Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout Tour

book tour

Hello, I Love You

Title & Author: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Publisher/Year: St. Martin’s Griffin/2015

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary, YA Music

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Other Books by Katie M. Stout: Debut Book!

My Rating: 5hearts

About the Book

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can’t stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can’t deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she’ll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

Buy Links

Amazon I Barnes and Noble I Books-A-Million

IndieBound I iBooks

About the Author

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Katie M. Stout is from Atlanta, Georgia, and works for an international charity that sends her to fun places like Spain and Singapore. When she’s not writing, you can find her drinking an unhealthy amount of chai tea and listening to Girls’ Generation, Teen Top, and all her other favorite K-pop tunes.

Katie’s Social Media

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7265923.Katie_M_Stout

Website: http://one-page-reviews.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katiemstout

Tumblr: http://katiemwrites.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/katiemstout/

My Review

Hello, I Love You was exactly what I had been needing in terms of a good book lately. I would catch myself with a big smile on my face as I read. I loved absolutely every word from the first page to the last page of this book. Katie M. Stout opened my eyes to new things such as KPOP, Korean drama, and customs of South Korea. I never ever imagined wanting to travel to South Korea, but after reading Hello, I Love You, Seoul is now in my top 10 places I’d like to travel to internationally.

I love books that take place at boarding schools and the international boarding school that Grace attends in Hello, I Love You made me incredibly envious because it sounded amazing. I was really envious of Grace throughout the entire book of everything she was able to do and experience. The closest experience I got to Grace’s was competing in American University’s Model United Nations Conference in Washington DC every year and those extended weekends were the highlights of my high school years.

I liked every single character from the book. They all had different personalities, but they all fit so perfectly together that it really made the book as good as it was. Grace was the easiest to relate to. She was close minded at times in the beginning of the book, but as it went on she was caring, kind and thoughtful. Sophie was the perfect best friend and roommate. She made sure to always include Grace in everything that she was doing and was always in a good, happy mood. The three boys of Eden, Jason, Tae Hwa, and Yoon Jae, were all interesting characters to say the least. Tae Hwa was a perfect match for Sophie. He wasn’t an in-depth character, but he seemed kind, sweet and generally caring towards Sophie. Yoon Jae was just as sweet. He made it clear who he had feelings for and I was kind of rooting for him although I knew it most likely wasn’t going to work out. Jason annoyed me in the beginning with his arrogant attitude but throughout the book he grew on me. He would let the real him shine through occasionally and when those moments came up, it is when he grew on me.

Throughout the book Grace is also dealing with drama back home in Tennessee. While the author brings in some characters from home like Grace’s mom and her younger sister Jane, the true story of what she is running from does not come out until the end. I was surprised by the reality of the situation and didn’t see it coming at all. Once it was out in the open, things that Grace hinted at or mentioned earlier in the book clicked into place and made sense.

Hello, I Love You is the perfect young adult romance book to bring along in your beach tote or to the pool. Although there’s nearly 300 pages, it will go by so quickly because you will not be able to put it down. The story and the characters are original and unlike other young adult books I have read before. If you like young adult romance or contemporary or you are into KPOP, this is the perfect book to add to your TBR list. For her debut book, Katie M. Stout totally kicked ass with Hello, I Love You and I am keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel to see where the characters are.

Author’s Fan Casting

For part of my post for the tour, I chose to post Katie M. Stout’s dream cast for her book, Hello, I Love You. Here is what she had to say and who she picked for the main characters. 

I had a ton of fun fancasting my characters! Some of them were casted very early on in my brain while I was writing – I actually had two singers in mind while I was writing the rough draft of the book!

While these are who the characters look like in my head, I love hearing other people’s thoughts.  or I’d love to hear who you think Grace, Jason, Sophie, and everyone else looks like, so hit me up on Twitter or Tumblr with your picks!

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Grace – Lily James

I’m a Lily James fan in general. (I mean, how can you not love her as Cinderella?!) Plus, I think she has the perfect hair for Grace. And girl’s got attitude, which totally fits my sassy, broken protagonist.

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Jason – Jung Yonghwa

Yonghwa was actually the first character I casted in my head. I knew while I was still rough drafting that he was who Jason looked like. Actually, if you’ve ever seen the Korean drama Heartstrings, you may recognize some of the outfits I describe Jason wearing as ones he wore in that drama. I just loved those sweaters and colorful shoes so much!

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Sophie – IU

Sophie is another character I knew early on who I would cast. IU has been one of my favorite KPOP singers since I saw her in the drama Dream High, and I think she perfectly embodies Sophie’s sweetness and charm.

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Yoon Jae – Ok Taecyeon

I wanted Yoon Jae to be really striking, where you turn your head when he walks by. I also wanted him to have a little bit of a baby face. Really, there’s no one else I could choose for him besides Taecyeon, who’s both super hot and super cute. And really, he’s perfect for the character I would have chosen to date if I were Grace.

Tae Hwa – Seungri

Seungri is one of the hottest guys in KPOP, I think (despite his scandals). And I had to choose someone great for Sophie, who’s probably my favorite character in the whole book. Really, I maybe had too much fun looking for good pictures of him…

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’89 Walls by Katie Pierson Book Tour!

book tour

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Title & Author: ’89 Walls by Katie Pierson89WallsCover

Publisher: Wise Ink

Release Date: June 5, 2015

Format & Pages: Paperback & 240

Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Other Books By Katie Pierson: Debut Book!

My Rating: 4hearts

SYNOPSIS

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity. 

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

BOOK EXCERPT

Quinn used the three extra minutes before class that day to turn in her cap-and-gown order form at the office. She made sure no one was looking before skipping down the marble staircase like a little kid. She watched her light-green sundress rise and settle with each bounce. The translucent afternoon sun had managed to warm the foyer by the entrance doors as if spring might actually stick. A tiny breeze jiggled the branches of the narrow pine trees framing the building’s entrance. The stretch of blue sky spanning the transom window reassured her, like it was telling her that years of self-conscious high school angst were almost over.

Only Trish understood how crucial Quinn’s façade of success was to the fact of it. As long as she stuck to the script—Take the advanced placement classes. Study. Join the debate team. Perform.—she could hold herself together. She could no more drop the script than let her bones dissolve.

Quinn hated the debate team.

She stomped on the final step. As she rounded the bottom of the stairwell, she saw Seth walking to class from the opposite direction. His dark-blond hair looked like it wanted to cover his eyes but was failing at it. Even looking at him made her feel defensive.

He drew near enough for Quinn to read his T-shirt. A cartoon of Uncle Sam silk-screened in black-and-white on the front said, “Join the army. Travel to exotic, distant lands. Meet exciting, unusual people. And kill them.” On the inside, Quinn rolled her eyes; why did liberals like him act as though people like her invented war and they alone wanted peace, love, and teddy bears? Quinn read his shirt again. Okay, maybe it was kind of funny. But it looked out of place on a guy who never smiled.

They had less than a minute before the bell rang, and the hallway had emptied out. He probably wouldn’t acknowledge her; he never even said hi unless she said hi first. But he passed the classroom door. He was headed straight for her. His tan cheeks glowed bright pink, and his eyebrows scrunched together. Quinn felt her shoulders creep up as their eyes met. Was he going to call her out on something right now?

She saw Ilene slipping into the classroom and waved at her. Quinn tried to veer out of Seth’s path; if he wanted to tangle, he’d have to wait until class, when Mr. Levine could referee. But he sidestepped in front of her, forcing her to stop. What the hell? They stared at each other for several seconds. Quinn noticed that the dark brown of Seth’s eyes blended right into his pupils. He also had broad shoulders for a lean guy, but he was barely three inches taller than she was.

Seth started to say something but then kind of deflated. He pressed a limp, folded piece of notebook paper into her hand. Scowling at the floor, he mumbled something under his breath before charging into the classroom.

Quinn looked around in confusion to see if there had been witnesses. There hadn’t. She walked into room 105. She sat down next to Ilene and said hi back to a few people. Taking a huge, slow breath, she slid the letter into her folder and pulled a pen out of her backpack.

            Waiting for the slackers to trickle in, Mr. Levine strolled over to his desk and pried the lid off yesterday’s McDonald’s drink. He poured the light-brown liquid into the spider plant. Then he flipped off the lights and closed the door. He rubbed his hands together with that sinister glee that teachers saved up for things like pop quizzes. Then he slapped an outline on the overhead projector, on which he’d chicken-scratched the title “South Africa.” As the class groaned, Mr. Levine shrugged out of his sports jacket. He tossed it across his desk with one of the sleeves inside out.

As soon as he starting talking about apartheid, Quinn flipped open her folder to read the note.

Dear Quinn,

Here’s what I’ve wanted to say to you for a long time: I’ve liked you since the beginning of tenth grade. We haven’t had any big conversations, but I feel like I know you.

I know that you’re genuinely nice. Even though you have a lot of friends, you make a point of saying hello to people like me (the shy, antisocial types!). You’re really pretty, especially when you wear that green dress. You’re also smart. I hear George Washington University figured that out, too. Congratulations on getting in.

I wondered if you’d like to go to a movie sometime. I know it sounds weird coming from someone you’ve barely talked to (and especially from someone who would tease you about being a Republican), but I hope you’ll say yes.

Seth

BOOK LINKS

-’89 Walls is available on Amazon

-Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble

-Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Katie Pierson freelances for local non-profits, using her background in public policy and grassroots organizing to overthrow the patriarchy one introverted step at a time. When she’s not writing fiction, she returns library books, makes soup, and tries to be cooler than she really is by hip-hopping at the YMCA. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania (where she dabbled briefly in being a College Republican) and a Master’s in American History from the University of Minnesota. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and now lives with her family in a suburb of Minneapolis. ’89 Walls is her first novel.

MORE INFORMATION

-Visit Katie Pierson’s website

-Connect with Katie on Facebook and Twitter

-Find out more about Katie at Goodreads

-Visit Katie’s blog

MY REVIEW

I’m not usually a fan of books that take place in the past, even if it’s only 26 year in the past. I usually stick to present/modern day stories. ’89 Walls though grabbed by interest from the summary and it sounded like a book I would enjoy, and it most certainly was. In all it took me two days to finish this book. I will admit I even read it while I was at work and supposed to be paying attention. I fell in love with the main characters and had to see what was going to happen between them.

The book brings up a lot of political references from 1989 and there are debates between the two main characters, Seth and Quinn, along with Quinn and her father throughout the whole book. While I could see why this may be a turn off to some readers, I actually enjoyed reading the debates and seeing both sides. It also gave me some insight to things that were going on in the few years before I was born that I had never heard or learned about before. It also made me open my mind at times during the debate and I myself not only enjoy a good debate but also love any book that can open my mind up to new thoughts and ideas.

I really liked both of the main characters, Seth and Quinn. They both had their flaws but that only added to their stories. Seth was such a kind and caring guy who not only tried to please Quinn, but also takes care of his mother who is suffering from MS. Quinn was a strong, independent female character who in the end stood up for what she believed in even if it was a different view than her parents. They both made their fair share of stupid decisions and mistakes throughout the book, but in the end that made them they characters they were. There were also quite the amount of minor characters including Seth’s mom, Quinn’s parents, Quinn’s ex-boyfriend Jason and her friend Trish. Some I liked more than others, Seth’s and Quinn’s mothers, some really annoyed me during their brief time in the story, Quinn’s ex-boyfriend Jason, and other’s I just ended up feeling bad/sad for, Quinn’s father. Although they were only minor characters, they gave a lot to the story.

Once I finished reading ’89 Walls, I was a little more convinced that it is probably geared towards the older side of the Young Adult genre for some of the topics discussed and actions that took place, even though the two main characters are both high school students. I think ’89 Walls is a great book if you’re looking for a young adult romance with some depth to it and one that will make you think (politically not romantically). It was definitely refreshing, although familiar to other young adult romances at the same time. I cannot wait to see and read Katie Pierson’s next young adult book.

“Still,” she said, “it’s kind of embarrassing to cry over a book.”

“I like people who cry over books. It makes me trust them.”

-Quinn & her father

Mass Book Review

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I know I said sometime last week that I was going to do a post with multiple book reviews and here it is. I have seven books that I have read and do not feel like I could give a good, descriptive review on each one, not to mention that I would get impatient after the first two and most likely not finish the rest. So here are the seven books that I have read within the past month. I will include a paragraph review for each as well as the summary and rating.

Review 1

20527879Title and Author: They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

Every year, the lives of ten girls at Vienna High are transformed. All because of the list. Kenzie Summerall can’t imagine how she’s been voted onto a list of the hottest girls in school, but when she lands at number five, her average life becomes dazzling. Doors open to the best parties, new friends surround her, the cutest jock in school is after her. This is the power of the list. If you’re on it, your life changes. If you’re on it this year? Your life ends. The girls on the list have started to die, one by one. Is it a coincidence? A curse? Or is the list in the hands of a killer? Time is running out for Kenzie, but she’s determined to uncover the deadly secret of the list…before her number’s up.

My Thoughts on This Book

I had waited months for this book to come out and when it finally did I tore into it. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from the summary, but in a good way. It totally took me by surprise and I loved it. The twist was completely unexpected and shocking. They All Fall Down kept me on the edge of my seat and I am praying there will be a sequel.

Review 2

17343998Title and Author: Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

She has everything she’s ever wanted. But not her memory…When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can’t remember the last six months of her life. Before, she’d been a mediocre student. Now, she’s on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he’s her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won’t speak to her. What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows…  

My Thoughts on This Book

I went to Barnes and Noble for a different book that they ended up not having. Not wanting to leave empty handed I picked up this book (and the book in my next review). I had looked at Six Months Later many times and only just now got around to reading it and I really enjoyed it. I have had a thing for YA mysteries and thrillers lately and this one is definitely at the top of my list. Six Months Later kept me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next.

Review 3

17520996Title and Author: Broken by CJ Lyons

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

WOULD YOU PUT YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE TO BE NORMAL? Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, Scarlet has come to terms with the fact that she’s going to die. Literally of a broken heart. It could be tomorrow, or it could be next year. But the clock is ticking… All Scarlet asks is for a chance to attend high school—even if just for a week-a chance to be just like everyone else. But Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with each slammed locker and vicious taunt. Is this normal? Really? Yet there’s more going on than she knows. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does…

My Thoughts on This Book

I rented Broken from the library before and didn’t get a chance to read it before I had to return it. I bought it when I went to Barnes and Noble and as soon as I started reading I was sucked in. My own heart broke for Scarlett and how she was treated. Towards the end of the book I kind of had an idea of what the truth was. I don’t think it was obvious and it was still shocking how the book ended.

Review 4

12665819Title and Author: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Rating: 3hearts

What This Book Is About

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished. A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon. Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

My Thoughts on This Book

I bought this book over a year ago and read it this year around Halloween because it seemed like a creepy mystery. I was not expecting it to have a paranormal twist to it though and that twist almost made the book confusing to understand. It wasn’t nearly as creepy or thrilling as the summary made it sound but it also wasn’t horrible.

Review 5

15777797Title and Author: Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

When a simple round of truth or dare spins out of control, three girls find it’s no longer a party game. It’s do or die. It all started on a whim: the game was a way for Tenley Reed to reclaim her popularity, a chance for perfect Caitlin “Angel” Thomas to prove she’s more than her Harvard application. Loner Sydney Morgan wasn’t even there; she was hiding behind her camera like usual. But when all three start receiving mysterious dares long after the party has ended, they’re forced to play along—or risk exposing their darkest secrets. How far will Tenley, Caitlin and Sydney go to keep the truth from surfacing? And who’s behind this twisted game?

My Thoughts on This Book

I also bought this book a year ago and just read it recently and I absolutely LOVED it. It has definitely been one of the best thriller/mysteries I have read ever. It took me two days to read and I am currently waiting for the sequel to come in the mail and am looking forward to the third book coming out as well.

Review 6

12013031Title and Author: The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is. 

My Thoughts on This Book

The Night She Disappeared is so far my favorite April Henry novel. This book gave me chills at some points and I loved how short yet detailed and well written this book was. I loved the characters (strong female lead) as well. It was a quick thriller and I am definitely now a fan of April Henry.

Review 7

16059396Title and Author: The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry

Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

“Take her out back and finish her off.” She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know where she is, or why. All she knows when she comes to in a ransacked cabin is that there are two men arguing over whether or not to kill her. And that she must run.

My Thoughts on This Book

While not my favorite April Henry book, I still really enjoyed it and it made me understand why people rave about her books. It was quick yet still packed full of action. I also loved the characters and the relationship between the two. I am looking forward to reading her other books now.

So there you go, seven books with seven ratings and small reviews. They are not in the order I read them though. I will be doing individual reviews from now on. I had to do this massive post to get caught up.

What I Should Be Doing & What I’m Actually Doing

I figured since I have a ton of free time after class today, I would schedule some posts for next week. Well of course I turned on Netflix while I was typing my first review and season 4 of The Walking Dead has been added. I’ve binged through 4 or 5 episodes by now and am still going. What can I say, I love The Walking Dead 🙂 I will finish the posts over the weekend after I over-binge on TWD.

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So far this fall there are so many shows I have been excited for. Of course The Walking Dead and American Horror Story: Freak Show make the top of the list, but also making the list is The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, Family Guy, Criminal Minds, and NCIS. There’s a few new shows this fall that I have already begun to love, A to Z, How to Get Away with Murder, and Stalker. Hopefully I don’t get too caught up in these shows because I still plan on reading a lot this fall and of course have a crazy amount of assignments as well. I also got a new job the other day at a hospital close by so I will finally have some spending money again which is definitely a good thing.

What fall shows were you excited for to come back? Have you watched any new shows this fall that are pretty good?

September News and Updates

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In September I am making a few changes to the appearance of my blog. I always had a Top Ten Tuesday banner (or whatever you’d like to call it), but it really bothered me that I didn’t have on for my book review posts. I found my TTT banner on Google because I am not very artistic or savvy when it comes to computer graphics. Anyways, as you can see I now have a banner made for updates, and I created ones for TTT, Waiting on Wednesday, book reviews, and monthly wrap-ups. I figured out how to make a simple banner using a site online and I’m pleased with them…for now. 🙂 I will be leaving the old banners on my old posts because let’s face it, it would be a total complete pain in the ass if I went back to every post and fixed it. Plus in the future I can look back and see my progress.

The second change to the appearance of my blog is for book review posts. I have been feeling like I have been hitting dead ends lately when writing my reviews. I’ve been comparing my posts to quite a few other blogs I found on Google and I am going to switch mine up a little bit. I really fell in love with the layout of reviews at the blog, The Perpetual Page-Turner. I am going to start adding the publisher, genres, and other books by that author. Most of the rest of my review will be the same like how I acquired the book, the publication date, the summary and then my actual review. I’m hoping if I set it up super clearly like the blog I mentioned earlier, readers will be able to find the book online a lot easier, especially if it hasn’t been published yet.

Now onto the news. So far I have luckily and fortunately have been able to keep up with reading and posting during the school week. So far my five courses I registered for are pretty easy. Three days a week I have Western Civilizations 1 and my professor has totally lost his marbles. On the first day of class he went off on several rants consisting of how gay marriage should be illegal, how Islam is a horrible religion, how aliens told an astronaut to fly in a spaceship to the moon, and several other non-related topics. Now he’s about 75 or so and doesn’t teach from the textbook. Apparently textbooks lie and leave out too much information. I have heard this before but his examples do not justify his choice. During the second week of class after hearing about how aliens, God, demons and angels were all the same thing, too much personal information about his political views, how giants existed and how it’s true because it was on the cover of National Geographic (he failed to look up that the article in fact was a hoax), I finally went to the Dean of Students and complained. They also knew exactly who I was talking about so why they haven’t taken any action in the past, I have no idea. The beginning of this week I brought my iPad with me, sat n my desk, propped it up on it’s stand and started reading. I read through the entire class and didn’t catch more than how mermaids are real but our government is killing them to cover it up and how the Smithsonian Museum has removed exhibits it doesn’t want the public to see and have them dropped in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean never to be found again. Seriously, how does this guy have a job teaching at a college?! And the fact that I am paying hundreds of dollars for a history class where instead I just listen to his crazy rants for 50 minutes, 3 days a week. Luckily he gives us a packet for each section and in the back there is a study guide with all the definitions and he even underlined the exact answer for the test question. I figured I’ll read the packet on my own, study the definitions and pass on my own and never take a class from him again. I’m planning on recording one of his lectures this week and attaching it to my next complaint email to the dean. I’m not quite sure if I’m legally allowed to record him without his permission, but I really don’t give a damn anymore. He’s way too insulting and offensive and really needs to retire. My other professors range from good to great. The classes also always stay on topic which is a plus since I’m spending way too much a semester to not be taught what I’m paying for. College is definitely not what I had ever expected 4 years ago during my senior year of high school.

My first *new* review will be posted on Sunday, September 21. Check it out (loved the book) and let me know if you like the new format or not. 🙂

Monthly Wrap Up – August 2014

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Wow, I cannot believe that today is already September 2nd. The last month of summer completely flew by, and while I’m sad that it’s time to say farewell to summer I cannot wait for fall to begin. I love when the weather gets chilly and I can finally wear jeans, hoodies and yes…Uggs. I also love crunchy leaves, back to school, the smells of autumn and of course Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I have not started classes yet, but I only have today left and then the new semester stars Wednesday. I am taking a full course load, 6 classes or 16 credits, although one is cardio kickboxing so it’s more or less like gym class in college. I’m not quite sure how crazy I will be with homework and studying, but I am currently still out of a job so I will have plenty of time to juggle my course work as well as reading and posting reviews on here. I will probably have to cut back to 2-3 reviews a week, which in my eyes isn’t too bad at all. As always I will also still be doing Top Ten Tuesdays.

Now onto the wrap up for August…

Books I Read In August:

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

#scandal by Sarah Ockler

Forget Me by K.A. Harrington

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Famous Last Words by Katie Alender

Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

The F- It List by Julie Halpern

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard

Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Promposal by Rhonda Helms

-Death Date by Victoria Laurie – Finished on August 31 but review will be posted in September

I cannot even begin to imagine where I got the time to read 13 books in August. I began reading Sublime by Christina Lauren and wasn’t able to get into it so I passed on it. I also am about halfway through The Accident by Kate Hendrick, but I started to get bored so I left off where I was to read some other books for now. Had I finished both I would have been up to 15 books in one month which is just crazy for myself.

I have also been insanely lucky with the books I have chosen to read lately. I don’t post a review on my blog unless I am rewarding the book 3 stars or higher. With the exception of one of the books mentioned above, I have really enjoyed every book I have read the past month. I’m sure I just jinxed myself but hopefully not.

Now onto exciting news.

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I won a bookish contest for the month of August for my review on Rites of Passage for the Debut Author Challenge 2014 and cannot wait to receive my prize in the mail and see what awesome goodies are in it. (By the way Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley has been on of my favorite books I have read so far this year so definitely check it out!) I have a few more Debut Author Challenge reviews I will be posting in September as well. Also on September 11th, I will be featuring Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins on my blog as a part of a blog tour. I am excited to post the review, so definitely be sure to check out my post for the day. The review will remain my top post all day so it will be super easy for you to find.

As for September (although we are already 2 days in) I am excited to see what happens and am going to just take things as they come. As I mentioned before I plan to stay consistent on my blog and post a few reviews a week. I have a break for almost 2 hours between two classes twice a week so I will be getting in as much reading as I can during that time. Hopefully this month goes smoothly and things don’t get out of control too much 🙂

Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

I was so excited to read this book. The cover looks super creepy and the summary gives you the impression that it’s going to be a truly terrifying novel, but it definitely fell short of my expectations. I was expecting my heart to be racing while I was reading Welcome to the Dead House and instead I had to pull myself through it.

Welcome to the Dead House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

3stars

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 What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.

(Summary from Goodreads)

I am so thankful that I read this book through an ARC tour because I would have been disappointed if I had bought it. From the summary, I thought Welcome to the Dark House was going to be a scary, thrilling novel. It was still a thriller because you didn’t know what was going to happen next, but it certainly didn’t have my heart racing.

The story is told in six different perspectives, which from the summary it seems like it may only be told from two, Ivy and Parker, but no all six winners are narrating. It often was pretty confusing as to who was narrating and I would have to flip back to the beginning of the chapter to see, but the six different perspectives were also kind of necessary to the storyline. As for the six characters, I have mixed feelings for all of them. Some were jerks, others were so moody and depressing, and there was one I was really suspicious of. None of them really brought anything great to the story and there were two in particular who were constantly getting on my nerves by the middle of the book.

The storyline also went really quickly. I thought more time would have been spent in the amusement park since that is where all the big important events were happening, but I felt like the author spent way too much time going over their first night at the house. I did get pretty good visuals in my head while I was reading because the writer did a great job describing everything. She also leaves the end open to what could be a sequel (or perhaps it will be a trilogy). The epilogue confused me big time, but if there is no sequel I will be really disappointed. So many questions were left unanswered and if there will be a sequel, I might give Welcome to the Dark House a 4 star rating instead of 3 only because then this book would be more interesting as it is setting up events for a sequel (if that makes sense).

I feel like I am once again only complaining about this book, but there were some things I did enjoy. I thought the idea of the story was great. Instantly it reminded me of a horror movie I watched where a group of friends goes to a haunted house called, The House of Fears, and it focuses on people’s biggest fears (clowns, buried alive, drowning, ect.). I thought the movie was great and this in a way was very similar. It also reminded me a bit like the horror movie Prom Night. I can’t go into too much detail about the similarities between them though without giving away some spoilers. I also finished the book in only one day, although I was more or less getting through it hoping it would get better. If you enjoyed or watched those one or both of those movies, I’d recommend reading Welcome to the Dark House. It does have a pretty good rating on Goodreads as well, 3.80 stars. If you have read it, did you enjoy it or did it have you scared? If you haven’t read it, please don’t let my review turn you away from it. Give it a try because everyone has a different opinion.

Library Haul

Well recently I found out that my college library card also gave me access to the eight county libraries when I live. I have definitely been taking advantage of the access to these libraries and have rented over 25 books already. They let you take out up to 100 at a time, so it’s crazy to think I have a quarter of that borrowed and sitting in my room. Anyways, I will be posting a lot of reviews within the next few weeks before classes start up for the fall. I really want to get through as many books as I can because I don’t know how much work my professors are going to be assigning me. I will still be blogging, just more likely to be down to 2 books a week as opposed to the 3-4 I have been doing lately. Anyways I thought I’d post a giant list of the books I got so you can see what reviews I have in store for you over the next few weeks. I’m going to try to put them in the order I will be reading and reviewing them because some were rented earlier than others and therefore are due back earlier. So here are the 22 books I currently have out and will be reading and reviewing in the next few weeks:

-Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington (Review posted today!)

-The Sound by Sarah Alderson

-Since You’ve Been Gone By Morgan Matson

-Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

-Teach Me by R.A. Nelson (?)

-Live Through This by Mindi Scott (?)

– The Lifeguard by Deborah Blumenthal

-Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

-After the End by Amy Plum

-Tease by Amanda Maciel

– Broken by CJ Lyons

-Frost by Marianna Baer

-Meet Me at the River by Nina de Gramont

– Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

-Prama by Jamie Ponti (?)

-Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

– The Last Forever by Deb Caletti

-Without Tess by Marcella Pixley

-Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates

-The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

-Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough

There are a few books I’m not sure if I’ll get to and those are the ones with the question marks next to them. If I don’t get to them this time, I’ll rent them again and read them because they’re still on my TBR list. I also have a few books I bought almost a month ago now that I still have to get to and will be receiving two ARC’s in the mail from a tour group I joined within the next week. I will definitely be kept busy until the fall and will try to get as many books as possible read and reviewed by them. Keep a look out on my blog for new reviews and you can now follow my blog’s Instagram account at confessionsofabookaholicblog and I will be posting a picture of the cover as I post the reviews, so you can stay updated on there as well.

The Year I Turned Sixteen by Diane Schwemm

Let me begin this post by saying, “Ha!”. I don’t mean that in a bad way either, I just had to laugh at myself.. Earlier in the week I had posted that I was currently reading The Year I Turned Sixteen and didn’t anticipate on finishing it so soon. Well, I sat down while I was babysitting and read 400 pages out of the 700 that are in this book. Yes, you read that right, there is 700 pages in The Year I Turned Sixteen. There are four different books in this one, each following a different sister (and the year they turned sixteen) and for $9.99 it is a great deal. It also went by so quickly because I couldn’t put it down.

The Year I Turned Sixteen by Diane Schwemm

4stars

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Four sisters, four birthdays, and four unforgettable years.

Rose dreams of becoming a singer, but when her obligation as the oldest sister start to hold her back, she faces an impossible decision.

Sick of being the “good” sister, Daisy is drawn to a boy with a more dangerous edge and pulls away from the people who care about her most.

Laurel must deal with the loss of someone close, but a new love in the wake of tragedy might just be what she needs.

With her sisters all figuring out their futures, Lily feels lost, and for the first time she must figure out who she is all on her own.

With more than cupcakes and candles on their minds, each of the Walker sisters is in for a sweet sixteen that will change everything.

(Summary from back cover)

I thought I would like reading this book, but I actually loved reading this book. I can’t even say how many times I grabbed it at Barnes and Noble to only put it back on the shelf or scroll past it on Amazon. I am so happy I finally bought it and took the time to read it though. I loved how it was broken into four different stories and each sister experienced different things when they turned sixteen. There was always 2-3 years between each sister as well, so between each stories time went forward 2 or 3 years, but the author kept the reader updated on what had happened with the previous sister. The one theme I did notice with each sister’s story was romance. Each sister has to face difficult issues though in every story and I came to feel like I was apart of their family and absolutely loved all of the characters. I definitely had my share of both laughing and crying when reading this book and at one point felt like someone ripped my heart out because I just couldn’t believe or accept what had happened.

The Year I Turned Sixteen should be added to your TBR list and would be a great summer read if you have time to sit down and tackle a longer book. Although it is longer, it was really enjoyable so it went by quickly. Also, each story is 150-200 pages each, so you could always split it up.

**I do not currently have another book already finished to review this week, but I should finish one by Tuesday night so I will do my best to get another review posted this week! I may also do a video…if I feel brave enough. 🙂 **

Book Review Update

So I know I haven’t posted a book review in a little while now. I do have a book that I finished last week and am waiting to post a review on. I don’t have another book finished yet, so I am trying to put off the review for maybe a few more days. I’m currently reading The Year I Turned Sixteen and if you’ve seen the book or read it before, you know it’s a long one. For those of you who have never seen or heard of it, it is 700 pages long, but consists of four mini books I guess you would call them? It is a young adult novel so it is going by pretty quick, but I don’t want to wait too long between the two reviews. Just wanted to apologize to everyone who follows and reads my posts and I will have a new review up in the next few days, so keep an eye out for it. I am also thinking about starting to do videos and add them on here. I’ve been on the blog for six months now and that’s just crazy to think of. While I love writing reviews and Top Ten Tuesdays, I think I’d enjoy doing monthly wrap ups and book hauls and even TBR lists on videos. Mix it up on here a little bit. I haven’t ever made a video before though so I am a bit nervous and am generally a shy person, so if I do post a video at the end of this month please bear with me. I am also very very very inexperienced when it comes to video editing so the first post will also probably be from beginning to end, no edits. Anyhow that’s about it for updates on my blog. I do have one question if anyone would like to help me out. In February or so I read Ten by Gretchen McNeil and absolutely loved it. The problem, I can’t find any books similar to it. If anyone has any suggestions please tell me them. I mainly stick to young adult and teen books so please keep that in mind when recommending anything. If you don’t know what Ten is about, I’ll summarize the type of books I’m looking for. A mystery/thriller where there is a group of people/friends and one by one they are being killed/murdered and in the end it is a shocking twist or surprise of who the killer is. In Ten, ten teens are on a weekend trip to a friend’s house on an island and then get stuck there for three days when a nasty storm comes through and knocks out all the power and makes it impossible to get a boat back to the mainland. One by one the teens are found dead and the book is just filled with suspense and surprises. So if you can recommend me a good book amoung those lines, you are amazing! Also, any “scary” teen/YA books please recommend as well. Thanks everyone!