Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Our Top Ten Books We've Read So Far in 2015

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

It's about the halfway point so let's discuss the books that have been our favorites thus far! How has everyone's reading year been so far??

Julia's Picks

1. Soulbound by Kristen Callihan -- I adore this series. It is one of my favorite paranormal series; every book is different and engaging. But why I loved this one was because I really enjoyed seeing the hero redeem himself after all the crap he pulled in previous books. I reviewed this one so you should check it out!

2. The Slow Regard of Silent Thing by Patrick Rothfuss -- This surprised me. I thought I would be bitter reading it, thinking about how much more I'd like it if it were book three, but it was a charming novella. It was extremely different to read but I couldn't help but fly through the pages. I didn't review this here, but you can read it over on my booklikes blog.

Daisy's Picks

3. Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier -- This was the first book I finished in 2015 and it was AMAZING! So much fun and I loved the plot and all the characters (the sister bond is awesome) and basically just cannot wait for the next one! My review

4. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger - I know I'm LAAAAAATE to this party, but I read The DUFF in January and basically ALL THE FEELINGS! The romance and the friendship and just YES. And obviously I've since failed at reading Kody Keplinger's other books since then, but I will! My review

Jana's Picks

5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas -- I have not had a book hangover like the one I had after finishing this book since I finished Twilight. That was almost ten years ago! There are so many feels, the writing is beautiful, there were some steamy swoony times, there was SO MUCH ROMANCE, and I just loved all of it! Here's my review if you're interested!

6. The Devil You Know by Trish Doller -- I gobble up mysteries like a carb addict (ahem, me) gobbles up rolls on Thanksgiving. This one is SO GOOD! Definitely one of my favorite YA mysteries ever. Here's my review.

Jamie's Picks

I would like to second Jana's pick of A Court of Thorns and Roses!

7. The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta -- I've read Melina's contemporary books (some of my ALL TIME FAVE BOOKS EVER) but I was way late to the party on her fantasy trilogy. IT IS AMAZING AND JUST GOT BETTER AND BETTER WITH EVERY BOOK.

8. The Start of You & Me by Emery Lord -- I LOOOOVED Emery's debut novel and this one was JUST as amazing -- it's adorbs, has great friendships and just is all around AMAZING.

Kimberly's Picks

... Jamie and Jana took mine! *pout* But seriously, A Court of Thorns and Roses is AMAZING!

9. Rook by Sharon Cameron -- Oh my gosh this book! First, I ADORE the Scarlett Pimpernel. One of my all time favorite books/movies. Rook felt like a fantastic retelling that was also a love letter to the original story and the movie. Slow burn romance, wickedly smart characters, devious crimes, heroic deeds... What else can you ask for?

10. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid -- This book totally made me cry. It's pretty rare to see books that focus on the "Happily Ever After". We meet the couple, watch them fall in love, and then the story ends... Usually. After I Do was a heartbreakingly honest story of marriage. The highs and the lows, and how scary those lows can be. (I'd only been married about 2 months when I read it too. haha!) Such a great read. 

Lauren's Picks

... I might've been late to the party, so I snuck in and added my picks after ten were already picked! Shhh.. don't tell the other girls!

11. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon -- All the feels. All of them. This was one of those life changing books for me. No more words. I still haven't been able to write a review.

12. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness -- I'm so over vampires, demons, witches.. but the book almost ignores those identifiers. Of course people are what they are, but the story pulls you in and the usuaclichés of these creatures just drop away. 

Tell us your favorite reads thus far!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

For the Love of Everything Dystopian

Last month I posted of my first love, historical fiction. Now I have to show my affection for my second love, everything dystopian/post-apocalyptic. I still remember years ago, slowing filling my bookshelves with stories of survival, bleak skies.. characters enduring hardships that make me feel brave by just reading about them. Here are a few dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels that stole my soul.

Wool by Hugh Howey

An epic story of life, love and survival at all odds and one of the most-talked and anticipated books of the year. In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo. Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies. To live, you must follow the rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside. Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.

I cannot express how much I loved this entire series. Wool is the first installment that kept me awake many nights. The world-building aspect of the novel is absolutely amazing. There are many characters to keep up with, but damn it was worth it. This is a lengthy novel, and so are the other two installments.. but I loved all the detail. It just made everything more realistic and believable. I urge EVERYONE to at least check out Wool, but I know if you do, you'll have to read the entire series!

The Passage by Justin Cronin

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy - abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl - and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape - but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.

This was another lengthly novel that I admit was a bit sluggish at times, but was once again worth it. I love how one of the main character completely changes his course halfway through the book.. and it felt completely genuine. A man decides to stake his entire life for one little girl. She may be the most special girl in the world, but to him, she was just a little girl in need of an adult. This story will always stay with me.

Into the Forest by Jean Hegland

Set in the near-future, Into the Forest is a powerfully imagined novel that focuses on the relationship between two teenage sisters living alone in their Northern California forest home. Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event precedes society's fall. There is talk of a war overseas and upheaval in Congress, but it still comes as a shock when the electricity runs out and gas is nowhere to be found. The sisters consume the resources left in the house, waiting for the power to return. Their arrival into adulthood, however, forces them to reexamine their place in the world and their relationship to the land and each other.

I remember reading this book years ago. Two sisters stay in the same house hoping and waiting for the power to come back on, for people to show up alive and well.. for anything normal really. Years and years pass and the sisters learn to live off their small garden and stock of dwindling supplies. The world is bleak and honestly, this book is as well. I think the realism and how the author didn't force a happy ending or any kind of "coincidences" of good fortunes for the sisters on us.

Cross-posted at The Tattooed Biblio

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Cocktail & Conversation--Things To Save!

Every other Thursday here at The Broke & The Bookish is A Cocktail Conversation time. One of the TB&TB members will pose a question to 2-3 of the other members of TB&TB crew about books, life, music, etc and then they'll answer and we can converse about it. So grab a cocktail & cozy up for some conversation. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, friends. 

If your house was on fire, what are some of the bookish and non-bookish things you'd save?

Lauren says...

Firstly I'd grab the wiener dog. He may be crazy/spoiled/spawn of satan at times, but he's almost 8 years old and has been with me through thick and thin. Next would have to be my MacBook Pro. The damn thing cost so much, I would just HAVE to grab it. Plus the boyfriend has his first novel saved on it. As for bookish things, I honestly wouldn't grab anything. I own almost 800 books and it's not like I'd have time to pick and choose any. I've got over 200 ebooks on my Kindle Fire, but then again, I could just buy a new one and re-downloaded the books again. So I guess I've taken the practical route on this question, but then again I was once in my house under a mattress when a tornado ripped through my house. I'm not big on possessions, but it would suck so bad if my damn apartment burned down. 

Jana says...

We're just going to assume my cat is already sitting my car waiting for me with the engine running because I'm really bad at handling stressful situations. Like REALLY bad. Non-bookish would be my photo albums. I would just die if I lost all those memories. (In most cases I'd be like Lauren and grab my laptop, but I have a complete back-up of my computer stored in a fire safe so I've basically already planned for the fiery apocalypse.). Bookishly speaking... I'd probably grab a tote and fill it with favorite books of mine that have been personalized to me by the author (On the Island, The Lunar Chronicles, Kiss of Deception, The Book Thief, etc.). I can always replace books and my Kindle, but those signed books are very special to me. Can we just not have a fire, though, please? Just the idea of it is stressing me out.

Jamie says...

Well besides my husband and my phone (which I'm just assuming this fire takes place at night and my phone is right next to me on the nightstand) and maybe my bra because I'd really like for the whole world not to see me sans bra....I know exactly what I would grab. It would be so tempting to want to grab my computer and some beloved books or some clothes I love but I know those things can be replaced. The pictures would be the hardest thing for me not to grab but they aren't in a very accessible place so that would be pretty devastating. HOWEVER, the bookish thing I would save are the Nancy Drew books my mom gave me -- you can read my whole post about why they are special to me here. And the non-bookish thing is the blanket my stepdad had made for me after my mom passed away that is made from some of my mom's t-shirts . They were all these very iconic t-shirts that just reminds me so much of my mom or ones she wore a lot and I could never replace it EVER so it might seem like a weird thing to grab but I would.

 the books & a peek of the blanket underneath

Discuss: What bookish and non-bookish things would you save from a fire?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jamie's Top Ten Favorite Top Ten Tuesday Topics We've Ever Done

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

5 years. FIVE YEARS. No matter how I write it it still looks insane!

5 years ago I was super involved with a Goodreads group that I created in 2008 and I decided that I wanted to start a blog but didn't think I read enough to support a whole blog on my own. So I put the idea out there and some of my FAVORITE members from the group responded and we started putting it together and debuted the blog 5 years ago (yesterday really).  I loved it SO much that I started my own blog the very next day.

I haven't been AS active on this blog as my own these past 5 years but Top Ten Tuesday has still remained my baby all these years. When I came up with the idea I didn't think anybody would want to play but OH MY GOD YOU ALL ARE AMAZING. Thanks to ANYBODY who used to do TTT, still does or even reads the posts but doesn't participate. Thank YOU for the support and for making Top Ten Tuesday the weekly fun that it is. TRULY I MEAN THAT. I know the topics aren't always easy or perfect but I'm giving my brain some kudos for coming up with topics for these past 5 years (yes we debuted Top Ten Tuesday our first week!).


1. Top Ten Seasonal TBRs -- I know this is cheating but I really love the seasonal TBRs 4 times a year. Even though I'm a mood reader, I like making a plan and I LOVE finding new books from people's TBRs.

2. Top Ten Inspiring Quotes From Books (Well, really ANY quote posts) -- I LOVE QUOTES. Also I have found anytime we do a quotes post I find new books to add because I love getting a little snippet of a book!

3. Top Ten Places Books Have Made You Want To Visit -- I looove good settings and it was so fun to think of all the places I've "traveled" via books and I LOVED reading YOUR posts because I definitely added some books based on their setting. I really loved the post for this I did on my own blog.

4. Bookish Pet Peeves -- RANTING IS FUN.

5.  Underrated Books/Authors lists -- I LOVE when we get a chance to spotlight all those underrated authors and books.  It's so nice to see so many books I may have not heard of.

6.  All of the end of year & beginning of year topics (best books, new favorite authors, bookish resolutions, most anticipateds) -- cheating like a boss on this one but I seriously LOVE the end of the year and beginning of the year topics. Makes wrapping up and starting the new year easy.

7.  Books I'd Give A Theme Song To: I love music JUST as much as I love books (depending on the day maybe even more) so this one was perfect for me which is why I decided to make it a topic hahah

8. Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist -- this was sooo fun to talk about all the kinds of books I'm just DYING to find 1) because my imagination ran wild 2) you guys gave suggestions for things I was pining for and 3) YOU GUYS ARE SO CREATIVE. PLEASE WRITE ALL THOSE BOOKS.

9. Ten things on my bookish bucket list: this one was so fun to think of things I wanted to do related to books and general book nerdery! You guys made me realize there are some things I didn't even know NEEDED to be on my bucket list.

10. Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their Own Books: This happens a lot to me when I read...I read a character who isn't the main character but I wonder SO much about their story and want a whole book about them. Had SO much fun with this topic!

Honorable mentions: Top Ten Characters I'd Want On A Deserted Island With Me, Characters Who Would Have Sat At Our Lunch Table, Favorite childhood books/childhood books I'd like to revisit posts (omg flipping out about childhood faves is THE BEST). Top Ten Bookish Problems We Have (hahah book people problems are so fun and the rest of the world doesn't appreciate), Characters We Wish We Could Check in With, 


Some freebie topics I loved coming up with for my own blog during freebie weeks:

- Back in 2012 I did top ten things books have made me want to do after reading them!
- Top Ten Characters Who X: we got to pick anything and I picked characters who loved words!
- Top Ten Books For Readers Who Like Not-So-Easy-To-Like Characters

What have been some of your favorites??

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tahleen's thoughts on the last Three Pines mystery

So, over the past year, I've been working on finishing the Three Pines series by Louise Penny. I mentioned this before. But I didn't mention why I was working through them--it was sort of a mission of mine. You see, my library's director was the person who got me started on the series, as she was a big fan. Then she read the tenth book, The Long Way Home, and told me she was completely turned off by the entire series because she was bothered so much by this book's ending. But she wouldn't tell me why, since it would reveal a major plot point, so of course I had to read all of them to figure it out. And I finally did.

Heads up, small spoilers for those of you who haven't read the series through book 9.

In this latest book, Clara asks Gamache for help in a personal matter. Her husband, Peter, and she separated and agreed to get together exactly one year later to discuss their marriage. The only problem is, Peter never showed up. Clara is worried, and after some hemming and hawing, asks for some help from the professionals. And so the search for Peter begins.

I won't reveal too much about this final book, as I don't want to give anything too big away, but I wanted to see what others who've read it thought. I wasn't as big a fan of it as the other books, as I felt actions for many characters were out of... well, character. Especially Gamache and Clara. Things just didn't feel the same as in the previous book, and though I read it quickly, I didn't really enjoy it as much as the others. I was annoyed that Gamache allowed Clara so much control of the entire search, and I am still annoyed by the ending. Not upset, just... annoyed. The whole thing felt like a cop out and too quickly wrapped up. (My director felt more strongly than I did; she really didn't like it.)

That said, I still do like the books, and I am anticipating the eleventh book this August. I'm very curious to see where Penny plans on going with everyone's stories, since the major plot lines have all been resolved. But it looks like poor Gamache will never get to enjoy his retirement, in any case.

Have you read this series? What did you think of the last book?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 6/7 - 6/20

Daisy's Book Haul

-Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan: I bought the first book in the series recently and couldn't resist getting the sequel as well. Even though I haven't read the first one. Daisy fail.
-The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent: I really like Rachel Vincent's writing, so obviously I'm excited for this new series!
-Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell: it's my opinion that Jill Mansell is the queen of contemporary romance. She's awesome, so everything she writes is just an insta-buy for me.
-Thor Vol 1, Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron: YES FOR FEMALE THOR! I've been trying to dive more into graphic novels and this one just screamed my name.
-P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han: this series sounds super cute, so I couldn't resist getting the second one as a pretty hardcover even though I haven't read the first one yet..
-The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler: I've heard really good things about this author AND this book has a forbidden library in it. AND a talking cat. Obviously I need to read this.
-My Faire Lady by Laura Wettersten: I've been wanting to read this for ages, it sounds ADORABLE.

Egalleys for review:
-The Maddening Lord Montwood by Vivienne Lorret: I really like Vivienne Lorret's writing, and I need to read Lord Montwood's story because he is so interesting!
-Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown: this can be either REALLY awesome or not so much, but I hope it'll be Code Name Verity like awesome.
-After Alice by Gregory Maguire: I don't really like the original tale so much, but I love every adaptation I've watched or read, and Gregory Maguire is awesome.
-Signs Point To Yes by Sandy Hall: A Little Something Different was one of the cutest books I've read, so obviously I need to read this one as well!
-Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith: the whole concept of dreamstriders is FASCINATING! I will read the crap out of this!
-The Rogue You Know by Shana Galen: Shana Galen writes amazing historical romances, I love her!
-A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano: I love a good ghost story and this sounds like a really good MG novel!
-Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales: I LOVE Leila Sales' writing! I have all the excitement over this one!
-Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins: this sounds like my kind of epic lovestory, so I'm in!

Lauren's Book Haul

One Crow Alone by S.D. Crockett
After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley 
Incantation by Alice Hoffman
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Daughters of the Nile by Stephanie Dray 
Eve & Adam by Michael Grant 
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi 
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Lux Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White 
Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni
Panic by Lauren Oliver
Crewel by Gennifer Albin 
Unraveled by Gennifer Albin 
Altered by Gennifer Albin 
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson 
Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson

eARCs for Review
The Winter Girl by Matt Marinovich
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Friday, June 19, 2015

Daisy Talks About Reading Buddies

I just got back from a vacation in Thailand and my brain is still in vacation mode, so instead of a review or a more serious discussion post, I thought we could talk about reading buddies!

I have noticed that a lot of book people are also pet people. Whether it's a cat, dog, bunny or any other kind of animal, lots of book lovers have pets. Who also function as reading buddies, obviously.

This is mine, Zoë:

Zoë's been with us since August 2014 and she's ADORABLE, I love how much personality one tiny cat can have. She loves warm blankets, cuddling on/under said warm blanket, 'helping' me with blogging and doing cat yoga. And lettuce, the kitty goes crazy for lettuce for some reason. Oh, and she kinda likes me. But I'm the canopener, so it's pretty much a given ;) She's also one of the best reading buddies ever. Except for when she decides she wants to sleep ON the book or ereader I'm reading. But other than that, cat cuddles while reading are the best.

So I'm curious to hear about your reading buddies, and obviously I'd LOVE to see pictures (you can tweet me @DBetweenpages), because you can never have too many cute pictures in your life :)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Julia Reviews Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt

Title/Author: Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt
Publisher/Year Published: May 2015 by Grand Central Publishing
How I got this book: This book was provided free for review by the publisher
Why I read this book: I seriously love this series. I must keep reading!
Rating: 4.5 stars

Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.

Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King's dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all-until she's targeted by kidnappers.

Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they're confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier's hard exterior . . . and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible.

I’ve been reading the Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt since we started this blog almost five years ago, so what better way to commemorate our almost five years than to review book eight in the same series that I started my reviews with, Dearest Rogue.

I have had my ups and downs with this series, especially some of the middle books where things seemed a bit repetitive. But this book is truly a historical I’ve never had the chance of reading, It’s something new and unique in a field of sameness, and I highly enjoyed it. Let’s back up and actually take a look at why.

Phoebe Batten is the youngest sister of one of the Dukes from the previous story and unfortunately she has slowly become completely blind. Captain James Trevillion was injured in the line of duty as a mounted horseman and now is employed by her brother to be her full time body guard, which comes in handy as someone is trying to kidnap her.  The story is a balance between Phoebe trying to grow into her own despite the hand she has been dealt, James coming to terms with his past, their blossoming friendship turning into something more, and this kidnapping plot.

Phoebe and her blindness and coming to terms with it really touched me. I thought it was handled well and like a caricature. The reactions of her family and loved ones and compared to James I thought were great. James treated her as a normal person and not someone to be pitied. It was so casual the way he would just say “Spoon at 3, bread at 9” and just continue on with the conversation. I loved her trying out her limits and figuring out how she can take the world as she must and just experience life.

James’ story is a little strange. Anti-climactic maybe? He gets on my nerves a bit with his “She is so young. I am so old” mantra. I feel like that trope is a little overplay, but even so I felt for him, especially in his “I can’t do everything I used to because I am wounded” scenes.

The kidnapping storyline luckily takes a backseat to a lot of the other plots, which is good because even though it’s not bad, it was the story I was least interested in. I've read the duke's sister is in danger store before. Nothing new there.

This book shines when James and Phoebe are interacting with each other. I just adore their alone time and not just the sexy times (which were wonderful too). They are just so perfect for each other, and the chemistry drips off the page.

This was one of my favorites in the series. Definitely top three. And the good news is, I would consider this a viable stand alone. There isn’t really too many spoilers for other books, nor is there any real backstory that would make it better having read the others first. So if reading a heartwarming historical about a blind woman coming into her own and into love sounds good to you, check this one out. I think it’s totally worth it.

This ARC was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Top Ten Books On Our Summer TBR List

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!
Today we are talking about all those books we plan on reading this summer!!!

Jamie's Picks

I love contemporary YA allllll the time but I really gravitate towards it during the summer months -- especially the romances.

1. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West: Love Kasie West's books and this looks perfect for my poolside reading this summer!!

2. Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa: “This is the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them.” It had me at the first sentence of the summary.

3. The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen:  I loved her book 17 First Kisses and I love me a fun revenge plot! 

4. Last Will & Testament by Dahlia Adler: I really enjoyed Dahlia's YA debut, Behind the Scenes, and I'm excited to check out her new adult novel!! Also, I want to read her next installment to the YA series -- Under the Lights. I couldn't choose between the two so I'm mentioning both!!

Lauren's Picks


5. 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger: This sounds like an amazing read and I love books set in an entirely different culture than mine.

6. Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams: The main character is the sixth girl to get taken and to be punished. The first five didn't make it out alive. This one wants to.

Tahleen's Picks

7. Ana of California by Andi Teran: I have been waiting for this to come out since I heard about it. I love Anne of Green Gables, which this book is based on, and I like California. So it's pretty much a win-win.

8. The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny: This is the 11th and latest installment in the Three Pines series, and I'm curious to see where it's going since most major plot lines wrapped up in the last book. I'm also not sure how I feel about the ending of the last book, and I'm hoping this one will be better.

9. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee: I don't think this really needs an explanation.

10. The Martian by Andy Weir: On audio. I've heard a lot of great things about this one, and I'd like to read (listen) to it before the movie comes out.

What books are on your list for this summer??

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lauren Reviews Insylum by Z. Rider

Insylum by Z. Rider
Published: June 2015 by Dark Ride Publishing
Source: eARC
Rating: 3 Stars

The Last Ones In... Never Come Out

A.J. changed in boot camp, coming out all straight-backed and short-haired. His best friend Nate hardly recognizes him anymore, especially when it comes to the way he acts. His priorities. Now he’s about to ship out to Afghanistan, and despite the rift growing between them, the two decide to have one last hurrah—at Insylum, the extreme traveling funhouse they’ve been waiting for a chance at for years.

They're last in line on the last night of the show. They are the last two to go in. And they may never come back out. Warning: Some tentacular activity. (Also body horror. And maggots.)

A.J. and Nate are out for their last hurrah before A.J. is deployed to Afghanistan. To celebrate, they go to a new scare funhouse that they've waited years to attend. The online reviews say they can do anything to you in there and that the last people in don't come back out. They are, of course, the last two people to go in. My immediate reaction..

They have to change their clothes and get into well worn hospital shirts, pants, and paper slippers. Then the fun begins. There are some crazy real looking asylum rooms with crazy real looking people in them. The guys are semi scared, but mask it by acting tough and laughing. They truly panic when they are soon separated and each suffer their own fates. 

This novel is very fast-paced and takes place in one night. I read the first chapter and set it aside. Tonight, I picked it up and read the rest in one sitting. I was on the edge of my seat and I annoyed the hell out of the boyfriend during several scenes when I haphazardly tossed my glasses off. 

This novel is NOT for anyone squeamish. And I don't mean there's a little violence and gore. I mean one part literally made me nervous and I dealt with some lingering anxiety after putting the novel down. Remember that I warned you.

Cross-posted at The Tattooed Biblio

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Cocktail & Conversation -- Favorite Music

Every other Thursday here at the Broke & The Bookish is A Cocktail Conversation time. One of the TB&TB members will pose a question to 2-3 of the other members of TB&TB crew about books, life, music, etc and then they'll answer and we can converse about it. So grab a cocktail & cozy up for some conversation. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, friends. 

The Question - What type of music do you listen to the most? What was the last concert you went to?

Bridget says...

As for as music I listen to... there's so much different stuff, but I guess most of it can be categorized into 80s pop/metal (think Def Leppard, Styx, OMD), 90s pop/alt rock (Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty, etc), and some classic rock. Also, occasionally some current pop music, but I don't listen to the radio all that much, so I usually rely on Andrew to let me know when something good comes out.

Daisy says...

The last concert I went to was of Ewer and the Two Dragons, fairly unknown I think. I mostly listen to a mix of pop and rock, I LOVE singers like Jonathan Jeremiah and Sarah Bareilles, who are both awesome live!

Lori says...

The last concert I went to was Garth Brooks back in January. I'm glad I went because otherwise, the last concert I went to was in high school. I just don't go to that many! Garth Brooks was pretty awesome. I love that he primarily played his old hits. Our group was on the jumbotron during "Friends in Low Places," which was really cool.

Julia says...

The music I listen to most is actually pop music (according to Spotify).  I would classify it more as an Indy eclectic with a heavy lean toward 90s pop/alternative. I enjoy singing so that is probably why I like pop. I really have a wide range though. The only thing I would say you wouldn't find on my Spotify is hardcore heavy metal, straight rap, and pop country. I have some classic country though, like John Denver. I have a playlist for the songs I sing in Church so I can practice them as well as one for ALL THE KARAOKE ever. As for concerts, I have been to lots of musicals, lots of classical concerts, but only one official concert and that was The Fray in 2007... only because Mae opened. :)

Lauren says...

I pretty much just listen to rock music and most of it's sub-genres. I can't listen to the new stuff of the radio without wondering how in the hell our next generation of children are going to make it. The last concert I went to was the Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, KY. There were THOUSANDS of people there for a two day event. There was Judas Priest, Korn, Stone Temple Pilots, Mastodon, Pop Evil, Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, Buckcherry... the list goes on. It was amazing. Here's a picture just to show you how many people were there. I can't wait to go again this year!

What type of music do you listen to? What was the last concert you went to?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lauren Reviews Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs & Tracy Deebs

Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs & Tracy Deebs 
Published: June 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
Source: eARC
Rating: 2 Stars

Kenna is tired of being "normal". The only thing special about her is that she isn't special at all. Which is frustrating in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary— which she hates.

She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust.. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers.

So the world is literally full of heroes and villains, both of whom have powers. Kenna is the daughter of a hero.. her mom is basically a genius that works at a super secret hero facility doing lab experiments to help develop more hero powers or instruments to aid the good guys. Kenna spends her days and nights in the lab helping her mom and doing little experiments for herself. She is powerless. She's what the heroes and villains call an ordinary. 

One night some villains break into the lab looking for a relative that they believe is being held captive by the heroes. Kenna holds her own, even with no powers. But she isn't exactly powerless. She is also immune to other people's powers. This is a well kept secret between Kenna and her mom, who used her genius skills to develop a serum for Kenna to take on the regular to stay immune to danger. 

And here comes the real interesting part... Kenna stops seeing the heroes and villains as good and bad/white and black. She sees there's a grey area. Now she meets a slew of new people with devastating information that changes everything she's ever known. 

This was definitely a fast paced novel with some quick YA romance. I needed a little more world-building to get a better feel of the place. I'm also a little bored of the teenagers falling in love after 3 days of life or death action, but I think I'm just getting old. This was an interesting read, but it felt too short and that a lot of details were missing.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Rest Of 2015

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Today we are talking about all those books we are anticipating for the rest of the year! 

Jamie's Picks

1. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas: OMG BOOK 4 IS GOING TO KILL ME I KNOW IT. If you haven't read the Throne of Glass series yet this is your chance to catch up. I really liked book 1 but book 2 and 3 were AMAZING. (Jana seconds this one!!!)

2. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy:  I really enjoyed Julie's debut and I'm so excited about this one. The cover is FIERCE.

3. Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman: THIS LOOKS LIKE THE COOLEST BOOK IN THE WORLD. There are emails and documents and really super cool things in it just at a glance when flipping through it. It's so fancy.

4. Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman: This historical fantasy looks amazing! ALEXANDER THE GREAT.

Jana's Picks

5. Everything But the Truth by Mandy Hubbard: I'm loving Bloomsbury's If Only... line, and this one sounds super cute! It's a bit of a Cinderella story, or so they say. Poor girl, rich boy... confusion... swoons. Looks like so much fun!

6. The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long: I love JAL's Pennyroyal Green series! My favorite one of the entire series so far is What I Did for a Duke. SO swoony, and super steamy. Highly recommended if you like historical romance. Can't wait for this one!

7. When a Scott Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare: I've been all over the historical romance genre lately, and I LOVE Tessa's Castles Ever After series. I just barely read the second one, Say Yes to Marquess, and it is definitely one of my top five favorite historicals.

8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: I can't NOT mention this one, even though I did over on my personal blog's TTT for today as well. I love Leigh's writing, and I loved her Grisha trilogy so much! I'm so glad that we have another series in the Grisha world to look forward to.

Bridget's Picks

9. Orphan Number Eight by Kim van Alkemade

10. The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick

I totally got both of these at BEA but they don't come out until August/September respectively and I haven't read them yet so I'm going to count them. Also check out the GORGEOUS cover of The Sparrow Sisters!

Tell us your most anticipated!!

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