Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (19)

10 comments :
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. They created the meme because they love making and sharing lists. Well that's just one thing that I have in common with them because list making is essential to my life.

Every week, there is a new topic for Top Ten Tuesday, and all you have to do is create your top ten list (or somewhere around ten if you can't think of ten) based on it. Oh, and be sure to link back to The Broke and the Bookish! Then you can add your name to the link up tool that they include in their post!

Ten Books I Recently Added to My TBR:




So I have a mix of released and upcoming books for this week's Top Ten Tuesday. Some of these are books that have been getting a lot of attention lately, so I'm very interested in them (The Orphan Queen, We All Looked Up, Mosquitoland, The Wrong Side of Right), and some are books that I am just very interested in reading (and soon). I'm also curious about the similarities in We All Looked Up and All We Have Is Now, so I will probably read those two back to back when the latter is released.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hardcover Lover Confessions (6)

24 comments :
Hey there, Hardcover Lovers! If you've been around for a while, you probably know that I started a discussion post feature not too long ago, and that it's called Hardcover Lover Confessions (HCL Confessions for short).

If you're new to The Hardcover Lover or just missed the first few posts, I'll fill you in. HCL Confessions are my discussion posts. Every few weeks, I'll post my thoughts on something going on in the book blogging world or just general bookish thoughts. I know some of the topics that I'll be discussing have been discussed before, but I haven't really had a chance to talk about bookish things on my blog.

I'm encouraging all of my followers to join in and discuss your thoughts on each topic with me and with the other bloggers/people who leave comments. Seriously... we'd love to hear what you have to say because everyone has an opinion! It's all about kindly expressing ourselves and making connections with other bloggers and readers while forming blogging friendships.  Don't be afraid to reply to a comment made by someone you've never spoken to! I can promise you that all of my followers are kind and outgoing.

HCL Confession on Book Hauls

Back before I started blogging, I would go book shopping every few months and pick a few new titles. This was pretty manageable for me. If I finished those new books, I'd usually just go to a thrift store or Half Price Books to look for more books to read.

When I started blogging, I became completely immersed in the world of buying books. My first book haul wasn't so bad, but then I started buying books like they were going out of style. It was bad. I'd end up with a Book Outlet coupon and buy boxes full of books. Sometimes I'd even make two or three Book Outlet orders in a week. I'd go to my local Half Price Books and fill multiple baskets. I even went to a Half Price Books across town to look for books that mine didn't have. Why? Because everyone else was buying books and sharing them with their readers, and I wanted to do that too. I wanted to share my new books with my readers.

It's ridiculous to see the shelves and piles of unread books that I have now because I wanted to be in with the "in-crowd" in the Book Blogosphere. I'm not saying that I don't think people shouldn't post their book hauls, but I do think we've become a culture that is too obsessed with having the latest and greatest of everything. But seriously... when am I going to find time to read those books, especially when I have some ARCs to read? The truth is, that I probably won't, and I'll sadly end up parting with a few before I get to read them. I still buy books (and pre-order upcoming titles), but not as many, and I try to read about ten books before I buy any more.

Looking back, I was being wasteful. I spent money like I was rich, which I'm not, and if I could turn back time, I would go back and stop myself from buying all those books. I'd find a way to make myself more frugal.

I'm sure you've also noticed that I stopped posting "Stacking the Shelves" posts around Christmastime. I did this for personal reasons. I felt like I was showing off in those posts, and despite being a Leo, I don't like to be a showoff (but sometimes it's gets the better of me and I am a showoff). I also realized that I was feeling envious when I saw all the books that other bloggers and readers were buying or getting as gifts because I wanted to buy more and more. I didn't want to make anyone feel that way about me. I don't think "Stacking the Shelves" or book haul memes are a bad thing, but they aren't for me. To be honest, I rarely even read them.

Your Confessions

I know this HCL Confession was very personal and I realize that not everyone will agree with me, but I want to hear your thoughts on this matter. Have you ever felt caught up and bought more books than you should have? Are you a person who buys dozens of books at a time? Are you a person who only buys books as you can read them? Do you load up on eBooks because they are cheaper? What are your book buying habits?
Feel free to leave a comment, and take the floor and discuss your book buying habits (good or bad). Your opinion can be opposite of mine or others, but please be courteous with your comments.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review: The Truth About Alice

16 comments :
Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.
But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car? 
It's true. Ask anybody.
Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the bathroom wall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.
In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students - the girl who had the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door - tell all they know.
But what exactly is the truth about Alice? In the end, there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.

My Review

For a book that’s just under two hundred pages, Jennifer Mathieu’s The Truth About Alice packs a punch and delivers the pain right to the guts. This book is one that readers will wow readers so much that they’ll want to devour in one sitting, but it’s also conflicting because readers will want to savor it and make it last just a little longer. I did the latter, and decided to savor it, and it paid off. The novel is both heartbreaking and healing, though much of the book deals with heartbreaking issues such as bullying, depression, death, and mourning. Other issues, such as sex, drinking, and religion are brought up in the book, so it has a little something for everyone. Matthieu tackles these issues with grace and writes about them beautifully with such a vast array of emotions.

The novel is told from four different perspectives, and each character has his or her own opinion about the infamous Alice Franklin. Rumors are swirling around the small town of Healy, Texas, and teenage residents, Elaine, Kelsie, Josh, and Kurt all have something to say about Alice and what allegedly happened at Elaine’s party and the weeks that followed. The multiple narrator aspect allows for a multifaceted story that perturbs and engages readers as they turn every page. I really liked that this novel was told from the different points of view. As the book progresses, readers are able to put the puzzle pieces together to figure out the truth until Alice finally comes out to tell her side of the story. Each character had his or her own voice, and this springboards Mathieu amongst some of the best contemporary YA authors. I was never confused about who was narrating each chapter, and I loved each character’s unique voice.

I did feel like the four narrators represented the typical high school stereotypes and were clich├ęs but the inclusion of that feature made the book more realistic and believable. No matter where you go to school, there are popular girls, jocks, nerds, and quite possibly, back-stabbing friends. I really enjoyed reading and learning about these characters they all conform to their respective stereotype in certain ways, but they are still able to break the mold and surprise readers by doing unexpected things at unexpected times.

Every teenager (and fan of young adult books) should and must read The Truth About Alice. Even with it’s more mature content, it’s such a powerful and emotionally slaying read because it realistically shows just how vicious teenagers can really be. On the other hand, it also shows that there still is some good in the world, even when it seems like all hope is lost. I would recommend this book for fans of gut-wrenching books and movies like The Breakfast Club and Mean Girls. If you’re looking for something realistic and suspenseful, read this book.

The Friday 56 (17)

18 comments :
The Friday 56 is a weekly bookish meme hosted over by Freda at Freda's Voice. The rules are super easy to follow, and this feature is a great way to share the books you're reading with other bloggers and readers.

So what do you need to do to participate in The Friday 56?
  • Go to page 56 (or 56% for e-readers like Kindle and Nook) of the book you're currently reading
  • Grab a few sentences to share with your blog's readers, but be sure not to spoil anything too major
  • Add your name to the link-up on Freda's blog
This week, I'm reading a book that's been on my TBR list for a very, very long time. I was so excited when I found it at Half Price Books that I bumped it ahead of quite a few of the books that I already own. So... what book is it? Well, it's Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson.




"I turned my lights on and my music up, a Luke Bryan album I'd downloaded last month but not listened to until now, and headed in the direction of the Orchard. I was halfway through the album when I turned off the main road and on to the side street that would lead me there. Out here, the houses got farther and farther apart until there was nothing but empty land and, tucked away on an almost-hidden drive, the Orchard."
What do you think? This is my first experience with Morgan Matson, and I must say that I'm enjoying her writing so far. It's easy-going, but full of imagery.

I know this book has been out for a while, and I'm sure many of you have already read it. If so, what did you think of it? Feel free to let me know, and feel free to leave links to your Friday 56 posts. I'd love to see what everyone is reading!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Poll: ARC Reviews

16 comments :
ARC reviews and book reviews are my favorite thing about being a book blogger. I'm a rather opinionated person, and I love being able to read a book and share my thoughts on it to possibly help other people make a decision about purchasing or reading new books.

I've been thinking about this issue lately because some of my ARC reviews don't get very much attention. To be honest, that concerns me because those are the posts that I want people reading and interacting with more.

So... I'm asking for just a little bit of help. I'd like to be able to reach out to you, my readers, more. I want to know when you like reading ARC reviews.

If you have a moment, please consider answering the poll. It will help me reorganize my posts, and when I'll be posting ARC reviews from now on. If you answer "other" in the poll, please leave a comment to let me know when you like reading ARC reviews. I usually post mine a week before a book is published, but I am willing to change this to help my readers make better book buying decisions.



When do you like seeing ARC reviews?

One Week Before Publication
Two Weeks Before Publication
One Month Before Publication
Publication Day
Other
Poll Maker

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (19)

4 comments :

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme created and hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights the upcoming releases that bloggers and readers are currently anticipating.

It's very easy to participate in the meme. All you need to do is make a post about an upcoming release that you're waiting on, make sure you've linked back to Breaking the Spine, and then add your name to the link-up tool.

What I'm Waiting On...

Title: Devoted
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her home school education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.




Why I'm Waiting...

Okay... so I'm kind of cheating on this one because I have an ARC, but I haven't read it yet and I probably won't get to it until late April or early May. 

I really enjoyed Jennifer's debut novel, The Truth About Alice, so I'm more than a little curious to see how she handles this book. It's definitely different, and probably a book I normally wouldn't go for, but I was obsessed with the movie, The Ultimate Sin/In God's Country. (I don't know why it has two titles...) I'm interested in seeing how Rachel handles herself before and after her beliefs are shaken. 

What Are You Waiting On...

Feel free to let me know if you're also waiting on Devoted or any other books in the comments. Also, feel free to leave any links to your Waiting on Wednesday posts because I would love to check them out and see what you're all waiting on. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ARC Review: The Start of Me and You

8 comments :
Title: The Start of Me and You
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
 Rating:  ☆☆☆☆☆
Source: Brittany
Goodreads | Amazon
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?

My Review

Emery Lord nails it again with her sophomore novel by blending serious issues with a light feel that will make readers beg for more. The Start of Me and You includes themes of friendship, self-discovery, and healing, and it is perfection at its finest. You need to add this to your TBR lists right now because it's just so emotionally powerful without being too overwhelming. I'd call this book 2015's Feel Good Book of the Year if I had that sort of power, but I don't, so I'm just telling you that it's a "feel-good" kind of book that you won't want to miss.

Emery Lord is the author that I wish would have been around when I was in high school. Girls in the 13-18 (and beyond) age range should be reading Emery's books, especially The Start of Me and You because she includes such wonderful and positive friendships, and the friendships in this one are stellar. Personally, I feel like friendships kind of get brushed aside in a lot of contemporary YA novels to focus more on the romance, but Emery makes sure that Paige and her best friends are center stage throughout most of the novel. I loved reading about these four lovely girls (Paige, Tessa, Kayleigh, and Morgan), and I'm sure many teenage girls will be able to relate to them.

Ms. Lord also tackles the very difficult subject of grief in this novel, and she does it flawlessly. It's hard to lose anyone when you're at a young age, especially to tragedy because it's just confusing. There are so many highs and lows that come with losing a loved one or a friend, and Lord captures that grief, heartbreak, and confusion and bottles it up in Paige to create a completely realistic character and plot.  

Yes... there is romance in this novel, and I adored how Emery wrote planned and wrote it in this book. The reader knows something is eventually going to happen, but they don't know when. I was anticipating how things would develop the whole time, and I was completely satisfied when the big moment happened. I had a huge grin on my face, and I couldn't have asked for anything more adorable.

What I Loved:

  • Paige's personal history - She's intelligent but she's also very pop-culture savvy (like Lorelai and Rory Gilmore), but she's very aware of her problems and how they might affect the people around her.
  • Paige's circle of girlfriends - They are all so different and unique, but they are always there for one another.
  • Max Watson - He'll make you swoon, but that's not all he's good for. He's a truly remarkable character, and one that will be hard to forget.
  • Cameron - I'm a sucker for books with sister relationships, and Paige and Cameron have a rocky, but still loving (and realistic feeling) relationship.
  • Ms. Pepper - I'm an English teacher, so I love it when English teachers are pretty big characters in a book. Ms. Pepper is pretty awesome, and I loved her. 
  • One surprise reference - Emery alludes to something in her previous book in The Start of Me and You, and I almost melted. 
  • The pop culture references - The Start of Me and You is full of pop culture references that will make any pop culture or trivia junkie geek out.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely and to any and all fans of contemporary YA! It's just one of those books that all teenage girls should and must read, and I would tell any YA/school librarian to order it and display it immediately! I even tried to pass it off to my sister as soon as I finished reading it so she could experience Emery's wonderful story of finding yourself and beginning again. This book deserves more than just five stars because it's just that beautiful.

About Emery Lord

Emery Lord is a 20-something Midwestern girl who writes stories about high school and best friends and weird families and the crushes that make you feel combustibly alive and also more awkward than you thought was possible. If you're not sure how to pronounce Emery, try slurring the name "Emily," and that will get you really close. 

She lives in Cincinnati in a 100 year-old pink row house with her BFF/husband, a closet full of dresses, and lots of books. If karaoke-ing in grocery store aisles or guzzling coffee while impulse shopping were illegal, Emery would be writing her overemotional YA books from jail. Also, she makes up words sometimes. Like combustibly.


Open Road Summer
, her first YA novel, is out now with Bloomsbury. Her second, The Start of Me and You, will be released on March 31, 2015.

http://www.janellrhiannon.com/ https://twitter.com/theravenangel


Monday, March 23, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (15)

6 comments :
"It's Monday! What Are You Reading?" is a weekly meme brought to you by BookJourney. Each Monday, you get to share book or books you're currently reading and what you plan on reading during the rest of the week with the rest of the book blogosphere and readers.

A while ago, I discovered another great outlet to share your It's Monday posts. Readers of YA and educators can also share their links on the link up tool on Teach Mentor Texts. I highly recommend this if you are a teacher or a librarian because I've discovered so many great books through the bloggers on that list.

Once again, it's been a while since my last It's Monday post, and I do apologize. I promise you that I'm reading, but I just sometimes don't plan out everything that I'm going to read during the week. So... I think this will be a once-in-a-while feature for me that will feature some of the books that I'll be reading throughout the month.

What I'm Planning to Read this Month:

  • Hit by Delilah S. Dawson - This is an ARC that Simon & Schuster sent me. I was a little scared to start it because it's not really my thing and it was unsolicited, but I'm enjoying it so far. I'll be posting a review on April 7, so be sure to stop by then if you're interested in seeing what I have to say about this book.
  • Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - This one was on my wish list for a while, and then I found it when I was selling books at Half Price Books. I'm hoping to squeeze it in before I have to read some more ARCs.
  • Narvla's Celtic New Year by


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Soundtrack Saturday (23)

14 comments :


Happy Saturday, everyone! I hope you've been enjoying your weekend, and that it's starting to warm up if you've been dealing with an eternal winter.
If you've been following The Hardcover Lover for a while, you know just what happens on Saturdays on the blog. Yup! That's right - Soundtrack Saturday! If you've never noticed the meme before or are just new to the blog, I'll explain things for you:

Soundtrack Saturday is a book meme created and hosted by me so I can share my love of music with my readers. But this is a book blog, so of course, books are involved! The soundtracks are actually book soundtracks! As I'm reading, or as soon as I finish, I compile a list of songs that go well with the book.

As with all bookish memes, there are a few steps to follow to help you create your own Soundtrack Saturday post:
  • Choose a book that you've read
  • Create a mini (four songs) or full soundtrack (ten-fifteen songs) for that book based on characters and plot details
    • For more detailed instructions, please visit the meme's homepage.
  • Please credit me somewhere in your post
    • It can be as simple as "Soundtrack Saturday was created by Erin at The Hardcover Lover."
  • Leave a comment on my blog post if you enjoy the feature
  • Add your name to the link-up tool 
This week's book for Soundtrack Saturday is Fairest by Marissa Meyer. I loved reading this one and as I was reading, I had to jot down a bunch of songs that came to mind!

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"Young and Beautiful" by Lana Del Ray
"Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar
"Mirror" by Ellie Goulding
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Lorde
"Night Changes" by One Direction
"Burning Gold" by Christina Perri
"Wasting All These Tears" by Cassadee Pope
"Devil May Cry" by The Weeknd
"Seven Devils" by Florence + The Machine
"Somebody That I Used to Know" by Goyte
"Dust to Dust" by The Civil Wars
"Glory and Gore" by Lorde

So there's my Soundtrack Saturday. I wanted to catch some of Levana's hopeful moments and many of her evil moments. Let me know if you'd add any other songs to the playlist.

Be sure to link up if you created your own Soundtrack Saturday! I'd love to see what everyone's reading.


Friday, March 20, 2015

The Friday 56 (16)

10 comments :
The Friday 56 is a weekly bookish meme hosted over by Freda at Freda's Voice. The rules are super easy to follow, and this feature is a great way to share the books you're reading with other bloggers and readers.

So what do you need to do to participate in The Friday 56?
  • Go to page 56 (or 56% for e-readers like Kindle and Nook) of the book you're currently reading
  • Grab a few sentences to share with your blog's readers, but be sure not to spoil anything too major
  • Add your name to the link-up on Freda's blog

Currently ReadingThis week, I'm reading Emery Lord's highly anticipated sophomore novel, The Start of Me and You.  I can tell you that it is fabulous so far, and I am fairly positive that I am going to love this book. If you haven't already, pre-order this to make sure you can start reading it on March 31!

"That looks good," Tessa told me when I emerged from the closet. She leaned back on a pile of pillows on her bed, crossing her arms. "I thought you didn't like that dress."

"I like it. My mom just wouldn't let me wear it that one time."

"That is cute," Tessa cried, gesturing at the dress. "Why doesn't your mom like it?"

"Too skimpy," I said, making air quotes.

What do you think? Have you already read The Start of Me and You? Are you dying on the inside because you need to read it now?

As always, feel free to leave links to your Friday 56 posts so I can check them out, and see what everyone's reading. Enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

ARC Review: Nightbird

2 comments :
Title: Nightbird
Author: Alice Hoffman
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Rating: ☆☆☆
An enchanting novel from bestselling author Alice Hoffman: a charmed New England village, a family secret, and a friendship destined to defeat a witch.

"Some things could only be found in Sidwell it seemed: pink apples, black owls, and my brother, James."

Twelve-year-old Twig's town in the Berkshires is said to hide a winged beast, the Monster of Sidwell, and the rumors draw as many tourists as the town's famed Pink apple orchards. Twig lives on the orchard with her mysterious brother James and her reclusive mother, a baker of irresistible apple pies. Because of a family secret - an ancient curse - Twig has had to isolate herself from other kids. Then a family with two girls, Julia and Agate, moves into the cottage next door. They are descendants of the witch who put the spell on Twig's family. But Julia turns out to be Twig's first true friend, and her ally in trying to undo the curse and smooth the path to true love for Agate and James.

My Review

Nightbird is a middle grade novel by bestselling author, Alice Hoffman. Before reading this book, I'd never read anything by Ms. Hoffman before, which is kind of shocking when you consider the fact that she's written so many books and has had so many bestsellers. Unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed with Nightbird, Ms. Hoffman's first middle grade novel, and I don't know how I feel about possibly reading more books by her.

I had a hard time connecting with one of the stories in Nightbird, and unfortunately, that story was the main part of the plot - Twig's tale about the Sidwell Monster and her life. While the plot of Twig's story was both cutesy and serious, I felt like it wasn't very engaging. There were many times that the narration felt stiff and boring.

I've already mentioned that the narration was dull, but I did not mention that Twig's voice just didn't feel like a middle grade voice to me. When I read middle grade, I want to feel that excitement of a preteen, but I just didn't feel that at all with this book. Twig's definitely very mature for her age due to family circumstances, and I think that makes her sound more like an adult instead of a kid. I just keep thinking that a lot of middle grade readers would pick up on this and feel an extreme disconnect to Twig and the novel.

The book did pick up a little at the end, and I really enjoyed the last two chapters, especially because the ending is quite satisfying and heart-warming. I just wish the rest of the book would have had the same feel to it. All in all, it wasn't a terrible read, but when I see something labeled as magical realism, I really want to feel that perfected hybrid balance of real world and fantasy.

Was this the book for me? No, but I can see this one being treasured by kids for years to come because of the light fantastical elements and somewhat intriguing plot. I would recommend this to middle grade readers who are very comfortable with reading magical realism. I'd also recommend this to middle school English/ELA teachers because I can see a lot of benefit to using this book in class to teach about magical realism, prejudice, family values, and friendship.

About Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty bestselling works of fiction, including Practical Magic, also a major motion picture with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman; Here On Earth, an Oprah Book Club selection; the highly praised historical novel The Dovekeepers; and, most recently, The Museum of Extraordinary Things.

Her books for teens include Green Angel, Green Witch, Incantation, The Foretelling, and Aquamarine, also a motion picture with Emma Roberts.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blog Tour: Uncross the Stars + GIVEAWAY

7 comments :












Title: Uncross the Stars
Author: Janell Rhiannon
Publication Date: December 15, 2014
Genre: Romance (YA)
Fiona Lavender is the new girl at school. She has a chip on her shoulder and a pension for poetry. Dario Martinez is the star quarterback, and the most unattainable guy on campus. Their stars cross when they are paired to study Romeo and Juliet for a senior English project. Their connection is fragile and undeniable. But, Dario is afraid of what love will do; and Fiona is waiting for love to claim her.

Will they uncross the stars and find the love they both need to heal their pasts?


 

Excerpt from Uncross the Stars

 At midnight, Fiona and her mother finally pulled into the driveway of their new rental. Her mom cut the engine, but not the parking lights.
“Looks like we made it, Fee.”
“Barely. I thought you were going to kill us a few times weaving all over the road like you were,” Fiona said.
“It’s not easy driving and towing a U-haul trailer. It’s heavy,” her mom replied and began rummaging through her purse.
Fiona ignored her mother and squinted through the dust and bug splats on the windshield at the dark house. She noticed the crooked light fixture on the left side of the garage, and the rain gutter hanging askew.
“Looks like we’re the haunted house on the block,” Fiona said.
Her mom hit the high beams spotlighting the garage door like a stage.
“Not so helpful, Mom.” Fiona got out of the car and stretched her neck and back. She inhaled the cool fall air. Peering through the darkness, she noticed the bushes lining the dead grass yard needed trimming, the thinly branched tree in the front stood naked of leaves, and mounds of dried up flowers filled the flower bed under the front window. Shadows darkened the walkway to the front door. A pair of windows stared out at the street like rectangular evil eyes.
“Looks sturdy and dirty. And creepy. I can hardly wait to go inside, Mom.”
Fiona peered inside the car. Under the dim dome light, her mom had dumped the entire contents of her purse on the passenger side seat.
“Mom, what are you doing?”
“I think I left the key back in Watsonville.”
“Great,” Fiona said. She glanced back at the windows. They remained staring blankly into the night. Fiona looked down the street in both directions. Every single house had a lit porch, except theirs.
“Ahhh-ha! I found it. It was in the ash tray. I forgot I put it in there for safe keeping.”
“Hurry up, Mom. It’s dark outside.”
“Fine. I’m coming. Have some patience, Fee,” her mom said, as she got out of the car.
They walked the dark pathway to the front door. A powdery dust covered everything. Fiona’s mom tried to fit the key in the lock and open the door. She jiggled and twisted the knob, syncing the internal mechanisms with difficulty, until the door finally creaked open into a darkness blacker than night.
“Where’s the light switch?” her mom asked, as she ran her hand over the wall next to the door frame. “Ah!”
Fiona heard the light switch click. She heard her mom toggle it up and down several times in rapid succession, but nothing happened.
“Ummm,” her mom mumbled.
“There aren’t any lights on outside either. Don’t tell me we don’t have any electricity,” Fiona said.
“Well, either that or we need several dozen light bulbs,” her mother answered.
“Figures.” Fiona heard her mother rummaging through her purse again. “What are you doing?”
“Wait. I think I’ve got it.”
Fiona heard jangling keys, a soft snap and a beam of blue light appeared from her mother’s hand. “There we go.” Her mom walked into the house waving the thin light in front of her. When she found the kitchen, she searched through random drawers. “There we go,” she said again.
“There we go what?” Fiona asked completely annoyed.
“Candles. Now, all I need is some fire.”
Fiona flipped a pack of paper matches at her mom.
“Where’d you get these? You aren’t smoking again, are you?”
“From the counter, Mom! Jeez. I smoke one time three years ago and you act like I’m going to die of lung cancer or some crap. Light the dumb candle already.” As her mom lit the candles, it occurred to Fiona, “Did you call ahead to get the power turned on?”
“What?” Her mom asked.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me.”
“Maybe I can get my old job back.” Fiona’s mom rerouted the conversation.
“What job?” Fiona asked, rolling her eyes.
“The one at Red Lobster. Ah. There we go. Light.” Fiona’s mom smiled triumphantly, holding up a lit candle.
Fiona stared at her mother through the candlelight. “Are you serious? That was ten years ago.”
“I was good at that job. The manager, oh, what was her name? Mandy?”
“Who cares what her name was. It was ten years ago. No one’s going to remember you.”
Undeterred by Fiona’s negativity, her mother continued, “I think it was Valerie. Yes, I’m pretty sure it was Valerie. Maybe she’s still there.”
“Ten years ago, Mom. And nice try.” Fiona said.
“Nice try what?” Her mom paused. “I noticed you didn’t use the F-word. I’m proud of you sticking to your promise.”
“Nice try not answering my question. The power company. You didn’t call ahead, did you?”
“I was so busy getting the U-haul loaded—”
“I’ll take that as a no,” Fiona said flatly.
“I’m sorry, Fee. I’ll get on it first thing in the morning.”
“Can we just unload some things, so I can go to bed, preferably not on the floor?”


About Janell Rhiannon

Janell has been writing since she was in grade school. In high school, her 9th grade English teacher suggested she consider a career in writing. After a decade in college and a Master's degree in history, she settled into teaching.

Writing never stopped. Stories never stopped. READING fiction never stopped. Now, she writes and publishes on-line. Invisible Wings is her first YA novel, a compilation of short stories centered on teenage life triumphs and tragedies. She believes being a teenager is difficult and wrote Invisible Wings to let teens know they aren't alone. That they matter. That even though life is rough, they can still find beauty and love.

Beside the YA stories close to her heart, she adores Mythology and Fairy tales. Anything magical and mystical. And dragons. And gargoyles.

She currently lives in CA.

Visit her at Facebook @Janell Rhiannon Author. If you want to see what projects are in the works or find out more about the her, visit

http://www.janellrhiannon.com/ https://twitter.com/theravenangel https://www.facebook.com/pages/Janell-Rhiannon/1540075102889479?ref=hl  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png


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Waiting on Wednesday (18)

9 comments :

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme created and hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that bloggers and readers are anticipating.

It's very easy to participate in the meme. All you need to do is make a post about an upcoming release that you're waiting on, make sure you've linked back to Breaking the Spine, and then add your name to the link-up tool.

I'm waiting on another sequel this week, but this time, it's for the final book in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series. If you have been around since the beginning of The Hardcover Lover, you will remember that these were some of the first books that I reviewed on my blog. I waited until Cress was released to start them, but I quickly became a huge fan.

In case you missed it, the cover for Winter was revealed last week, and it is beyond gorgeous! I can't wait to read it and see how the series concludes!

Title: Winter
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Here is the stunning conclusion to the national bestselling Lunar Chronicles, inspired by Snow White.

When Princess Winter was thirteen, the rumor around the Lunar court was that her glamour would soon be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. In a fit of jealousy, Levana disfigured Winter. Four years later, Winter has sworn off the use of her glamour altogether. Despite her scars, Winter’s natural beauty, her grace, and her gentleness are winning admiration from the Lunar people that no amount of mind-control could achieve.

Winter despises her stepmother, but has never dreamed of standing up to her. That is, until she realizes that she may be the only one with the power to confront the queen.

Can Cinder, Prince Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, Thorne, Princess Winter, and the palace guard Jacin find their happily ever afters? Fans will LOVE this amazing conclusion to the series.

So... are you also waiting on this book? If you are, let me know, and be sure to check my blog for my reviews of Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Fairest. I'd love to connect with other Lunartics!

What else are you waiting on this week? Be sure to let me know in the comments or leave a link to your Waiting on Wednesday post.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (18)

28 comments :
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. They created the meme because they love making and sharing lists. Well that's just one thing that I have in common with them because list making is essential to my life.

Every week, there is a new topic for Top Ten Tuesday, and all you have to do is create your top ten list (or somewhere around ten if you can't think of ten) based on it. Oh, and be sure to link back to The Broke and the Bookish! Then you can add your name to the link up tool that they include in their post!

Please don't hate me... this is my first TTT since January! I've really been meaning to participate more often. I just had so many ARCs to read, and since I post ARC reviews a week before the book is released, I felt like I'd be overloading you with posts.

Now... it's time to list those books!

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List:

I used this list to compile my choices for this week's TTT. These are the books that I really want to read this spring, but realistically, I know I will probably only get to half of them. I still have winter releases to get to!
I do have ARCs for a few of these titles (and other June titles), so look out for reviews.
  1. The Heir by Kiera Cass
  2. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
  3. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
  4. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  5. The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
  6. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
  7. Love, Fortunes, and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius
  8. Immaculate by Katelyn Detweiler
  9. Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby
  10. Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Book Review: Fairest

10 comments :
22489107Title: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles 3.5)
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Rating: ☆☆☆
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?


Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

My Review

When I first started reading Fairest by Marissa Meyer, I was a little confused as to why it was being labeled as a bridge book or a midquel. Most of Levana's story takes place before the events in Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. Though the novel definitely connects Queen Levana to all of the main characters in The Lunar Chronicles, I just don't see how it truly operates as a bridge book because it contains a lot of new information. Even after finishing the book, it felt more like a prequel instead of a bridge book. It could very well have been expanded and been a full length novel just like the other books in the series.

After binge-reading  Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress this past summer, I was excited to learn more about this scientifically thrilling world of Marissa Meyer's. I will admit that I was more looking forward to Winter, but I was also looking forward to Fairest. After finishing Fairest, I found myself a bit disappointed but not enough to make me dislike the book. I just wanted more. The plot in Fairest is set, but the world-building really isn't. I was hoping to learn more about Luna and its technological developments, but Meyer briefly mentions what readers will remember from the other books in the series. I was also hoping to get a better image of Luna in my mind, but what Meyer describes isn't quite fulfilling (but the art on the inside is!).

As you know, this is Levana's story, and it starts when she is fifteen. She finds herself in love and ready to marry this man. Unfortunately, things don't work out for Levana and her husband. You would think that this would harden Levana, but you'll discover that there's still more to Levana than just an unrequited love affair. I found that a lot of the details and connections were predictable, but it didn't make me dislike the book. It just solidified how well I know the stories.

Do I like Levana any more than I did in the previous three books? I'm not saying that I completely hated her in the other books because she's a much needed foil, but I don't think this book changed my opinion of her. At this point, Levana is meant to be an unlikeable character, but that's why I like her as a character. Because of this book, I do understand Levana's history a lot better, which is what I think Meyer was going for with this book.


Review: Dorothy Must Die

5 comments :
Title: Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
Author: Danielle Paige
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Source: Purchased from Amazon
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado - taking you with it - you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a yellow brick road - but even that's crumbling.
What happened? Dorothy.
They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm - and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Soundtrack Saturday (22)

8 comments :
Happy Saturday, everyone! If you've been following The Hardcover Lover for a while, you know just what happens on Saturdays on the blog. Yup! That's right - Soundtrack Saturday!

If you've never noticed the meme or are just new to the blog, I'll explain things for you:

Soundtrack Saturday is a book meme created and hosted by me so I can share my love of music with my readers. But this is a book blog, so of course, books are involved! The soundtracks are actually book soundtracks! As I'm reading, or as soon as I finish, I compile a list of songs that go well with the book.

As with all bookish memes, there are a few steps to follow to help you create your own Soundtrack Saturday post:
  • Choose a book that you've read
  • Create a mini (four songs) or full soundtrack (ten-fifteen songs) for that book based on characters and plot details
    • For more detailed instructions, visit the meme's homepage.
  • Please credit me somewhere in your post
    • It can be as simple as "Soundtrack Saturday was created by Erin at The Hardcover Lover."
  • Leave a comment
  • Add your name to the link-up tool  
The book I'm using for this week's Soundtrack Saturday is one that is full of lyrics because the main character, Fiona, writes a lot of lyrics in her spare time. I would have included the names of some of her songs in my soundtrack, but many of them aren't named, and readers just see fragments of songs throughout the book.



  1. "Down South" by Lady Antebellum
  2. "Glass" by Thompson Square
  3. "For a Boy" by RaeLynn
  4. "Happy" by Leona Lewis
  5. "Shattered" by O.A.R.
  6. "Over You" by Miranda Lambert
  7. "Holes in the Floor of Heaven" by Steve Wariner 
  8. "Road Between" by Lucy Hale
  9. "Settlin'" by Sugarland
  10. "The Last Time" by Taylor Swift and Gary Lightbody
  11. "F**kin' Perfect" by P!nk
  12. "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson
  13. "Where My Heart Belongs" by Gloriana

So there's my Soundtrack Saturday for Moriah McStay's Everything That Makes You. Don't mind the edited song title - I just didn't want to swear on my blog.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Blog Tour: Pretty Wanted + GIVEAWAY

2 comments :

22584503

Title: Pretty Wanted (Pretty Crooked #3)
Author: Elisia Ludwig
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: March 17, 2015

Willa’s string of good-hearted but ill-conceived thefts at her former high school catapulted her into a life she hardly knows. She became a cult hero, but soon afterward, her mom disappeared, leaving only a cryptic message. When Willa hit the California highway to find her, she discovered a dark family secret: Joanne Fox is not who she says she is-and neither is Willa. Now, Willa and fellow trouble-maker Aidan must race to St. Louis, Missouri, Willa’s birthplace. There, they hope to find answers about Willa’s past. But uncovering the truth requires solving a decades-old murder case.

Unfortunately, the perps are still out there . . . and willing to do whatever it takes to keep the case cold. With Willa’s face on the nightly news and the police hot on her trail, it might not matter that Aidan and her friend Tre are there to help. Willa’s only hope is to find the truth before it finds her first.


Grab a Copy at One of These Retailers: 


Praise for the PRETTY CROOKED Series:

“Fans of mystery and suspense will enjoy the fast-paced style of the Pretty Crooked series. Readers who enjoyed Ally Carter’s Heist Society and love romantic tension will relish this second entry and look forward to the conclusion in the last book.” —Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

“Crackling-good adventure.” —Kirkus

“A pretty twisted, modern-day Robin Hood story.” —Melissa de la Cruz, New York Times bestselling author of Blue Bloods

“Packed with romance, humor, and adventure, Pretty Crooked will steal your heart.” —Sarah Mlynowski, author of Ten Things We Did (But Probably Shouldn't Have)

“Tantalizing. For fans of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars books.” —ALA Booklist

“A satisfying close to this trilogy that began with a clever high school prank and morphed into a full-scale action adventure.” —Kirkus Reviews


 Check Out the Other Books in the Series

 
 
 
 

About Elisia Ludwig:

Elisia Ludwig's debut novel, Pretty Crooked, was released in March 2012, and the sequel, Pretty Sly was released in March 2014. The latest book in the series, Pretty Wanted, is being released on March 17, 2015. Her YA thriller, Coin Heist, was released in June 2014. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her husband and son. 




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