Sundays in Bed With...Cress and Bloggiesta

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sundays in Bed With... is a meme/feature started by my friend Kate at Midnight Book Girl, where we can highlight the book that we're spending the day in bed reading (or the one we wish we could be reading all day in bed!).

I'm hoping to spend the day in bed with...

Cress by Marissa Meyer

I'm finally reading Cress!  It's slow-going because I haven't had much time to read in the past couple of weeks, and also because I'm spending a lot of time participating in Bloggiesta this weekend.  But I hope I can get more reading time soon!

What are you spending this Sunday in bed with?  Let me know in the comments, or leave a link to your post if you're participating in this meme and I'll try to stop by your blog!

Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Friday, September 19, 2014
Title:  Get Even
Author:  Gretchen McNeil
Series:  Don't Get Mad #1
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date:  September 16, 2014
Pages:  389
Format/Source:  ARC/From Publisher, via BEA
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Mystery, Contemporary
The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

*Warning:  While I really don't like spoilers, I really felt like some things needed to be said, so there are some slight spoilers in this review. They have been marked accordingly.*

Where to Begin?

I read Ten by Gretchen McNeil a couple of years ago and LOVED it.  I loved the suspense, the mystery, the confusion as to who might be the killer.  I went so far as to make a "Who's the Killer?" list in my notes where I tallied up all the different reasons to suspect each character.  And with Get Even, I decided to make another "Who's the Killer?" list and had just as much fun with it this time. Actually, most of my notes are made up of theories as to who the killer might be.

*Spoiler Alert*  So you can imagine my frustration when I got to the end of the book and the killer's identity wasn't revealed.  I know this is a series, so the killer will eventually be revealed, but it seemed like this book was leading up to that reveal!  Also, I kind of felt like there wasn't really any closure to the book at all.  There was like a pause, but no closure for anything that went on in this story.  So I can accept the fact that this story doesn't reveal the killer until the final book in the series, but only if each book has its own closure, and that just wasn't the case here.  *End Spoiler*

I also had an issue with one of the characters.  She seemed very complex and non-stereotypical at first, and then later on she started being a complete stereotype!  It was very annoying and made me feel like that character was really inconsistent.  There were also some scenes that seemed like they were over the top with conflict and details (like all that stuff about the play that we find out within about 5 pages in Chapter 11), while others seemed to not be fleshed out enough.

But overall I really did enjoy Get Even.  I loved the Star Wars and Harry Potter references (100,000 bonus points), and I liked a lot of the characters.  And like I said earlier, I loved playing the detective and trying to figure out just who the killer was.  I'm definitely going to have to read the rest of the series!

Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ HarperCollins 

You may also enjoy:  Ten │ Pivot Point

Disclaimer:  I received this ARC from the publisher, via Book Expo America, in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.

Fall 2014 Bloggiesta To-Do List

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

From "In short, Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon revolving around ticking off those items on your to-do list and improving your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing." Bloggiesta is hosted by Suey at It's All About Books and Danielle from There's A Book.

This Thursday through Sunday, September 18-21, is the Fall 2014 Bloggiesta! I'm excited to be participating again, because I have a lot of blog housekeeping to do!

I plan on updating this post as I go, and I might also write a wrap-up post at the end of the event.

My Goals

  • Write at least 1 review
  • Write at least 1 other post
  • Update my Reading Challenges page
  • Update my Review Archive Page
  • Add most recent reviews to Goodreads

Bonus Goals
If I get all the above goals met before the end of the event, I'll attempt to finish these goals as well:

  • Write 2 more reviews
  • Write 2 more other posts
  • Respond to recent comments
  • Follow blogs/twitter accounts of those I met at BEA this year, especially those who went to the BEA Book Blogger Picnic and BEA Book Blogger Meet and Drink! (I can't believe I haven't done this already!)
  • Update my My Policies page
  • Update my About Me/Rating System page
  • Add religion tag to sidebar, add religion tag to some older reviews
  • Add Bonus Points tag to all reviews that have Bonus Points
  • Visit all the bloggers who are participating in Bloggiesta I visited more than half of the participating bloggers' blogs, and then had to leave.  But I will try to visit everyone's in the next couple of weeks!
  • Back up blog

I was recently on a blogging hiatus (you can read this post to find out why), so I've gotten very behind on my blogging maintenance.  Hopefully I can get most of these goals met this weekend!


Thursday 09/18
-I joined the Twitter chat for a while but then had to go pick up my son from school.  I hope to join in on some of the other chats!
-I finished my first goal of writing at least 1 review.

Friday 09/19
-I finished my 2nd goal of updating my Reading Challenges page.
-I finished my 3rd goal of updating my Review Archive page.
-Joined the Twitter chat.
-Started on another goal but didn't get too far into it.

Saturday 09/20
-Joined the Twitter chat.
-I finished my 4th goal of adding my most recent reviews to Goodreads.
-I finished my 5th goal of writing 1 other post, which means I have now completed all my major goals!  I can move on to the bonus goals!

Sunday 09/21
-Joined the Twitter chat.
-I finished my 6th goal of backing up my blog.
-I attempted to finish my goal of visiting all of the Bloggiesta participants, but didn't get it done before I had to leave and do other things for the rest of the day.  But I visited over half of the participants' blogs and I hope to visit everyone else in the next couple weeks!

I love Bloggiesta!  The Twitter chats were great, and I loved that there were recaps on the Bloggiesta blog for those of us who had to leave early or for those who couldn't join in on the chats!  I didn't quite get everything done that I really wanted to do, but I did get those first goals done!  And I visited over half of the bloggers who were participating and hope to visit the rest in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks again to the hosts for such a great event, and I can't wait until the next Bloggiesta!

Waiting on Wednesday (44): In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week:
by Mindy McGinnis
Release Date:  September 23, 2014
Published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins
The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)
I LOVED Not a Drop to Drink (you can read my review here), and I am so excited that there is a companion novel coming out!  And luckily we don't have much longer to wait!!

What book are you waiting on?  Let me know, or leave a link to your WoW post in the comments, and I'll try to stop by your blog! 

I'm Back! (And Why I've Been Gone)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Hi everyone!  I'm so happy to say that I'm BACK!  YAY!  It has been a month since I have published a post on this blog, and I have really missed it.

If you follow my Instagram, or if you happened to see my Twitter feed at a certain time last month, you might already know why I've been MIA for a while.  But if you don't yet know, I'm happy to share that reason with you now: I'm pregnant!

This is the photo I used to announce 
my pregnancy on social media

This is the photo my husband used to
announce our pregnancy

The deets:  I am now 15.5 weeks along, and due in March.  We find out next month if it's a boy or a girl.

My first pregnancy with my son was Easy with a capital E.  The delivery not so much, but the pregnancy was a breeze.  This one is almost the complete opposite.  I won't go into details because I'm sure you guys don't want to hear about it, but basically the nausea (among other things) has kept me from being able to read and blog.  Which is sad, because I really miss blogging and it's so weird not being able to read (and not feeling like reading!).  And unfortunately it has already caused me to get behind on my challenge that I set for myself to read and review all of my BEA books before they are published.

And I know that it's super hard to get back into blogging once you take a break, so I was determined to get back into it as soon as I could.  And luckily my BBFFL (Best Blogger Friend For Life), Jessie from Jessie Marie Reads, is going through a blogging slump too, and we are pushing each other to get back into it.  We also have a fun event in the works that we've had to push back but it WILL happen and we'll let you guys know about that as soon as it gets closer to the date.

So for now, my pregnancy is getting better, but there's no guarantee that it'll stay that way.  And this break has kind of made me realize that I need to be more of a mood reader (I talked about this in a previous discussion post: Reading Order: Strict Schedule or On a Whim?).  I love setting those challenges for myself, like the BEA books one, but sometimes life happens and they're just not doable.  Or sometimes even life doesn't get in the way but you just don't feel like reading that particular book at that time, you know?  So I'm going to read what I want, when I want, with the exception of books I've received for review.  Those I will still try to read and review around the publication date.  But other than that, my TBR is open wide, and it's such a lovely feeling!

And as for this blog, I hope to get back to a regular schedule, but we'll see what happens.  I'm going to aim for my every-other-day schedule again, but if I miss a post here and there, it'll be okay.  And I'll try to have a few posts updating you on my baby bump every once in a while!

Thanks to all of you for not giving up on me, and for continuing to visit my blog during my hiatus.  I really appreciate it, and hope that I can give you guys some great stuff in the near future!
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