May 2015 Recap

Nicole Read

Ashley Read

May Favorites

Nicole's Pick

Ashley's Pick

May Reviews

Other May Posts

      What's New With Nicole

      May was a month of celebrations and awesome book events. I celebrated my graduation from business school, Ashley's birthday and my aunt's 50th birthday. I attended the launch party for Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses and the signing for Sabaa Tahir's An Ember in the Ashes! I also made it to my first YA Philly Meet Up and Book Club meeting! And now I'm finishing off the month with BEA and BookCon! There is no way I'd rather spend my time than surrounded by my bookish friends so all in all it was an AMAZING month. :)

      What's New With Ashley

      May was a great month!  I celebrated my birthday with friends and family.  The husband and I took the day off of work and went wine tasting, made some fused glass, and went to dinner so it was a very nice relaxing and fun day.  The pool in my community opened up as well, so I was able to enjoy a book by the pool and am looking forward to more pool days.  As I write this recap, I am preparing my BEA schedule and my packing list :)  Cannot wait to see those who are going to BEA! 


      Stacking the Shelves (126) - May 30th

      Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.


      Boldly Bookish Blog Tour: Q&A with Emory Lord, A.C. Gaughen, Trish Doller and Tiffany Schmidt

      Today, we are beyond excited to be hosting Emory Lord, A.C. Gaughen, Trish Doller and Tiffany Schmidt as part of Bloomsbury's Boldly Bookish Blog Tour! These talented authors all have books releasing around this time that we have already had the pleasure of reading and cannot recommend enough to you. And for our stop on the tour - we asked them to tell us a little bit about what inspired them to write their book. So without further ado...

      The Question

      What was your inspiration for writing this book?

      The Answers

      Emory Lord - The Start of Me and You

      "This is weird to say, but I guess my biggest inspiration was a suburban experience. I wanted to show involved parents, a specific kind of town, a friend group that grows and evolves, teens spending a ton of time at school/extracurriculars, and the fact that weekend plans are, like...go to the movies or a coffee shop. I also wanted to show a high school guy who isn't suave or six-packed. Some of the most important conversations happen in cars, idling in driveways, as you race down your curfew. I know it's not flashy or salacious, not escapism even- but I think there is such romance and goodness in growing up in a place that doesn't feel like anywhere special. Wanting to show that was my inspiration."

      About the book

      Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

      Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

      It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

      About the author

      EMERY LORD is the author of Open Road Summer. She lives in a pink row house in Cincinnati, with a husband, two rescue dogs, and a closet full of impractical shoes. Open Road Summer is her first novel.

      Visit her online at and on Twitter @emerylord.

      A.C. Gaughen- Lion Heart / Scarlet Series

      "Lion Heart really has an incredibly appropriate title—to write this book, I had to figure out how to find mine—how to write from a place of bravery and courage. For a long time, I thought that meant writing the hard things, the things that are true or close or deep. But what I found out this time was writing one book doesn’t mean you know how to write every book. I didn’t know how to write this book. I wrote 270,000 words to get to the final book, which roughly means that I wrote it four times over. Because the truth is, I thought I knew what my inspiration was for this story—I thought I wanted to give Scarlet her big moment, connect her story to all these big historical ideas I had…but the truth was, this book was about ending a series. Saying goodbye. And while there were so many inspirations for this story, that was really the question that I had to answer—how do you end an adventure? For Scarlet and for me, what happens when one adventure ends? It’s never been an easy question for me to answer, and it took me three bad drafts to figure it out!"

      About the book

      The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy delivers another action-packed and romance-filled adventure.

      Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.

      Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

      About the author 

      A. C. GAUGHEN is the author of Scarlet and Lady Thief. She serves as the Director of Girls’ Leadership for the non-profit Boston GLOW, creating opportunities to encourage and engage teen girls in the Greater Boston area. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from St. Andrews University in Scotland and a Masters in Education from Harvard University.

      Visit A. C. online at and on Twitter at @acgaughen.

      Trish Doller- The Devil You Know

      "I knew for my third novel I wanted to step out of the comfort zone I had created for myself with the first two books. So I started thinking about Arcadia Wells, this girl who was ready to grab life and just run with it. She reminded me of Sally Carroll Happer, a character from F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story The Ice Palace, and it struck me how things haven't really changed all that much for women since 1920 and I wanted to play with that a little bit. Then one night I watched Alfonso Cuarón's Y Tú Mama Tambien and I loved the idea of Cadie running off with a couple of boys--one who wants to love her and one who wants to kill her. And suddenly, boys became metaphors and I had a story."

      About the book

      Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

      A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

      About the author

      TRISH DOLLER is the author of Something Like Normal and Where the Stars Still Shine. She's a former newspaper reporter and radio personality who now works as a bookseller at the Ft Myers B&N. She lives in Fort Myers, Florida, with her two mostly grown children, two dogs, and a pirate. (For real.)

      Visit her online at and on Twitter at @TrishDoller.

      Tiffany Schmidt - Hold Me Life A Breath

      "I was a wild child. My days were a dizzying blend of hijinks, mischief, and timeouts—and all too frequent trips to the ER when my antics resulted in me bleeding from some wound or another. By the time bedtime rolled around my parents were exhausted and eager for a few hours of well-earned peace and quiet. The only thing that stood between them and that respite was THE BEDTIME STORY.

      One of my favorites was The Princess and the Pea. This was one of their least favorites and eventually the book would mysteriously disappear from my shelf.

      I don’t blame them. Eight year old me was full of questions and accusations:

      “You’re skipping pages! You’re not reading the whole thing!” -- because where were the answers to the questions the story raised? Why was the tale even called The Princess and the Pea if it was mostly about the prince and his search for a bride? I wanted to know Why the princess was alone at night in the middle of a storm? Where was her family? Did she even want to marry the prince? And why the heck was it appealing that she bruised? I knew lots about bruises and I hadn’t ever found them fun or attractive.

      Several decades later, I’m the ones with imps I need to wrangle at bedtime. And since I never found the answers to my Princess and the Pea questions, I decided to write my own. Hold Me Like a Breath is my reimagining of that classic story—but this time it’s actually about the princess."

      About the book

      Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

      Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

      And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

      All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

      About the author

      TIFFANY SCHMIDT is the author of Send Me a Sign and Bright Before Sunrise. She lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles.

      Visit Tiffany online at and on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt.

      Tour Schedule 

      May 18th -- Alexa Loves Books
      May 19th -- The Eater of Books!
      May 21st -- Jessabella Reads
      May 22nd -- Blue Sky Shelf
      May 26th -- Mundie Moms
      May 27th -- Reading Teen
      May 29th -- The Quiet Concert


      The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

      Title: The Book of Ivy
      Author: Amy Engel
      Series: The Book of Ivy #1
      Publisher: Entangled: Teen
      Release Date: November 11, 2014

      Summary from Goodreads:
      After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

      This year, it is my turn.

      My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

      But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

      Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…


      As a follower of trends, I was motivated to read The Book of Ivy due to all of the positive hype surrounding it. I have some trusted blogger friends who really enjoyed it and that was enough for me. So I purchased the audiobook version and dove right in with somewhat high expectations. As I was listening, I did think to myself “I’ve heard this story before” meaning that The Book of Ivy is not necessary a new take on Dystopian, and yet, I was unquestionably drawn into the story. It is well written, well-paced and well characterized.

      In Ivy’s world, arranged marriages are used as a tool to keep the peace between two factions in society. As the daughter of the man who opposed the current President, Ivy has to marry the President’s son, Bishop. Only her father has given her an alternate task – to gain Bishop’s trust, gather information, and then kill him to start a revolution. But naturally Bishop is nothing like his father and Ivy begins to fall for him. On top of that, her time spent with the enemy reveals some truths that shake Ivy’s beliefs. Torn between love for her family and love for Bishop, Ivy sees no way out of her predicament without someone getting hurt, so who will be sacrificed? (dun dun dun)

      I really enjoyed being in Ivy’s head. There were times when she was level-headed and rational and other times when she was rightfully outspoken and reckless. But she was always fiercely true to herself as well as fair and good. Basically, I really liked her. Bishop also won me over with his unfailing patience and compassion. The slow-build to their relationship was perfect and so, so easy to root for. But that ending just solidified it for me. Bishop’s devotion to Ivy and unwavering conviction was amazing.

      Although there is not a whole lot that marked this book as unique to me and it was a little predictable, I still enjoyed it and would absolutely recommend it, especially for dystopian fans. The story is compelling and the characters shine. I am excited for the next book, which I believe is also the conclusion (for duology fans).

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