Waiting on Wednesday {86}: Adrift

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is: Adrift.



by Paul Griffin

Publication date: July 28th, 2015

From Goodreads:

From critically acclaimed writer Paul Griffin comes a fast-paced young adult novel about five very different teens lost at sea with no one to count on but each other.

Matt and John are best friends working out in Montauk for the summer. When Driana, JoJo and Stef invite the boys to their Hamptons mansion, Matt and John find themselves in a sticky situation where temptation rivals sensibility. The newfound friends head out into the Atlantic after midnight in a stolen boat. None of them come back whole, and not all of them come back.

Waiting on Wednesday {85}: Ana of California

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is: Ana of California.

Ana of California

Ana of California

by Andi Teran

Publication date: June 30, 2015

From Goodreads:

A modern take on the classic coming-of-age novel, inspired by Anne of Green Gables

In the grand tradition of Anne of Green Gables, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Andi Teran’s captivating debut novel offers a contemporary twist on a beloved classic. Fifteen-year-old orphan Ana Cortez has just blown her last chance with a foster family. It’s a group home next—unless she agrees to leave East Los Angeles for a farm trainee program in Northern California.

When she first arrives, Ana can’t tell a tomato plant from a blackberry bush, and Emmett Garber is skeptical that this slight city girl can be any help on his farm. His sister Abbie, however, thinks Ana might be just what they need. Ana comes to love Garber Farm, and even Emmett has to admit that her hard work is an asset. But when she inadvertently stirs up trouble in town, Ana is afraid she might have ruined her last chance at finding a place to belong.

Waiting on Wednesday {84}: From A Distant Star

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is: From a Distant Star.

From a Distant Star

by Karen McQuestion

Publication date: May 19th, 2015

From NetGalley:

Seventeen-year-old Emma was the only one who hadn’t given up on her boyfriend, Lucas. Everyone else—his family, his friends, his doctors—was convinced that any moment could be his last. So when Lucas miraculously returns from the brink of death, Emma thinks her prayers have been answered.

As the surprised town rejoices, Emma begins to question whether Lucas is the same boy she’s always known. When she finds an unidentifiable object on his family’s farm—and government agents come to claim it—she begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems. Emma’s out-of-this-world discovery may be the key to setting things right, but only if she and Lucas can evade the agents who are after what they have. With all her hopes and dreams on the line, Emma sets out to save the boy she loves. And with a little help from a distant star, she might just have a chance at making those dreams come true.

#FinallyFriday {3}: TWIST

Finally Friday is a meme started by me (Jessica, aka @coffeelvnmom) and J from @life_love_fandomsThis week's I-finally-read-this-waiting-on-Wednesday-book is: Twist.

Twist (Loop, #2)The unbelievably thrilling sequel to the time-travel YA novel Loop.

Bree Bennis finally has it all—a non-comatose mother, an uber-hot (albeit anachronistic) boyfriend named Finn, and a new-found mission to protect the timeline from those who would skew it for their own gain. But when she leans over one day to smooch said boyfriend, her lips meet those of her arch-nemesis Wyck instead. The timeline has been altered, and Bree is caught in the crosshairs. But when she goes back to repair the damage, she is stopped by none other than her Future Self, who delivers an urgent message: Someone is kidnapping Shifters from the distant past. It’s up to Bree to stop them. But first, she has to figure out who... and why.

To follow the trail of chronocrumbs, Bree reluctantly accepts her new undercover gig as Wyck’s girlfriend. Everything goes spiffy until Finn shows up in the 23rd century on the eager arm of a gorgeous fellow Shifter, Blark. Even as Bree struggles with jealousy, she battles the nagging dread that Finn might be better off with someone less chronologically complicated. Her worst fear is confirmed when Finn becomes the kidnapper’s next victim. As Bree zeroes in on the culprit, they unravel her life one timeline-change at a time. She realizes that she alone has the power to save herself and everyone she loves. But to do that, she may lose Finn forever.

4.5 stars*

…if there was one thing I’d learned over the last six months, it’s that it takes a rare, rare person to willingly sacrifice the things he loves for the greater good. ~Bree Bennis

Diving back into the Loop world was fun with Ms. Akins’ great characters and amusing writing (I particularly love Bree’s derogatory words against people she isn’t fond of, like “crap-weasel”. Ha!). 

Everything is explained and set up well, and then… Bree finds herself in an awkward, inexplicable situation, and has to think fast. Not that she does the best job. But she *does* help herself figure it out (kind of), and that’s what carries you through the plot. (Confused? Good. Because I was.) New reality = not the same characters as before. It’s hard to imagine how disconcerting it would be to be coming and going in different time spans, how frustrating it would be for any sort of relationship at all. Bree says it well:

Our relationship is going through what you might call a challenging stage right now. And by “right now,” I mean “since the moment I met him”. 

Like LOOP, TWIST made me laugh out loud quite a few times. And the twists… yep. There’s lots. I really enjoyed seeing more of Bree, Finn (of course) and his family, and though we don't get as much of Finn as I'd liked, it *was* nice getting to see a different side of Wyck after what went down in LOOP. 

All in all, TWIST was a fun, mysterious second installment to LOOP, and I highly recommend checking it out.

*I received a book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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May's #JLBgivesawayanINDIE: POWERED & OVERPOWERED paperbacks + Hot Topic gift card

GUYS. There is some super-cool *big* news about Cheyanne's POWERED series coming up very soon... but before it's announced, I get to do a quick giveaway! *throws coffee bean confetti* 

There aren't a whole lot of superhero YA books out there at the moment, especially with a teenaged female superhero MC. I loved the entire premise of POWERED (and especially loved Evan--hehe), and I think you'll like this series as well!

POWERED's blurb:

Maci Might's sixteenth birthday is supposed to be the day she's awarded Hero status. But thanks to a tiny anger problem and a questionable family tree, King City's elders think it's best if she doesn't join the Hero ranks. Determined to change their minds, Maci will break whatever rule it takes to prove she's Hero material. As her hair darkens and her anger grows, everyone turns against her except Evan; a childhood friend turned scientist who may be able to unlock the secrets hidden in her DNA. 

When a villain attacks King City and her dad is held prisoner, Maci discovers a truth she refuses to believe. She may not be a Hero after all—but this time the Heroes of King City need her more than she needs them. And she won't let them down. 

I could share OVERPOWERED's blurb, too, but you know. Spoilers. So let's just say that it's a fun book two, and both are totally worth checking out! :)

Please note that "75" there means celebrating 75 years of
Batman. It does not mean I will be giving away a $75 gift card. ;)
This month's giveaway lasts for two weeks and is US only (sorry international friends!)

Along with a paperback of both POWERED and OVERPOWERED, I'm also giving away some fun swag AND a $5 Hot Topic e-gift card!!!

Woo! Are you ready to help me celebrate some upcoming BIG news? Then enter the Rafflecopter below, and spread the word! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday {83}: A Whole New World

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is: A Whole New World.


A Whole New World

by Liz Braswell

Publication date: September 1, 2015

From NetGalley:

Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version of Aladdin twists the original story with the question: What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie? When Jafar steals the Genie's lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war. What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.

April's #ReaderInterview: Von P. (@MrBookWonder )

Welcome back to a monthly meme here at Let Me Tell You A Story: Reader Interview! April's reader interview is a week late, but that's okay, because we've got Von P. (aka, Mr. Book Wonder)! 

Hi, Von! Thanks so much for being this month's interview-ee! :)

Thank you so much for inviting me! I feel so honored!

Tell us a little about what got you into reading YA.

I will always remember how I got into reading YA. Always. It's a very important memory for me.

Most readers would say how they got into reading YA or reading in general was because of either Harry Potter or Twilight. Mine was tweaked differently. I came to know the Harry Potter and Twilight books because of the film franchises. Too bad I never got to read them as a kid or teen because we can't afford the books and books were a regarded luxury here in the Philippines, plus people here, as far as I know, hardly read before. I was only able to read them when I am old enough to afford to buy books. (I still have to read years 4, 5, and 6 of the Harry Potter series though; and Eclipse and Breaking Dawn too.)

What really got me to reading YA was this book called Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz. It was lent to me by a friend (who eventually became my best friend because of our love for books and YA). I was ecstatic and intrigued to know that the author was a Filipino so I had to borrow it. It was probably around the time when Twilight reigned in the bestsellers list and the box office that vampire books were a big hit to the readers. I read the books, bought copies for myself and now I have all the Blue Bloods books. I started buying other books too. I remember buying the first book in the Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan which also got me to reading his other books. More books quickly filled up my shelves especially when I discovered Goodreads and the book blogging community and now I have over 200 books (not to mention the 400+ eBooks in my Kindle) and almost half of it are still unread. Then, as they call it, the rest was history.

Thinking back on all of the YA books you've read, Von, is there one that's stood out to you above the rest? If so, why?

(Oh, trick question! You're basically asking what my favorite book is! Smart move Jessica! Smart move! LOL.)

Hehehe! I’m so tricky! :D

There are a lot of books that really stood out for me. LOTS!

There's the Hunger Games series that was totally mind-blowing and the first dystopian series I'd read and turned me into a dystopian buff. Colleen Hoover's Slammed series that turned me into a fan of contemporary romance and New Adult books. Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall & Delirium series made me fall in love with words even more. John Green's Looking For Alaska & The Fault in Our Stars almost made me cry. Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel that made me realized my fascination for historical fiction.

What's the first thing you do when you get a new book in your hands? 

Ah. Honest to goodness the first thing I do is sniff the pages! I am a proud book sniffer! I don't care if others are giving me weird looks but it's probably one of the best feelings in the world! LOL.

Do you organize your books? 

I have an OCD when it comes to organizing and cleaning so apparently I'm very good at organizing books. Need someone to organize your books for you? You can definitely hire me!

Who are your favorite male and female MCs?

Thank God your question isn't as hard as the second one. I've got loads of favorite MCs! Who doesn’t?!

Samantha Kingston in Before I Fall. Alaska Young in Looking For Alaska. Theodore Finch and Violet Marky in All the Bright Places. Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars. Gray Weathersby in Taken. Tris Prior in Divergent. Alina Starkov in Shadow and Bone. Lochan Whitely and Maya Whitely in Forbidden. Need I say more?!

That’s a pretty impressive list! 

If you could be friends with one secondary character in real life, who would it be, and why?

Oh, I'd love to be friends with Sturmhound aka Nikolai Lantsov from the Grisha series. I love his sarcasm, his charm, and the way he can disguise himself! I'd learn a lot from this guy for sure!

Some readers want everyone to read their books; others like to keep their copies to themselves. Are you a book pusher, hoarder, or a bit of both? 

Probably, I am a 90% hoarder and 10% pusher. I'm a proud hoarder and I only have a few friends to share my books with. Besides, I am one out of some percent of readers that wouldn't let anyone touch their books. I even provide a set of rules before I lend a book to anyone. If ever they break one of the rules, I'd turned into a hulk for sure. LOL.

A lot of authors write to music. Is there a book you'd love to hear the soundtrack of (or one you've heard that you loved)? What makes that book so special?

Oh, I'd love to hear the soundtrack of Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden! I'd love to hear Tabitha Suzuma's writing playlist. Forbidden, I think, was a hard book to write and perhaps one of the hardest books to read. It's so emotional and there were too many heartbreaking scenes. I'd love to hear those songs.

Do you have a favorite line or book quote? 


*unfurls a long scroll of quotes*

Okay, I think I found one.

“Don't take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it.” -- Colleen Hoover, Slammed

I like to ask readers if they could choose one book to see on the big screen, what would it be?

I'd like to see Shadow and Bone in the big screen. I'd like to see how filmmakers are going to adapt it. Of course, they'll have to use special effects and I'll definitely love to see those in the big screen. But I doubt it that filmmakers would stay true to the story. It's a fantasy story so it is full of complex elements. In which case, I think a television series is a better option for Shadow and Bone. A television series means more episodes and more Shadow and Bone fanboying moments.

What elements in the book would you look forward to seeing most?

I'd like to see more elements of surprise, like heart-shattering, mind-blowing twists that would haunt me in a very good way or something that will throw me out of my seat!

Tell us about a book you thought you wouldn't like, but were pleasantly surprised by.

Lynn Weingarten's Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls surprised me big time! I picked up this book from a random set of eARCS not expecting anything from it at all. Then lo and behold, this book killed me. Lyrical, beautiful, and so damn twisted! It definitely liven up to its Gone Girl meets 13 Reasons Why pitch! It was everything I want in a book!

Why don’t I have this on my TBR yet? *rushes off to Goodreads to add it* 

Unique formatting can make a book stand out and leave a lasting impression. Are there any books you've read that had that unique quality lately? 


Shatter Me has one of the most unique formats I've seen thus far. The cross-outs?! I am in love with it! It adds a certain charm to the prose that only Tahereh Mafi could pull off.

The Book Thief has also a very unique format. The way it is narrated puts The Book Thief on the map of most unique formats. (I still have to read it though.)

Name a character you'd hate to be stranded with on a deserted island.

I am torn between Dolores Umbridge and Dolores Umbridge.

What merits a book making its way to your favorites list?

Oh, another tough one!

As long as the book can hit me hard on all the feels along with a great set of characters and a gritty storyline, it's enough to be considered for my favorites list!

Most recent book that made you laugh:

Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before is the one!

Worst book hangover:

Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden gave me my worst book hangover! I was on the brink of crying by the end of the book! The story is just too emotional! I couldn't seem to stop thinking and caring about the characters for days after finishing the book! What will happened to them now? How will they survive without him? They felt real to me, you know!

Are there any upcoming releases you're looking forward to reading?

*unfurls another long scroll*

Vengeance Road, The Invasion of the Tearling, An Ember in the Ashes, A History of Glitter and Blood, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Illuminae, Six of Crows, The Heir, Truthwitch, The Last Leaves Falling, Dumplin, Made You Up, November 9, P.S. I Still Love You, Extraordinary Means and many more! It's an endless list!

Thanks so much for being here, Von! :)

Phew! Those questions are tough! But I enjoyed them a lot! Hope you enjoyed my answers too! Thank you so much again for having me, Jessica! 

Meet Von. He is an introvert turned book nerd turned book hoarder turned writer-in-progress turned sporadic book blogger turned part-time fanboy, and now an upcoming college dude. You can find him on his BlogGoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

TWO MORE DAYS to enter the #UNBREATHABLE #giveaway!

Just a reminder that the giveaway will end soon... CLICK HERE to enter! :)

#FinallyFriday {2}: Duplicity

Finally Friday is a meme started by me (Jessica, aka @coffeelvnmom) and J from @life_love_fandomsThis week's I-finally-read-this-waiting-on-Wednesday-book is: Duplicity.

A computer-hacking teen. The girl who wants to save him. And a rogue mirror reflection that might be the death of them both.

DuplicityIn private, seventeen-year-old Brandon hacks bank accounts just for the thrill of it. In public, he looks like any other tattooed bad boy with a fast car and devil-may-care attitude. He should know: he’s worked hard to maintain that fa├žade. With inattentive parents who move constantly from city to city, he’s learned not to get tangled up in things like friends and relationships. So he’ll just keep living like a machine, all gears and wires.

Then two things shatter his carefully-built image: Emma, the kind, stubborn girl who insists on looking beneath the surface – and the small matter of a mirror reflection that starts moving by itself. Not only does Brandon’s reflection have a mind of its own, but it seems to be grooming him for something—washing the dye from his hair, yanking out his piercings, swapping his black shirts for … pastels. Then it tells him: it thinks it can live his life better, and it’s preparing to trade places.

And when it pulls Brandon through the looking-glass, not only will he need all his ill-gotten hacking skills to escape, but he’s going to have to face some hard truths about who he’s become. Otherwise he’ll be stuck in a digital hell until he’s old and gray, and no one will even know he's gone.

(This review first appeared on Goodreads in March of 2015. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

First off, let’s just get the blurb out of the way, shall we? Does it give somewhat of an idea of the storyline? Yes. After reading the book, however, do I think it says enough? Not really. (Not that that’s bad. I like not knowing what I’m reading about. Blurbs with spoilers make me sad!) There’s a whole lot more to the dual identity storyline than you think, and I’m sure most readers would agree that the direction it went was not expected in the slightest.

The premise of Duplicity is basically Brandon and his dissatisfaction with his parents and his life. Things are going one way, and he is at the point where he can’t handle anything good because he’s not used to being around it. Enter the plot point that makes everything you thought you knew you were going to read about disappear, because whoa the storyline totally comes right outta left field. I liked it, I enjoyed being surprised by it, and even though some of the technical stuff went completely over my head, the concept and despair of being unable to do anything about the situation and the characters IN that situation was pretty cool.

Also, I absolutely love the artistic concept of the cover, though it really doesn’t tell us much, either. (The black and white versus colored parts, however… I’m just realizing the tie-in with that. Smart!!!)

Overall, I’d say Duplicity was a great, quick read, with more than one unexpected turn along the way. It’s in Brandon’s point-of-view, and N.K.’s storytelling, in my opinion, was great. I expect to see a sequel, N.K.!

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