 10/20 {2 winners!}

    "Whoever did this is going to burn," Oliver promised. The Code of the Vampires protected mortal as well as immortal life now; it was one of the first changes he had made as regent. Vampires who ran afoul of this law were in danger of losing their immortal lives.

    There were no more second chances, not in his coven.

    Vampires of Manhattan is the newest Blue Bloods novel from Melissa de la Cruz, but it's very different from the older books: it takes place ten years after the last book, so the former Gossip Girl-esque vampires are now in their late 20s/early 30s. It's also a NA book (New Adult), so it's a bit more PG-13 than the previous books.

    Official synopsis:
    Vampires of Manhattan is "hipster horror" - the memorable characters from her Blue Bloods series are older and cooler than before, trying to build "Millennial" lives in the bustle of Manhattan while battling forces of evil and, of course, each other.

    Hero of this sexy, paranormal action tale is Oliver Hazard-Perry, former human conduit, and Manhattan's only human-turned-vampire, now the head of the Blue Bloods Coven. When his all-too-human lover is found murdered on the eve of the coven's annual Four Hundred Ball - a celebration meant to usher in a new era in vampire society, and to mark the re-unification of the Coven after decades of unrest and decay - Oliver is devastated.

    Now, not only is he trying to create a new world order for the immortal elite, he's the prime suspect and is stalked by the newly installed head of the vampire secret police. Because according to the new rules, vampires who take human life can now be executed. Burned.

    How can an immortal sentenced to die fight back? He has to find the killer - and the answers lie deep in vampire lore.

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