Friday, July 29, 2016

Harry Potter Re-read

I've decided that starting July 31, I'm going to start re-reading the Harry Potter series.  I'm not going to give myself an end time, but I'm going to savor each book.

I hope you join me!  Tweet me : @cbabblings so we can enjoy together!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in March 2016
The Winner's Trilogy #3

"War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?" -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
This book was a great conclusion to this series.  Arin and Kestrel struggled a lot throughout the entire book.  She struggled with her demons from camp; he struggled to let Kestrel take an active role in the war.  I have always loved this series because it wasn't just about war.  The series was about the characters to happened to be involved in a war.  It had great character development throughout.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Last Chance Rebel

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which shines a light on eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.  This week, my pick is:

Last Chance Rebel by Maisey Yates
Publisher: HQN Books
Date: August 30, 2016
Copper Ridge #6

"The man who ruined Rebecca Bear's life just strolled back into it with one heck of an offer. Years ago, Gage West's recklessness left Rebecca scarred inside and out. Now he wants to make amends by gifting her the building that houses her souvenir store. Rebecca won't take Gage's charity, but she's willing to make a deal with the sexy, reclusive cowboy. Yet keeping her enemy close is growing dangerously appealing…

He's the wild West brother, the bad seed of Copper Ridge. That's why Gage needs the absolution Rebecca offers. He just didn't expect to need her. After years of regretting his past, he knows where his future lies—with this strong, irresistible woman who could make a black sheep come home to stay…" -- From Goodreads

I love the Copper Ridge series.  It's one of those series that I can't get enough of.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Published by Candlewick Press in October 2014
Caldecott Honor 2015

Why do I love it?
The pictures are amazing and make the story.  Sam and Dave decide to dig a hole and just as they're about to find something, they switch directions.  Kids love the will they, won't they aspect of the story.

Age Range
It's a great story to enjoy with any age, but older kids will understand that the pictures tell more of the story.  I read this story to kindergarten classes and they loved it.

Monday, July 25, 2016

After the Woods by Kim Savage

After the Woods by Kim Savage
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in February 2016

"Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning."  -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
Some of the parts of this book are far-fetched.  The video game that allows women to be hunted like deer?  Honestly, if that truly existed and was as popular in the book in real life, there would be so much backlash to shut that game down.

I really like Julia.  She was analytical and wanted to understand her kidnapping, and so she turned to facts and figures to try to explain it away.  When that couldn't work, she went looking for answers.  Liv (the best friend) was definitely bitchy in trying to make Julia forget and not delve into the circumstances behind the abduction too hard.  But I thought this book was a good thrilling read with two very flawed main characters.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Curious Minds

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which shines a light on eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.  This week, my pick is:

Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Date: August 16, 2016
Knight and Moon #1

"Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little to no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he’s also brilliant, rich, and (some people might say) handsome, or he’d probably be homeless. Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard Business and Harvard Law. Her aggressive Texas spitfire attitude has helped her land her dream job as a junior analyst with mega-bank Blane-Grunwald. At least Riley Moon thought it was her dream job, until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

What starts off as an inquiry about missing bank funds in the Knight account leads to inquiries about a missing man, missing gold, and a life-and-death race across the country. Through the streets of Washington, D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon can stop it." -- From Goodreads

Anything written by Janet Evanovich is automatically a must read.  It'll probably end up being an audiobook for me, because I always end up giggling in the car.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

TTT: Books Set Outside of United States

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's theme is books set outside of the United States.  Here we go!

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Setting: Germany during World War II

Oh. My Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
Setting: Island in the Aegean Sea (near Greece!)

Setting: England in the 1950's

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Setting: Paris, France

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Setting: Paris, France; current day and during the French Revolution

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Setting: Brittany, France in 1485.

Setting: An airplane flying over the Atlantic Ocean and London, England.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Setting: Australia in 1926. 

Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Setting: Florence, Italy

The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright
Setting: London, England

Do you have any favorites?
Leave a list or link in the comments!

Monday, July 18, 2016

If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison

If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbinson
Published by St. Martin's Press in July 2015

"Thirty-six year old Ramie Phillips has led a very successful life. She made her fortune and now she hob nobs with the very rich and occasionally the semi-famous and enjoys luxuries she only dreamed of as a middle-class kid growing up in Potomac, Maryland. But lately Ramie has begun to feel a little…empty.

On a boat with friends off the Florida coast, Ramie tries to fight her feelings of discontent with steel will and hard liquor. No one even notices as she gets up and goes to the diving board and dives in. So no one notices when she hits her head on the board on the way down…

She wakes some time later with a throbbing headache and something beeping next to her. A heart monitor? Is she in the hospital, head wrapped sarcastically, like some amnesiac woman in a Lifetime movie? She strains to understand a voice calling in the distance: “Wake up!” It’s her mother. “You’re going to be late for school again. I’m not writing a note this time…” -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
I truly enjoyed this book.  I loved the time travel aspect of this book.  If you need a light hearted and entertaining read, I would definitely recommend this book.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from my local library.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry

The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry
Published by Christy Ottaviano Books in May 2016

"When Olivia's mother was killed, everyone suspected her father of murder. But his whereabouts remained a mystery. Fast forward fourteen years. New evidence now proves Olivia's father was actually murdered on the same fateful day her mother died. That means there's a killer still at large. It's up to Olivia to uncover who that may be. But can she do that before the killer tracks her down first?"  -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
I love any and all books written by April Henry.  She is seriously the bomb when it comes to writing suspense and mystery books.  I loved the mystery in this book.  The person who did it took me by surprise, and his reason for doing it was really strange.  It was still a great suspenseful journey.  So if you like mysteries and suspense, you will really like this book.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens in June 2016.

"Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story." -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
Honestly?  I don't know.  I had major issues with this book.  We only had three points of view in the book: two of the kidnapped victims and the sister of a victim.  I think there was supposed to be some method behind choosing, but I wish we could have heard from everybody.  It seemed like nothing happened through the entire book.  The majority of the novel was our two characters trying to jog their memories.  Not exactly enticing stuff.  And the ending?  It was such a letdown.  It's almost like it got set up for a sequel, even though it does not look like there are plans for one.  There are better stories written about amnesia victims, and I would recommend one of those before I'd recommend this book.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Everyone Loves Bacon by Kelly Dipucchio

Everyone Loves Bacon words by Kelly DiPucchio
Pictures by Eric Wight
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) in September 2015.

Why do I love it?
It's about Bacon.  And how every other food loves bacon.  I mean, who doesn't love bacon?  Actually... I'm starting to get hungry for bacon right now...

Age Range
The ending solidly puts this book in the five to six-year-old range.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

TTT: Ten Facts About Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's theme features facts about me!  Here we go!

1. In case you can't tell, my name is Cassie
2. I have been dating my wonderful boyfriend for five years
3. I have two cats: Sven & Olaf (Olaf is in the picture with me)
4. I have two nephews and one niece, plus one more on the way
5. I love planners.  And pens.  And new notebooks.
6. Fall is my favorite season
7. Christmas is my favorite holiday
8. I love playing the Sims, plus I love watching other people play the Sims.
9. I am so clumsy, and I tend to trip over air
10. I truly enjoyed doing this list.  I think I'm going to adapt it and use it on my About Me page.

Leave your list or link in the comments so I can get to know you better!

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens in June 2016
The Fixer #2

"For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington, D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate’s campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess’s guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can—and cannot—be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover firsthand that power always comes with a price." -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
I <3 Jennifer Lynn Barnes.  Seriously.  Not many series get better in the second book, but I have to say that this one ROCKED.  The intrigue.  The holy crap moments.  The characters.  This series gets so many comparisons to Scandal, and I would definitely recommend this series to fans of the show.  Honestly, this series is so entertaining.  LOVE IT.

Disclosure:  I borrowed a copy from my local library.

Friday, July 8, 2016

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books in May 2015.

"Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.

Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.

Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.

Princess X?

When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There's an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby's story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon---her best friend, Libby, who lives."  -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
I read this book in two sittings.  Once May started seeing Princess X, I was sucked in.  This book had the right amount of mystery and intrigue to keep my attention the whole time.  You definitely have to embrace your imagination for this story to be plausible, but it's not entirely out of left field.  Honestly this story is a great story about a lasting friendship.  I would recommend this book to younger teens, as it's really not super scary.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: A Week of Mondays

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which shines a light on eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.  This week, my pick is:

A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Date: August 2, 2016

"Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!

As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?" -- From Goodreads

I really like Jessica Brody, plus I love this premise.  It reminds me of one of my favorite Christmas movies, The 12 Dates Before Christmas (I'm very much a cheesy romantic).

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

TTT: Books I've Read With Less Than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's theme is books I've read that have less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads.  Here we go!

67 Ratings

One Night Charmer by Maisey Yates
231 Ratings

Pure Grit by Mary Cronk Farrell
273 Ratings

Down From the Mountain by Elizabeth Fixmer
309 Ratings

Blood Will Tell by April Henry
319 Ratings

Eden West by Pete Hautman
405 Ratings

430 Ratings

Zero Day by Jan Gangsei
482 Ratings

Silent Alarm by Jennifer Banash
507 Ratings

Unchanged by Jessica Brody
563 Ratings

What are your most underrated books?
Leave me a list or link in the comments!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Debut Author Challenge: June Check-in

I've decided to do quarterly check-ins for the ONE challenge I'm doing this year.  The Debut Author Challenge is hosted by Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl.

My goal for 2016 is to read 12 debut books, and by accident I have read 6 out of 12 through June.

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
How did Blackbeard become a terrible pirate?

The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin
A great reminder that life is messy.

How is your challenge coming along?  Have you read something that I need to read?
Leave a list or link in the comments!