26 August 2015

November 9 by Colleen Hoover [Waiting on Wednesday #4]

*Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine in which we share our most highly anticipated upcoming reads (that we pretty much need to get our hands on, like drugs)

November 9
by Colleen Hoover (Goodreads, Twitter)
Release Date: November 10th, 2015

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

 Yes, you read that right. November 9 is going to be released on November 10th and it's just ridiculously funny how clever that pun is! Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors and I am just incredibly excited for this beauty to come out! Plus, if you're from the Philippines, or will be in the country by mid September, we're having a massive 3 or 4 day book fair at the Mall of Asia grounds, and it's going to be awesome! And guess who's coming? COLLEEN HOOVER, THAT'S WHO!!!

She's going to be here for a book signing on September 19th, at the book fair, and I am so excited! Please let me go, oh book gods, please, please, please!

Another fun fact, Kiera Cass is also going to be here on the same date (Sept. 19th) but in a different venue quite far from where the massive book convention is (but to be fair, the venue is a lot closer to my place than where CoHo is. #Priorities #DontLetMeChoosePlease)

What's on your WOW today?



BOOK TOUR: Guiding Lights by Jessica Florence + Playlist & Giveaway!

Guiding Lights
by Jessica Florence
Self Published on August 20th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

He sings of suffering. His eyes hold the pain of living in sorrow.
The moment our gaze meets recognition flares within.
We are tortured souls drifting in a sea of darkness.
He knows I have secrets that I'll never tell.
I am numb
I am broken
I am dirty
I can never be the guiding light through the darkness he thinks I am.
I have forsaken my past, I rely on keeping myself shut off.
But he has secrets too, secrets that would destroy everything I have left.
I wish things were different, that maybe we could be each other's lifeline.
But destiny drags us down like an anchor.
The broken can only drift in the sea barely staying afloat.


Excuse this really rushed graphic I made for the playlist, but I love the songs listed on here! Three Hozier songs, and I am obsessed with his music! Love, love, love! These songs are just too perfect for the this romantic drama and I can't wait to read it!




Jessica Florence makes her home in Southwest Florida where she runs her own business, and of course writing! She one day after reading a book a day for a year just sat down and started writing, thus finding a new amazing hobby that she was looking for, for years, and that was also very therapeutic. 

She spends her days reading, writing, watching TV, working, playing with her cute as hell baby, and black German Shepherd Rogue aka Rogue-i-bear, and of course tormenting her husband ;)
She also enjoys taking naps, bubble baths, eating pickles like candy, and having Harry Potter marathons.


23 August 2015

Cue Sad Music & Rain [Sunday Post #2 & Stacking the Shelves #10]

*Sunday Post is a weekly meme created by Caffeinated Book Reviewer where we share news or showcase stuff happening on the blog or around the blogosphere.

Rain is pouring and we've got a terrible storm (mostly wind rather than rainfall) and it just ruined my weekend hangout with the besties because we thought it might be dangerous to leave the house. Plus, the widdo bwudder left three days ago, though he almost missed his flight because some dumb airline agent held up his passport, but all is well and my brother's back home enjoying my mom's cakes and pastries without me, hah!

Aaaand, I'm lonely. I do live with my grandma and a few relatives, but still, having the broski around was such a hoot! We're tight like that even though we're 5 years apart. Now I'm going to have to wait for next year to come when he finally travels back for good. (Yipee!)

I also gave Harry (my 5 year old laptop, because HP, hah!) away to the broski, which they'll probably sell away after they get it fixed. Oh it was just so hard to let go of it, because it's been with me since college and all my late night projects and research papers all went through that baby. Oh, good times.

I've recently bought a new one, it's an ASUS (I honestly forgot what model) and I've named it Ace, but Harry will always be in my heart.

Also, the day before the broski's departure, we watched Inside Out and it was the feelsiest (is that even a word?) movie I've ever seen! I actually had to hold back my tears because I didn't want to cry in the theatre, hah! (Spoiler Alert: Bing Bong! Bing Bong!) But enough of that, I'm saving my thoughts on the movie for an official movie review. Yes, you read that right, Mischievous Reads is about to start posting movie reviews! I'm still trying to decide what rating system would be more effective: a 1-5 or a 1-10?


I should call this the Set-Aside-For-Now pile, because it's taking me ages to finish!

  • Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle - There's something in this book that I'm not exactly enjoying but I can't pin point it. Feels kind of bland? I haven't continued past 16% because it's not calling to me. I would try to pick it up and finish it real soon, though!
  • Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk


Not much of an eventful week for me because the broski and I had to do some last minute shopping.



For Review
*Covers link to Goodreads*


*Covers link to Goodreads*




I don't know about you but I'm a big fan of cool, action packed movies, especially the Marvel/DC movies. Now, I'm not a comic reader, but I am pretty familiar with every character's backstory, but I wouldn't dare say something like "Ugh, the movie sucks, the comic was better." Nah, nevermind that, I'm only here for the gunshots, explosions, SFX and the CGI! 

But, Deadpool would be my favorite and I'm so excited for this movie! He's known for his hilarious puns and jokes and tends to break the fourth wall. Not only that, he's a character who regenerates due to an experiment gone wrong. Ryan Reynolds is BORN to play Deadpool! He's freaking hilarious!

Also, I've got this song stuck in my head after watching the Cinderella movie adaptation, and I've been humming it every freaking time. 

COVER REVEAL: Enamor by Veronica Larsen + Giveaway!

Hey, Mischievous Readers! 

The lovely indie author, Veronica Larsen and I are excited to share with you the beautiful cover of her upcoming new release, ENAMOR, a sexy friends-to-lovers romance and a prequel to the Hearts of Stone series!

Expected Publication: November 2015

*Official blurb to be out soon*

I know what we’re doing isn’t smart. We are latching onto an almost that we seem to enjoy torturing ourselves with. An almost kiss, an almost touch. An almost love story that we are both too hesitant to trek. Our hesitation litters the way behind us. It litters the way in front of us, too, boulders of uncertainty that are crowding us right off the edge of everything. And there we are, pretending we’re exactly where we want to be. Like the craziest kind of fools.

Don't forget to check out the previous novels in the Hearts of Stone series:



Veronica Larsen is a novelist who enjoys writing emotionally rousing stories laced with potent sexuality. She particularly enjoys writing about fierce women who give the male lead a run for their money. When Veronica isn’t writing, she is working on graphic design projects. She enjoys losing herself in a good book and spending time with her husband and young son.

Goodreads • Facebook • Twitter
18 August 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
by Marissa Meyer (Goodreads, Twitter, Website)
Published by Square Fish on January 8th, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Retelling
Format: Paperback (387 pages)
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | National Book Store

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

It's such a shame I ignored this book the first time I saw it in stores years ago. Ridiculous enough, I was in the supernatural phase and for someone who actually fancies retellings, I just can't believe how I thought this book wasn't worth my money and picked up the House of Night books instead (which I incredibly regret). And as of today, I'm biting the inside of my cheek for underestimating this novel--not only did I assume this novel wasn't worth my time, I also thought to put it down for a good two months and prioritize review copies instead when I had the chance to pick it up. Pretty much, I do deserve to stand in the corner and wear the hat of shame. Hah!

This novel [Cinder] is not like any other. Although Betsy Cornwell's upcoming retelling novel, Mechanica, has a similar concept of heroine being a mechanic; Marissa Meyer's dystopic sci-fi Cinderella based novel set in New Beijing takes a futuristic turn with the addition of androids and cyborgs which gives it a unique twist--absolutely nothing I've ever come across before. Parallel to the original fairytale, [Cinder] includes the mistreated underdog heroine, horrible stepmother and step siblings (although contrary to popular belief, one of her sisters was actually a nice person), a prince charming and a ball. No fairy godmother this time, though, but rather an evil queen from the moon with the power to brainwash, and a deadly contagious illness slowly eating up the population.

Meyer's Cinder is a very intriguing character. She's strong willed, at the same time, exudes a vulnerability of being one that longs to belong. Also a selfless character, she would do anything for the ones she love, despite living an unfair life. On the other hand, Prince Kai definitely charmed me. For a young man to experience a tragic situation then suddenly faced with a prodigious responsibility in a matter of minutes makes him such a strong character. And not only that, boy, did he swoon me with his tricks in trying to get Cinder's attention.

Although the first few pages were quite dull because of the slow pacing, it gets better. Meyer plants plot twists in the novel like a land mine awaiting a victim to get caught up in the explosion. This probably isn't the best novel in the series, as I've heard from readers whom preferred the next books, but I did love a lot of things from this novel, plus the fact that it's set in Asia (we don't get much of that around books by western authors now, do we?)

As a non-regular fantasy reader, Cinder changed my viewpoint towards the young adult fantasy genre. As my previous experience with the genre was not at all worthwhile, this [Cinder] sure rectified that. Meyer's fascinating retelling had me turning page after page, despite the slightly predictable scenarios which seemed to be intentional, still had me in shock with the numerous plot twists that kept popping out of nowhere.

Should you be a reader trying to dip your feet into the fantasy genre, this is a fantastic first pick. Meyer does not disappoint and Cinder will surely amuse you, and make you want more--and also because there is a mild cliffhanger waiting for you at the end. Hah!
16 August 2015

BOOK TOUR: Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Before We Were Strangers
by Renee Carlino
Expected Publication on August 18th, 2015 by Atria Books
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?



2. Five Days After I Saw You


I took the damn F train, an hour-long ride to Brooklyn from Midtown and back every day, at lunch, hoping I would run into Grace again, but I never did.

Things were bad at work. I had submitted a request to go into the field three months earlier but had been denied. Now I had to watch Elizabeth and Brad walk around in bliss as people congratulated them on the baby and Brad's promotion, which came right after the announcement.

Meanwhile, I was still rejecting any forward motion in my life. I was a stagnant puddle of shit. I had volunteered to go back on location to South America with a National Geographic film crew. New York just wasn't the same anymore. It held no magic for me. The Amazonian jungle, with all of its wonderful and exotic diseases, seemed more appealing than taking orders from my ex-wife and her smug husband. But my request hadn't been approved or denied. It just sat in a pile of other requests on Scott's desk.

I pondered the current state of my life while I stared at a blank wall in the office break room. Standing next to the water cooler, holding a half-empty paper cone, I tallied the insubstantial years I had spent with Elizabeth and wondered why. How had things gone so terribly wrong?

"What are you doin', man?" Scott's voice came from the doorway.

I turned and smiled. "Just thinking."

''You seem a little brighter."

"Actually, I was thinking about how I ended up thirty­six, divorced, and trapped in cubicle hell."

He walked to the coffeepot and poured a mug full then leaned against the counter. "You were a workaholic?" he offered.

"That's not why Elizabeth was unfaithful. She fell right into Brad's skinny arms, and he works more than I do. Hell, Elizabeth works more than I do."

"Why are you dwelling on the past? Look at you. You're tall. You have hair. And it looks like"—he waved his hand around at my stomach—"you might have abs?"

''You checking me out?"

''I'd kill for a head of hair like that."

Scott was the kind of guy who was bald by twenty-two. He's been shaving it Mr. Clean-style since then.

"What do women call that thing?" He pointed to the back of my head.

"A bun?"

"No, there's, like, a sexier name for it. The ladies love that shit."

"They call it a man-bun."

He studied me. "Jesus, you're a free man, Matt. Why aren't you prowling the savannahs for new game? I can't watch you mope around like this. I thought you were over Elizabeth?"

I shut the break-room door. "I am. I was over Elizabeth a long time ago. It's hard for me even to remember being into her. I got caught up in the fantasy of it, traveling with her, taking photos. Something was always missing, though. Maybe I did work too much. I mean, that's all we talked about, that's all we had in common. Now look where I am."

"What about Subway Girl?"

"What about her?"

"I don't know. I thought you were gonna try to get in touch with her?"

"Yeah. Maybe. Easier said than done."

"You just have to put yourself out there. Get on social media."

Will I find Grace there? I went back and forth between wanting to do everything I could to find her and feeling like it was totally pointless. She'd be with someone. She'd be someone's wife. Someone better than me. I wanted to get away from everything reminding me that I still had nothing.

"If you care so much, why haven't you approved my request?" I asked.

He scowled. I noticed how deep the line was between his eyebrows and it occurred to me that Scott and I were the same age...and he was getting old. "I don't mean the actual savannahs, man. Running away isn't going to solve your problems."

"Now you're my shrink?"

"No, I'm your friend. Remember when you asked for that desk job?"

I walked toward the door. "Just consider it. Please, Scott."

Right before I left the room he said, "You're chasing the wrong thing. It's not gonna make you happy."

He was right, and I could admit that to myself, but not out loud. I thought if I could win an award again, get some recognition for my work, it would fill the black hole eating away at me. But deep down, I knew that wasn't the solution.

After work, I sat on a bus bench just outside the National Geographic building. I watched hordes of people trying to get home, racing down the crowded sidewalks of Midtown. I wondered if I could judge how lonely a person was based on how much of a hurry he or she was in. No one who has someone waiting for him at home would sit on a bus bench after a ten-hour workday and people-watch. I always carried an old Pentax camera from my college days in my messenger bag, but I hadn't used it in years.

I removed it from the case and starting clicking away as people flooded in and out of the subway, as they waited for buses, as they hailed cabs. I hoped that through the lens I would see her again, like I had years before. Her vibrant spirit; the way she could color a black-and-white photo with her magnetism alone. I had thought about Grace often over the years. Something as simple as a smell, like sugared pancakes at night, or the sound of a cello in Grand Central or Washington Square Park on a warm day, could transport me right back to that year in college. The year I spent falling in love with her.

It was hard for me to see the beauty in New York anymore. Granted, much of the riffraff and grit was gone, at least in the East Village; it was cleaner and greener now, but that palpable energy I had felt in college was gone, too. For me, anyway.

Time passes, life goes on, places change, people change. And still, I couldn't get Grace off my mind after seeing her in the subway. Fifteen years is too long to be holding on to a few heart-pounding moments from college.




RenĂ©e Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of romantic women's novels. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.


09 August 2015

Sibling In-Charge [Sunday Post #1 & Stacking The Shelves #9]

*Sunday Post is a weekly meme created by Caffeinated Book Reviewer where we share news or showcase stuff happening on the blog or around the blogosphere. 

I've been meaning to participate in Caffeinated Book Reviewer's Sunday Post for quite some time now, but I keep forgetting to make a banner that would fit the kitty banners on my blog. Well, I did have some free time recently and was able to make this. Isn't it cute? My obsession with cats is unhealthy, I swear.

My little brother traveled back here in the Philippines last month for holidays and we've been out and about, spending time with each other because he's leaving again in a few days. Basically, this was the reason why I went MIA for a couple of weeks and had no urge to blog at all. We were always out and would come home fairly late, and I would be really tired to even get on the computer to do a little bit of blog work. However, the broski and I've decided to lay low for a while, and stay home. He's currently attending review classes in preparation for the SATs next January 2016, so I've been playing chauffer and I get to blog while he's at school.

I've come to conclude that it's hard being the "adult" in the house. Staying solo has been something I'm used to (even though I live next door to my grandmother and uncle), but with the widdo bwudder in the house, it's kinda exhausting. Waking up a little earlier than usual (which means sleeping earlier than usual), change in food and budgeting etc. The folks, meanwhile, are having fun being solo... and also constantly blowing up our phones with calls and texts.

I've also been playing around on Photoshop, trying to form a new header, but my creative juices are little dry so I might have to put it out for a while.

Also, I forced my little brother into reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and when he finished, I pressured asked him to do short guest review for the blog, to which he says: "SO GOOD, 10/10 WILL READ AGAIN".



Don't forget to enter the Giveaways on the Sidebar!



For Review
*Covers link to Goodreads*




Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk
The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins


I've been hearing this remix over the radio for the past week, but the radio DJ's never really promote it! I had to google "Cheerleader Girl Remix" and behold, sweet Jamaican pop star Samantha J was the cute hip voice in the song! I can't get this song out of my head, no lie. 
Next week, I'm going to be working on reviews of books I read in the past month (most likely mini reviews, because I sure did read A LOT) and probably get ready for my blog's 1st year blogiversary! (Watch out, a giveaway might be in store for you!)

Have a great week y'all!
07 August 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Lick by Kylie Scott

Lick (Stage Dive #1)
by Kylie Scott (Goodreads, Website, Twitter)
Narrated by Andi Arndt (Goodreads, TwitterWebsite)
Published by Macmillan Audio on February 24th, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Music
Format: Audiobook (8hrs 32mins)
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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.

I just found another addition to my favorite series, and THIS. IS IT! I have never been so obsessed and hung over as a series until now after binge reading and listening to all four books of the Stage Dive series, and had me falling in love with the rockstar romance trope.

After a night out of partying in Vegas, Evelyn wakes up with huge hangover without a clue what happened the previous night, except for the fact that she might be married to the tattooed hottie helping get her hair out of the way as she pukes her guts out. However, things take a complicated turn the moment she returns to Portland, when a dozen paparazzi and reporters awaiting her arrival at the airport starts bombarding her questions about her marriage to David Ferris, the guitarist of the famous rock band, Stage Dive.

I loved the characters in this book; both main and side characters. I could very much relate to Evelyn, as the good girl, scared to do anything wrong that would disappoint her parents, but then her marriage happened and everything went haywire for her. Although somewhat innocent and a little doe eyed, Evelyn has her own set of snark and bite which made her to be such a fascinating heroine. Meanwhile, David and his long rockstar hair -- perfection. At first, he appears to be a brooding douche, but he's got his reasons and the fact that Ev forgot all about their eventful night really pissed him off, but in reality, he's just a good man and simply misunderstood.

Ev and David are just suited for each other to a tee. I do love me some good girl-bad boy relationships, but Kylie Scott took out the cliche in the whole trope. The romance was a slow build up, with a little bit of angst and tension but oh my, the wait was so worth it.

Not only was this book about Ev and David's romance, but it also explored David's brotherhood with his bandmates, Jimmy, Mal and Ben, whom I enjoyed reading about, as well, and teaser alert, they get their own books too! (Not really a teaser, but you get the point.)

Lick may not have been my favorite of the series, but it was one of the best books I've read in the year, and one of the best series starter! Kylie Scott's writing style is eloquent and amazing, none of that "he said, she said" nonsense. If rockstar romances are your thing--as a matter of fact, if you are a romance reader and you haven't read this, drop everything and pick this up, and get hooked by the boys of Stage Dive!

Audiobook Review

I have fallen in love with Andi Arndt's voice and it's one of the reasons why I binge listened to this series for two consecutive days. With all the books in the Stage Dive series written in the heroine's perspective, the narrator's soft, feminine voice soothed my ears. Plus, her voice acting is fantastic and realistic, and despite playing various roles--as well as the male characters--she provides distinct accents which are extremely spot on to the characters in order to differentiate between them. My favorite would have to be her accent for Mal!

If you're a romance lover and isn't exactly a fan of audiobooks, but wants to try them out, you should definitely give this a try! Andi Arndt will make you want to listen more of her voice and even I want her to voice every romance novel with a female perspective.

You can check out the clip below for a short excerpt of of Lick and a preview of her amazing voice! 

05 August 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1)
by Katie McGarry (Goodreads, Website, Twitter)
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 26th, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook (304 pages)
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

In Nowhere But Here, we meet Emily who reluctantly returns to Kentucky with her parents to visit her biological father and attend her grandmother's funeral. The only thing is, her grandmother's not dead--breathing but sick--and it seems that there's some bad blood going on with Emily's mother and her former in-laws, and Emily is caught in the middle of it.

Emily's biological father, Eli, is a member of a motorcycle gang, but the thing is, they're not bad people. They work as a legit security company, only in the form of armed, harley riding thugs. In fact, they'd prefer to be called as a brotherhood rather than a gang. Things are in a rough patch with the club as they've stirred a little bit of dangerous conflict with a rival gang. With Emily's arrival to Kentucky, Eli knows she's in danger and needs protecting, so he gets Oz to do the job.

The characters didn't really wow me in this book, and I didn't like Emily's character at first. Her judgment towards her biological father and his family appeared to be really jaded, like an angry child in denial, but she reading on, I came to understand why she acted that way. Oz was no different. His instant dislike towards Emily for coming back and "ruining everything" was ridiculous at first, because everything he lives for is the club and his family. However, both of them do undergo huge character development as the story progresses.

Emily and Oz's budding romance took the cliche turn; small town biker boy falls for the good girl with a little bit of instalust going on. It's not fluffy, nor is it cheesy and adorable, and seemed pretty much like a New Adult read to me because of the steamy aspect (though it was still tame enough to be in a Young Adult novel), had it not been for their ages (Emily is seventeen and Oz is eighteen). Obviously, with Oz the bad boy, all he could think of was Emily's curves the moment they first met, and god forbid Emily thinks he smells like burned wood and leather like every other biker boy to date.

What I love about this book is it wasn't all about the romance, but rather, family and friendships were a great aspect in this novel. Emily's blooming relationship with her father, Eli and her grandmother, Olivia was a favorite part of mine, and how Emily came to realize why they kept secrets from her in order to keep her safe.

Yes, this book had a lot of secrets and they came popping out one after the other, and I've got to admit, it was frustrating to read, as if I, along with Emily, were participants in a messed up scavenger hunt to find answers. Thankfully, despite the cliche plot line, Katie McGarry has some tricks up her sleeve and a major plot twist occurs that caught me off guard. Touche, McGarry.

Nowhere But Here is my first Katie McGarry novel, and I have to admit, my expectations were pretty high when I picked this up since the author is well known for her Young Adult contemporary romances, but that doesn't mean this book was a disappointment to me. In fact, it was a good read and is somehow the Young Adult alternative to a romantic suspense novel, but it wasn't something that exhuded the 'wow' factor. If you're looking for a tamer version of a New Adult romantic suspense novel, you might want to check this out.

04 August 2015

BOOK TOUR: The Invisibles: A Novel by Cecilia Galante + Excerpt & Giveaway!

The Invisibles: A Novel
by Cecilia Galante
Published by William Morrow on August 4th, 2015
Genres: Women's Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit

In the vein of Meg Donohue and Jennifer Close, comes Cecilia Galante's adult debut about the complicated and powerful bonds of female friendship--a compelling, moving novel that is told in both the present and the past.

Thrown together by chance as teenagers at Turning Winds Home for Girls, Nora, Ozzie, Monica, and Grace quickly bond over their troubled pasts and form their own family which they dub The Invisibles. But when tragedy strikes after graduation, Nora is left to deal with the horrifying aftermath alone as the other three girls leave home and don't look back.

Fourteen years later, Nora is living a quiet, single life working in the local library. She is content to focus on her collection of "first lines" (her favorite opening lines from novels) and her dog, Alice Walker, when out-of-the-blue Ozzie calls her on her thirty-second birthday. But after all these years, Ozzie hasn't called her to wish a happy birthday. Instead, she tells Nora that Grace attempted suicide and is pleading for The Invisibles to convene again. Nora is torn: she is thrilled at the thought of being in touch with her friends, and yet she is hesitant at seeing these women after such a long and silent period of time. Bolstered by her friends at the library, Nora joins The Invisibles in Chicago for a reunion that sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will change each of their lives forever.

The Invisibles is an unforgettable novel that asks the questions: How much of our pasts define our present selves? And what does it take to let go of some of our most painful wounds and move on?


She could hear the phone ringing in her bedroom as she unlocked her front door. Alice Walker bolted toward it, barking after each ring, as if the phone might respond. Nora hung back, struggling to get her key out of the lock, which still continued to stick, despite numerous complaints to the landlord. She tugged again. Nothing. Well, she’d have to let the machine get it. It was probably just Trudy or Marion from the library anyway, calling to ask her to pick up some more coffee beans on her way in. Between the three of them, the office coffeepot went through at least four refills a day.

“Hey, this is Nora.” The recorded sound of her voice echoed through the empty apartment. “I’m not here, but I will be eventually, so please leave a message.” Nora winced, listening. She’d gone through at least a dozen messages when she’d set up the machine, trying her voice out each time—a little happier here, more serious there—until she’d just said to hell with it and settled on this one.

There was a pause and then:


Nora’s fingers froze around the rubber grip of the keys. No one had called her Norster since she was seventeen years old. And even then, there had been only one person who had ever used that name.

A throat cleared. Then: “Nora Walker? Is this you? God, I hope I have the right number. This is . . .” There was a muffled noise, as if the receiver had just been covered, and then the faint, nearly obscured sound of a reprimand. “I need a minute, Jack, okay? Mommy just needs one minute. Now, please.”

No. It couldn’t be. Nora gave the key a final furious tug and then let go of it altogether, racing toward her bedroom. It just couldn’t be.

“Sorry about that.” The voice was back, unmuffled now and slightly raised. “Um, this is Ozzie Randol. I’m just calling to—”

“Ozzie!” Nora snatched the phone up so quickly that she almost dropped it. “Ozzie, I’m here!”

“Nora! Oh my God!”

“Ozzie.” Nora said the name a third time, as if the word itself would settle her breathing somehow, stop her legs from trembling. Her windbreaker, unzipped and loose, hung open in front of her like a mouth agape. How long had she been waiting for this moment? She couldn’t remember anymore. 

“Oh, Ozzie. Oh my God. Is that really you?”

Ozzie laughed. “Of course it’s really me. You know any other girls out there named Ozzie?”

“No.” A giggle emanated from Nora’s mouth like a bubble. “No, I’ve never met another Ozzie.” She sat down carefully on the end of her bed, smoothing the edge of the white comforter with the palm of her hand. Ozzie had the same laugh, a bright burst of sound that came out of a mouth so wide and lips so full that Nora used to wonder how everything fit in there together—and still looked so pretty.




Cecilia Galante is the author of several middle grade, young adult and adult novels. She also teaches 8th grade English at Wyoming Seminary Prep School, and teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Wilkes University.


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