The Girl's Guide To The Apocalypse Blog Tour -- New Adult, Apocalyptic!?

The Girl's Guide To The Apocalypse 
Release Date: August. 11, 2015
Publisher: Booktrope
Genre(s): New Adult, Apocalyptic
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Blog Tour: Xpresso Tours

Welcome to the Apocalypse. Your forecast includes acid rain, roving gangs and misplaced priorities, in this comedic take on the end of the world as we know it, from debut author Daphne Lamb.

As a self-entitled, self-involved, and ill equipped millennial, Verdell probably wouldn’t have ranked very high on the list of those most likely to survive the end of the world, but here she is anyway. Add in travelling with her work addicted boss, her boyfriend who she has “meh” feelings for, and a handful of others who had no businesses surviving as long as they have, and things aren’t exactly going as planned. But despite threats of cannibalism, infected water supplies, and possibly even mutants, Verdell is willing to put in as little effort as she can get away with to survive.



My Favorite Genre Goes Apocalyptic
everything I love about new adult wrapped up into a world gone to shit? Oh yesss, count me in!


When it comes to new adult, I tend to stick to my " safe " zones, contemporary, romance, and suspense/thriller. To be honest, there aren't THAT many sub-genres within new adult to indulge in anyway, so these genres aren't uncommon at all. What had me so pumped to pick up this title, was the fact that it's set in a apocalyptic world, without a clan of teenagers. No shade to YA, it was just nice seeing something different being done in NA. Atleast for me that is. This year, I made a goal to read more science fiction, dystopian, post + apocalyptic reads this year, so what better way than to start with The Girl's Guide To The Apocalypse?


“Wait,” I looked around. “There’s a bathroom here? You’re telling me I used a dumpster out in the open like a jerk?”

Debra poked her head out of a broken window.

“You say that like it’s a big fat joke,” she said. “And it’s not. Just because we’re going through a hard time doesn’t mean we have to live like savages. You can still be picky about a bathroom.” She paused, then took a deep breath. It seemed she was doing everything she could to keep her shaky emotions in check. “So just for that,” she said. “No one gets to use this bathroom. It’s mine!” She went back inside, slamming the window.

“I don’t get it,” I said. “That answered none of my questions.”

“Want a tour?” Robert asked. “we were just getting settled.”

I followed his lead. The inside of the house was a wreck. There were brown stains coimiung down the walls and more spray painted scrawling. A distinct odor wafted through the halls, something like sewage and fresh air, a yin and yang of experiences. There was a couch, its cushions gone, a giant rip through its upholstery and propped up against one of the boarded up windows.

I followed him into the kitchen where Debra was going through the cabinets.

“You would think you could find something to eat,” she said. “But no.” She pulled out a box of Fruit Rollups. “Please,” she said. “This is a travesty.”

“It’s food,” I said. “At least it’s something.”

She rolled her eyes at me. “Gluten?” she said. “Sugar? Carbs? I’m telling you, if earthquakes and viruses don’t kill us, this will.” She slammed the box back down. “I will swell up like a balloon unless I find some gluten free options here.” She looked up as Priscilla entered the house. “Maria!” she said. “You made it!”

Priscilla smiled. “It’s still Priscilla.”

Debra waved it away. “And this place is a mess. Maybe a little tidying up, perhaps?”

She turned away, bend down to look in the cabinets under the sink.

Priscilla turned to me, confused. “Does she think I’m the hired help?”

Instead of answering, I looked around. “So this place has a working bathroom?” I asked.

“Yeah about that,” Robert said, sheepishly.

His face said it all.

“We tried it,” he said. “It didn’t work out.”


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Down With The Shine | Kate Karyus Quinn
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 355
Rating: 4 stars
Source: HarperTeen

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Make a wish…

Lennie always thought her uncles’ “important family legacy” was good old-fashioned bootlegging. Then she takes some of her uncles’ moonshine to Michaela Gordon’s annual house party, and finds out just how wrong she was.

At the party, Lennie has everyone make a wish before drinking the shine—it’s tradition. She toasts to wishes for bat wings, for balls of steel, for the party to go on forever. Lennie even makes a wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was murdered six months ago.

The next morning gives Lennie a whole new understanding of the phrase be careful what you wish for—or in her case, be careful what wishes you grant. Because all those wishes Lennie raised a jar of shine to last night? They came true. Most of them came out bad. And once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

The 100 Blog Tour + Giveaway -- A Little Fangirling Goes A Long Way

The 100, Day 21, Homecoming
Publisher: Little Brown Young Readers
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents -- considered expendable by society -- are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves -- but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.



If You Haven't Started This Epic Series
not only are you missing out, but . . . wtf else are you watching??


On January 21st, during the 3rd season premiere of The 100, I learned three things:

People love this show.
People really love this show.
People really, really, really love this show.

My twitter timeline was shut down with The 100 tweets, and after seeing Kelly, Erica, Shannon, Jackie, Taylor, and Karina fangirl about the show, I knew I had to snatch my girls up, and insert them right into my post. I decided to interview this awesome bunch, and let's just say that our group chat on twitter, got a little crazy lol.If you're not sure if you're ready to binge watch or read this series, let these fangirls change your mind!

For those who have been living under a rock, describe The 100 . . . using ONLY 140 characters.

Kelly: Unwashed, dirty teen criminals from space are sent to a desolate Earth. Stabbing and sexy times ensue.

Karina: Completely AMAZING!!! No other show compares anymore!!! By season 2, you'll regret having waited so long to watch it!!!

Jackie: Space "Princess" is now leader of deemed criminals on a contaminated post-apocalyptic Earth. Her co-leader is hot + Earth is savage. Obvs.

Erica: A group of teens sent down to Earth looking to see if it is livable. Not only do they find the radiation isn't bad but others have already claimed the land. Will they find truce or start a war?

Shannon: Crappy adults send kids from the Ark to Radiation land. Kids behave as expected. Make enemies, somehow don't make any babies. Become badasses.

Taylor:  The 100 is about survival, with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. It's action packed and never boring! And the romance is awesome

Dirty eggplants and va-jay-jay's, contaminated planets, hot co-leaders with greasy hair, romance . . . I mean what more do you need right?

Let's Play A Game Of Kiss. Marry. Kill Go!

Karina: Kiss Bellamy .  Marry Lincoln .  Kill Jaha

Jackie: Kiss Lincoln . Marry Bellamy . Kill Jaha

Erica: Kiss Lincoln . Marry Bellamy . Kill Jaha

Kelly: Kiss Bellamy. Marry Lincoln. Kill Abby

Taylor: Kiss Bellamy . Marry Lincoln . Kill Murphy

Shannon: Kill Jaha, that goes without saying. I am having a terrible time deciding whether I need to marry Bellamy or Lincoln. Can't I just keep them both? Who says monogamy needs to be a thing in this new world?

Everyone seems to be #teambellamyguywiththegreasyhair

Who is your ultimate ship?

Karina: Octavia & Lincoln
Erica: Clarke & Bellamy
Kelly: Lincoln & Octavia
Jackie: Octavia & Lincoln 
Karina: Octavia & Lincoln

Can Octavia and Lincoln just get married already. I mean it's obviously everyone wants them to.

I'm a fan of love triangles, (only good ones of course) what fictional character from another series or standalone, would you allow to board your ship?

Kelly: Throw in Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series, with either one actually.

Erica: Same Kelly, great minds think alike!

Taylor:  I would allow Edward from Twilight because . . . well he's my fave #loser 

Shannon: Johanna Mason from The Hunger Games, because she's badass and would make Clarke realize that she loves Bellamy

Jackie: JUST ONE TIKA GIRL COME OOON - that being said Marc from Best Laid Plans because he's a legit mercenary and how fun is that!

Celaena and Edward, oh yes, make me proud fangirls!

If you could change anything about the series, what would it be?

Erica - Jaha wasn't a dick. I love the actor who plays him (Dr. Burke from Grey's Anatomy) but his character makes me want to pull my hair out.

Kelly - The 'City Of Light' storyline irritates me. It's just added weirdness that it really didn't need.

Jackie: I hate the City of Light somebody make it go away.

Karina: I wish the Ark people never came to Earth. They annoyed me when they tried to take control. I also hate the whole Jaha's city of light plot.

Taylor: I would change the fact that Murphy is so annoying. He's a key character but my lord I wish he could go somewhere else!

Shannon: All these Jaha nonsense. Could he maybe have just gone down with the ship? I have that Dido song in my head now...

Earth to whoever, no one cares about the whole " city of light " thing. Got it? Good.

If there was any character from the series that mirrored your personality, who would it be and why?

Erica: Oh gosh, well I'm not brave in any sense and everyone in this series is. I'll go with Maya. She helped out everyone from the Ark & I feel like if I were in her situation I would have acted the same.

Karina: I like to stay in the unknown so maybe I'm like Monty since he's been staying in the sidelines most of the time :o (If that makes sense lol)

Shannon: I WANT to say someone cool like Octavia, but I am probably more of a Jasper, sadly.

Jackie: I am my own unique human. Lol. Maybe a Bellamy? I do stupid things with good intentions to protect the ones I love. Or sometimes just stupid things

Taylor: I think Clarke is similar to me because she is very determined and I am too! She's also a mess sometimes like me.

I'm a mix of Clarke, Bellamy, and Octavia. Obviously it's because I'm cool.

If you were given the opportunity to change the title of The 100, what would it be?

Shannon: Arkpocalypse!
Jackie: Never Let You Go?
Karina: Survival Of The Fittest!
Taylor: Out of Air and Brains
Kelly: Just kiss already

BRB can't stop laughing LOL

So there you have it guys, The 100 fangirls have spoken! If you're not pumped about grease head Bellamy, a post-apocolypic earth, romance filled with radiation, and other you know . . things, then maybe this giveaway will give you that extra push you need to pick this up. Good luck everyone!


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Shallow Graves Blitz -- Ridiculous Storytelling Is My Thang

Shallow Graves | Kali Wallace
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre(s): Young Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 368
Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD

For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes.

When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

Tense, complex, and wholly engaging, Shallow Graves is a stunning first novel from Kali Wallace.



Twilight Meets The Walking Dead Meets . .
If you woke up in a graveyard after being dead & buried for a year, what would you do?


Have you ever had a dream so vivid, it felt like it was real?
Like this one time, I dreamed that I won a million dollars. I pranced around a stage in a leopard leotard and chucks, doing the " twist " like I was born in the 1950's or something. Do you know what I was going to do with all of that money? All the shelves, first editions, and book merch I was going to splurge on? Anyway, I obviously woke up broker than when I went to sleep. It was as if I was Miss Columbia at the Miss Universe pageant, I was not only robbed of my joy, but my dignity people. Stupid dream. Anyway, this definitely wasn't one of those dreams. In fact, it's wasn't a dream at all. I woke up in a graveyard on January 22nd, 2017 after being dead for an entire year. 

Problem is, I don't know who killed me.
I don't know who I am anymore.
I don't even know what I am . . .

I woke to the company of dead people. Like for real. I legit was dumped and left to die in a freaking graveyard. Whatever. It was dawn. The sun barely a tiny slither of light, playing peek-a-boo behind a blanket of dark sky. I squinted at the sun. It seemed to be procrastinating, not really wanting to move a galactic muscle by getting the hell up. I felt the same way. After seconds . . oh wait, was it minutes? Maybe it was hours . . felt like hours, I don't know, but I finally rose. It was clearly winter time, a fluffy dusting of snow covered the ground, but oddly I wasn't cold. I decided to test my limbs, I mean it's usually the first thing people do in these types of situations in movies. I shook my arms, rotated my neck from left to right, wiggled my toes. Everything was intact and seemed to be operating pretty well. Okay good. I really was alive . . alive and dirty as hell. I smelled like mother nature and a few other indescribable things, but you know, whatever. My hair was matted, teeth no longer slick but gritty, and dirt, atleast I think it was dirt, was jam packed into my butt crack. I huffed, (I once read in some English textbook that " huffing " back in the 1400's was considered a sign of disgust. I call BS) which sent me into a coughing fit, then a choking fit, and then a puking fit, except vomit didn't eject itself from my mouth . . . earth worms did.

You have got to be kidding me.

So course I freak out. I mean hello, vomiting worms? Is that even possible? Anyway, I needed answers, and the sooner I was out of this creepy grave site, the better. So I stood up, brushed off my pan . . . Sailor Moon underwear, and stomped off to the land of the living.

Nothing about me seemed normal. I could feel my warm blood racing through my veins, and the weather was obviously below freezing, but it could've been 100 degrees, I couldn't tell the difference. The brightness from the sun made my skin glisten, sorta like that one movie with the cute over-protective guy, and the awkward needy girlfriend. Was there a dog? Yeah, I think the love triangle included an over-grown husky or some shit. Anyway, did I forget to mention I was limping? Yep, like one leg dragging behind me type of limping. Ugh, whatever.

I spotted a diner and limped as fast as my half dead leg would allow. It appeared to be closed, the lights weren't off but it looked dim inside. I pushed on the door, a familiar " ding " filling my ears. Someone looked up. Well not just someone, a cute, really cute someone. I growled. At first I thought it was my stomach sending signals that I was hungry. Surely I haven't eaten in who knows when, but . . . the sound came from . . . my throat. My heart sped up, my mouth watered, and I snarled. Teeth bared in all. WTF BRO.

Uh, you do know we're not open yet right? Cute diner guy was talking. I twitched, my head jerking, making weird movements. Dude, are you like . . deaf? We. Aren't. Open. Yet. I smiled, closed my eyes, took in the scent. Oh yes, I was definitely hungry. Um, can I . . uh eat? I'm starving. Cute diner guy regarded me. Cocked his head to the side, squinted his eyes, furrowed his brow. Where the hell are you coming from? And why do you have on . . are those Sailor Mars panties? Cute diner guy is obviously an idiot. It's Sailor Moon, not Mars you dip shit, and look, I don't know. I woke up in a graveyard, I'm starving, cold, (obviously a lie but it works in movies) I just need help or something. And food. I need food. Cute diner guy relaxed a bit. Uh, okay? So girl in Sailor Mar, err, Jupit, err, Moon panties, you got a name? My heart is racing so fast by this point, I can barely answer. Can we just skip the intros? Cute diner guy huffed, (ha the nerve of him) asked what I wanted to eat. Steak, uh, yeah, steak. He raised an eyebrow. Well done? Medium Well? Medium Rare . . I interrupted him. Raw, give it to me raw. (no pun intended) He raised a second brow. Wow, you are weird. Cute diner guy shrugs, turns around, obviously headed to the back to grab my piece of cow, and before I could even register what was happening, I pounced. My teeth sunk into his neck. I gnarled, and chomped, and slurped, and . . .


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We Are The Ants ARC Review -- Dear Shaun, Thank you.

We Are The Ants | Shaun Hutchinson
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Pages: 464
Edition: ARC Paperback
Source: Publisher

Henry Denton doesn’t know why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

Since the suicide of his boyfriend, Jesse, Henry has been adrift. He’s become estranged from his best friend, started hooking up with his sworn enemy, and his family is oblivious to everything that’s going on around them. As far as Henry is concerned, a world without Jesse is a world he isn’t sure is worth saving. Until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



When all else fails, write a letter.
and try not to sound like a flailing idiot while you're fangirling lol  


Dear Shaun, 
My love for you is like diarrhea, I just can't keep it in
Are you familiar with corny pick up lines? If not, what rock have you been living under, and if so, whattt abouttt this one: " Damn boo, does your feet hurt, because you've been running through my mind all day. " Or what about: " Are you google? Because I've just found what I was looking for. " They both ring a bell right? Well not to sound like the ultimate creep, but . . this is exactly how I feel about you . . errr . . I meant your book. 


Since I busted out the embarrassing pick up lines, I might as well push the embarrassment button again and reveal that I had zero clue you were the author of a few titles, including The 5 Stages of Andrew Brawley. I mysteriously stumbled across your twitter profile one day, and after taking about an hour to bookishly stalk you, (that sounds way better than regular stalking) I decided to end my snooping by looking you up on Goodreads, which is where I found the love of my life, We Are The Ants. How did I not discover you before? How did an author with such talent -- with writing on this type of level, slip under my radar? I feel kinda blindsided here Shaunie, because WHOA, this book was profound, it was important, it was  . . . I don't effing know, everything maybe? And now I feel anything I read after this won't stand a chance, because hellooo, how can you compete with such greatness? You. Just. Can't.

I've been asked a billion times the infamous question, " what do you love the most about this book? " and each and every time my answer is always the same, " everything. " You didn't just write a contemporary novel. You didn't just turn into Bill Nye The Science Guy with all the scientific facts you creatively weaved into the story. You didn't just say, " hey here's a gay character, like him because he's gay!! "

No Shaun, you thought this out.

You aimed to create something that no matter how many times we read it, a different message, hell a different experience will be received. You aimed to create a story where FINALLY, the main character isn't struggling with his sexuality, instead is comfortable and owns every last drop of his gayness. You aimed to create a story where every character was important, even forced us to like the ones we should've hated. In fewer words Shaunie, you aimed high my friend, and you've certainly achieved.

So thank you sir Shaun-alot. Thank you for the raw honesty in your words. For the writing that couldn't be taken at face value, which forced me to think. For the creation of realistic friendships, relationships, for unbreakable bonds. For making me cringe which your depiction of bullying and suicide, for showcasing their effects on an individual. For shining a brilliant light on mental illness, but most importantly, for making a story that matters.

You're the crispy bacon to my eggs. In other words, you're fucking dope.

Your Official Spokeswoman,


The Girl Who Fell Blog Tour -- Chilling Movie Playlist!

The Girl Who Fell | Shannon M Parker
Release Date: March 1st, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster | Simon Pulse
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Wish To Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD

His obsession.
Her fall.

High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense relationship—by the new boy in school.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late



You Want Obsession, Oh I'll Give You Obsession
grab your popcorn, it's about to get cray cray up in here!


When I first stumbled across The Girl Who Fell, the subject matter is what intrigued me the most. I had zero clue as to what the book was about, but seeing the word " obsession " thrown around whenever the story was mentioned, had me completely sold. Now, I don't know about any of you, but I really enjoy being bundled up in my favorite spiderman blanket, sipping on some good ole' wine, (or tequila :D) while watching a chilling-suspenseful-mind-blowing-thriller. After reading The Girl Who Fell, I couldn't help but to think about how it reminded me so much of my favorite movies surrounding the aspect of . . . you guessed it, obsession! Here's my chilling movie playlist, showcasing my top 5 favorite thrillers. 

Netflix don't have nothing on me yall

Starring: Reese Witherspoon & Mark Walberg
 Take a look at that wink. Remember it. The cute wink move is red flag numero uno my friends!

he does look cute though -- okayyyy moving on . . .

Oh and if you want a movie that mirrors The Girl Who Fell almost to the T, watch this and thank me later.

Starring: Jennifer Lopez & Billy Campbell
Can't you just feel the intensity radiating from this scene? I just kinda want to grab the steak he's eating, (it was steak right? I have a feeling it was) and haul ass.

The Perfect Guy
Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy, & Morris Chestnut
Nothing says " I'm crazy " than a guy who breaks into your house and hides in your closet . . . with latex gloves on. * shivers *

The Boy Next Door
Starring: Jennifer Lopez & Ryan Guzman
Never sleep with the young cute guy next door. Not even if his hair is curled on his forehead just right, or if his skin glistens in the sun. Mmmm.
Getting a little distracted here . . . 

Starring: Jesse Bradford & Erika Christensen
Every now and then you'll come across a movie where the girl is the person who puts the CRAY in CRAZY. Well, atleast she did.

Anddddd that's a wrap! Have you guys seen any of these movies? If so let's chat about them below! (Some of them are my faves, you get lots of bacon points if you have. & yes, I meant bacon  )


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Underwater Blog Tour + ARC Review -- Mental Illness Done Right

Underwater | Marisa Reichardt
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 278
Edition: Paperback
Source: FFBC/Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself.

But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



Realistic Fiction Just Got Realer
and I am here for every second of it. Yass Marisa!


Once again for the second time this year, (and for the thousandth time ever) I dived head first into a story I knew nothing about. I don't read the synopsis to books like I used to anymore, therefore when I pick up an arc, I'm navigating it completely blind, which we all know can either be an amazing experience, or a complete disaster. 

Thank the bookish gods this time around was the latter

Underwater is one of those books that blows you away without even trying. It has this violent way of grabbing you by your collar to demand your attention, a way of punching you in your gut to make sure the feels are actually felt, and boy are they ever. Of course this isn't the first title I've read that covered mental illness, but because it's been such a long time, following Morgan's story felt new. It felt fresh. It felt all things real, and to be honest, I don't think I was mentally ready for this reality check. 

So many people will be able to relate to Underwater. Not just readers who suffer from a mental illness, but to all of us bookish monsters alike, which is why I found this novel to be incredibly special.

A True Heroine.
Morgan has one of the best perspectives in young adult, and I dare someone to argue that. I've read about some amazing characters, but there was something about her that stuck with me, something that took hold of my very being and refused to let go. As someone who doesn't suffer from anxiety, I honestly didn't expect to really connect with her at all, but she felt so real. It was as if she wasn't a fictional character, but instead my little sister, my study partner, my next door neighbor. She was everything and her journey gave me so much life.

Not Picture Perfect, But Worth The Picture Still.
If you're expecting unicorns, glittered lollipops, and vampires that sparkle in the sun, then I highly suggest you hop, skip, and jump your ass over to a Stephanie Perkins novel, because this is not a pretty one. There's no fluffiness here people, just a heartbreakingly realistic take on a young teen suffering from severe anxiety and her road to recovery.

As an aspiring psychologist, I found everything about Morgan fascinating. I've always been intrigued by the human mind, and seeing what it's like to battle anxiety, the most common mental illness in America, made me want to hop up and finish my degree. (slowly but surely folks haha) I wanted so bad to hug this girl, to tell her to breathe, to calm down, to count to 3 and remember the steps, to even be the one that rejoiced when she overcame even the most minor fear. She immediately had a fan in me, even when she struggled -- took two steps forward and about a hundred back, I still rooted for her, and coming from me, a reader that is known to be disconnected from characters, that says alot, nah scratch that, it speaks volumes.

Support Systems
Mhhmm, you read that right, support systemssss with an " S ". I'm not sure if you guys remember, (if you do, then here's some cool points, take a Pokeball) but in my review for Rules For 50/50 Chances, I raved about how nice it was to see that the parents not only existed, but how they played strong roles within the story. First of all, Morgan's mother was one of the most realistic YA parents I've ever read about. I damn near cried on every scene she took part in, because she reminded me so much of my own mom, so much of myself actually. She was not only strong, but incredibly loving, and I just can't get over how surprising it was to see her take part in every aspect of Morgan's life. She was such a freaking mother yall, it was crazy.

Three other secondary characters that deserve awards for their amazingness, was Brenda, Ben and Evan. I absolutely loved all of these characters for the positively they brought to Morgan's situation, but my favorite out this bunch, hands down is Evan. Cutie across the hall was probably the most caring, thoughtful, compassionate, understanding, everything freaking delicious, boy I have ever read about in YA. He never pushed Morgan beyond her limits, or to be someone she wasn't, and he even supported her in ways no one else could. My new boo definitely put the " oo " in swoon, landing him a place on my very short book boyfriend list. (I'm picky so what)

Now This Is A Debut
Marisa came in swinging with her debut, easily knocking out a few opponents to prove she has a strong contender. She delivered such a solid novel with writing that screams simplicity, yet it reflects the thoughts of the character so vividly. A plot that is both character and emotionally driven, (Yes I shed a couple of tears dammit) characters that are not only multi-dimensional but are meaningful, and a diverse topic that was handled with care and accuracyUnderwater has definitely etched itself on my heart forever, I highly recommend this.


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Firsts ARC Review -- Buffy The Virginity Slayer

Firsts | Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Release Date: January 5, 2015
Publisher: Griffin Teen (St.Martins)
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



There's A First Time For Everything
and this much scandalousness in YA is definitely one of them.
For me atleast. I think . . .  


Whenever I hear the word " controversial  " surrounding a book, I squeal, I drool, I flail around like a fish out of water, I shake my fists in the air while screaming HURRAH because HELLO, controversy in YA is always deliciously exciting. Firsts jumped on my radar for this aspect alone, and when reviews finally started rolling in saying things such as, " I love how fierce Mercedes is, " or " This subject matter is way too much for it to be YA, " I knew that this title would either be one readers loved or hated, there would be no in between. Well, that's what I thought at first. After I finished the book, I had no clue what I wanted to rate it. It was a pretty good read, and I liked how the subject matter was used, but I did have a few issues with the overall story. So now here we are, me fighting against my mushy brain to coherently share my thoughts on this title, and you, witnessing another conflicting review from yours truly.

Here goes nothing

Sexual Prowess 
I'm no stranger to sexually active characters in YA, but Mercedes definitely raised the bar high for her grand entrance. From the first chapter alone, Laurie (the author) makes her mark, showing us she isn't afraid to push the envelop, or to do what's outside of the " norm " for YA. While some readers struggled to like Mercedes and her * cough * promiscuous ways, I found myself enjoying how she embodied sexiness, how she roared like a lioness, and was completely in control. For the first 10%, she was strong, very sure of herself, but then a light switched off, and her strong personality turned into something completely different, something I had a hard time connecting to. 

While I don't relate to Mercedes, in the beginning I definitely connected with her character. I really loved reading from her perspective, from the eyes of someone who has the " idgaf " attitude down to the T, but even though this is what made her likable for me, her being so shut off emotionally is what turned me off a bit, causing the " character to reader " string to unravel between us.

Great Wall Of China
Watching Mercedes go from a girl who not only owned her situation, but had full control over it, spiral out of control was as interesting as it was frustrating. She was so shut off, dealing with issues stemming from her awful parents, (her mother was the worst) and in result, she relied on sex to uplift herself and to keep those deep rooted issues at bay. It's actually quite funny because her having enough sexual partners to count on both hands didn't bother me at all, but her pushing away Zach, (the male interest) definitely did. It was as if she had this huge wall built up, so strong it could withstand any natural disaster, and that completely drove me nuts. Zach was good for her, (a little too good in my opinion) and I just wanted to shake her shoulders and scream, " get your shit together Cedes, he likes you! " But of course sister girl wasn't hearing me. I loved Zach's character because he was so understanding and caring, especially during the mist of a situation no young guy, (or probably any guy for that matter) wants to be apart of. He had her back from beginning to end, I just wish it didn't take a last minute development of character for her to realize that.

Wrap It Up * Pun May Be Intended *
I know you're secretly whispering, " but it doesn't even sound like she liked the book " but honestly, I really did. The descriptive writing had such a nice flow, and I loved how Mercedes's voice stood out, commanding you to take in her words, her thoughts. The characters were carefully placed, each of them playing an important role within the story, and even though the absurdity of some situations were far fetched and caused the plot to go haywire a bit for me, the story had it's strengths which allowed me to come out with a decent reading experience.

My advice for anyone who is curious about reading Firsts, is to not let the subject matter turn you off or chase you away. One of things I appreciate about this novel, about Laurie really, was how she wrote about the reality of many teens in this generation. I loved how sex positive the story was, and how realistic it handled the topic of sex. (Well some scenes atleast) As readers we're always screaming for something different, something that will stand out from the mediocre or receptiveness we've been experiencing, and well, Firsts delivered that. Mission accomplished people.


My True Love Gave To Me ARC Review -- Adorableness Overload

My True Love Gave To Me 
Authors: Various
Release Date: October 14 2015
Publisher: St.Martins Griffin
Pages: 336
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



Cutesy, Cozy, Cheesy, Fluffy
these heartwarming stories were everything I needed this holiday season.


Disclaimer: I say cute like 10x during this review. Don't give me that look.  

may be the odd ball out here, but show of hands, how many of you have read an anthology before? You, you, you, and you? Okay seriously guys, I'm alone in this situation? Ahh FML so yes, never have I ever read an anthology . . . like . . . in my entire life. What makes this situation even worse, the last time I've read a Christmas themed book was back in 2013 when I read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, or wait . . . was it some other random title? See I can't even remember!

Anywho, I'm not into many cutesy, cozy, cheesy, fluffy things, (unless I'm watching Lifetime or the Hallmark channel of course) and when it comes to books, I like my novels nice and dark. However, this year I wanted to be a little different. I wanted to quit being a scroogey asswipe, and when St.Martin's offered My True Love Gave To Me to bloggers for review, I knew it would be my opportunity to get into the holiday spirit, and guess what? I did! These amazing stories had me jumping up and down like I was one of Santa's elves and my ass was on fire. This book was just that cute!

I crack myself up. Seriously.

Mini Reviews

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
Good Vibes & Allergic Reactions

If you had to name one thing you enjoyed the most about Rainbow's work, what would it be? For me I would definitely have to say her characters. They are always so hilarious in a quirky way, and let's admit it, the woman knows how to create a damn good relationship. After finishing Midnights I was so surprised at how much I actually loved the story, because HELLO, how can you fit all of this adorableness into 22 pages? But low and behold, she did it, and quite successfully.

Best friends Mags and Noel have the biggest crush on each other and it was pretty evident from the beginning. I liked how there was this unspoken connection between the two, a little flirting, but not enough to where you would think that under the BFF sheets, they were getting it on, bumping & grinding, rolling in the sack, or whatever you want to call it. The concept for the story was intriguing, especially because it reminded me of my high school years. Having a crush, attending slamming parties, (I was also that one kid who just had to be stuffing their face with every snack, but we won't get into that) it definitely felt like a blast from the past, a much needed dose of nostalgia. I loved Mags and Noel's dynamic. Even though they were quite opposite, Mags's avoided the spotlight, Noel was the spotlight, it definitely worked. Let's not forget to mention that Mag's awkwardness, and Noel's I-don't-mean-to-be-hilarious-I-just-am attitude, was certainly the highlight of this story. If you're looking for something to make you smile, this is for you.

Angels In The Snow by Matt De La Pena

Going into My True Love Gave To Me, I figured all of the stories would be cheesy, you know, like most of them tend to be, but I was really surprised by what De La Pena delivered. Shy, (I loveddd his name btw) was originally from Mexico, but was living in the big, bad city of NY as a struggling college student. I mean, there was no way you couldn't love this guy. He was cat sitting for his boss, YES CAT SITTING, he loved to read, and he played the guitar in the bathtub . . . fully clothed . . . with a beanie on. I really liked him. I think my favorite part of this story was the friendship he sparked with Haley. A tenant in his boss's building, she too was a college student, but from a very different background than him. She was spunky and feisty to his laid back and cool demeanor, and it was a bit juicy to see a little flame flicker between them. I just wish the story were a bittttt longer, because things definitely would've been taken to the next level. Hehe.

Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han
Papa Santa

If this story wasn't so freaking short, it would've definitely beat out Midnights for the top spot! Out of every fairy tale I've been told surrounding Santa Claus, having an actual kid wasn't one of them, which made PIWYFM such a unique read. The main character Natalie was originally from South Korea, but was dumped on Santa's sleigh by her parents. (what a classy way to say Merry Christmas you buttwipes!) Of course Santa being the jolly man he is, he adopted the little baby, and BAM, we have our first human living on the North Pole. It was rather interesting to see how much of an odd ball she was amongst the elves because she was human, not to mention she actually had a crush on an elf. What absurd cuteness is this?!!? All in all it was such a great read, I just wish it didn't end so abruptly. * sad face *

If you guys are still in a festive mood, and are looking for a special read that will re-kindle those holiday spirits. I highly suggest you pick this up!

Oh and if you're feeling extra cheesy and don't want to watch a Hallmark movie because the acting is shitty 90% of the time, this is a read for you too. I looks out for all my peoples.


This Is Where It Ends ARC Review -- It's Not Me, It's Definitely You.

This Is Where It Ends | Marieke Nijkamp
Release Date: January 5th 2016 | Sourcebooks Fire
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 292
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won't open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.



54 Minutes of Disappointment.
Nothing screams Happy New Year louder than a negative review  


Last year around this time, I read an adult fiction novel called Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon. It covered the horrific topic of a school shooting, capturing the painful perspective of a father who's son is not only missing from the institution, but who is also accused of being a prime suspect to the crime. Nothing was pretty about this story. It was emotionally charged from the very beginning, so much so I was absolutely terrified to start a new chapter, so afraid to reach the end because I knew I would unravel the heartbreaking twist that was sure to come. I found that I was not only connected to the characters, but to the words and their beautiful meaning, and just as if it were yesterday I remember quoting in my review, " this story hit me like a ton of bricks to the point I was crying so hard, I could barely see the words on the page. "

So riddle me this people, if This is Where It Ends is about the same topic, shouldn't I feel the same way? 

Because I don't

Strike One
Unwanted 2 Cents.
I usually adore stories that have dual or multi-perspectives, but low and behold, for the first time in my reading history, it didn't work for me. My biggest issue with TIWIE, was the many POV's we were forced to read from -- the many I cared absolutely nothing about. Because the time frame of the shooting spans for all of 54 minutes, with about 3 of those minutes split between 4 different students, you literally have ZERO time to connect with anyone. There's no room to talk about these characters without dropping spoiler bombs, but honestly, there's not much to discuss. We have Claire the track runner, Tomas who's " Opportunity's favorite bad boy, " (his words not mine), his sister Sylvia, and Autumn, a dancer. All of these students are not only connected to each other, but to the shooter as well, which could've created an incredibly dynamic story, if everyone weren't so damn one-dimensional.

I was bored to tears with their sob stories, and don't get me started on how I mentally gouged my eyes out because they all shared the same monotone narrative. I wanted all of these people to just poof and be gone, but since that wasn't happening, I continued to flip through the pages like I would a healthy living magazine, I was THAT uninterested.

Strike Two
Connection Failed. Please Proceed With Caution.
As readers, it's almost imperative that we make some sort of connection with the books that we read. I don't care if it's through the writing, the characters, or the concept itself, there needs to be a strong pull that plugs us into the story and keeps us there. As I mentioned earlier, I had a problem connecting with the characters, but what broke the camel's left toe for me, was how I found it impossible to become emotionally attached to the story. Now, I'm the toughest person you'll ever meet, but as all Leos tend to be, I'm such a baby. I cried reading Ugly Love, Forbidden, What You Left Behind, I'll Meet You There, (and a slew of others) yet when faced with what is known to be America's cruel reality, I shed not one tear. I blame the shooter.

Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun.

This quote is almost laughable. I struggled to take the shooter seriously, especially when he's dressed like he's attending a life-changing interview, laughing while he randomly ends the lives of students and teachers. His character felt completely forced, almost as if the author tried to make a carbon-copy of The Joker, but couldn't quite get it right. His motive was indeed clear, (by clear I mean predicable) and with a back-story that included major plot holes, he ended up being a joke. Anything but fearful.

Strike Three
I'm Over It

I definitely don't mean to sound insensitive here, but its hard for me not to express how disappointed I am. This is Where It Ends had the opportunity to be such an important read, to shed light on how terrifying a school shooting can be, especially through the eyes of those who are front and center, but somewhere it missed it's mark, and unfortunately it fell a bit short. The writing was okay, good enough to keep me reading, but not good enough to keep me engaged, and the lack of emotion for the characters and situation, just caused me to give up on the book long before it ended. Maybe some of you will come out with a better experience, I on the other hand, would rather play connect 4 with my son's dinosaurs, that's how over this I am.