The Mall- Megan McCafferty

50148657. sy475 New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

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“Mooooooiiiiiiiiiiiisssssst!
Sam shivered. I threw back my head and cackled.
Moist panties would make a great band name. I loved their debut single. I consulted the worst words list and put two of the grossest together. Fetal smear.”

Ahhh! The nineties where scrunchies, Urkel, sexy sax solos, and MC Hammer was too legit to quit reigned supreme. It was simpler times and I want to go back in time to experience it all over again. This book is seriously the next best thing.

In 1991, I was five years old and living in Philly. This book hits close to home because it takes place in Jersey (which is our next-door neighbor) and during the best decade (fight me). It was the blast from the past that was so desperately needed.

Cassie has her life all planned out. She just graduated high school and got a summer job working at the mall with her boyfriend, Troy. Once fall hits, Cassie and her boyfriend will be attending college in New York.

It was the perfect plan for her perfect life until she got mononucleosis. It incapacitated her for an entire six weeks. Who knew six weeks could change her life forever?

In just a short period of time, she lost her boyfriend, her job, and her mind. She thought finding a job at the peak of summer was hopeless until an old friends Mom makes her an offer that she couldn’t refuse.

Working at Bellarosa Boutique isn’t what she had planned but she needed the money. What made her apprehensive was working side by side with her old best friend, Drea. They were the best of friends as soon as Drea moved to town but stopped when Drea thought Cassie wasn’t up to her level.

Things are tense at first but as the summer progresses, Cassie and Drea gravitate towards one another. Drea helps Cassie overcome her sadness of all she’s lost and Cassie helps Drea on a Cabbage Patch scavenger hunt.

Can Cassie find true happiness before she heads to New York? Or will she let the disastrous start to summer predict her future?

This was a rad read. It was fun to read once but it’s not something I would revisit. It was so much more than just a breakup book but I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. The only character that stood out was “Sam”. He had a decent part but it wasn’t enough.

The Mall was a laugh-out-loud blast from the past that perked my mood right up. Even the music choices were boss. Just remember that anything is possible if you use enough hairspray.

stacy

*ARC Review* Dark Skies (Dark Shores #2)- Danielle L. Jensen

52715971. sx318 sy475 A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE
Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE
With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

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My Review

“The weak will always be tempted by the promise of strength. Especially when their strength has proven itself weak.”

Sequels make me a little bit nervous. There is so much that it has to live up to, plus it can make or break an entire series. It’s definitely not a job for the weak. This held its place quite well and it was just as spectacular.

There are things about both books that I love but this one was darker, gorier, and had a gang of female guards. It was a girl gang that I totally wanted to join and need to read more about. It had me glued to every single page and I never wanted it to end.

This book lets you meet Lydia and Kilian and they are two characters that are a force. I did like Killian more than Lydia but she grows on you to where you adore both of them in the end. They both wear their hearts on their sleeves and you’ll appreciate that when the time comes.

Dark Skies was a fantastic book and now I’m impatiently waiting for the third book because this can’t be the end. This ended in a way that we just can’t accept. We have questions that demand answers!! If you loved Dark Shores, you’ll definitely love this one.

stacy

*Arc Review* Catherine House- Elisabeth Thomas

51934838A seductive, gothic-infused tale of literary suspense—the debut of a spectacular new voice —about a dangerously curious young undergraduate whose rebelliousness leads her to discover a shocking secret involving an exclusive circle of students . . . and the dark truth beneath her school’s promise of prestige.

You are in the house and the house is in the woods.
You are in the house and the house is in you . . .

Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises its graduates a future of sublime power and prestige, and that they can become anything or anyone they desire.

Among this year’s incoming class is Ines, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties, pills, cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline—only to discover an environment of sanctioned revelry. The school’s enigmatic director, Viktória, encourages the students to explore, to expand their minds, to find themselves and their place within the formidable black iron gates of Catherine.

For Ines, Catherine is the closest thing to a home she’s ever had, and her serious, timid roommate, Baby, soon becomes an unlikely friend. Yet the House’s strange protocols make this refuge, with its worn velvet and weathered leather, feel increasingly like a gilded prison. And when Baby’s obsessive desire for acceptance ends in tragedy, Ines begins to suspect that the school—in all its shabby splendor, hallowed history, advanced theories, and controlled decadence—might be hiding a dangerous agenda that is connected to a secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most promising and mysterious curriculum.

Combining the haunting sophistication and dusky, atmospheric style of Sarah Waters with the unsettling isolation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Catherine House is a devious, deliciously steamy, and suspenseful page-turner with shocking twists and sharp edges that is sure to leave readers breathless.

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My Review

“We know not to fear death. Because even in death, there is life. Death is not the black night, but its white moon. The honeyed egg of rebirth.”

This was one of those debut novels that I knew that I needed to read sooner rather than later. I’ve tried my damndest to get my hands on an early copy and I finally succeeded.

From the first couple of lines you know that you have something special and by a couple of pages I knew that I was hooked. This is one of my favorite books this year!

Elisabeth starts off and makes you feel comfortable. Then when you think everything is okay, she turns the tables and makes you question everything. You’ll start to feel haunted by this captivating tale. It’s one of those books that creeps up your spine and engulfs you wholly. You’ll never be the same again.

Catherine House is the gothic mystery of literary fiction that will unsettle you. I loved the way the book was written and how it made me feel/think as I was reading. My brain is still swirling after I finished it.

This is a story that Jordan Peele wishes he would have written.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 6/10/19

This week I’m going to finish up a book that I started yesterday, an arc that I’ve had for over a year, and some arcs that I received from the publisher.

What are you reading this week?

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Aurora Rising- Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

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The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch:

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass tech-whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into her squad leader, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

Nobody panic.

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Lock Every Door- Riley Sager

42368604No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely- Brigid Kemmerer

43204703Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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The Science of Rick and Morty: The Unofficial Guide to Earth’s Stupidest Show- Matt Brady

43822486Explore the real science behind the Cartoon Network phenomenon Rick and Morty —one of television’s most irreverent, whip-smart, and darkly hilarious shows—and discover how close we are to Rick’s many experiments becoming a reality. 

Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty is one of the smartest (and most insane) shows on television. Genius alcoholic Rick Sanchez and his hapless grandson Morty have explored everything from particle physics to human augmentation and much more in their intergalactic adventures through the multiverse. With biting humor and plenty of nihilism, Rick and Morty employs cutting-edge scientific theories in every episode. But, outside of Rick’s garage laboratory, what are these theories truly about and what can they teach us about ourselves?

Blending biology, chemistry, and physics basics with accessible—and witty—prose, The Science of Rick and Morty equips you with the scientific foundation to thoroughly understand Rick’s experiments from the show, such as how we can use dark matter and energy, just what is intelligence hacking, and whether or not you can really control a cockroach’s nervous system with your tongue. Perfect for longtime and new fans of the show, this is the ultimate segue into discovering more about our complicated and fascinating universe.

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stacy

*Arc Review* Lie With Me- Philippe Besson

40539136The award-winning, bestselling French novel by Philippe Besson about an affair between two teenage boys in 1984 France, translated with subtle beauty and haunting lyricism by the iconic and internationally acclaimed actress/writer Molly Ringwald. 

We drive at high speed along back roads, through woods, vineyards, and oat fields. The bike smells like gasoline and makes a lot of noise, and sometimes I’m frightened when the wheels slip on the gravel on the dirt road, but the only thing that matters is that I’m holding on to him, that I’m holding on to him outside.

Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back at the relationship he’s never forgotten, a hidden affair with a gorgeous boy named Thomas during their last year of high school. Without ever acknowledging they know each other in the halls, they steal time to meet in secret, carrying on a passionate, world-altering affair.

Dazzlingly rendered in English by Ringwald in her first-ever translation, Besson’s powerfully moving coming-of-age story captures the eroticism and tenderness of first love—and the heartbreaking passage of time.

My Review:

“This feeling of love, it transports me, it makes me happy. But it also consumes me and makes me miserable, the way all impossible loves are miserable.”

Lie With Me was that gut-wrenching read that makes you have trouble catching your breath. This was such a beautiful and harrowing story of young desire in the 1980s. You’ll have trouble keeping the tears from falling.

Even days after I finished this, my mind kept going back to this and it broke my heart all over again. I had to up my rating because of that. I can’t get this beautiful story out of there.

Philippe is talking to an interviewer at a hotel when he spots someone. A someone that resembles someone from his past. As he calls out his name and goes after him, he wishes with all his heart that this someone is Thomas. As fate would have it, it’s not but it’s someone else that will help him fill in the blanks of the past.

As the past comes spilling out of Philippe, what transpires is something so deep and wonderful that we don’t want it to end. In his younger years, he strikes up a secret romance with Thomas as love blooms between these two boys. After all this time, Philippe remembers everything and hopes that Thomas does as well. Things start to come together and what was once young love turns into fond memories that no one will ever forget or want to.

Lie With Me was one of the most gorgeous reads that I have ever read. There was something about this that touched my soul and I’ll never forget it. Besson paints a tender and beautiful tale of first loves and desire. It’s a really quick read that you will devour in one sitting because of its pure perfection.

If you get a chance to read this, do it. I dare you to tell me that this didn’t make you weep!!

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stacy

*ARC Review* Bright Burning Stars- A.K. Small

42288387  Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure.

But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.

 

My Review:

“Believe in the past and in destiny.”

I have never been this obsessed with the cover of a book and the synopsis as I am with this one. I’m guilty of judging this by it’s beautiful and dazzling cover. It captures your eye and squeezes your heart. With such a strong feeling, I was afraid that the story inside wouldn’t match the outside. But everything about this was mesmerizing and my obsession has grown fonder.

I won’t lie. I knew next to nothing about ballet but I wanted to learn. This gives an in-depth look at the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of the world that is ballet. The way people act to get where they want to be and how they torture their bodies to get to that top spot. It was fascinating.

Going to a new school can be daunting, but having a best friend by your side makes a world of difference. And that’s how Kate and Marine feel. They became best friends and moon sisters within a very short period of time making it to the ballet school in Paris.

As the competition gets tougher and binds start to unravel, everything is pushed to its limits. Can things in the good life last forever?

Bright Burning Stars is a spectacular read that leaves your heart wrenched and tears running down your face. When you think things are getting better, something comes crashing down and you’re left in amazement. The pressure these kids are under is excruciating and your heart breaks as they try to become the best. Nothing about this book was dull, it kept me up at night. But just remember that there is a silver lining after all and boys might actually be the devil.

What would you do for “The Prize”?

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stacy

*First Line Friday* Circle of Shadows- Evelyn Skye

Happy Friday! The weekend is almost here and I am excited. We are getting ready for the Christmas break and also preparing for a few blog tours coming up in the next few weeks.

What are your weekend plans?

This week, I’m going with a book JT and I both highly enjoyed. I finished it this morning and wow!!!

Happy Reading!!

 

39938149    A thrilling new fantasy series full of magic and betrayal—from Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series.

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever.

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“There are two possibilities after this stunt- we’ll be the empress’s favorite taigas or we’ll get expelled and taken away in chains…..”

stacy