April 29, 2015

Book Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Summary (GoodReads)

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.

Also, he’s taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.

My Thoughts:
All of last year I was hearing pretty amazing things about Sarina Bowwen's books, and I was surprised to find that I had actually been collecting them without noticing - like I snagged a few of them when they went on sale, because apparently that's what I do - but after reading about from Holly and Rowena @Book Binge, I was ready to take the plunge. 

And I was very happy to fall down this rabbit hole, I have to say. 

I like the world of the Ivy Years, and I thought The Year We Fell Down was an excellent way to be introduced to the Harkness College. 

Corey was such a good protagonist, how she mourned her all life yet never came across as wimpy or whiny. She was fully aware of what she had lost though, and felt bad and was embarrassed about some of the exercises she had to do in Physical Therapy, and was so very human. It was easy to root for her and want her to do well. 

Hartley and I had a few ups and downs though, he is dating someone else for most of the story and that complicated things - though I thought Ms Bowen handled that whole situation really well - but he was also very likable, he was there for Corey when she needed him and tried to do the decent thing as often as he could. 

I also loved that both of them had a life apart from hanging together. Corey had her roommate - who was great! - and slowly gets involved in campus life. Hartley had his friends from the hockey team, particularly Bridger and he was so sweet to his mom. Also, Corey and him got a chance to become very good friends: they shared interests and talked about all sorts of things. 

I read The Year We Fell Down all in one sitting and I absolutely loved it. 
starstarstarstar1/2Personal Favorite 

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 No Normal by Wilson and Alphona

Summary (GoodReads)
Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she's suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! 

When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she's comin' for you, New York! 

It's history in the making from acclaimed writer G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and beloved artist Adrian Alphona (RUNAWAYS)! Collecting MS. MARVEL (2014) #1-5 and material from ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1.

My Thoughts:
I've said often enough that I don't particularly enjoy reading comics, and I'm far more inclined to reading Manga.  And a lot of it had to do with the style, so I was happily surprised to see a change in the art direction of Marvel's with Ms Marvel. And that it was something that I could get behind.

In this newest incarnation, Kamala Khan, a high school student obsessed with superheroes, gets to become her own idol, Ms Marvel, due to some strange happenings hitting her town. She quickly gets in over her head as she learns to navigate her new powers (which are a form of shape-shifting as far as I understand from the first volume No Normal - which compiles the first 5 issues of the series).

I really like Kamala, who struggles to be a good friend and a good daughter, and also live her superhero dreams. I loved the person she confessed her secret identity to, it made so much sense that she would go to that person for help. I really liked her relationship with her friends, it felt very real.

All in all, I'm really excited to keep reading Ms Marvel.

April 22, 2015

Book Review: Magical Animal Adoption Agency - Clover's Luck by Kallie George (Illustrated by Alexandra Bolger)

Summary (Amazon)

The first in a chapter book series starring an unlucky girl named Clover who accepts a volunteer position at a magical animal adoption agency.

My Thoughts:

Clover's Luck was super adorable. Right from the start you feel for her and how much she loves pets even though she can't seem to keep one. 

Actually, the scene at the beginning when she loses her pet-bird is a little heartbreaking because she was taking every precaution not to lose it and then her bad luck struck and she did. 

It was a very interesting balance, actually, between Clover's bad luck, her low expectations for what would happen in her life and the fact that, all in all, she wasn't a pessimist. 

She put her all into the things she did even if she suspected a little that things would go wrong at some point. 

The animals were another big plus for this book, because I loved seeing all the fantastical animals and the troubles they could get Clover into. 

Now this book is definitely for young kids, about elementary I would think, but very adorable and sweet.

April 20, 2015

Excerpt: His First and Last by Terri Osburn

Hello everyone!! It is no secret that I really enjoyed Terri Osburn's Anchor Island Series -which finished last year - and now I'm really excited to get to know the people of Anchor Springs in her new series. 

The first book is called His First and Last and today I bring you an excerpt of it!! :D 


Exclusive Excerpt from His First and Last

“Do you want something to drink?”
“Not unless it’s hot chocolate.” Lorelei shivered again. “This blanket isn’t helping.” Spencer knew one way to warm her up, but he didn’t think she’d be open to his idea. “Get over here,” she said, holding the blanket open for him to crawl in with her. Spencer hesitated, trying to determine if she was setting him up for something. “Come on. I know you’re a damn heater over there. Help a girl out.”
He could help her out all right. Obeying the order, he scooted down the couch and put his arm around her shoulders as Lorelei settled the blanket around them both. “That’s better,” she sighed, cuddling in tight against his side and laying her head on his shoulder. When she dropped a kiss on his neck, Spencer pulled her in tighter. “Lorelei?” “Mm-hmm?” she purred.
Spencer gave the question real thought. There was still a lot of fragile ground between them. She wasn’t offering a lifetime or, for all he knew, anything beyond one night. But when she threw a leg over his lap, his brain function faltered, and the feel of her warm body wrapped around him squelched any ability to protect himself from harm. This had been what he wanted from the moment he’d spotted Lorelei sitting on that airport bench. What he’d dreamed about for years before that.
“Did you come down here to seduce me?” Another kiss, this time on his collarbone. “Would that be a bad thing?” “Should I take your lack of argument as encouragement?” she asked, lifting off the couch and sliding across his lap until she was straddling him between her thighs.
“Yes,” he said, the word coming out as a croak. Spencer cleared his throat. “I highly encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing.”

Book Information

Title: His First and Last
Author: Terri Osburn
Release Date: April 21st! April 21, 2015
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance


At eighteen, Lorelei Pratchett couldn’t wait to get out of her hometown. Twelve years later, her Hollywood dreams have fizzled and she’s back—temporarily, she thinks. Though she throws herself into saving the old theater and starting a baking business, small towns have long memories, and Lorelei’s wild past still haunts her. It doesn’t help that her ex-boyfriend, Spencer Boyd, is even hotter, smarter, and more distracting than before.

The fiery Lorelei that Spencer knew years ago may have become closed off and cautious, but their chemistry hasn’t faded one bit. Losing her a second time is unthinkable to him, yet Lorelei is convinced she doesn’t belong in Ardent Springs. Somehow, Spencer needs to show her that everything she needs is right here: family, friendship, new beginnings…and a man who’s never stopped loving her.

Warm, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny, His First and Last is an irresistible story of first love and second chances.

Author Biography

Although born in the Ohio Valley, Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Terri Osburn found her true home between the covers of her favorite books. Classics like The Wizard of Oz and Little Women filled her childhood, and the genre of romance beckoned during her teen years. While Osburn went on to gain a degree in business administration, she couldn’t shelve her love of love stories. In 2007, she put pen to paper to write her own. Just five years later, she was named a 2012 finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award. The author of the Anchor Island contemporary romance series, Osburn resides in Virginia with her daughter, an assortment of pets, and her bookshelves full of keepers.


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