Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review and GIVEAWAY: Hallmark's Mother's Day greeting cards, ends 5/7 #PutYourHeartToPaper

As you may or may not know, May 10th (aka Mother's Day) is around the corner. I was going to pick up a card for my mom this weekend, but I lucked out and received an assortment of Mother's Day cards from Hallmark in the mail!

I'm pretty much set for the next few years for Mother's Day now (yay) but it was a hard choice to choose one for my mom for 2015, since they are all pretty unique and gorgeous.

I'll admit that the Wonder Woman card (see above) caught my eye first, because I'm a big superhero fan (obviously - I run a film blog too). I think I'm going to save that one for another year though.

Two others that caught my eye are a bit unusual - one is for mothers-to-be (so if you know anyone currently pregnant, that would be a great card to give them) and another is in Spanish but the front of the card can be wall art!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Quick Pick: Don't Even Think About It, by Sarah Mlynowski

  • Opening lines: We were not always freaks. Sure, most of us occasionally exhibited freakish behavior. But that's not the same thing.
  • Reason I picked up the book: My friend Mandy over at The Romance Bookie recommended it, and I had received an e-galley from NetGalley. 
  • And what's this book about?
  • We weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

    Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what's coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same. So stop obsessing about your ex. We're always listening.
  • Favorite paragraph:
  • Of course, it wouldn't be fine. Not at all. But Olivia couldn't know that. It's not like she had ESP. Ha, ha. Not yet. 
    This is the story of how we became freaks. 
    It's how a group of I's became a we.
    Maybe you think Olivia is telling the story. Or Mackenzie, or Cooper, or someone else in our homeroom you haven't met yet.
    It could be any of us.
    But it's not.
    It's all of us. We're telling you this story together.
    It's the only way we know how.
  • Recommended for: YA fans or anyone who wants to read a fun and fast story.
  • Something to know: Sarah Mlynowski has written a few other YA books, I think I read one or two a while back - she's a good writer.
  • What I would have changed: Nothing that I can think of. The ending was surprising but I also liked it. 
  • Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I find this book? Click here.

    *Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

GIVEAWAY: Beautiful Secret, by Christina Lauren, ends 4/15

As you may know, I'm a big fan of Christina Lauren's books, and I reviewed their {it's actually 2 authors, with Christina Lauren as their pen name} newest novel, Beautiful Secret, last month.

Beautiful Secret will be released on 4/14, and I now have two paperback copies to give away to my lucky readers!

{and if you just can't wait that long ... click here to pre-order}

Official synopsis:
When Ruby Miller’s boss announces he’s sending her on an extended business trip to New York City, she’s shocked. As one of the best and brightest young engineers in London, she knows she’s professionally up to the task. The part that’s throwing her is where she’ll be spending a month up close and personal working alongside—and staying in a hotel with—Niall Stella, her firm’s top urban planning executive and The Hottest Man Alive. Despite her ongoing crush, Ruby is certain Niall barely knows she’s alive…until their flirty overnight flight makes him sit up and take notice.

Not one for letting loose and breaking rules, recently divorced Niall would describe himself as hopeless when it comes to women. But even he knows outgoing California-girl Ruby is a breath of fresh air. Once she makes it her mission to help the sexy Brit loosen his tie, there’s no turning back. Thousands of miles from London, it’s easy for the lovers to play pretend. But when the trip is over, will the relationship they've built up fall down?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, by Paige McKenzie, ends 4/10 {2 winners!}

Nolan was the one to read the book, to find the word and say it out loud first. It is, I suppose, appropriate - considering what he will be to her - that he be the one who puts the pieces together. But this is not about him. It is about her.

It is good to see just now much fight she has in her. Her will is strong, her essence forceful. I wonder how long she will go on fighting before she realizes she must put that fight to better use.

I believe this is the first book I've ever read that is based on a YouTube series, which made it interesting. I read a few chapters and then Googled to find the series (which you can find here), and each video is about one to two minute long. The book is written by Paige McKenzie, the actress in the videos, along with Alyssa Sheinmel, a NYC native who has written a few young adult novels. The book seems to follow the beginning of the videos, for the most part, and I will probably watch a few more of them at some point.

Official synopsis:

Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Sunshine Griffith and her mother Kat move from sunny Austin, Texas, to the rain-drenched town of Ridgemont, Washington. Though Sunshine is adopted, she and her mother have always been close, sharing a special bond filled with laughter and inside jokes. But from the moment they arrive, Sunshine feels her world darken with an eeriness she cannot place. And even if Kat doesn’t recognize it, Sunshine knows that something about their new house is just ... creepy.

In the days that follow, things only get stranger. Sunshine is followed around the house by an icy breeze, phantom wind slams her bedroom door shut, and eventually, the laughter Sunshine hears on her first night evolves into sobs. She can hardly believe it, but as the spirits haunting her house become more frightening—and it becomes clear that Kat is in danger—Sunshine must accept what she is, pass the test before her, and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

(Note from Liz: this video makes it seem much scarier than the book actually is!)

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