Friday, February 28, 2014

Review: Lady Thief by AC Gaughen

Book: Lady Thief by AC Gaughen
Series: Scarlet #2

Released: February 11, 2014

Publisher: Walker Childrens

Pages: 320 (Kindle edition)

Stars: 5+ and ALL THE FLAILS

Lady Thief
From Goodreads:

Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.
*As with all books within a series, there will be spoilers for previous books. Ye be warned.*

The very first review I wrote on The Broke Book Girls (way back in November....) was for Scarlet by AC Gaughen. Little did I know that this series would quickly become one of my new favorites. I discovered it on a whim, and man did I fall in love. So when Lady Thief, the second book in the series, came out at the beginning of February, I read it immediately (it's taken me this long to get my feels in order to be coherent enough to put words down).
The FEELS this book gave me. I was all over the place. Ecstatic, happy, thrilled, worried, terrified, distraught, depressed, curled up in the fetal position and huddled in the corner, you name it, I probably felt it over the course of this book. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED it. So very much. Just be prepared for the feels. Gaughen will give you hope and then rip your heart out.

Oh Scarlet. I love love love her so much. She's so damaged and flawed while still being crazy awesome. Only this time she has even more to deal with. Rob is suffering from serious issues. I still love Much, maybe even more so. John as some truly heartbreaking moments. And Gisbourne still sucks. 

But maybe not as much Prince John, the new reigning d-bag. His mom-Eleanor of Aquitaine-is totally awesome and the most amazing royal to ever be royal.

Lady Thief picks up shortly after Scarlet ended (huzzah!). Scarlet finds herself still married to Gisbourne, while longing to be with Rob. And Rob. Poor Rob is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He wakes up from nightmares every night and attacks whoever is nearby. Even if that person is Scarlet (welcome to book 2!).

Prince John is coming in to Nottingham to name a new sheriff, with Gisbourne pretty much being the main, and only, candidate. With him comes his entourage, and his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine along with him. I adore her by the way. She's rather fabulous. Due to the Prince's arrival, Gisbourne strikes a deal with Scarlet. In exchange for Scarlet coming to the castle to live with him and acting the part of his wife-and a proper lady of the court, Gisbourne will grant her an annulment. All of this happens at the start of the book. We also get to have the famous tournament (sadly no fox on stilts), meet Alan-a-Dale, and learn more about Rob's time in the Crusades.

Gaughen created a masterpiece. She takes you for a ride in the most wonderful and imaginative way possible. She yanks you back and forth and your feels will never be the same. Rob and Scarlet's relationship is back-and-forth and ridiculously complicated. But I will ship this ship until the very end. There are so many twists and turns, and even though I figured one of the major ones out, it was still the most amazing thing ever. There are parts, seriously depressing parts of this book. I bawled my eyes in a couple of places. And the ending. Your heart will be ripped into shreds by the ending, if it isn't in tatters already. You'll just want to huddle in the corner until the pain goes away.

I wish I could tell you more, but you must definitely go into this book blind. Trust me, it would not have the same effect if you knew what was going to happen.

A thousand times yes. I will push this book on to anyone I possibly can. I honestly think this book should, and will, be adored by anyone who reads it.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

March Madness: Book Boyfriend Edition

Welcome to our bookish version of March Madness! 

Throughout the month of March, we will be doing a bracket face-off between our favorite guys from books. There's 64 guys total, in 4 different divisions.
 The divisions are:

YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Fantasy #1
YA Contemporary/Historical
Classics & Adult Fiction
YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Fantasy #2

We've ranked each guy from 1-16 in each bracket, along with guys from the same books going against each other early on so one book can't dominate the others. There will be 2-4 posts each week where you can vote for which guy you'd like to see advance to the next round (see schedule below).

Throughout the tournament you can enter to win the giveaway (prizes subject to change AND additional prizes may be added; more entries = more prizes unlocked!). The giveaway will start when voting begins. See the bottom of the post for the rafflecopter & details (Open to US and International).

Each post will be linked back to this main one, so if you ever miss any, you can check here and links will be posted on the voting schedule below.

Voting Schedule:

Voting will close the night before the next round in that quadrant takes place (ie: Voting on the March 1 poll will close at 10 pm CST on March 5, etc)

March 1 (Saturday): Round of 64 ---Classics & Adult Fiction (voting is closed)
March 2 (Sunday): Round of 64 ---YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Fantasy #2 (voting is closed)
March 3 (Monday): Round of 64 ---YA Contemporary/Historical (voting is closed)
March 4 (Tuesday): Round of 64 ---YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Fantasy #1 (voting is closed)

March 6 (Thursday): Round of 32 --- Classics & Adult Fiction (voting is closed)
March 8 (Saturday): Round of 32 ---YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Fantasy #2 (voting is closed)
March 9 (Sunday): Round of 32 --- YA Contemporary/Historical (voting is closed)
March 10 (Monday): Round of 32 ---YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Fantasy #1 (voting is closed)

March 16 (Sunday): Sweet 16 --- Classics & Adult Fiction; YA Contemporary/Historical (voting is closed)
March 17 (Monday): Sweet 16 --- YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Fantasy #2; YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Fantasy #1 (voting is closed)

March 20 (Thursday): Elite 8 -- Classics & Adult Fiction; YA Contemporary/Historical (Voting closed)
March 21 (Friday): Elite 8 ---  YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Fantasy #2; YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Fantasy #1 (Voting Closed)

March 24 (Monday): Final 4 (voting is closed)

March 27 (Thursday): Final

March 31 (Monday): Winner of the Tournament and Giveaway Announced

So are you ready to see the bracket?
We realize it's rather difficult to read this entire thing... so we've broken it down into each quadrant. :)

So there you have it! Make sure and check back each day to vote for your favorites!! Follow us on twitter so you don't miss an update or a chance to vote! @BrokeBookGirls

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rules:

No purchase necessary. Must be 16+ or have parental consent

Retail values approx.:

4 books not exceeding $100 (US giveaway)

$24.00 for cookies, + the cost of book (up to $25.00) + $12.35 shipping. (US giveaway)

Retail value approx.: the cost of the book (up to $25.00) (Intl Giveaway)

$50 Amazon gift card

The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries.

Void where prohibited by law.

We will be checking entries, so please no cheating. :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Split Second by Kasie West

Book: Pivot Point by Kasie West
Series: Pivot Point #2
Released: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 360 (Kindle)
Rating: 4.5

Split Second (Pivot Point, #2)

 From Goodreads:
Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

Let me just start by saying I will read absolutely anything Kasie West writes. This is her third book, and I have loved and adored all 3. She is churning out books {almost} as fast as I can read them. She is a master at weaving complex stories that are still accessible, with a dose of swoony boys, snark, twists and turns, and characters to love.

Split Second is the follow up novel to Pivot Point, so if you haven't read the first one, there will be spoilers for the first book in this review (also, what are you waiting for? Get thee to a bookstore, pronto). I loved Pivot Point (review here), and the follow up most definitely did not disappoint. Each chapter kept me hooked (seriously, it's like there's mini cliff-hangers for almost every chapter), and I couldn't stop reading it.

Split Second picks up right where Pivot Point left off. While Pivot Point alternated between the Paranormal and Norm chapters, Split Second alternates between Addie & Laila chapters (with texts at the top of each chapter to clarify who is talking). While dual points of view don't usually work for me, this one did. They each had a distinctive voice, and even when they are together in later chapters, it is still easy to determine who is talking-even with the texts at the top of each chapter. 

I was already fully invested in Addie's storyline, but the one I didn't expect to love so much was Laila's. We got glimpses of her in Pivot Point, but by having her POV in Split Second, we are able to learn even more about her. She's snarky, damaged, subborn and fiercely protective of her friendship with Addie and her brothers, particularly Eli. Also happening in this book, a love interest for Laila by the name of Connor. Oh Connor, he's a great match for Laila. I enjoyed their conversations, particularly when they would try to one-up each other and not let the other person win.

And then there's the Addie & Trevor feels. I LOVED them together so much in Pivot Point. I was devastated when Addie had Laila remove her memories of Trevor at the end of the previous book. It made me smad.

What West does such a wonderful job of doing in Split Second is totally building Addie & Trevor's relationship. Again. It doesn't feel stale. It feels new and fresh and it totally worked for me. Also spoiler *his three things he kept asking her after she told him may have been my favorite part of their relationship. So sweet.*

One of my favorite minor characters from Pivot Point is also in this book: Brody, Trevor's totally cute little brother. I am so glad we got to see him again. He helps with the meet-cute when Addie & Trevor first see each other again. A great moment for sure.

Duke is back again also. I have such mixed feelings about him. I could not stand the guy for obvious reasons after the first book, and honestly I didn't like him for most of this one either, but he does come through in a few areas over the course of Split Second.

Overall, I felt the actual plot in Split Second is stronger than in Pivot Point. I enjoyed how we got to jump right in to this story on this one (which is one of the reasons I love series so much) and it paid off in action. There are some INTENSE moments in this book. And the story is better for it. I could not stop reading the last 25% of the book for this exact reason. I HAD to know how everything was going to be resolved.

I was happy to hear that while the main story of Addie & Trevor is over, that Kasie West is considering wring a companion novel (or 2, or 3, or 4...). There is so much potential left to explore inside (and outside) the Compound. I hope she writes more about this world.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday Rewind: Our Top 10 Favorite Book Covers

As always, TTT is hosted by: The Broke & the Bookish

This week is like Top Ten Tuesday Christmas for us. We pretty much get to pick whatever topic we want that has already been done. SO. MANY. CHOICES. Do we do our favorite auto-read authors? Or maybe our favorite fictional couples? Or how about books you want to see made in to movies? All excellent options. But in the end we had to go with our top ten favorite book covers.

Lindsay's Selections:
I could make it super easy on myself and list each book for a series together. Because that would be 10. Easily. But I won't. Cause that's cheating. Plus I get to show you more pretty covers this way.

1. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

2. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

3. The Shatter Me Trilogy by Tahereh Mafi

4.  Any cover by Rainbow Rowell (Attachments, Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, Landline)

5. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

6. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
7. Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick
8. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

9. Splintered by AG Howard

10. The Diviners by Libba Bray

Sarah's Selections:
   There are SO many wonderful book covers out there to choose from. Only choosing ten is ridiculously hard but I think I've narrowed it down. Some of the books are still on my TBR list. Here are my top ten favorite book covers. 

1. Doll Bones by Holly Black

2. Rags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales by Various Authors 

3. A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb 

4. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

5. Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 

6. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken 

7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman 

8. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta 

.9. The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater 

10. For Darkness Shows the Stars Series by Diana Peterfreund 

*Note I was supposed to make Sarah's all fancy like mine, but ran out of time. And then my kid got sick. So... it didn't happen. Pretend it did, okay?*

Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Book: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
Released: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 320 (Kindle)
Rating: 3.5

**I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an open and honest review**

Fire & Flood

From Goodreads:
A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

So this book. It's part Hunger Games. Part Survivor. And part The Amazing Race. All things that I enjoy. While there are definitely some similarities to the above mentioned movie & TV shows, there are some twists that make this book unique. Did it redefine the genre? No, but what really would at this point? Did I enjoy this book? Yes, yes I did. Sadly, there was no Jeff Probst though.
Come on in, guys
While there are some qualities of The Hunger Games to this book, ie: you have to fight to the death to win the prize, that's pretty much where it ended, and even so it's not necessary to kill everyone in order to win. There are people of all ages participating in the Brimstone Bleed (which, by the way, is a totally awesome name. I dig the alliteration). They are all there to win The Cure to saved a loved one.

That's what this whole Brimstone Bleed is all about. The winner will received The Cure, which will save their loved one who is sick and dying back at home. But to win, they must compete in 4 different landscapes: the jungle, the desert, the ocean and the mountains. In this book we only see the jungle and the desert, and boy are they brutal. In the jungle it rains all the time. In the desert it's oppressively hot during the day, and freezing at night. In addition to the environment, there are other threats, namely the other competitors and mysterious jungle men. The goal of each round is to find the blue flags which will lead them to the base camp... and safety.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The main character of our story is Tella. She's enters the Brimstone Bleed to save her older brother. Without knowing what she's getting herself in to, she leaves her home in Montana and drives to Lincoln, Nebraska. There she picks out an egg, which will be her Pandora. The Pandoras will help each Contender through their journey. I like the Pandoras, especially when you find out what they are, and what they can do. Tella's in particular is pretty awesome. 

In Lincoln is where Tella first encounters Guy. He then continues to make random appearances in the first half of the book, before staying for good. He's pretty rough around the edges and hard to figure out, that's for sure. Little by little information about him is given throughout the book. I liked the slow flow of information, it seemed more realistic that way.

Is it the clumpy way he walks? Or the grumpy way he talks?
There's a group of Contenders that Tella meets up with, and they each have their own story about why they are there. Some are revealed quickly, and some at the end. Each one serves a purpose in Tella's development as a person, and helps her to survive. While Harper comes off as prickly at first, I ended up rather liking her as a person. 

Then there's Titus, a/k/a the bad guy. He sucks and I don't like him. He's pretty much evil and reminded me of The Darkling from The Grisha Trilogy (except that The Darkling is not totally evil? Maybe?) in that he wanted Tella to join him for REASONS that I can't go into because SPOILERS sweetie.

I liked that there was so much action & adventure throughout the entire book. There's so twists and turns, and there were a few instances where it did manage to surprise me and keep me on my toes.

But there is one major thing that I most definitely did NOT like. There is some animal cruelty, which is one of my biggest book turn offs. I get that it was used as a plot device to show just how evil some of the Contenders are, but yeah, I was so not a fan. Even more so when it was a mandated act as part of the Brimstone Bleed. Not cool at all. 

But other than that, I really did enjoy this book. I'll definitely be reading the rest of the series. I'd recommend it to people who like survival stories, and who don't mind conflict, adventure, and people being dirty. :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stacking the Shelves / Book Haul (2/10-2/21)

I'm super excited to be doing my first ever Stacking the Shelves/Book Haul. There's been so many books enter my house in the past 2 weeks (even more so than usual), my TBR is now even more out of control.

For Review:

Deviation by Christine Manzari

 Don't Even Think About It  The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

From Netgalley:
Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski 
Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith


Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Valentine's gift from my husband!)

Beastly by Alex Flinn
The She Hulk Diaries by Marta Acosta
Return to Me by Justina Chen
(The 3 listed above are from Kristina over at Gone Pecan)


      Lady Thief (Scarlet, #2) Split Second (Pivot Point, #2)  My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door, #1)  A Mad, Wicked Folly
Digital Copies:
Lady Thief by AC Gaughen
Split Second by Kasie West
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

Bought Used from my Local Bookstore:
The Across the Universe Series by Beth Revis
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson