Anything Could Happen ARC Review -- A Total Let Down

Anything Could Happen | Will Walton
Release Date: May 26, 2015 | PUSH
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Pages: 281
Edition: ARC (Paperback)
Source: Publisher

When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.

Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody's in everybody else's business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.

The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.

Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained.

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

I'm soooo disappointed in this book.

* Deep Sigh *

I am a HUGE fan of LGBT. I love how the characters and stories are always so lively, creative, over-the-top, diverse, etc. So I truly was excited when I received Anything Could Happen for review. What I thought was going to be an amazing coming of age story about a young guy in love with his bestfriend, turned out to be a lackluster experience full of eye-rolls and heavy yawns.

If anything could happen, why didn't it?

Characters -- Eh, Meh, Blah. 

50 pages in my first reaction was, " okay this is weird. " and it was. The main character Tretch was just so . . . strange? I can't really find the right word to describe our MC, and it's not that I didn't like him, I just didn't care for him too much. What I can describe is that he was wayyyyy too needy for my tastes. I know he had a crush on his bestfriend Matt, but my gosh they were so freaking DEPENDENT on each other to the point it was WEIRD. While it's not cool to bully people or make assumptions, if the author never specified that Matt was the, " straight bestfriend " I would have completely thought that he and Tretch had a crush on each other. Whoops. 

To make matters weirder, Tretch was a total crybaby! I mean don't get me wrong, boys can be emotional, and I appreciate when they're in tune with their feelings, however, getting " misty-eyed " because you're going on a third wheel date, or crying because you accidentally broke an ornament made as a kid is . . .  strange, a bit weird, and a whole lot of annoying. I found myself itching to DNF, but I was determined to see how the story panned out. 

The secondary characters aren't any better. I mean I liked them, but no connection was made whatsoever. They fell flat. They were forgettable. Shit they're already forgotten if we're being honest here.

"Okay," I say. I unbutton, unzip, and pull at the waist of my jeans. " Okay," I say again. I shut my eyes. Remember. I start going to town on myself behind the closed door of Matt's laundry room. At first it feels all weird and kind of exciting, but then it becomes just like every other time I've done this, and I lose track of everything. It's like I go elsewhere. There's a pounding in my chest. A pounding throughout my body. A pounding on the door . . .

Because your crush's laundry room, is the best place to " choke your chicken ". Poor Tretch. 

Situationship -- " Awkward Crush Formation "

See Diagram A:

Tretch likes Matt. 
Matt likes Amy.
Amy likes Matt as well.
Triangle Formed.
Lana likes Tretch
Rectangle Formed.
Tretch doesn't like Lana because HELLOOOO HE'S GAYYY!
So now we're left with one big ball of fucking AWKWARD.

* Rolls Eyes *

This whole entire " THING " got old and annoying, VERY fast for me.

Matt takes an audible step forward, a slight creak in the floorboard-- it's like a soundtrack to the hard-on I'm getting. "Amy's friends with Lana Kramer, and she say's Lana's totally into you! And Amy says she wants to bring you to the party, as like, a date!" I turn my head (reflex, I swear,) and there he is, standing (totally naked, oh my God, oh my God), his hands resting confidently on his waist, as if he's saying, Hello, world! Here is my penis!

I mean, who can blame him for not thinking twice about Lana when there's a big penis in his face . .

Plot -- Messy, Messy.

Other than the characters, the plot was the biggest issue I had with Anything Could Happen. It was allllll overrrr the place, bouncing around, with little to no explanation, and after awhile I was just so freaking BORED, that I was praying for the ending to smack me back awake. What did pique my interest and had me excited for all but 2.5 seconds of the story, was that Matt's parents were gay! He was raised by two men, and with him being straight it raised alot of eyebrows, which truly had me excited. I just wish their lifestyle played into the story more, but we can't all get what we want apparently. 

Big Reveal -- That's it?

The moment we were all waiting for . . . the big reveal . . . the cat being pulled out of the bag . . . and for it to go down like it did was sooo freaking disappointing! I was looking forward to the moment where Tretch would finally come out to the world, and by the time that he did, (not to the world might I add) I was over him, the story, the everything! I remember saying " Wait, that's it? " because it was a pretty cliche, and horribly underwhelming experience.

All in all, Anything Could Happen just didn't work for me. I had such high hopes for this book, and was let down by undeveloped characters, a scattered plot, and mediocre writing. There weren't many things I enjoyed about this novel, and what little I did take favor to, were completely drowned in everything else. 

I was given a boring present, and now I wish to return it. That or either kick it under my bed to be forgotten.

If that doesn't tell you how unimpressed I am with this story, I don't know what will . . . 

The Rearranged Life: Blog Tour + Review -- A Breath Of Fresh Air

The Rearranged Life | Annika Sharma
Release Date: May 15, 2015 | Curiosity Quills Press
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 268
Edition: Kindle (E-ARC)
Source: InkSlinger PR
Buy Now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Nithya, a vivacious, intelligent and driven college senior has always known what she has wanted: a successful career in medicine and the love of her family. She's even come to terms with the idea of an arranged marriage, a tradition her conservative Indian family has held up for thousands of years.

When a night of partying puts her on a collision course with danger, Nithya's entire life changes.

Enter James St. Clair, the smart, challenging and heartbreakingly handsome American.

As Nithya and James fall in love, she questions the future she and her parents have always planned. Now, Nithya has a choice to make: become a doctor and a good Indian bride, or step away from her family and centuries of culture to forge her own path.

The decision she comes to takes her on a journey that transforms how she sees her future, her relationships with loved ones, and how she learns to put herself back together when even her best-laid plans fall apart.
I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

 Finding the perfect New Adult novel is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Well readers, that needle has been found . . .

Where Have You Been All My Life?

I honestly don't think I can put into coherent words how much I loved this story. It was completely different from any other NA novel I've ever read, and I'm so proud of the author for finally doing my favorite genre some justice. Annika Sharma shows us that bad-mysterious-sex-driven-boys, naive-boy-crazy-girls, and cliche plots/twists, aren't aspects that DEFINE new adult. I take a low bow before I come up to air kiss her cheeks, all to show my gratitude for her ability to rip and stomp those typical routes to dust.

The Rearranged Life, to sum it up in a nut shell, is a marvelous story. It's both strong and utterly realistic, gracefully touching the topics of love, family, friendships, culture, and a pleasant surprise, education. Even with my favorite books from this genre, I've experienced a lost in connection due to naive characters and or absurd situations/scenes, but finally we have a book that scores straight 10's all across the board. A story that not only reaches out to me, but to all young & older adults in the universe.

Nithya, the girl you bring home to mama, was a perfect example of what female characters in our literature today should be. Not only was she Indian, an ethnicity that's not typically done in our lit, but she was strong, admirable, funny, and incredibly intelligent. It was such a pleasure reading from her lovely perspective, and things couldn't have gotten any better . . . until James steps on the scene.

Apparently, I Have A Thing For St.Clairs

Besides Jessup Mason from The Mason List,  James St.Clair is definitely my favorite NA book boyfriend. Having saving Nithya twice, once from failing a chemistry test, and the other from being sexually assaulted, I thought of him as a nerdier version of Batman. From those moments forward, I knew I would love his protective nature. But don't think of that jealous-asshole type we're used to, nope James was every bit of an adoring man. He was genuine, smart, sarcastic, compassionate . . the list could seriously go on and on.
Not to mention he didn't smell like woods . . or the outdoors . .  just fresh soap and cologne. (thank god)

Even though I enjoyed the amazing relationship that blossomed between Nithya and James, my favorite aspects of this story were ones we don't typically come across in this genre. Annika beautifully tackled topics us human beings encounter in our every day lives.


In Nithya's Indian culture, they have " semi-arranged marriages. " Her parents pick a boy for her to date, in this case a guy named Nishanth, and if they hit it off, a relationship, then hopefully a wedding would ensue. Of course this ended up being a HUGE problem, because also in her culture, it's a bit frowned upon to date outside of your ethnicity. James being American was a no-no from the start, but with Nit's growing feelings for him, it was an on-going struggle of listening to her heart, or being loyal to her family and their practices.


With the differences between race, culture, beliefs, etc, I knew that family and friends would play a big part in this story. I loved how tight knit both Nithya, and James were with both of their families, even when things got a bit hot in the kitchen. After the explosive confession left Nithya's family upset and extremely disappointed, I was truly happy to see that our secondary characters served as amazing friends and support systems! James along with Sophia, Nit's roommate/bestfriend, and Luca, Sophia's boyfriend/Jame's roommate, (whew that was alot lol) were there to support and to help pick up the pieces.


I was sooo surprised to see that education played such a large role in this story! In most NA novels with a college setting, the characters go to class and study, but it tends to fade into the background after a few chapters in. Once a love interest or relationship is introduced, then you sort of FORGET that they're even in school, besides the occasional, " I sit next to him/her in class, I live across the hall from him/her, I bumped into him/her in the hallway " scenarios.

What I loved the most about this, was our characters (ALL OF THEM) did NOT play when it came to their studies. James, majoring in Bio engineering, Crime, and Law, was just as serious as Nithya, our doctor-to-be when it came to graduating. There were plenty of scenes where they were ACTUALLY studying, going to classes, really learning people! I adored the fact that they were so damn focused, and even though a relationship ended up forming between the two, they didn't let it deter them from the bigger picture . . getting that ED-CHU-MA-CATION!

Lord knows I rambled enough, but seriously guys, there's nothing more satisfying than a book that exceeds your expectations. I've been reading the same ole', same ole' from NA, so don't fault me for being a bit chatty and excited lol! The Rearranged Life proved to be a strong contender alongside our veteran NA books. The story discussed things that probably come as a second thought to most, and amazingly managed to steer clear from what is already being done. The characters weren't fictional, but were humans just like us, living between the pages. Nithya, a beautiful, lively soul. James, a respectful, stimulating, gentleman. I adored everything about these two, from their union, to their cute ass dialog. They challenged each other, had MEANINGFUL conversations, and did I mention they didn't have sex? Like AT ALL, and to be honest, it wasn't missed.

If you're looking for a cute read that focuses heavily on family, friends, love, self-discoveryculture, and education, all things that truly MATTER in our world today, then The Rearranged Life will be your next obsession.

Waiting On Wednesday -- I Was Waiting On You At The Doe !

" Waiting on Wednesday " is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. I haven't participated in quite some time, and I'm soooo excited for this upcoming release!

- Foxy From Beyond Scared Straight

The book I decided to showcase for this week's WOW, is from one of my all time favorite authors. His writing style is original & beautiful in such a quirky way. His concepts are dope and always seems to convey some type of deep message . His characters are REALISTIC and highly relateable . I mean this guy is a literary BEAST!

I knew I had to jump on it! I have an ARC copy of this book already, but come August 27th, I will be purchasing the physical copy because the US edition . . .


I'll be pre-ordering this title soon, and if Amazon messes up my damn delivery date again, I'll be cursing them out like:

So what are you guys waiting on?

Getting Dirty DNF Review -- New Adult Termination Letter

Getting Dirty | Mia Storm
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 228
Published: March 19, 2015
Edition: Kindle
Source: InkSlinger PR
Rating: -1

A poem by Blaire Leon

If sex is dirty, why would I do it with someone I love?
If sex is dirty, then didn’t we all come from the dirt?
What if I like the dirt?
What if I want to get dirty?
What if I want to roll in the mud until I’m so fucking filthy that I’ll never be clean again?

When twenty-five-year-old graduate assistant Caiden Brenner asked Blaire Leon how old she was, she said she was a senior. He chose to believe she meant in college. They connect over Lord Byron’s Don Juan and, as their conversations become increasingly thicker with sexual innuendo, Caiden finds himself obsessing over a totally off-limits undergrad who’s bold, beautiful, brilliant, and one of the most passionate poets he’s ever met.

But it turns out Blaire hasn't been totally honest. She's the seventeen-year-old valedictorian of her high school class, taking courses at Sierra State while awaiting her acceptance to Stanford.

Will Caiden get too deeply into Blaire to back away before he finds out the truth? Or will their connection be enough to seduce him into risking his entire future on Jail Bait?

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

Dear Getting Dirty,
After reading over your material, I Tika from the New Adult Genre Association, has decided to terminate your NA license. I was able (not without a struggle) to reach 38% of your script before I've had enough and was forced to call it quits. You've put in a great amount of effort, but unfortunately, Getting Dirty was far from the tea I enjoy drinking. As of May 19 2015, your termination will be put into effect IMMEDIATELY. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Tika @fangirlconfessions, or visit our website at


(1) Mediocrity.
Here at TNAGA, we take our New Adult novels very seriously. With NA being what we specialize in, it is very easy for us to spot mediocre writing, plots, etc, from a mile away, (2 miles in my case). The writing wasn't as captivating as one would like, and the plot unfortunately has been done a thousand times over. With NA having the habit of being repetitive, it was quite disappointing to see that Getting Dirty added to that repetition, and because of this I had no patience to sit through a book that just didn't deliver on the level of my expectations.

(2) Insta-Attraction, Insta-Love.
As you read in your license contract, here at TNAGA we do NOT tolerate INSTA-ATTRACTION or INSTA-LOVE . . . anything beginning with INSTA to be frank. This was the deciding factor in your termination, especially since your characters fell in " like "  with each other within 24 hours of meeting. Even in fiction, we like our romances to have a slow-burn/build, and some depth and chemistry between the characters.

(3) Unbearable Characters.
The main reason why I was unable to continue reading this novel was because of the characters. Blaire was 16 dating a 24 year old, (no judgement but that is pretty weird) and while you attempted to sell her as this mature teenager, she read liked she belonged in a middle grade novel. She was quite ridiculous with her antics, and even more childish with her banter. Caiden was even worse, and while I was convinced he would be my knight and shining armor, saving me from my DNF urges, he actually pushed me closer to it. I expected for him to be wise and mature, especially since he was 24, yet I was introduced to an adult who could've passed for a 14 year old boy that just lost his virginity. Both were utterly pathetic.

(4) Plot.
In your " How To Execute The Perfect Plot In A New Adult Contemporary " pamphlet, page 29 column 3, " How Not To Put Your Eggs In The Cliche Basket " was the first exercise learned at TNAGA. A completion of atleast 85% was needed to remain in the program, unfortunately it is reported that you scored just below a 25%.

QUOTES THAT VIOLATED THE TERMS IN THE:  " No-No's Of Writing A New Adult Novel Student Handbook. "

She skips back into the seat next to me and pulls off her scarf, hooking an elbow behind the backrest and Christ, this is girl is going to be the fucking death of me. Her shirt is damp with sweat and there is definitely no bra.

Because apparently boobie sweat is sexy.

Growing up is a hell of alot easier when you've got parents that are just phoning it in. I never had to deal with shit my friends did. No groundings, No curfew. I can order pizza and eat in my room because no one's at the dinner table anyway. I can fuck in my own bed without anyone caring. I do what I want, when I want.

Blaire is 16 . . . and desperately needs an ass whooping. Just because her parents were absent, doesn't mean she has to act out this way. Not cute.

I take my duffel to the bathroom. I tug off my jeans and sweater and slip on a short black cotton skirt and snug white long-sleeved top. I'd never wear this at school-- mostly because I'm invisible there and like it that way-- but Caiden kissed me. We were close to doing more.

Blaire didn't wear that sexy outfit to school because she wants to remain invisible . . . right.

When I finish my homework, I pull open my laptop and open Youtube. I've never given head before. I've never wanted to. But Caiden makes me want to do everything. I type in " blow job ", and watch clips of girls with dildos giving instructions. I want to make Caiden feel good. I want to drive him crazy. I want him to want me. And I don't want him to think I'm inexperienced.

* Blinks. Blinks. Blinks. *

If you want to appeal this decision, please submit a " You Have Got To Be Kidding Me " form which is attached to this letter. Myself along with other board members at the association, will look over your testimony to see if another chance can be given. We will notify you in 24 months if a decision has been made to induct you back into the program. No phone calls or emails please.

Best Of Luck!
The New Adult Genre Association Head Bitch In Charge,

Readers Choice: May & June Announcement -- * Screams *

So, if you weren't tuned in at the end of last month, I posted my monthly poll for Readers Choice. This time around, and from now going forward, each poll will be laced with a theme, allowing the decision making to be that much more fun! I mentioned that I wanted you guys to pick two different titles for the month of May and June, but since I'm so behind in both reading and blogging, I'm going to read both titles in June instead. 

Okay I've postponed this long enough . . . 

And the winners of the Never Would I Ever Poll Are:


* Shakes Fist *

Have you guys read either one of these books? If so let me know in the comments below! 

The Game Of Love & Death Review -- Love Conquers All

Title: The Game Of Love & Death
Author: Martha Brockenbrough
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Historical
Pages: 352
Release Date: April 28, 2015 | Arthur A. Levine
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Purchased | Amazon

Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now... Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured—a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.
I have very conflicted feelings about The Game Of Love & Death, so because I have alot to say but don't really now HOW to say it, I thought it would be cool to do a Likes VS Dislikes style review to better get my point across. 

For centuries, both Love and Death have changed the lives of everyone before us. From Romeo and Juliet, to Anthony and Cleopatra, historical figures and regular folk alike, have fallen victim to the game of love and death. The year is 1920, and the immortals have chosen their key players. Henry a courageous soul chosen by Love, and Flora full of hope but more so grief, chosen by Death. With their chess pieces in place, Love and Death hide away in the shadows until one fateful day brings their players together nearly 17 years later.

The end date is set, and the game of love and death is thrown into motion.

Life is a contemporary condition, Henry. And It's uncertain. That's why you have to seize chances when you find them. Pursue what you want. Take risks. Live, love . . . all of it. Every last one of us is going to die, but if we don't live as we truly want, if we're not with the one we want to be with, we're dead already. " - Ethan

Confession Part 1: What I Loved

The Concept - This is by far one of the dopest concepts for a story I've come across in a long ass time. I've read a thousand love stories, but none where the two main characters are PAWNS in a game between love and death. I also thought Martha completely stepped outside of the box by making love and death actual characters in the story. They were immortal of course, with abilities to shift into people, animals, etc, to better manipulate the game. The entire book is one big competition, if love wins the players live happily ever after in love, (as expected) but if death wins, she's allowed to claim the soul of her player. Kill people, she gets to kill them!

The Diversity - What sold me on this book was the fact that our heroine was African-American. I appreciated that I was finally able to read about someone of my ethnicity, especially since African-American characters aren't done too much in Young Adult. I absolutely love interracial relationships, and was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across the aspect of homosexuality mixed into the story. Woot, woot to LGBT!

The Writing - The story is set in Seattle, Washington in the 1930's and boy does the writing compliment that very well! From the slang, to the jazz clubs and music, I didn't have a problem envisioning this time period as I read. The writing was so rich with culture, and was surprisingly fast paced. However, I do wish the writing were more descriptive with the actual surroundings. (world building)

The Characters - I'll probably surprise you when I say that while I enjoyed all of the characters, especially Flora, Henry, and Ethan, Death was my absolute favorite. I LOVED to hate this woman. She had such a fiery presence (literally) and although she was evil, vindictive, conniving, etc, I pitied her position to play the " bad guy " in every love story. Flora was strong, determined, and oh so stubborn. Henry was such a sweetheart and of course a hopeless romantic, and I was surprised to see that Ethan was as well. I adored Ethan and what his storyline represented. Oh and Love was . . . well what you'd expect from love if it was a person lol.

Confession Part 2: What Bothered Me

The Constant Interfering - To cut a long explanation short, Love and Death meddled way to damn much! I initially thought they would watch over the players from the shadows, but was excited to see them shift into people or animals to be able to play a hand in what was happening with the players at that particular time. I enjoyed that aspect in the beginning, but as the story progressed I began to become annoyed as I noticed Love, but mainly Death had sooo much control over the relationship between Flora and Henry. As humans we naturally have intuitions, but I felt because our immortals constantly dibbled and dabbled and interrupted at every chance, this took away from them making some decisions on their own. This didn't feel very genuine to me, and it gave me the nagging sense that our love birds were nothing more than cute little puppets.

The Relationship - As some of you know, I do not play when it comes to insta-love! A book would be DNF'd with the quickness, BUT it completely worked for this story! The problem I did have with Henry and Flora's relationship, was that because of Love and Death, it ended up being a bit undeveloped, choppy even. They didn't spend that much quality time getting to know each other, and when they did, a monkey wrench was thrown into the equation, causing Flora to close off a little. (done by the devil herself) I felt sort of underwhelmed by their love for each other, and by the time Flora realized she loved Henry, it was almost too damn late, but I won't spoil the fun for you guys.

3rd Person - I CAN NOT STAND 3RD PERSON PERSPECTIVE! Even though it gives you the opportunity to read from the different POV's without getting confused, it made it so hard for me to get into the story. I felt disconnected from not only the story itself but the characters as well. Ugh, can authors just do me a favor and stick to 1st person POV's please? lol.

If you're interested in picking up The Game Of Love And Death, I highly recommend it. Martha gives us such a unique take on a traditional love story, that it'll be almost impossible not to adore it! Don't let my 3 1/2 star rating fool you into thinking I didn't love this book, because I did. It was like nothing I've ever read before, the characters were well crafted, the story itself was a beauty, and the writing was incredibly rich with such a great flow. Seriously guys, this book is nothing short of a spectacular read!

It's Giveaway Time! Win An ARC Of Salt & Stone By Victoria Scott!

I'm so, so, so very excited to be sharing this news with you all. I teamed up with both Regina from MEReadALOT and Scholastic, to bring you guys a . . .

* Drum Roll Please *


If you aren't familiar with this title, (WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ?) Salt & Stone is the sequel to Fire & Blood by Victoria Scott. " For Fans Of The Hunger Games " is the pitch I've read in many reviews, which has me PUMPED to finally dive into this series. If you're interested in reading Salt & Stone, enter the giveaway, cross your fingers, and pray to the bookish gods above that you're chosen as the galley winner! 

Good Luck Everyone 

What Are You Waiting For? Enter Away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feature & Follow Friday -- Choosing What Books To Read Next

Welcome to Feature and Follow Friday, a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful bloggers, Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of this blog hop is to gain followers, discover new blogs, and make new friends! 

This Week's Question:

How Do You Decide What Books To Read Next?
-- So Many Books, So Little Time

I have a couple of different ways actually, but I'll elaborate on just four.

Readers Choice --  Reader's choice is a feature I do here at fANGIRLconfessions. I pick a theme, grab six books, place them a fun interactive poll, and let my readers vote on which title they want to be that month's BOTM (Book Of The Month). Coming up with this idea has literally been the best thing I've ever done! It not only takes the pressure off of me to decide what I want to read next, but it allows my readers to learn a bit about me, (especially using the themes) and come on, giving someone else the responsibility of picking a book gives me the opportunity to be lazy! lol. If you're interested in participating in this month's Reader's Choice, just click me to check out the post!

TBR Jar -- With the start of a fresh year, I of course made the bookish resolution to be more organized. So I made a TBR jar back in January, and guess what? I HAVEN'T EVEN USED IT YET! I've been sooo booked up with ARCS, that I haven't really been able to just pick up a book randomly, but come June . . . the jar will no longer be treated like an antique collecting dust guys. I promise! Anywho, I think a TBR jar is perfect for deciding your next read. You can put in a variety of books, some you're dying to read, some you're effy about, even some you've never heard of, but are intrigued to read anyway. This is such a great way to keep things fresh and exciting, so I'm definitely ready to put it to use.

Moody Judy -- I'm a bit of what we call a " Mood Reader ". My next read is generally whatever I'm in the mood for. Majority of the time I crave new adult contemporaries, but then after reading 1 or 2 books, I'd all of a sudden get the urge to read fantasy, or other genres that I don't indulge in that much. This works well for me, because I'm reading a wide variety of books, which also keeps me immune to reading slumps. 

Social Media -- This obviously doesn't need much explanation because we ALL use social media to help choose our next reads. Goodreads, Twitter, & Instagram are my favorite sites to visit when I need some assistance. 

So those are my 4 examples of how I choose my next read. Do you have any methods, features, etc, that help make your decision?

Finding Jake Blog Tour + Review -- A Parent's Worst Nightmare

Finding Jake | Bryan Reardon
Genre(s): Adult Fiction , Suspense/Thriller
Pages: 272
Release Date: Feb 24, 2015 | W. Marrow & CO
Edition: Hardcover
Source: TLC Blog Tours

While his successful wife goes off to her law office each day, Simon Connolly takes care of their kids, Jake and Laney. Now that they are in high school, the angst-ridden father should feel more relaxed, but he doesn't. He’s seen the statistics, read the headlines. And now, his darkest fear is coming true. There has been a shooting at school.

Simon races to the rendezvous point, where he’s forced to wait. Do they know who did it? How many victims were there? Why did this happen? One by one, parents are led out of the room to reunite with their children. Their numbers dwindle, until Simon is alone.

As his worst nightmare unfolds, and Jake is the only child missing, Simon begins to obsess over the past, searching for answers, for hope, for the memory of the boy he raised, for mistakes he must have made, for the reason everything came to this. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Is it possible he doesn’t really know his son? Or he knows him better than he thought?

Brilliantly paced, Finding Jake explores these questions in a tense and emotionally wrenching narrative. Harrowing and heartbreaking, surprisingly healing and redemptive, Finding Jake is a story of faith and conviction, strength, courage, and love that will leave readers questioning their own lives, and those they think they know.

Just a couple of weeks ago, my son was almost attacked by a Rottweiler. We were in our backyard, him playing, me doing some yard work, when the incident happened. He was a little ways from me, but I wasn't to worried as from my position by our door, I can still monitor and keep him in sight. I was bending over to pick up a bag of potted dirt when I heard the growl followed by the loud, deep bark of the dog. I peaked over my shoulder to see him running full force towards my son who was obliviously playing with his ball. In that split second my heart dropped into my stomach, and was beating so damn fast I could not only hear but FEEL the rhythm in my ears. In that same split second my instincts kicked in, and before the voice in my head could form the words to tell me to run, I was already halfway across the yard, running the fastest I've ever ran in my 25 years of living. Like a lion protecting her cub I was ready for war, and in that very moment only one clear thought crossed my mind . . .

Between the Rottweiler, my son and I, if anybody came out of this unscathed it was going to my baby.

Finding My Heart

" I will do anything to keep my children out of danger. I will die to protect them. This is not a bravado. It is simple fact. "
You better let them know Simon!

As a parent, I was truly able to connect with Finding Jake. I just kept asking myself as I was reading, " What if this was Mer, what if this HAPPENED to my baby, what would I do? " Even after finishing, I still don't know exactly what I would've done if the shoe was on my foot . . I mean, there's not much you CAN do in this type of situation. I do know that I pray to the lord above that it never happens because my heart would be shattered, obliterated into a million pieces.

What made this book so different from what I've ever read, was that the aspect of " gender roles " were switched. While Rachel, his wife had a budding career as a lawyer, Simon's career didn't quite take off, so with a semi-mutual decision, he became a stay-at-home dad. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never read a fictional story where the wife brings home the " bacon ", and the husband is the one who fries it. Reading from Simon's POV was so fresh because it gave me insight on the struggles of a father trying to fill what society labels, the " motherly " role. It was surprising to see that his parenting didn't differ that much from my own, which again was refreshing. We had quite a bit in common, he was protective with his kids as I am with my son, (him a little more than me) and I found myself giggling at how ridiculous he became in situations involving his kids.

Do you truly KNOW your children?

" Shots Have Been Fired At The High School. Calmly Report To St.Michael's Across Route 5. "

Shit hits the fan pretty early as the story takes a turn for the absolute WORST. Simon receives an alert, the same alert I mention above, from the local high school where his children, Jake and Laney attend. He's scared, frantic, and just as I was with my son and the dog situation, ready to protect his kids at all costs. The problem is, how do you offer protection when one of them is missing? The identified shooter was a close friend of Jake's name Doug, a kid Simon never liked. With more than a handful of kids murdered, law enforcement believe that there was a second shooter, one that is mysteriously missing.

One of my favorite aspects of this novel, was that it was told in alternating chapters but in a more interesting way. In present day, the chapters all vary in times and days after the shooting, (" Day One: Three Hours After The Shooting " for example) as well as covering different key moments of Jake's life, ranging from when he was just a couple months old, to the age of 16, when the incident takes place. Each flashback of Jake gave us a better understanding as to who he was as a kid. A true introvert but oh so sweet, he didn't have too many friends besides Max, and the creepy kid Doug. He was such a polite, well-mannered kid, that I had such a hard time believing that he committed this crime, but with Jake nowhere to be found to plead his case, doubt was raised, and the race to find Jake became painstakingly frightening.

Reardon did such an amazing job at keeping me on the edge of my seat. He delivered a compelling thriller full of emotion -- a story that happens to families year after year in our country. To read first hand what it would feel like to be the parent of the shooter or victim in this case, opened my eyes to the realization that you can know your children, without really KNOWING them all at the same time. The ending felt inevitable, I knew what was going to happen, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks to the point I was crying so hard I could barely see the words on the page. If you are in the mood for an awesome thriller, but sad and completely heart-breaking, then grab a box of tissues and dive in.

About Bryan Reardon

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Bryan Reardon is a freelance writer specializing in medical communications. He co-wrote Ready, Set, Play with retired NFL player and ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth and Cruel Harvest. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Bryan worked for the State of Delaware for over a decade, starting in the Office of the Governor. He holds a BA in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife, kids, and rescue dog, Simon.
Connect with Bryan on Facebook.

Interested In Purchasing Finding Jake?

A Court Of Thorns & Roses ARC Review -- Bow To The Queen

A Court Of Thorns & Roses | Sarah J. Maas
Genre(s): New Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 416
Release Date: May 5, 2015 | Bloomsbury
Edition: E-ARC
Source: Publisher

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
I received this Advanced Readers Copy in exchange for an honest review. The following opinion is 100% my own and will not be swayed by this.  

" We laid side by side under the apple tree, gazing at the sunrise. The branches were surprisingly low, enough so that I could simply extend my arm to fiddle with the growing fruit. The smell was enticing, sweet and woodsy, but I couldn't tell if it was the natural scent of spring, or the handsome beast lying next to me. He turned to face me, grinning that smile I've grown to love. We've been sitting in the same spot for hours, in a comfortable silence, watching the colors of the sky merge into hues of pinks, purples, oranges, and blues.

I shifted my gaze from the sky to his eyes, green -- so, so green, with flakes of gold sprinkled about. I could get lost in his pupils forever. " Feyre. " He whispered, and I felt his breath warm and sticky on my skin. It smelled minty, with an undercurrent scent of Mcdonalds chicken nuggets. " Yes? " I gasped, unable to truly find my voice. His beauty was breathtaking. His face was pinched, brows furrowed, but his eyes lit up in amusement. " You have a bug . . . in your weave. " My eyes widened in horror as I swatted at the bug I couldn't see. " Ahhhh! " I screamed in frustration. I made a move, the wrong move of course, to sit up too fast, forgetting about the low branches. A crack sounded through the still, silent air as I smacked my forehead against a thick tree branch. He was on his feet and leaning over me in seconds, but it was a bit difficult to focus. He called my name again, twice, once more, but he sounded far -- too far away. I sank back, touching the lump that now formed on my head. I squinted at that beautiful sky, seeing but not really seeing, as stars, birds, and Chipotle steak bowls began to swirl around my vision before I was swallowed whole by the darkness . . . "

A Court Of Sticks And Rose Bushes by Tika -- Page 89. ARC Edition. 

Ah, I amuse myself. Let me stop playing and review this book!

A Change Of Heart

" I was as unburdened as a piece of a dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world. "

Shameful, oh how shameful of me to underestimate the skills of Sarah J. Maas. 
Now, now, don't jump down my throat just yet, hear me out. To be honest, my doubt stemmed from my reading experience with Throne of Glass. It was being so hyped up when I dived in, and everyone just kept telling me, " It's going to be your favorite book!  " You're going to love it, it'll blow you away!
" (1) It didn't end up being my favorite book, (2) I did enjoy it, but I didn't LOVE IT, & (3) I wasn't blown away by it either. I actually felt so underwhelmed by it all, that it stopped me from picking up the rest of the books in the series. But thank the cauldron (see what I did there? lol) that there are books like A Court Of Thorns & Roses to come to my rescue, because this story was NOTHING short of fucking amazing. 
Excuse My French.

" His skin gleamed with a golden sheen, and around his head glowed a circlet of sunshine. And his eyes -- Not merely green and gold, but every hue and variation that could be imagined, like every leaf in the forest had bled into one shade. "

Who Run This Motha?!

" I will grind your bones between my claws, I will drink your marrow, I will feast on your flesh. I am what you fear, I am what you dread . . . look at me. Look at me. "

A Court Of Thorns & Roses showed me just how talented Maas really is. She took the classic story of Beauty & The Beast, and weaved it so perfectly to mesh with her flare of fantasy. While I adore the concept of Royal courts, ACOTAR consisted of half beasts, FAERIES, (when I think of Faeries I think of Tinkerbell on crack, not a good impression.) and other creatures -- things that before, I wouldn't be caught dead reading about, but I couldn't help but to be captivated. Imagine my surprise as I found myself invested, found myself so fascinated by these mystical creatures, that I preferred them over the humans. 

NOTHING about this book disappointed, especially because it crossed into my realm, my very own Prythian, New Adult. I honestly thought that Maas was going to play it safe, play it to where the genre says New Adult, but the actual story displayed otherwise, and boyyyy was I wrong! She didn't completely turn the heat up, but instead kept it sensual, absolutely sexy between our two main characters. Feyre, a mortal huntress, and Tamlin, a half-beast and obviously Fae, could set fire to a forest with just their chemistry alone. I adored how they meshed so well together -- Tamlin, beautiful, aggressive, protective. Feyre, beautiful in a diamond-in-the-rough-kind-of-way, both fiery and courageous, and oh so loyal.

" He didn't pierce my flesh, but rather bit to keep me pinned. The push of his body against mine, the hard and the soft, made me see red -- see lightning, made me grind my hips against his.

The Best Of Both Worlds

" The sky was an eddy of molten amethyst, sapphire, and ruby, all bleeding into a final pool of onyx. I wanted to swim in it, wanted to bathe in it's colors and feel the stars twinkling between my fingers. "

As a new found lover of fantasy and a seasoned vet of new adult contemporary, I was truly smitten with this book. Maas gave me everything I love about New Adult, a slow-build & burn of a well executed romance, with just the right bite of friskiness, and yet she managed to push me onto the edge of my seat, as she showcased her trademark in the realms of magic and fantasy. The last 40% of the book gave me nothing but anxiety (not literally) as the story takes a turn for the worst, with the action pushed to the forefront, the intensity levels burned through the roof.

If anyone could vouch -- could stand by this book -- could scream to the heavens above how perfect it is, it would be me.  I loved every second of it, even going as far as having to slow down my reading pace because I didn't want to devour it in one sitting. The writing was so effortlessly done, the characters so well put together. I fell for Tamlin the moment he was introduced, Feyre was the epitome of a realistic heroine I'd root for anyday, and the supporting characters like Lucien, was such a pleasure to read with his witty, and sharp-tongued banter. The concept was so well crafted that I FORGOT I was reading a re-telling. Maas stayed true to herself, creating something so damn original, fresh, imaginative, everything we needed in this genre. 

I'm actually glad I underestimated A Court Of Thorns And Roses. After finishing, it felt as if Maas sat upon her throne, looked at me with a expression so sinister, and with a twisted expression resembling a serpent, smiled as she spoke the words,

 " Bow To The Queen ." 

Readers Choice: Never Would I Ever - May & June BOTM

If you're an old follower of mine, then you know what Readers Choice is alllll about. But if you're new, I'll give a brief introduction.

Readers Choice is a feature solely done here at fANGIRLconfessions. Every month, I allow my readers to choose my " BOTM " (Book Of The Month) by taking a fun interactive poll. The last week at the end of every month, I post the poll, and a week later, I then announce the winner. But everyone knows how creative I can get, and how I'm always adding a twist to my ideas, so I decided to do things a bit differently for the month of May & June. First of all, I came up with the idea to have " themes ". Each month will be something different, to keep things cute and fresh!

This Month's Theme Is:

Never Would I Ever.

It's pretty self-explanatory. In this poll, are 6 books that I WOULD NEVER READ. They're either by authors I'm not particularly fond of, or they're from genres that I absolutely despise. Either way, which ever title I end up having to read, is probably going to send me into cardiac arrest. To torture myself even more, I've decided to allow you guys to choose 2 different titles to be showcased as my BOTM. Since I have a ton of reading to do this month, I doubled up, so whichever books are chosen, I'll have to read one in June and the other in July. 

Lord Help Me. 

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Feature & Follow Friday -- Curing A Reading Slump

Welcome to Feature and Follow Friday, a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful bloggers, Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of this blog hop is to gain followers, discover new blogs, and make new friends! 

It's been quite some time since I participated in the feature and follow meme. I've been brainstorming ideas for my blog tweaks, (which I just finished yesterday) and after I was out because of a bad sinus infection, I found myself trying to catch up on reading, reviews, and blog tours. But now I'm back, and ready to crank out some posts, starting with this weeks FF!

Question of The Week:

How Do You Cure A Book Hangover/Blogging
Slump/Reading Slump ? 

This is a good question, and one that I don't exactly know how to answer. I'm never in reading slumps, * knocks on wood * but I have suffered from a blogging slump once this year. (It only lasted about a week if that lol) It wasn't necessarily a blogging slump, but more so what I like to call a " review slump " . Sometimes if I'm reviewing a book that ended up being boring or draggy, I've noticed that it makes me extremely lazy. I start to feel as if I don't want to even compose the review, and if I'm pushing myself to complete it, I become overwhelmed and then next thing you know, I'm drained of all energy, and not in the mood to do anything regarding blogging! 

Book Hangovers - If I read a book that was just too damn good to pick up something else right after, I just take some time off. Maybe catch up on some posts, participate in weekly memes, things of that nature.

Blogging Slumps - When this happened to me I just simply logged off my laptop, did other tasks, watched TV shows, read, or just chilled, came back the next day with a refreshed mind, and BAM! I was able to knock out the review flawlessly. 

Reading Slumps - I've never been in a reading slump before, but I I would try to read books outside of the genre that you're struggling with. If you're reading from multiple genres and still can't get into anything, try reading titles that aren't you're norm. For instance, if I'm feeling slumpy and all I've been trying to read is contemporary, I'll pick up something in maybe . . . * cough * Dystopian. It's not a genre I usually indulge in, so the fresh take on characters, plots, and so forth could be just what I need to get out of my slump! Oh and try re-reading your favorite novels! It's nothing like curling up with a book you absolutely love! This wouldn't work me for me, especially since I don't re-read books, however, it most certainly can work for someone who does!

& that's all! Hopefully I was able to help someone cure every bloggers worse enemy, the dreaded SLUMP! 

Now I want to hear from you, what are some methods you all take to cure blogging or reading slumps?