Stacking The Shelves (167) - April 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.


What I Love About ACOTAR


All images taken from SJMaas' Pinterest Page

Not what you expected, right? I know I'm being a little unorthodox here so I shall elaborate... There are many, many things I love about ACOTAR - the fiery characters, the steamy romance, the unique world, and the addictive pacing - but one can expect all of that from any SJMaas book. Part of what I loved about THIS book specifically is that I couldn't put it down once things got rolling. To take a quote from my review:
"The last third of this book is non-stop action. The danger that threatened them has finally made an appearance and the fate of the world rests on Feyre. Once I reached this point in the story, I could not stop reading. All of the information that was gathered in the beginning of the book comes to fruition and it's a whirlwind of trials and magic and politics and scheming and fiery passion."
And a big player in all that craziness was our very own villian Amarantha. We all love to hate a good villain and it doesn't get much more villainous than Amarantha. So I wanted to give her a shout out too because I figured she wasn't going to get as much attention as say, the ever-so-sexy and teasing Rhysand, or the strong but reserved Tamlin, or any of our kickass GOOD females. Yeah, this book has it all. 

And I have a feeling that A Court of Mist and Fury is going to be even better. I CANNOT WAIT! 


Soldier by Julie Kawaga

Title: Soldier
Series: Talon #3
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Release Date: April 26th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:
A fighter dedicated to saving humankind from dragons in strictest secrecy.

That was what Garret Xavier Sebastian thought he was part of as a soldier of the Order of St. George. What he learned from a fiery dragon hatchling twisted all he believed in and set him on a collision course with certain death-but not without a chance to put things right.

Betrayed and on the run again, Ember and rogue dragon Riley discover an unthinkable truth about Talon and St. George. They'll need Garret's skills and insider knowledge of the Order to negotiate an impossible deal-and if they fail, there will be no way to stop all-out war.

About Julie Kagawa

Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time (okay, at least the illustrations did), but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a
real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, an obnoxious cat, an Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and a hyper-active Papillion.


HOLY DRAGON WAR! Soldier was fantastic.  If you liked the dragon aspects from book one and two, they are in full force throughout Soldier.  There are dragon battles, battles in St. George, battles between the two fighting groups and so much more.  True to the title of the book, Soldier is an action heavy but more specifically, war heavy read.  The suspense and high stakes had me turning through the pages.

Aside from the constant war, the reader is introduced to new fierce dragons, crazy drama, and a continuing romantic tug of war.  At times the romantic tug of war does grate on me but in the end it is well suited to the overall plot and I can appreciate it even though it's not my favorite.  Ember's struggles are emotional yet as a reader I found them to also be very logical.

I truly believe that I have enjoyed each book in this series more than the previous one; to think that there are a few more to come (aside from having to wait with cliffhangers) is a wonderful thought.  I have a sore spot for dragons, especially ones that have human feelings and that plays a huge role in the entire series.  Soldier focused on the complex and tricky web that had been slowly spun in the first two books and still leaves more to uncover in the next book.  The various point of views combined together to leave the reader feeling like they know what is going on in most areas in the story.  The battle heavy, third installment in the Talon series, is definitely worth the read!

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

Week 2:


1 set of TALON, ROGUE & SOLDIER (US Only)


Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel (Tyme #1) by Megan Morrison

Title: Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel
Author: Megan Morrison
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Release Date: February 2nd 2016

Summary from Goodreads:
"Think you know Rapunzel's story? Think again, because the tower was only the beginning..." -- Jennifer Nielsen, New York Times bestselling author of THE FALSE PRINCE

In all of Tyme, from the Redlands to the Grey, no one is as lucky as Rapunzel. She lives in a magic tower that obeys her every wish; she reads wonderful books starring herself as the heroine; her hair is the longest, most glorious thing in the world. And she knows this because Witch tells her so---her beloved Witch, who protects her from evil princes, the dangerous ground under the tower, even unhappy thoughts. Rapunzel can't imagine any other life.

Then a thief named Jack climbs into her room to steal one of her enchanted roses. He's the first person Rapunzel's ever met who isn't completely charmed by her (well, the first person she's met at all, really), and he is infuriating-- especially when he hints that Witch isn't telling her the whole truth. Driven by anger at Jack and her own nameless fears, Rapunzel descends to the ground for the first time, and finds a world filled with more peril than Witch promised ... and more beauty, wonder, and adventure than she could have dreamed.


Grounded is a creative blend of the Rapunzel and Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tales. Rapunzel lives in a tower and is cared for by Witch who plays a motherly role. Jack is on a mission and needs to get Rapunzel’s help. What I found to be interesting is Rapunzel reads fairy tales and is self-aware of Rapunzel books/stories.

Jack and Rapunzel do not get off to the best start seeing as Jack is the person who tries to explain to her that Witch is bad and attempts to answer all of Rapunzel's other questions.  Rapunzel is full of interesting questions, like: what is a brother or a sister? Being cooped up in the tower for her whole life, Rapunzel is naive and innocent.  She is faced with the harshness and beauty of the whole world all at once and it sometimes overwhelms her.

The book is very plot driven, as the title suggests, it is an adventure story.  While I did enjoy the book, the middle of the story does slow down a bit while Rapunzel learns more and faces challenges on her journey.  There is a cute potentially budding romance but overall Grounded focuses on the adventure and each character's back story rather than romance.  Because of this I do believe this book can be enjoyed by a younger reader as well!


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Release Date: December 31st 2012

Summary from Goodreads:
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.


I kept seeing how excited everyone was when the Me Before You trailer came out and once I watched it, I was intrigued.    I know that Jojo Moyes is a favorite author for many so I decided to try out the audio book for Me Before You.  The narrators did a wonderful job, the multiple point of views were done by multiple narrators. I highly recommend the audio book, the voices suited the characters.

The premise is a heavy one yet I was laughing and smiling through a majority of the book.  I loved Lou, I thought her personality and charisma were honest and refreshing.  Her view of the world was a tad naive but it good way, as it allowed Will to truly make an impact on her outlook on life.   Their unusual work situation made for an evolving and unique relationship.  While I personally have not quite been in a situation like Lou, her story and the life lessons she faced had me reflecting on my own experiences.

Me Before You handles a tricky situation with honesty and fantastic writing.  My only reservation was that going into the book, I had heard that it makes readers cry.  I was preparing myself the whole time and I do believe that hype distracted me a bit.  I can see why the author ended it the way she did bit I also feel like the ending shy-ed away from super tough/emotional scenes.  Aside from that I loved the varying point of views, the cast of characters, and the emotionally compelling plot.


My Trip to Iceland!

Welcome to Thoughts for Thursday! This feature is our outlet to talk with you about whatever we currently have on our minds. It might be bookish, it might not! Now for this week's thought:

Recaping my Trip to Iceland 

This past February, my husband and I took a trip to Iceland with a group of friends.  It was absolutely stunning.  I have seen a lot of Europe and loved it but Iceland thus far has been one of the most naturally stunning places I have visited.  The expanse of white landscape, that most awe-inspiring Northern Lights, and the unique terrain made it a magnificent trip.  

Sun Voyager, View from the Church Tower, Me with an Elf, Reykjavik at Night

Geysir, Me with a hot spring, Gulfoss, Justin and I at Gulfoss, Thingvellir National Park
The Blue Lagoon, The city Opera House, and more Blue Lagoon

 Black sand beaches at Vik
 Waterfalls and beaches 

 The most amazing view from our Glacier walk plus ice tunnels and ice caves! 
Last but not least, the Northern Lights!  They were truly amazing! 

I highly recommend visiting Iceland, it was a great experience.  I found everyone to be super helpful and friendly.  I also get asked a lot how cold it was, it was actually not too bad.  Cold but definitely manageable!  


Starflight by Melissa Landers

Title: Starflight
Author: Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: February 2nd 2016

Summary from Goodreads:
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...


IF YOU ARE ON THE FENCE, SAY YES TO STARFLIGHT! I am so glad I picked up this (audio) book; it was just the sci-fi book I needed.

5 Reasons to read Starflight
1. Fantastic Banter - The banter between Solara and Doran is fantastic, they are so different and always arguing. No insta-love here :)

2. Ragtag group of shipmates - The rag tag group of shipmates is where Starflight reminded me of Firefly.  Each shipmate has a different backstory, a unique personality,  and they all semi-work together on one mission

3. Space Travel - Starflight is a space travel story, the group is flying off to different planets all while being chased through space.

4. Multiple sub-plots - Not only do the two main characters have their own subplots that intertwine throughout the book but the secondary characters also have different back stories that play roles as well.

5. Adventure heavy - The book is mainly plot driven with great character development too.  The team is faced with crazy scenarios with space pirates and bounty hunters.

Starlight is a fun, adventure heavy book full of high risk space travel plus a great cast of characters. I highly recommend this book if you want a great sci-fi read!


Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Things I Can't Forget
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: December 3rd 2013

Summary from Goodreads:
They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…


Racing Savannah runs a close tie with Catching Jordan as my favorite book in the series thus far. Some of the aspects that were not my favorite in book two and three are not present in Racing Savannah. There is a solid (single) romantic interest and the overall mood is not quite as heavy.

Savannah is a determined, smart, confident female lead. She stood up for what she wanted and what she believed was right. I am impressed with the way she handled her romantic relationship and I appreciated the Kenneally gave her character the courage to stand up for herself. I am actually not a big horse person either (they kinda scare me) but I love the horse riding and competition aspects that were in the story.  It was easy to appreciate the fact that Savannah is willing to fight for what she wants and go after her dreams.

If book 2 and 3 were not your favorite, this one is for you!  The single love interest, strong female character and honest and believable family dynamic makes Racing Savannah a great book!


These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

Title: These Vicious Masks
Author: Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: February 9th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:
Jane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.


I can’t put my finger on the exact issue I have with the writing style but the sentence structure and flow slowed me down. These Vicious Masks was hard to get into, both the writing and slow introduction made for a tedious first couple of chapters. (I almost gave up but I had heard good things so I kept going).

While I think at times These Vicious Masks seemed to have some great innovative plot points other times it felt like a mash-up of popular tropes that feel overused. The setting and world building seemed a tad stereotypical. Along with the world, I did not really care about the characters; there was nothing wrong with them but I just did not care what happened to them. Evelyn is a strong willed female lead that is full of attitude, witty comments, and a fierce love for her sister that made her an entertaining character. (One of the aspects that kept me going throughout).

These Vicious Masks unfortunately fell flat. Conceptually it sounded like a book I would have loved but the writing style, romance, and world building did not work for me.


Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks #3) by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Things I Can't Forget
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: March 1st 2013

Summary from Goodreads:
Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different...

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt - with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy...


Things I Can't Forget is probably my least favorite thus far.  Some parts of the story I really enjoyed and other parts got under my skin.  I found Kate's judgmental proclivity to really bother me.  I know she ended up working on it and really trying to overcome her own ghosts and learn to be more accepting but when she was not I just wanted to shake her. As I mentioned some parts of the story were great and some of those parts include when Kate saw past some of her judgments.

The friendship that grew between Kate and Parker was a great addition to the story. I loved the changing dynamic between the two; it really highlighted the power of friendship and how one person can really turn from a stranger to one of your closest friends.

As for the romance, I think Matt is great; I love that he respects Kate's beliefs and decisions.  Their romance is cute and very slow building, they really build on their friendship first.  Similar to Stealing Parker, religion plays a big role in this story, Kate's beliefs are funded in her Church and religion. (So if religious under tones are not your things, just skip right to Racing Savannah!)  Even though I had some issues with Kate, I still enjoyed the book and can't wait to continue the series!


Mini Reviews: When We Collided by Emery Lord, The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: April 5, 2016


When We Collided completely took me by storm. I expected to love it based on my history with Emery Lord’s previous two books but this one affected me on a whole new level. It was definitely darker as it dealt with mental illness, love, loss, grief, shame, responsibility and other heavy themes. And because I fell so desperately head over heels for these characters, their emotional turmoil hit me hard. Vivi’s character was like few I have ever encountered before. She felt SO MUCH and had such a life force that it was impossible not to get swept up by her. Meanwhile, Jonah had a much more subtle presence but was just as moving in the way he tried to do right by everyone. And the way these two collided…. The title of this book couldn’t be more perfect. EVERYTHING about this book couldn’t be more perfect. It is a MUST READ in my book.

Title: The Long Game
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Fixer #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: June 7, 2016


I simply cannot get enough of this series. The events in this book don’t seem all that realistic – so if that seems like something that might bother you, I don’t know if this one is for you – but damn if it is not so much fun to read. I love me some good ol’ blackmail, and sleuthing, and mystery-solving, and mind-games, and political maneuvering and this series has it all and more. I am also OBSESSED with these characters, Asher most of all, whose personality is similar to Adrian from the Vampire Academy series and Nikolai from the Grisha series. And last but not least, this book shocked the hell out of me. I did not see some of these twists coming and the ending was one hell of a ride. So yeah, I HIGHLY recommend this series.

Title: Frozen Tides
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms #5
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: December 15, 2015


Frozen Tides is the fourth installment in a series that I highly recommend for fans of Fantasy. With every sequel, Rhodes expands the already vibrant world, deepens the character profiles, spins new relationship ties and furthers the already magic-heavy political-savvy, and character-driven plot. I have enjoyed every single one of these books and have fallen in love with this cast of characters a little more each time. The main reasons I gave this book 3.5 stars instead of more is because 1) the Cleo-Magnus relationship went in circles and I am desperate for more between those two and 2) while I love politics, the main plot developments in this story were political based and I’ve come to expect more from Rhodes. But don’t weigh my criticisms too heavily because again, this series is wonderful and well worth a read.

Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2) by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Stealing Parker
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: October 1st 2012

Summary from Goodreads:
Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

After a scandal rocks their conservative small town, 17-year-old Parker Shelton goes overboard trying to prove that she won't turn out like her mother: a lesbian. The all-star third-baseman quits the softball team, drops 20 pounds and starts making out with guys--a lot. But hitting on the hot new assistant baseball coach might be taking it a step too far...especially when he starts flirting back.


After Catching Jordan, I was super excited to jump right into Stealing Parker.  Stealing Parker focuses on another group of characters but with cameos from Catching Jordan characters. (Not going to lie, I need to remember names better, ha. It took me a second to remember who was who.) Similar to book one, Kenneally blends sports, relationships, and heavier topics into a fast paced compelling read.  This book focuses on Parker's relationship with baseball and softball.  Parker walked away from softball after her mother left her father.  The event rocked her world in a rough way.  Parker is faced with gossip, a lack of support from friends, and an overall sense of less.

Stealing Parker felt heavier to me than Catching Jordan.  The reaction Parker's church and friends had to Parker's mother's sexuality was not an easy read.  Parker need support and instead she had most everyone turn their backs on her or give her the cold shoulder.  The struggle Parker faces when questioning her church and her personal relationship with God was brutally honest and emotional.  Kenneally did her justice in her portrayal of the difficult situation Parker was facing.

Aside from the religious aspects , Parker also fell into a complicated romance.  While Parker stumbles and makes some mistakes, she stays strong; she learns and grows throughout the course of the book.  My primary reasoning behind the three star rating has to do with the romance.  Parks of the romance I just did not really like.

Stealing Parker was a heavier yet still enjoyable addition to the Hundred Oaks series.  I will caveat this book though: If religion and religious struggles are not for you, then this might not be the book for you.  Now to start Things I Can't Forget ;)

Stacking The Shelves (166) - April 2nd

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

Check out our current giveaway here

Raining Romance Giveaway Hop

Raining Romance Giveaway Hop! 

We do love a good love story :) Winner get's their choice of book from image below!

- US residents only (sorry International friends :()
- Ends April 15th, 2016
- Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter
- Winners will have 48 hours to respond before someone else is selected
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit Some of the other Blogs on the Hop!

Copyright © 2014 The Quiet Concert
Template and Design by New Chapter Designs