November Monthly Recap

~*~On The Blog~*~

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I went home this weekend to see my family and it was wonderful. This wasn't the busiest month for me because of that and the fact that I was sick at one point, but with a five week break starting in December I am very happy to read a ton over the holidays!

Books Reviewed:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - 4.5 stars (Team Tynga's Transfer Review)
Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne - 4 stars
Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn - 4 stars
Lick by Kylie Scott - 3 stars
The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin- 3 stars

Books Read This Month:
A solid reading month if you ask me!
  1. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
  2. Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne
  3. Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge
  4. Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
  5. Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
  6. The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
  7. Half Lies by Sally Green
  8. The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin
  9. The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold
  10. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  11. Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
The Broadway Review:
  • I introduced this new feature here if you want to check it out! This feature is dependent upon audience interest, so please comment on any of the reviews if you still want me to keep it! 
  • I've seen A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder twice, so it's only fitting that I finally got that review up!
Giveaways:
  • This mystery box of Comic Con ARCs giveaway has one day left to it and it is a follower appreciation giveaway, so check it out!
  • I am giving away 3 copies of THE ICE DRAGON by George R. R. Martin here! Thanks Tor for being so awesome!
  • I participated in the EXQUISITE CAPTIVE blogger caravan giveaway and picked my winner.
Discussion Posts:
  • I threw up my Epic Recs November post. Looks like Bekka and I will continue to go strong!
  • I wished my Mom a happy birthday yesterday since she stalks my blog via e-mail.

Guest Posts and Bonus Content: 
  • None this month, but a lot next month!

~*~What I've Been Watching~*~

Broadway Shows:
  • I didn't see any this month, but I bought tickets to see a show the first week of December. Does that count?
TV:
  • Breaking Bad is still rocking my socks off. I am in the middle of season four at this point. The ending of season three was insane and I flipped out several times while watching the first episode of season four. This show just doesn't know how to slow down!
  • Once Upon A Time Season 4 is much better than it was in the very beginning of the season. That mid-season finale though! If anything happens to Hook I am going to flip out. It was proven that ratings went up significantly when he was introduced to the cast and just ah, Hook <3 Also curious since they cast Cruella DeVille recently, so I want to know where she's taken.
  • Survivor is still beyond interesting. Gotta say there's so few people left that I actually like, though. The last episode was so intense!
  • The American Music Awards were interesting! Some performances rocked, some didn't. Some awards were given to the people who deserved to win and some weren't. Same old, same old.
  • Giants Football... we suck. A lot. I just can't.However, it was really nice to be home one Sunday this month to watch a game with my Dad. This was a tradition of ours prior to me leaving for college and I'm happy it's still going strong.
Movies:
  • I watched Fight Club for my film noir class. Believe it or not, I have never watched this movie through until the end though I've seen the first 80%. I was flipping out in the library, guys. Seriously.
  • That same week I had to watch Memento for class to write a comparative essay. This movie is messed up and I actually noticed a few continuity problems, but overall great if you're looking for a dark movie that'll mess with your brain.
  • I saw Big Hero 6 with my best friend Carolyn. I saw it at Comic Con first and it was cool to see how they barely changed the sounds between the Comic Con viewing and the final finished reel. GO SEE THIS MOVIE AND YOU WILL LOVE ME FOREVER BECAUSE IT IS PERFECT.
  • I got to see Mockingjay Part 1 two days before it came out as an advanced screening with my college and I loved it. I knew it was going to end there and gah, terrible. I can't wait for part two. Also, I'll never get a ten dollar movie ticket in New York City again, so I'm reveling in that miniature miracle.
  • For the first time ever I watched 12 Angry Men for a different class than my movie class. Can you believe it? We actually watched it in my introduction to communications course to study the different forms of communicators and it was surprisingly entertaining and enlightening. I swear my Dad is going to disown me from not seeing half these movies prior to taking this semester.
  • The Emperor's New Groove was a spur of the moment thing between my friend Carolyn and I because we were bored and Netflix is always there for us. I remember why I loved this movie so much when I was younger <3 Kronk is the best.
  • I watched The Man Who Wasn't There for my film class and this is among the worst movies I have ever seen. Billy Bob Thornton doesn't emote, at all, ever. I can't even take him seriously when he says "Heavens to Betsy" because there's no emotion behind it. Just no, don't waste your time with this movie.
  • However, I watched The Postman Always Rings Twice for the same assignment in that class and I enjoyed it. I watched the original, not the remake, the clarify. Lana Turner is freaking gorgeous, guys.
Youtube:
  • The DUFF Trailer is out and it sort of looks like John Tucker Must Die to me in the sense that I'll happily watch it, but maybe not in theaters. Although, let's be honest, I'll see it in theaters because I want to support the author since I adored the book, even though they obviously changed aspects of the book in this movie. *sigh*
  • Celebrity's Read Mean Tweets #8 is perfect. It's been six months since the last one and I think this one is my favorite yet!
  • The Pitch Perfect 2 Trailer is out as well and I am so freaking excited I can't even put my thoughts into words!
  • Beyonce's 7/11 homemade music video is kind of cute with the homemade vibes, but this is not her best single despite its catchiness.
  • Imagine Dragons's new song has been stuck in my head for over three weeks.
  • One Direction and Jimmy Kimmel take the #cutestselfieever. I don't even like 1D and I still think this was beyond hilarious.
    Do you have a monthly recap or thoughts on anything I'm reading/reviewing/watching? Share your thoughts below! Every comment is greatly appreciated! <3

    Happy Birthday, Mom!

    I happen to know that my Mom stalks my blog via e-mail, so I thought I'd give her a birthday shout out.





    This was the best cat-related birthday wish I could find. Say hi to Pusheen.

    Happy birthday, Mom! Glad I was with you for at least part of this important day. (:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Today I am currently a little sick, but I'm so happy to be home with my family and me pets. I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving! The blog will be rather quiet because of the festivities today.


    Review: The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin & Giveaway

    Illustrated By: Luis Royo
    Publication Date: October 21, 2014
    Publisher: Tor Teen
    Reading Level: Young Middle Grade
    Pages: 128 (Hardcover)
    Source: From Publisher for Review
    The Ice Dragon is an enchanting tale of courage and sacrifice for young readers and adults by the wildly popular author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin. Lavish illustrations by acclaimed artist Luis Royo enrich this captivating and heartwarming story of a young girl and her dragon.

    In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.

    Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara’s home. And only a winter child—and the ice dragon who loved her—could save her world from utter destruction.

    This new edition of The Ice Dragon is sure to become a collector’s item for fans of HBO’s megahit Game of Thrones.
     
    ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

    GAME OF THRONES is on my must-read binge list for January intercession, so when I was given the opportunity to read the re-released version of George R. R. Martin's middle grade supposedly set in the same world, I was in. Before I begin this review, I have to say that Luis Royo's gorgeous illustrations on the cover and nearly every page are beautifully haunting and purchasing a copy of this book is worth being able to see the pictures alone.

    Martin's writing is also beautiful. This is a middle-grade short story that can be read in under an hour, so it almost has a novella-like feel for elder readers. Furthermore, it reminds me a dark fairytale or piece of folklore. It has that type of whimsical yet moral vibe to it. If you are into fantasy and want to read a book that almost feels as if it is a children's bedtime story about courage, love, and embracing one's true nature, then this is a solid recommendation for you. I say this because this story is lacking great depth. It skims the top of the surface and tells you a beautifully written tale while a unique plot, but it doesn't delve into the plot and examine anything. It's simply there.

    The story is that of Adara, a young girl who carries the winter inside her because she was born during the harshest of winters. Because of this, she can communicate and even tame the ice dragons that her world is so fearful of. When enemy dragon-riders attack her town and family, she must give away her secret and protect her family before it is too late.

    The ending of this novel is what I both love and hate. I love it because it's what gives this story such a folklore-esque vibe, but I dislike it because it almost seems abrupt. Really, the entire story had a lot of potential to be expanded on, but it simply wasn't. The ending, though, definitely needed more explanation to it. While I found myself smiling after the very last page, I was also left with many questions and a crushing sense of dread that I won't ever get those questions answered.

    All in all, I would say that I enjoyed this. It definitely satisfied me and I did find this to be a memorable read. I just wish there was a bit more depth and explanation to the tale. However, the exquisite art and young vibe of this story will allow it to appeal to younger readers. This is one of those books that will be more appreciated by its target audience than slightly elder generations, though fans of George R. R. Martin will find themselves smiling at his beautiful writing and unique lore creations.


    3 stars

    ~*~Links~*~

    ~*~Giveaway~*~
    Tor was kind enough to provide three beautiful hardcovers for a giveaway! This is a US only giveaway! Enter below and may the odds be ever in your favor. ;)

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

    Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR


    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly featured hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

    This was such a hard list to make!

    1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
    2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
    3. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge


    4. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
    5. Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay 


     
    6. Liars Inc by Paula Stokes
    7. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
    8. I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
     
     
    9. Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
    10. A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab

    Don't forget to share your thoughts below!

    Stacking the Shelves #88


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

    This was an awesome week.


    Rebound by Noelle August (Thank you William Morrow and Edelweiss!)
    Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (Thank you Harper and Edelweiss!)
    The Retribution by Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
    We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler (Thank you Bloomsbury!)

    What did you add to your shelves?

    Epic Recs Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

    Publication Date: June 24, 2014
    Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
    Reading Level: Young Adult
    Pages: 256 (Hardcover)
    Source: Library
    Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.

    But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.

    Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know the truth about their past. A truth she’s kept hidden for years. A truth she’s not supposed to tell.

    Trust nothing and no one as you race toward the explosive conclusion of this gripping psychological thriller from the William C. Morris Award-winning author of Charm & Strange.
    ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

    Bekka the ultimate Epic Recs partner has done it again! Seriously, my rec-ing powers are super inferior compared to her. I have to admit that I wasn't expecting to like this one. I enjoyed Kuehn's debut, CHARM & STRANGE, but it took me the entire novel to really love it. Similarly, that was the case with this one. While I had my theories about this or that, I didn't actually love this novel until this psychological thriller full of twisty turns finally came full circle and the answers I so desperately craved were revealed. Kuehn managed to craft such a twisted psychological thriller that I couldn't put the book down and the ending envoked serious emotion in me. Whoa, guys, just whoa.

    Jamie Henry isn't your typical high school student. His older sister, Crazy Cate Henry, is known for, well, being a complete lunatic. She set a farm on fire two years ago and was just let out of a juvenile detention center after serving two years for her crimes. Because of this, Jamie's a bit of a pariah. And to make matters worse, he has this weird condition called cataplexy where the muscles in his hands weaken to the point of him not feeling them when he experiences any negative emotions like sadness or anxiety. The usage of this condition was super interesting since I've never heard about it before.

    When Cate is let out, weird things begin to happen. Jamie's cataplexy begins to act up much more often, several different houses and establishments are set on fire like the barn, and the town begins to suspect trouble. It doesn't help that while his world begins to spiral after two years of calm since the first time he was adopted alongside his blood sister Cate, he meets the girl of his dreams and enters his first true relationship with someone that doesn't seem to care about his sister's history. She can differentiate between Jamie and Cate.

    This book is an incredibly fast read. It doesn't occur over a long stretch of time and its fast pace combined with its short length allows you to finish this in a single day. The mystery in it grabs you from the very beginning and you desperately want to figure things out as Jamie deals with Cate's weird behavior and delves into his past to discover answers to why she so desperately wants to see him upon her release from juvie. When all of the hidden secrets finally come to light, your jaw drops and time literally pauses and you can do nothing but sit there screaming WHAT over and over again.

    In true Kuehn fashion, the ending is what makes this novel. In a mere ten pages you are taken on the King Da Ka of rollercoaster rides where your shock morphs into every other possible emotion and the very last page makes you forget how to breathe. My one issue is that while I was enveloped by the story waiting for the end, it literally took the entire book to make me flip out as much as I did. Otherwise, I was almost emotionless waiting for that inevitable emotional overload that Kuehn is guaranteed to deliver.

    Read this is you want your mind to be messed with. There's simply no other way to put it.

    Warning: There is sexual situations, underage drinking, cussing, violence, death, and the mentions of drugs in this book. Not suitable for young readers.
     

    4 stars

    ~*~Links~*~

    Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get


    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

    This was such a great list to make, but it was so hard to narrow it down to just ten sequels! Ah! I don't think I have to explain any of the below titles because my love of them is super intense. <3

    1. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
    2. Remembrance by Meg Cabot
    3. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
    4. Invaded by Melissa Landers
    5. The Pirate Code by Heidi Schulz
    6. Winter by Marissa Meyer
    7. Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine
    8. Throne of Glass #4 by Sarah J. Maas
    9. The Archived #3 by Victoria Schwab
    10. A Darker Shade of Magic #2 by Victoria Schwab

    Don't forget to link your TTT posts below!

    Sisterhood of the World Book Bloggers Tag

    I don't know exactly who started this tag, but I love the idea of uniting book bloggers!
    I was tagged by Dana at Dana Square. Thanks for the fun blog post, girl! This is a great way for my followers to get to know better.

    ~*~Guidelines~*~
    1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their website.
    2. Post the award's logo on your blog.
    3. Answer the ten questions you have been asked.
    4. Nominator ten other bloggers and ask them ten other questions.

    ~*~Questions~*~
    1. What was the last book you read that you gave 5 stars to?
    I gave five stars to The Start Of Me and You by Emery Lord last week, but the review hasn't been posted yet. Does that count? haha. Anyway, this book made me cry and it was so perfect and powerful. Emery Lord knows how to wow me.

    2. What book got you into reading YA?
    Honestly, it was probably The Lightning Thief and its subsequent books by Rick Riordan. I was re-reading them a while ago and once I began, I never stopped. I know they're not technically YA, but they brought my love of reading back after it was broken a few years ago.

    3. What character from a series deserves their own spin-off book or series?
    Definitely Kenji from the Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi. This guy was so hilarious and he was not only comedic relief, but integral to the plot at certain moments. I would love to see more of him, even after that disappointing series ender.

    4. What is your most recent favorite genre?
    My favorite genres have never really changed. I am still a sucker for any kind of retelling/reimagining or a high fantasy novel, so I guess fantasy in general is just my thing.

    5. Do you collect anything other than books?
    Yes! I actually collect snow-globes. My parents bought me a ton of them when I was little and as I got older, I would begin asking for snow-globes for the holidays or whenever my friends go on vacation, so the collection has sort of grown. 

    I also collect various forms of money from the different country's I've visited, just save a few coins or a bill here and there before I convert for memory's purposes. 

    I also now collecting Broadway tickets and Playbills for every show I see, so that collection is growing as well. It's just a bummer because I am missing a few playbills from my childhood when I didn't collect these seriously. I didn't start this collection until I was 18, but I'm already about to hit 20!

    And lastly, I realized I also collect swag from my college. I have 16 (and counting) articles of clothing from my school and it's wonderful because I've only actually paid for two of those items.

    6. What is your favorite TV show?
    I have a couple. My favorite off the air TV shows are Veronica Mars and Breaking Bad. My favorite TV show that is still going on is the amazing Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black, and my favorite reality show is Big Brother, partially because my entire family likes this show so it is a family affair.

    7. What is the next book on your TBR pile?
    I am preparing to read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas because I have my own copy and I don't have the willpower to wait, but also Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn because it is my November Epic Rec and it's due back at the library soon!

    8. Who is your most owned author?
    I own the most books by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This woman is a writing machine, it makes it hard not to own a lot of her books.

    9. When did you start blogging?
    My first ever post was May 20, 2012. Once I started, I never stopped. Though I cringe a lot when I look at those reviews from the beginning. My taste and writing style has changed so much since then.

    10. Which book do you love that you think deserves more hype?
    Ahh so many. I think my two biggest least-hyped books are Dark Star by Bethany Frenette. Hello, we are talking superheroes! I also adore The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors because I love retellings and this is an Ugly Duckling retelling! It's not perfect, but it's near and dear to my heart and I like to force it on everyone who will listen.

    ~*~My Nominees~*~
    1. Jessie at Ageless Pages Reviews
    2. Bekka at Great Imaginations
    3. Angie at Disquietus Reads
    4. Ashlea at Disquietus Reads
    5. Summer at Blue Sky Bookshelf
    6. Nikki at There Were Books Involved
    7. Nicole at The Quiet Concert
    8. Shae at Shae Has Left the Room
    9. Mary at Mary Had A Little Book Blog
    10. Montana at The Book Belles

    ~*~My Questions to My Nominees~*~
    1. When and why did you start blogging?
    2. What is your favorite genre and why?
    3. Recommend a book that you love that you think deserves more hype.
    4. Aside from reading, what are your favorite hobbies?
    5. Top 3 books you have ever read?
    6. Who are your favorite authors and why?
    7. What is the best book you have read so far this month?
    8. What book is responsible for making you the reader you are today?
    9. Do you collect anything other than books?
    10. Tell us a weird fact about yourself that we probably wouldn't know.

    Just a cute post to get to know me and get to know other bloggers! What do you think of my answers? Do we have anything in common?

    Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

     Series: Mara Dyer #1
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
    Publication Date: September 27, 2011
    Original Review Link: Here
    Original Review Date: July 4, 2012
    Pages: 452 (Hardcover)
    Reading Level: Young Adult
    Source: Bought
    Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
    It can.

    She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
    There is.

    She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
    She’s wrong.
    ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

    THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER is the first book in a series that is getting a whole lot of hype. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m actually wary of these types of books. The more hype a book receives, the harder its fall from grace is if it’s not what someone expected. However, Michelle Hodkin found a way to deliver! This “dark” young adult novel will make you encounter things that you won’t find often in the young adult writing industry. Because of this, I have so many positive thoughts swirling around in my head that I cannot even begin to fathom how I can write an articulate review.

    What made this book for me is the main character: Mara Dyer. To put it simply, Mara Dyer is completely insane and that’s why I love her. She survived a horrible accident that took the life of her best friend, Rachel, but went a little crazy because of this. She forgets her memories, hallucinates, and has a mother that’s hell-bent on committing her to an asylum. She’s slowly trying to make sense of the world and what happened on that horrible night that forever changed her life. Her memories are slowly restored with the help of flashbacks that will definitely keep you turning pages. She doesn’t have an easy life, but she fights through it all with the help of her brothers and the infamous Noah Shaw.

    Noah was easily able to make me weak in the knees, but I couldn’t help but notice that he’s “too perfect” and full of clichés. A childhood disaster made him seem outwardly cold, so he used his bad guy image to his advantage to get what he wanted from any girl he was interested in. But the second Mara, the new girl, shows up at their expensive private school, he does a complete 360 and falls for her immediately despite his many years of being a womanizer. Luckily, as the book progresses you learn more about Noah and his special *ahem* capabilities and his characterization will become more complex than it is cliché.

    An accident that nobody can remember, a girl that’s slowly going insane because she can do things that nobody understands, and a mystery that has unexpected plot twists in high supply are all weaved together in a greatly descriptive writing style that makes the entire story play out vividly in your mind. The combination of the mystery, the thriller, the paranormal, and the romance that rivals the best out there will leave you breathless and begging for more. And when I say that I mean that.

    The ending of this book is one of those endings that stops time around you while the cameraman does a full shot of your face just as your mouth drops in complete and utter shock. It’s perhaps the biggest bombshell thrown at you in the entire story and once you get to it you just want to find Michelle Hodkin and beg for the release date of the second book in the series to be moved up. While the first book is absolutely amazing, you pretty much have to read the second book to truly understand Mara Dyer, her powers, and how they originated. This book focuses on her discovery of her powers and her finally beginning to understand them, so you’re left with a lot of questions by the end of the book, just as Mara is. The second book will explain exactly why Mara is the way she is because this book didn’t and couldn't fully explain everything, which made some parts of it seem nonsensical.

    I highly recommend this book to anybody who is willing to buckle up and enjoy the roller-coaster ride that is Mara Dyer’s life. It’s full of twists, turns, and loops that’ll leave your head spinning. This mystery is a must-read for any mystery reader and its romance is beyond powerful.


    4.5 stars

    ~*~Links~*~

    Please note: This post was transferred to Lili's Reflections as part of the Tynga's Reviews transfer detailed here. No plagiarism has happened because I wrote this review originally on Tynga's and am archiving it here.

    Stacking the Shelves #87


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

    This week, guys. No words.


    A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
    *Begins hyperventilating and thanks the heavens for my amazing internship*

    Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine
    It was so wonderful meeting Sarah again this Tuesday and she gifted me this beautiful ARC, which was amazing! <3

    The Map To Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis

    Half Lies by Sally Green
    I got this novella for review from Penguin and the review should be posted soon! Keep your eyes out!

    What did you add to your shelves this week?

    Review: Lick by Kylie Scott

    Series: Stage Dive #1
    Publication Date: October 11, 2013
    Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
    Reading Level: New Adult, 18+
    Pages: 286 (Kindle eBook)
    Source: Gifted (Thank you!)
    Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this.

    Evelyn Thomas's plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man in her room, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

    One thing is certain, being married to one of the hottest rock stars on the planet is sure to be a wild ride.
    ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

    This book was all kinds of fun. When it comes to new adult, any book that is sexy and hilarious automatically hits the mark. I flew through this because it's super entertaining despite plot flaws, but I have to say I overall enjoyed it despite the fact that I am completely aware of the fact that I liked it more than I should have.

    This is going to be a hard review to write, so I'm going to do it in what I liked versus what I didn't like style.

    What I Liked:
    This book was downright hilarious. Let's just say that waking up in Vegas is supposed to be fun. The worst thing that could ever happen in Vegas is waking up with a ring on your finger when you don't know who it belongs to. The next worst thing is then proceeding to vomit on the person who gave you that fancy ring. At least in Evelyn's case, it's a nice, big five carat ring. The secondary characters, specifically Mal, are a riot. Go ahead and add the rest of the band onto the things I liked about this book list.

    This book is really sexy. Granted, there's a lot of sex in this book, but it's just really sexy. Yeah. Don't let anyone under the age of sixteen read this though...seriously.

    David's also an awesome character. I have my issues with him, but the whole rockstar with a secret heart of gold is something I enjoy. Also, near the end, after he underwent a sort of character evolution I really loved him.

    Evelyn's overall story arc was strong. There was some craziness inbetween, but seeing how she changed from beginning to end was nice. It's not a good girl gone bad story per se, it's more the type of story where a girl learns about her true self and breaks out of her shell, even if that means confronting her parents about the type of person she really is.

    The ending was what I wanted it to be. It was cheesy and perfect and sexy/adorable all at once. Typically not an ending I'd approve of, but there's just something about this book, guys. There's nothing else I can really say. Plus, this is a quick read so it won't take long to get to the ending.

    What I Didn't Like:
    This is obviously an intense case of insta-love. I'm not really a fan of it, but I guess it just worked in this. Because we have to suspend reality to believe everything else in this story, it just becomes easier to think that you can surprisingly meet your soulmate after taking a ton of tequila shots in Vegas. So I'm just going to go ahead and throw an unbelievable plot on this part of the list because if this was any other book, I probably wouldn't have loved it as much as I did.

    I disliked David as much as I liked him. He was really controlling at times and he didn't always make sense with his desires and over the top reactions when it came to his lovely new wife. However, he was also really caring. I understand he had issues and when he overcame them he was perfect, but when he was still dealing with the issues the author almost used them as a crutch to let him act a little nutty at times.

    Evelyn's inexperience was brought up way too much. I get that the author was trying to make David perfect and have him care for her, but it was brought up all the damn time. And while I enjoyed how she didn't hesitate about explaining things hurt and this and that, I hated how it was constantly her suddenly being brazen then shy, brazen then shy. We get it, she's inexperienced, moving on past the 100th mention of this.

    The Overall:
    Overall, this is a really good book if you want a quick, sexy, and entertaining read, though it's only believable if you're willing to suspend reality. If you can't suspend realism, then this may not be for you. With that in mind, I'm a stickler for realistic expectations and I blew through this book with a huge grin on my face. To be honest, I absolutely loved this. Granted, I loved this book more than I know I should have, but I loved it nonetheless. Because of the list above, I can only give this book a three star rating, but if emotions were involved it would probably be a higher rating. I mean, I couldn't even write a proper review because this book scrambled my brain so much! That's saying something!

    Now...onto book two. Mal was my favorite and I can't wait to read his story!


    3 stars

    ~*~Links~*~

    The Broadway Review: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

    Dates Seen: September 6, 2014 & October 25, 2014
    Seating #1: Stage Right Box, Row 2
    Seating #2: Right Balcony, Row F
    Ticket Source #1: Student Rush
    Ticket Source #2: tix4students.com
    Ticket Cost: $42 and then $48
    Rating: Two Thumbs Up
    Getting away with murder can be so much fun… and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead hit show that’s earned unanimous raves and won the 2014 Tony Award® for BEST MUSICAL—A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER! As one most gentlemanly NPR critic put it, “I’VE NEVER LAUGHED SO HARD AT A BROADWAY MUSICAL!”

    GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by—you guessed it—eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way (each played by Tony winner Jefferson Mays in what The New York Times calls “the year’s greatest musical theater performance"). All the while, Monty has to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin but who’s keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance… and be done in time for tea. The Hollywood Reporter raves, “GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE RESTORES OUR FAITH IN MUSICAL COMEDY” and The New York Times cheers, “IT WILL LIFT THE HEARTS OF ALL THOSE WHO’VE BEEN PINING FOR WHAT SOMETIMES SEEMS A LOST ART FORM.” Kindly get your tickets now for the new musical that will have you dying with laughter!
    ~*~Tony Awards~*~

    BEST MUSICAL OF 2014
    BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
    BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
    BEST COSTUME DESIGN

    ~*~Journey to the Tickets~*~

    For the first time I saw this show, I actually did the student rush. Such a process is described in this Broadway Review of ONCE. This was my first weekend in my new dorm and I was so excited to finally be back in New York City, so my best friend Carolyn and I decided to start off the school year with a bang and see this year's best new musical! Plus, when compared to THE BOOK OF MORMON when it comes to laughs, we both knew we had to see it.

    For the second time I saw the show, I actually went with one of my old bosses from my first internship, her friend at Bloomsbury, and my Aunt as an early birthday present since I accidentally bought tickets in pairs. I used the website Tix 4 Students. Essentially, if you are a college student of any kind, you can sign up for this website if you pay a five dollar fee. This means you get severely discounted tickets for any of the shows on the website at any given time in the mezzanine or balcony. There are currently 12+ shows on the website and they are always changed. You can get up to two tickets per ID and you just have to present your college ID at the box office to pick up your tickets. So for anyone out of state, if you want to see a Broadway show while you are visiting, do this and get super discounted tickets! Woo!

    ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

    I've seen this show twice in less than two months, and I think that alone shows how much I love this show. I literally die of laughter every time I see it. I often compare it to the BOOK OF MORMON. See, THE BOOK OF MORMON is also hilarious, but in a super inappropriate and dark way. A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER manages to be uproariously funny because it has such great rumor and is only inappropriate at the most necessary times. Absolutely deserving of every award it has won, I highly recommend checking this one out.

    The plot is downright zany in the best possible way. Monty Navarro learns that his recently deceased mother was disowned by her original family, the powerful Dysquith family, when she chose to marry a poor man for love instead of for even more money. He immediately sets out to prove himself to his family in order to get into their good graces, but it's quickly apparent they want nothing to do with the poor man their shamed relative left behind. Determined to not only gain access to his family name, but claim the money his mother is rightfully owed by birth, he begins to eliminate those eight pesky relatives standing in his way of the coveted earldom while balancing Sybella, his long-time lover who may actually love him but refuses to marry him because she wants money, and Phoebe, his second cousin who is nobel and pious and will eventually marry him for what she thinks is love. Let me tell you, for all us romance nerds out there, this is a love triangle done right. *wink, wink*


    What is even cooler is the fact that the entire show was created to mock the British Upper Class of the past. Not only are the accents super exaggerated and unbelievable to show how silly some of them sounded in their attempts to be superior, but it also displays how money-hungry they were and even how desperate they were for the spotlight in so many different ways. Knowing this simple fact makes the viewing experience even better because you know what they're poking fun at and how they are doing it so, so, so well.

    Each Dysquith is played by the super talented Jefferson Mays who I like to refer to as master of the quick change. Seriously, the surprises he manages to pull off when it comes to changing outfits in record time are great. But what is even greater is how every character he plays is significantly different from the rest. He manages to make each Dysquith that meets an entertaining yet very unfortunate end their own type of character. They're memorable and unique and he never breaks out the same personality or singing voice twice. Bravo to the incredible amount of talent in this man.

    The other three leads are also amazing. Bryce Pinkham plays Monty Navarro and he is not only super talented, he is also currently one of the six most attractive men on Broadway. He is a fan like anyone who sees the show. He used to wait in long lines for discounted tickets and stage-door to meet his idols just like me, and it's wonderful to see that. The original Phoebe actually left on October 25th, but despite her small size and young age, her voice was downright intoxicating. The original Sybella is still cast alongside Jefferson and Bryce and she is very talented as well. She definitely brings a lot of humor to the table. Everyone in this cast is super talented really, and I have to admit that the song list is among the best I have ever seen. Plus, the playbill for this show wins the award for best playbill. Why? Well you'll have to attend the show and see for yourself.

    If you want to see Jefferson's master quick change in his introduction to the Tony performance of the hilarious sequence for the song I HAVE DECIDED TO MARRY YOU, check out the video below!


    But, really, just go and see this show! It is among one of the more affordable shows possible and there is not a bad seat in the house. Even the balcony is great seating, as are the "obstructed" box seats. If you're in New York City this is a must see, especially while Jefferson and Bryce remain in the cast. The plot, the songs, the talent, and the craziness are grand, but the two of them truly make the show as amazing as it sounds.

    ~*~*~

    If you want to read more of my Broadway Reviews, click here!

    If you want to learn more about A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER, click here!

    As always, every comment is appreciated! <3

    Stacking The Shelves #86

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

    Two weeks worth because last Saturday was my Epic Recs post! A very nice haul, indeed.


    Netgalley/Edelweiss
    Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne (Thank you, Bloomsbury!)
    Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman (Thank you, Harper!)
    The Body Electric by Beth Revis (Thank you, Patchwork Press!)

    Library
    Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
    Bought
    The Chapel Wars by Lindsay Leavitt
    This Night So Dark by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

    Don't forget to comment below with your STS posts! I have to say I am excited for each and every one of these titles!

    Review: Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne

    Publication Date: November 20, 2014
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
    Reading Level: New Adult, 16+
    Pages: 150 (eARC)
    Source: Netgalley
    Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…but lust refused to settle in for a long winter's nap.
    She might be all nestled, snug in her bed, by why, oh why, do visions of the wrong guy dance in her head?


    Jessica, (not Jessie), figures that nothing could be better than a trip to the Emerald Isle for Christmas break. So she takes a flying leap and follows her boyfriend home for the holidays, not only sure that he will finally agree they're destined for each other, but also that Ireland will provide the perfect backdrop to the beginning of their happily-ever-after.

    But it turns out his family--and his gorgeous ex-girlfriend--don't feel the same way, and even the family goat seems to be conspiring against her well-laid plans. The only person making the trip worthwhile is the very last one she should be thinking about, but Grady, the local farmhand, has a way of showing up when Jessica needs him most...and least.

    USA Today bestselling author Lyla Payne wraps up the perfect holiday novella, ties it with a ribbon of romance, and tops it with a light dusting of snow. Perfect to curl up with under the tree. Just add hot cocoa!
    ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

    At first, I have to admit that I didn’t realize this was a novella because I was so focused on the adorable couple and dog on the cover. I wish I knew going into this read that it was, in fact, a novella because it would have made it a smoother reading experience for me. When I finished it, I was supremely disappointed that it was so short and only the author’s note really cleared up my misconceptions--transforming my minor frustrations into overall satisfaction.

    With that in mind, I am calling for a full-length novel. I really like the main character, Jessica, and I also love the small taste we got of the romance. I want more, so much more. With the way the novella ends, the author sets herself up for an amazing opportunity (in a different foreign land, no less!) with two amazingly drawn-out and well-written characters that banter with the best of them. PLEASE BRING ME MORE OF THEIR STORY. Did I mention I love banter? Because I do. A lot. Which is why I need more. Seriously. 

    The romance in this is so well done. Jessica goes out to Ireland to assure herself that things with her boyfriend, Brennan, are going well and he is future marriage material. What she gets is culture shock, a surprisingly adorable yet judgmental family, a perfect ex-girlfriend, and an incredibly attractive farmhand that seems to understand her better than her own boyfriend does. What is a girl to do? While not the typical romance novel and definitely not a real love triangle, I blasted through this one like no other.

    Not only will this appeal to those who love romance, but it’ll also appeal to travel lovers. Payne actually traveled to Ireland and stayed in a B&B. She used her real-life experiences to create the realistic world in this novella. As someone who has traveled to Ireland, albeit six years ago, I almost felt nostalgic while reading because her descriptions were so true and vivid. It does its job by transporting you to a foreign land, and even the dialogue is realistic without it focusing too much on the accents to make it frustrating. I often found myself giggling or cracking a smile at the way this wonderfully complicated yet perfect Irish family handled Jessica and her weird American ways.

    I do have to say I had one issue with this story aside from its short length that should be longer, and that is the fact that Jessica is super uptight. Granted, later in the story it is revealed why she has a ten year plan and why she is so obsessed with her future and how it will turn out, but it takes a while to get to that point. When it is first apparent that she flew to Ireland to see her boyfriend of four months to ensure that he was proper marriage material when they are both only twenty years old, I kind of thought she belonged in a cuckoo’s nest. I mean, I am turning twenty in four months and I kind of wanted to die of embarrassment on her behalf. Granted, upon completion of the novel, I still think she belongs in a cuckoo’s nest, but in a more endearing “I love this crazy freak of a character” way more than in a way where I was questioning her sanity. I think that making her seem less nuts in the beginning would be a bit helpful because I did find myself rolling my eyes a few times. But with that being my biggest issue, I have to say this was a solid read.

    With an amazing cast of secondary characters and a perfect yet surprisingly male lead, MISTLETOE AND MR. RIGHT is a great Christmas novella that’ll appeal to both romance readers and those who love to travel. With the potential to turn into a real novel, I’ll be keeping my eye on this one and anything else Lyla Pane produces. Until then, I’m just going to be dreaming about witty Irish banter and hugely perfect Christmas Time grand gestures that make me weak in the knees. Oh wait, I can just reread this perfect little piece of literature for all of that.

    Warning: There is drinking, jokes about sex, cussing, and references to sex in this novella, though there is no actual graphic content.

    ~*~Links~*~

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

    Personal Disclaimer: My internship at Bloomsbury publishing has in no way affected my opinions expressed in my reviews. I received this book not as an intern, but as a blogger/reviewer, thus I will review it as I would any other novel. Waiting to post such reviews until the completion of my internship would not be good because most thoughts would be irrelevant by the time of completion of said internship.

    Exquisite Captive Giveaway: Your Wish Has Been Granted!

    I am so excited to take part in the blogger caravan relay for Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios! Essentially, for every weekday of an entire month, a hardcover copy of this magnificent title will be given away on different relay blogs. All giveaways will only last until midnight EST, the winners will be announced on the next day's post, and all giveaways are US only.

    Before I begin, I have to announce the winner of Alexa's giveaway yesterday and that is: SARAH KERSHAW!

    ~*~About The Prize~*~

    Forced to obey her master.
    Compelled to help her enemy.
    Determined to free herself.

    Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

    Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

    Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.
     ~*~The Awesome Trailer~*~


    ~*~Giveaway~*~
    1. US only
    2. If you are a previous winner, please do not enter again. Sharing is caring!
    3. The winner will be announced on tomorrow's stop at 9am! See below the rafflecopter.
    4. No cheating, I check all entries. I made this as easy as possible for you so please don't cheat.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
     
    Don't forget to look at Xander's blog ForeverBookish tomorrow at 9am to see the winner of my giveaway! 

    Top Ten Books I Would Reread in an Ideal World


    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

    I don't reread books. I worry that my second reading experience would not be as great as the first. Well, minus The Book Thief. But aside from that, I would really never reread a book.


    1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- My favorite book of all time.

    2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini- This book ripped my heart out repeatedly. I just can't experience it again.

    3. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider- This book means so much to me.
     


    4. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson- So freaking powerful, I can't even explain.

    5. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson- See the previous comment.


    6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling- I think this is pretty self explanatory.
     
    7. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord- SO. GOOD.

    8. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- I can't even begin to explain what this book means to me.


    9. The Lightning Thief (and its subsequent 4 books) by Rick Riordan- One of the series involved in making me the reader that I am today.

    10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald- It's a classic for a reason!

    What do you think of my TTT picks? Don't forget to link yours below!