Sunday, May 31, 2015

My Favorite 2015 Reads... So far

As soon as school started last September, I decided to take a blogging break. Throughout the year I participated in a few blog tours, kept up with a few of my favorite blogs, but other than that I was MIA from the blogosphere :) I definitely missed being here on Reader Rising but I was super busy and honestly needed a break.

Now that I'm back, I need to start catching up and posting! I thought a good first post would be to prove to you I've still been a reading maniac with my...

Top Reads of 2015 List! 
(these are books I READ in 2015, they may have been published earlier)

Holy guacamole. I wasn't expecting to LOVE this book so much. I cried, laughed, and then cried some more. Who am I kidding? I was flat-out bawling at parts! The story was beautiful and amazing and raw. While this book features a fantastic romance, there is so much more to it. The themes of war, loss, and growing up impressed me and will stick with it's readers for a long time. You won't regret picking this baby up!

The Finishing School series by Gail Carriger continues to thrill me. This 3rd installment features excitement, dresses, steampunk everything, and an amazing cast of eccentric characters. I read through Sophronia's tale lightning fast and now I am DYING for the next book. That ending absolutely killed me... I cannot recommend this series highly enough. (Plus the alliteration in the titles is sooooo awesome!) 

Ahh, the amazing Lunar chronicles! I know many were disappointed they got Levana's story instead of Winter, but I was absolutely thrilled. I love backstories about villains and this one in particularly hit all the right chords. I was creeped out, sympathetic, and utterly intrigued. Meyer's world is so vivid and intricate that I couldn't help but be drawn into the pages. Fairest just increased my excitement for Winter tenfold. Plus, there's a beautiful art layout on the first page! 

Honorable Mentions

Please leave a comment below with your thoughts on my 2015 picks or recommend me some of your own favorites! 

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Tour: Swept Away

Swept Away (Sixteenth Summer)
by Michelle Dalton
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 5th 2015
Rating: 3.5 stars
*Received for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Beachfront love blossoms in this refreshing summer romance, in the tradition of Sixteenth Summer and Seventeenth Summer.

Mandy Sullivan isn’t exactly looking forward to the summer months as tourists invade her seaside hometown on the coast of Maine. Her best friend, Cynthia, has abandoned her for camp and her older brother just announced he’ll be staying at college taking classes for the summer, leaving Mandy with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. Hoping to keep herself busy, Mandy takes a volunteer job at the Rocky Pointe Lighthouse. On her very first day, Oliver Farmingham asks for a private tour. A new—and incredibly cute—face in Rocky Pointe, Oliver seems more interested in Mandy than the lighthouse and its history.

Without her best friend at her side, Mandy is scrambling to act the right way and say the right things when Oliver is around. Cynthia—not Mandy—has always been the confident, flirtatious girl that everyone wanted to be around. As Mandy and Oliver spend more time together exploring the coast, biking through the woods, and attending the local summer festivals, their budding friendship becomes much more. But with Mandy’s insecurities creeping to the surface, can she open her heart to someone who will only be in town for three months?

Swept Away was a cute, fun read. I read it in one sitting and can imagine it to be a satisfactory beach read! Although I did feel like the novel was a bit juvenile, the young vibe is part of its charm and will appeal to a large crowd! 

Firstly, I liked how the book really focused on Maine, the famous lighthouse, and really delved into the traditions of Mandy's town. For example, sea food is very popular, to Mandy's distaste. And blueberries are a very important custom! I felt transported and Swept Away made me wish for summer even more! 

While I loved the characters, I wasn't too invested in the romance. I do like Mandy and Oliver.... They made a cute couple. However, I never was too interested in their developing relationship. The person I loved reading about most was a man dubbed "Freaky" by his fellow neighbors. He is a bit strange, but I loved learning about his quirks and watching him become closer to his family and Mandy was heartwarming.

Finally, I liked the best friend relationship between Mandy and Cynthia and the sibling relationship between Mandy and her brother. Oh, and there is definite improvements in the mother-daughter department. Speaking of growth, Mandy really developed and grew. 

Overall, while I will probably never reread Swept Away, it was a cute adventure! I would recommend picking this up for a day at the beach or read it cover-to-cover while swinging in a hammock! 

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Follow the Swept Away by Michelle Dalton Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Michelle Dalton is one of the many names Carla Jablonski uses when writing. Her two YAs written as Carla Jablonski (published by Razorbill/Penguin), Thicker than Water and Silent Echoes, were included on the NYPL Books for the Teen Age list, and her graphic novel trilogy Resistance (illustrated by Leland Purvis, published by :01 Books) has won several awards, including the Sydney Taylor Silver Medal. In addition to writing novels she is an actor, playwright, and former trapeze artist. A native New Yorker, she is eternally grateful to her friends who invite her to their beach houses.

Prize: Win (1) finished copy of SWEPT AWAY by Michelle Dalton (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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