Movie Madness #1: The Space Between Us


Introducing... Movie Madness! The latest meme to appear here on Lili's Reflections. Please excuse the just okay meme banner as it is the first one I have created on my own. I have to say I kind of like the layering effect I managed with the title on the film reel. But, anywho. A new meme!!!


With the recent discovery of a $5-$7 dollar movie theater nearby my father's house, I find myself going to the movies more often because, well, I can see 3 movies for the price of one elsewhere in New Jersey or New York. Because of this, I've been getting myself super hyped for some movies and decided to create a meme out of it. The purpose of this meme is to just fangirl about the movies I am most excited to see in the coming year. While some, I'm sure, will be very popular and easily recognizable to many people, some may be flying slightly under the radar. Quite like this first pick.

The Space Between Us - December 21, 2016


In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot – an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing.

While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa. When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he’s eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars – from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner’s organs can’t withstand Earth’s atmosphere.

Eager to find his father, Gardner escapes the team of scientists and joins with Tulsa on a race against time to unravel the mysteries of how he came to be, and where he belongs in the universe. 

Let's be honest. Read that blurb above and tell me you aren't super stoked to see this movie! Combine that with the fact that Gardner is played by Asa Butterfield (and his gorgeous eyes) and Tulsa is played by Britt Robertson (hello, amazing girl crush that I loved since I first you saw in The First Time!) and you've got me hooked because I've been obsessed with space movies ever since I saw Star Trek, The Martian and Gravity in recent years. I mean, I am so excited about this movie I can even forgive just how bad of a name Tulsa is.

I think this is approaching the space movie from a different direction. While martians have been done before, a child born on Mars by accident that can never really be reunited with his own species is a super interesting idea. Couple in a rebellious streak in him and a really nerdy and awesome sounding love story in curious teens and you've got a compelling story that's worth dropping money on because, while it has a recipe for success, such a recipe has not been approached in this manner before.

Give me this romantic science fiction adventure now! December, come so I can be graduated and see this movie, please and thank you.

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Have you heard of this movie before? I haven't heard of it prior to seeing a trailer for it in theaters. Doesn't it look amazing?! Three cheers for something different.

Stacking the Shelves #117

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I am so excited for each and every one of these books.

From Random House For Review (Thank you!)
Glitter by Aprilynne Pike
I loved her WINGS series growing up, so I will always read anything Pike writes!

From Simon and Schuster For Review (Thank you!)
The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Wiener
This was a surprise piece of bookmail, but I am all about it. It looks amazing!


Taken from Work (Thank you!)
Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
The Scrivener's Bones by Brandon Sanderson 
The Knights of Crystallia by Brandon Sanderson
The Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson
The Dark Talent by Brandon Sanderson
I am currently bingeing this series and it is rocking my socks off! Everyone, give it a chance!

Bought
Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
I loved this book! My library has book 3 but not book 2, so if anyone can lend book 2 I'd be forever indebted!

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Have YOU read any of these books? What did you think? Don't forget to link
your own STS posts below! <3

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Game On by Michelle Smith

Series: Lewis Creek #2
Publication Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 328 (eARC)
Source: From Publisher For Review
As king of baseball in the small town of Lewis Creek, Eric Perry can have any girl he wants and win every game he plays. But when a fight lands him in jail, he’s only got one more strike before his baseball career is over for good. His only chance for redemption? The girl next door, Bri Johnson.

Bri hasn’t talked to Eric in months—for starters, she’s been too busy dealing with her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, not to mention the fact that Eric’s been preoccupied trying to drink every keg in the country dry. But when he needs a way to stay on the team, she proposes a plan: if he helps her out with community service, he can stay on the team. At first it’s a nightmare—Eric and Bri stopped being friends years ago, surely that was for a good reason, right? But as volunteering turns to bonding over old memories of first kisses under the stars, they start to have trouble remembering what pushed them apart.

In a town as small as Lewis Creek, nothing stays secret for long and their friendship and romance might mean bad news. But in this final, tumultuous spring before graduation, Eric and Bri are about to realize that nobody’s perfect alone, but they might just be perfect together.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I was eagerly anticipating this book for so long, and I am so happy to say that it did not disappoint. While I was a bit hesitant about the main character being the son of a pastor, all my worries about religion were thrown out the window because instead of this being a platform to preach, it is a simple plot device. Plus, it helps that Erica's family is amazing--something that is rarely found in young adult books these days. A pastor with a few party animals in the line and also a gay son for good measure who tells the world to deal with it is the leader of a kickass family. Plus, they've got a wild chicken named Oscar. Everyone needs an Oscar in their life.

The best part about this book is the fact that most of it focuses on Bri and Eric repairing their friendship. The romance is there and it is ridiculously slow burning, but it takes a backseat to their friendship. Friends force, love later. I loved this mentality because it allowed us to truly get to know both of our main characters--a boy who drinks away his fears because he doesn't think he's good enough and a girl who finds an incomparable inner strength.

However, this brings me to my main complaint: the kissing. There's not a lot of it in this book, which is unfortunate for a romance. I mean, we start the book off with Eric having a night in the backseat of a truck with some girl at a party because he is the guy you to go to "have fun." And then there is barely any kissing with him and Bri. They're super passionate on an emotional level, but when you start a story there it's like your teasing us because we aren't getting much from the actual relationship, yet we made it all the way to home base in the first chapter with a girl whose name I have completely forgotten. I feel slightly cheated because I haven't gotten more. But then I remind myself this story is just so dang perfect and I get over it. A little bit.

The way Smith focused on Bri's past relationship was really important too. While it seemed a little over the top sometimes, detailing verbal abuse and psychological abuse is important because it's an abuse that happens often in society and is often swept under the rug as not being as important. It messed with you, and this book shows that, and it's nice to see that Bri found people to support her and help fight with her--never FOR her. This girl's strength is ridiculous, and I have a lot of respect for her. None whatsoever for Matt Harris who can go fall into a hole and never come out, but so so so so so much for Bri. Matt's drama really took away from the story at times because it was so over the top, and it's easy to find yourself frustrated with Bri ignoring his threats and being scared to act on them, but when you're bullied the way she was it's hard to properly seek help, which is why it is so powerful when she eventually does so.

Also, shout out to a small glimpse of our favorite characters from book one making an appearance and getting up to their old shenanigans like nothing ever changed. I loved that!

I hope there's more in the Lewis Creek series because there's always room in my library for Southern men, killer romances, and a little bit of baseball for good pleasure. Lindsay Smith, I am so happy you found a home with Bloomsbury Spark and this book made it out into the world. Well worth the read.

4 stars

~*~Links~*~
|Goodreads|Amazon|Author's Website|

FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.

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Giveaway

Bloomsbury is kind enough to host this giveaway internationally! Good luck. (:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Current Obsession (7): The Great British Baking Show


I haven't been binging a lot since returning home from the UK, but lately I have been missing my study abroad experience and was searching for something...British, for lack of a better word. This baking competition is very popular in the UK and there is one season from 2014 on Netflix. I decided to dive right in on those slow nights where I am too tired to read, but too awake to sleep. I grabbed some chocolate milk, sat back, and let my mouth water for the past month.


I don't know how to describe this show. In fact, it even sounds boring at times, but I adore every second of it and even make a point to watch it on PBS and YouTube when I see new episodes are up now. EVERYTHING JUST LOOKS SO GOOD.

They take regular people that are phenomenal bakers--people that deserve to open their own shops but haven't because baking is something they do on their side and is not their regular profession. They have everything from 17 year old students to 70 year old grandmothers, construction workers, graphic designers, and people of all ethnic backgrounds that bring their own flare and cultural experiences to baking. It's crazy how diverse and interesting such a vast group of people make this show.

The show takes place in a tent on the weekends. The contestants live their normal lives Monday through Friday. They hang out with their families, they go to work or school, they practice baking...and then they spend their weekends competing towards the grand prize of ... a cake stand! And, you know, the title of the Next Great Baker. The prize just goes to show how this is a no glitz, no glam, honest to goodness fun competition with a ton of baked treats that make all of our mouths water. This is a phenomenon back in the UK, and it's slowly expanding to encompass the world.

The two hosts are ridiculous eccentric, wearing varying forms of the same outfit each weekend that make me cringe. They go around trying food for free and I am so jealous of that. And then there are the judges...Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Yes, that's his real name. He's just as sleazy as he sounds, but also super knowledgeable and interesting to hear from when he gives critiques because praise is so rare from him. And Mary Berry is s a sweet grandmother that loves her alcoholic sweets, and I love every minute of it.

Moral of this story, just watch this show. Learn how to bake. Hear your yummy grumble. Bask in the extraordinary abilities of these ordinary people. And root for someone to win that cake stand!!!


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Have you ever seen this show or even heard of it? I love it! Do you have a desire to watch it now that I've told you about it? Comment below with your thoughts! <3 Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go convince my Mom to watch it.

Review: Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

Series: Stealing Snow #1
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 384 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher For Review
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she's not crazy and doesn't belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn't what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid--her true home--with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she's sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she's destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything...including Snow's return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Before I begin this review, I'd like to say that I haven't read anything else written by Danielle Paige. This is my introduction to her writing, and I'm seriously hoping this is a case of "it's not you, it's me."

I love retellings, so when I first read this synopsis, I was all over this book. Heck, I put it in my post documenting my most anticipated books of the year. And, with that in mind, I have to say that I am ridiculously disappointed. I find it easier to explain why in a bullet format because it's been really hard for me to order my thoughts on this one...
  • Love Square = WHAT: So, this is the first thing I have to point out because it seriously hindered the plot. I am all for a killer romance, and I can even support the rare love triangle when it is done right and makes sense. But a love square? With three suitors in such a short book? I just...I don't understand. It's unnecessary and confusing, and doubly sucky when all of the love interests fall flat. What even is romance? This book just makes me think it's randomly kissing a boy and then moving onto the next one.
  • Random scenes thrown together- This book was a super slow read. The pacing is off, and I think it's also because it didn't seem like there was a true plot here. I'm still not entirely sure what happened, but I know instances of things happened. It seemed like a ton of different happenings and thoughts strewn together in an unknown timeline back-to-back with no thread properly connecting them. I don't know how else to describe it. Something is definitely missing to make this book flow.
  • Plot twists that make no sense- There are some serious plot twists in this book that I didn't see coming because they don't make a lick of sense. There is only one plot twist I saw coming because it was so obvious (which sucks because it is perhaps the biggest plot twist found at the end of the story), and the rest leave me still scratching my head because I don't really know how they further the story.
  • Forgetting characters even exist- This book makes the mistake of treating characters as mega important for a small period, and then completely forgetting about them in the next instant. There is so much open-endedness here that it is ridiculous. I'm okay with not closing up subplots because there will be a second book, but I'm not okay with forgetting they exist entirely and never revisiting them properly.
  • Meh main character- This is all made a bit harder to get through by the fact that our main character is robotic and not at all likable. I love me a good anti-hero, but I don't know what Snow is. She's just...there. She's there, and annoying, and not that smart, and super, super frustrating because she can't listen and would rather throw temper tantrums. Yeah. That's all I really have to say about Snow. She is not a main character that is easy to support.
  • Confusing world is confusing- I've got the gist of what is going on, but I can't figure out the layout of this world at all, nor can I really understand why it works the way it does. Entire villages of frozen people and foods that are obnoxiously green or pink or yellow and taste like emotions for unexplained reasons. There's some interesting thoughts here, but they're not explored or explained, which makes it hard to really understand a world as a reader.
Yeah, that's the main gist of it. I don't think I'll be continuing on with this series which is so sad because of my love of retellings. But dang, this book and I did not get along. I will check out Paige's other works in the future, but I'll go in slowly and apprehensively after this reading experience.

1 star

~*~Links~*~

FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review. 

Waiting on Wenesday #78

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick of the week is...
Game On by Michelle Smith

Publication Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Reading Level: Young Adult
As king of baseball in the small town of Lewis Creek, Eric Perry can have any girl he wants and win every game he plays. But when a fight lands him in jail, he’s only got one more strike before his baseball career is over for good. His only chance for redemption? The girl next door, Bri Johnson.

Bri hasn’t talked to Eric in months—for starters, she’s been too busy dealing with her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, not to mention the fact that Eric’s been preoccupied trying to drink every keg in the country dry. But when he needs a way to stay on the team, she proposes a plan: if he helps her out with community service, he can stay on the team. At first it’s a nightmare—Eric and Bri stopped being friends years ago, surely that was for a good reason, right? But as volunteering turns to bonding over old memories of first kisses under the stars, they start to have trouble remembering what pushed them apart.

In a town as small as Lewis Creek, nothing stays secret for long and their friendship and romance might mean bad news. But in this final, tumultuous spring before graduation, Eric and Bri are about to realize that nobody’s perfect alone, but they might just be perfect together.

Why I Am Waiting 

I loved book one in the Lewis Creek series which was initially published by Spencer Hill. I know the author bought back the rights, but I hadn't heard much about the book since then. I am so stoked to see that it is definitely getting published! This series is so serious yet so fun and so sporty, which means it is absolutely perfect!

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Are you equally as excited for this book as me? Is there another book you are even more excited about? Please share your thoughts with me below!

Stacking the Shelves #116

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

So many books, such little time to read!

For Review From Bloomsbury (Thank you!)
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
Game On by Michelle Smith 

For Review From Random House (Thank you!)
And I Darken by Kiersten White

Bought
The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
Proposal by Meg Cabot
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Gifted From Paige (Thank you!)
Gemina by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
signed Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Borrowed from a Friend
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

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I am super excited to hop into all of these books and I'm thankful I've already finished a few of them because SUCH LITTLE TIME. AHHHHHH! Anyway, have you read any of these books? What did you think? Comment below with your thoughts! <3