Review: Apolonia, by Jamie McGuire

01apolonia WHAT.A.RIDE. I was totally not expecting the amount of twists and turns that I experienced with this one. It’s not a surprise that I love Jamie McGuire. So when I received Apolonia, I stopped the book I was reading, and jumped right into this one.

Synopsis
Three years after Rory Riordan foiled her own murder, she still trusts no one. Not Dr. Z, the eccentric college professor who has taken her under his wing, not Benji, the endearing, attractive classmate who insists on following her around, and certainly not Cy, the beautifully dark and mysterious boy who sits on the first row in Dr. Z’s Astrobiology class and asks far too many questions.

When Rory witnesses Cy being abducted by soldiers in the middle of the night, she finds herself submersed in a world that holds even more secrets than she could imagine–even darker secrets than her own.

Rory has survived these past two years, but just barely. She keeps to herself and tries to stay away from everyone. But for some reason Benji won’t stay away. He is, in fact, just like and puppy, and follows her and tries to befriend her. But Rory wants none of that. But he will not be detoured from his goal.

As an assistant to Dr Z. Rory is quite upset to find that there will now be another assistant that she must work along side with. While she feels drawn to Cyrus, she doesn’t trust him.

Slowly, she lets Benji get close to her, and soon she finds herself totally taken with him. She will always be wary of getting close to people, since what happened two years ago. But loving someone is the last thing she wants to do, and yet somehow he sneaks his way in.

When Cy gets taken, she realizes that what she’s known about the Dr, is all wrong. He is dabbling in things that she never would have thought possible. Her world is about to turn upside down, and she has no control over it.

I really enjoyed the many twists and turns in this book. Just when I thought I knew what was happening, another shocker happened and I was completely caught off guard. But I loved every moment of it!

Well done, Jamie!!!

~Melpomene

Buy Apolonia

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If you would like to see the tour stops, go HERE
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Review: Happenstance 2, by Jamie Mcguire

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“There’s only one you.”

If you haven’t read the first Happenstance, you must go and do that now. I can wait….

Done? Good.

Erin is trying to still work through all of the information she has received, while living with her real parents. Having caring and attentive parents is something she has never had, so it’s hard for her to adjust. She just wants love, not things. But she is slowly growing closer to her real parents, while still battling the bullies at school, who don’t seem to care who she really is.

Weston is still her constant, throughout all of this. He will take one anyone who chooses to cause her trouble. But soon she makes a discovery that may change the way she looks at him and the way she looks at herself. As if her life hasn’t been flipped upside down already.

“She doesn’t need us to fix this for her. We’ll just love her through it.”

This was a nice little story. I can’t to see how she handles this information she has been given, in the next book. Thank God she has loyal parents, who would give her the moon if they could, and her boyfriend, who would wrestle dragons.

~Melpomene

Buy Happenstance: A Novella Series (Part Two)

Get caught up with Happenstance

Fall In Love tour: A Day in the life of a fangirl

fall in love tour 062To say I had fun this past weekend, is a complete understatement. I am still fangirling all over the place. My family is ready to kick me out. I just can’t stop talking about Saturday.

For those who don’t know, Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire and Abbi Glines went on a 10 city tour and I got to see them in Dayton. Meeting them doesn’t sound quite right, since I’m in all their fan clubs and get to talk to them, every so often. Seeing them, sounds better. It was like going to see old friends. Except, when I see old friends, I’m not nervous. I’m also not applying deodorant in the bathroom, before they come out either.

The weekend didn’t start very smooth since I never even packed til about a half hour before we were supposed to leave. And when we got to the hotel, I realized that I didn’t pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, straightener or blow dryer. This was not a good sign. But a trip to Target would rectify the situation. *sigh*

Anyways, at least I had all my books and things. So that’s all that really matters.

I’m gonna give you the photographic highlights, since so much happened. I can’t possibly say it all.
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I arrived at 8:40 am, event though the signing wasn’t until 2. I really wanted to get a good seat. So I had plenty of time to chat with those around me. It’s kinda wild to meet people in line, that you’ve seen of FB, but have never met yet.

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It was so nice reconnecting with people you met last year, when all three were here last. Who knew book signings would make friends out of strangers??

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Thanks to my obnoxious, I mean enthusiasm, over these authors, I had people coming up to me and saying my name like we’re old friends. It was CRAZY!! But I loved meeting everyone. It made me realize how small this world really is. And it was soooo nice to see everyone leave their drama at home and just enjoy being surrounded by people who love the authors as much as you do.

By 1pm, when the numbers were about to be handed out, the place looked like this.
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INSANE!!!!

And when the bus pulled up, let me tell you, the room hit a whole other level of craziness. Squealing and camera clicking were all the sounds you could hear.

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Can I say how it makes a person feel when someone, who you admire, looks you in the eye and smiles or waves? Well it feels pretty darn good. You could different people squealing over that fact. It made me smile. They truly love their fans.

By the time we were sitting upstairs, I was seriously ready to freak out. I was so excited, but very nervous. They had a camera crew there and I was in the front row. Normally I’m a super chatterbox, shocking, I know, but with a camera there, I was silent… until they called me out.

That’s right, they called little ol’ non important me, out. I about died. Lately there have been quite a few Q&As with these authors and I tend to go all in and ask a million questions. But since I’m at home, at my computer, the questions tend to come fast. But when I was called out, I froze. Again, I died. It was wild. But I gotta say, to have your favorite authors know you by name and joke with you, like old friends, I almost started crying. I was so touched. I don’t think they realize the impact they have on us. They even started a singalong for some girl’s birthday. I bet she died in her seat. 🙂 I mean seriously, we all fangirl, and snapshot any and all “comments and likes” we get from them. I know I’m not the only one who does that. But when they call us by name, we light up. I saw it happen many times. It was magical.

So after that, the signing started. And every person was able to get a picture with them, if we wanted. That was the best part. The signed books are great, but having them pose for a picture was perfect. I can’t wait to put mine in a frame with the photo matte I asked them to sign.

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This is all of the things I asked them to sign. Some will be gifts and giveaways. That’s another thing I like, they’ll sign anything. Too bad I forgot to ask them to sign my shirt. I’m so forgetful, when I get up there.
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I waited around til the end, with some of the girls I met in various fan clubs. And were lucky enough to get group and individual pictures with each of them. They are so great to their fans. I am so lucky to have met them. Not many people get to meet their favorite authors. I am truly blessed.

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I also may have gone a little crazy over the bus. I can’t help it. Sometimes I act like a child. I’m not ashamed.
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And a few of us may have been invited to tour the bus, with Colleen. *faints*

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Thank you, Atria Books for sharing our favorite authors with us. Thank you Colleen, Jamie and Abbi, for being the kindest authors out there. As I sat there and watched you guys greet each person, you did it with a smile. Even though you were on your millionth city, you treated us great and always smiled when you heard 3,2,1. 😉 Please come back and visit us. I promise to have a list of questions ready and waiting.

~Melpomene(AKA Crazy Jenn)

Review: Eyes of the Woods, by Eden Fierce

01eyes What a fantastic debut novel, from this young lady!! I was so very excited to read this. In all honesty, I went in with the notion of finding a young adult book for my daughter. I hoped being written by a 15 yr old, it wouldn’t have some of the stuff many other YA books have. I have struggled with finding true YA books without sex or language. I honestly don’t think they exist. But this book blew me away. It had the perfect amount of action. It was the PERFECT amount of sweet romance. It wasn’t overdone and sappy. It was perfectly innocent. I can’t wait for my daughter to read this!

The funny thing is, when I first started it, and she called her dad Father, I was immediately taken in. There’s something sweet about that. I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps, deep down, I’m old fashioned.

SYNOPSIS
Eris Helgren knew her life was about to end. A daughter of the Priory–a generations-old family who protected their territories from nightwalkers–Eris was strong and independent. But on her birthday, her father would announce her betrothal. A year later, she would be forced to marry.

What Eris didn’t know was that the very beings she hunted were watching her, and that being tamed wasn’t what would kill her after all.

In a land where the woods were forbidden and the laws meant life, Eris will have to make a decision that could bring peace between enemies, or war among friends.

I was drawn to Eris right away. She loved her family very much, but didn’t like some of the rules they had to follow. But being a good daughter, she was forced to go along with them, until something happened that changed the course of her life. She was then forced to make decisions that could change her entire world.

The action was fantastic! My nerves did get the better of me a few times. I was so very curious to what happening, I couldn’t put it down. There were a couple of sad parts that may be hard to read. But as I thought about what these kids watch on TV or video games, they would be used to things much worse.

As the primary book chooser for my kids it is very refreshing to find a true Young Adult book. Many YA books have sex and that is not needed or necessary in any YA books. This is the transition time. From kid books to teen books. We shouldn’t have to worry about warning our kids or blocking certain pages off. You should be able to pick up a YA book and hand it to any 12-15 yr old without having to worry about them reading about sex. This is a book I will be recommending to all of my fellow moms of tweens/teens.

**ADDITION**
I asked my 12 yr old to read this book, as a favor. I knew she’d like it, but telling her to read, instead of asking, always backfires. But I wanted an honest tween opinion.

At 8pm, she comes out of her room and says, “I’m just on chapter 2 and I know I’m going to like it already.”
At 9pm, “Oh my gosh!! I promise I’ll go to bed not too late, but I have to know what’s going to happen!!”
The next morning, “Good morning, Mom. I got to…….Can I finish before I start school, pleeeeease?” (Homeschool)
Half hour later, “Mom!! Can you order me a signed copy? I love this book!! This ranks right up with Edenbrooke.” Edenbrooke is her FAVORITE book.
After lunch, “You know how I’m not a rereader? Well, I REALLY wanna reread this.” 🙂

Her thoughts: “I liked the action.” “I was sad at some parts, and almost cried!” “I am so happy to see a girl who was strong and didn’t need help. Katniss needed help, Eris didn’t she knew what she wanted and went and got it.”

Yep, teens will like this. Way to go, Eden!!! I know your mom is proud of you, but this mom is also. You are an example to this young girls, out there, that they can do anything, no matter their age.

~Melpomene

Buy Eyes of the Woods

Listen to this!!!

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Do you listen to books?? I must admit, up til a year ago, the only audible books I listened to were Hank the Cowdog, with my kids. I’m dead serious. They’re funny as heck, but when you find yourself listening, in your car, ALONE, it’s time to be a grown up and listen to grown up books.

Around this time last year, I grabbed a ton of the classics, which were free at the time. But have I listened to them?? That would be a big fat NO. However, around this past March, a friend gifted me Maybe Someday, by Colleen Hoover. Since I already read the book, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it. But, I stinking loved it!! I fell in love with Zachary Webber, during this book. Seriously. That kid can read me the phone book and I would sit and listen to it.

Since then, I’ve found myself buying more and actually wanting to walk my dog and go grocery shopping alone, just so I can listen to some books. So far this year, I’ve listened to Flat-Out Love, by Jessica Park, Red Hill, by Jamie McGuire, Hopeless, by Colleen Hoover, and Divergent, by Veronica Roth. I started The Fault in Our Stars, but never finished and I’m currently listening to Outlander: A Novel.

But by far, the BEST BEST BEST audible I’ve listened to is The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. I’ve read the book a couple times and it’s in my top 5, but when I listened to it, I lived it. The guy who does the guy’s voice, Kirby Heyborne, did an amazing job!! He had such emotions I seriously thought he was crying. He sounded so believable. If anyone asks what audible they should try, I always tell them this one. Talking about it now, kinda makes me wanna go and listen again.

Sometimes the book is read by a single person, which can be good or bad. I’ve tried to listen to a few and found them quite annoying, but some I find, very enjoyable. My first experience was with Flat-Out Love. At first I wasn’t so sure I was going to like it, but after a little bit, I actually forgot it was only one person. That book was so sweet and funny, I actually startled a few people, in the grocery store, when I was listening to it.

Some books are read my numerous people. Red Hill, for example, was read by three different voices. Zachary Webber *sigh* was one of them. I actually had my hubby listen to this one, on our way to Chicago, in June. The story was so well written, that I was on the edge of my seat listening. My poor hubby kept getting shushed, even though I read the book before. I just wanted to listen to them, not him. The voices were so smooth I felt like I was in a trance.

So far I’ve only listened to books that I’ve already read. I think I enjoy the story more that way. For me, if I never knew the story, I think it would be hard to pay attention. I know I would miss things. My life isn’t always silent and I get distracted easily. So I think I’ll keep to previously read books. Up next, on my audible list, Ugly Love, by Colleen Hoover.

If you’ve never tried audible, I encourage you to do so. They’re always running deals. In fact, if you’re a new subscriber, I think you get 2 free books. That’s great!! And even paying monthly, is sometimes half of what an audible costs. It’s so worth it. And if you do try, let me know which ones you get.

~Melpomene

Buy Flat-Out Love

The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel

Red Hill

Maybe Someday

Hopeless

Divergent

The Fault in Our Stars

Outlander: A Novel

Ugly Love: A Novel

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog

Happenstance is LIVE!!!

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Have I mentioned how much I love Jamie McGuire’s books!! Of course I have!! Beautiful Disaster is my all time favorite book. So when she said she was writing another book, I was thrilled!!

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#1 New York Times Bestseller Jamie McGuire returns to self-publishing with this page-turning YA account of Erin Easter, one of three Erins in the small senior class of rural Blackwell High School who not only share a first name, but also their birthday. Easter, raised by a neglectful single mom, keeps to herself and admires Weston Gates from afar. The other Erins, Erin “Alder” Alderman and Erin “Sonny” Masterson are the darlings of the community: daughters of the two wealthiest families in town, best friends, cheerleaders, and everything Easter isn’t–and they never let her forget it. Alder has even claimed Weston since the 8th grade.
Weston is a well-liked star athlete, and the son of two prominent attorneys. He struggles daily with the pressures of living up to his family name and secretly empathizes with Easter’s feeling that she belongs somewhere else; in a different life. Not until he begins sneaking nights out with Easter does he gain the courage to buck expectations and acknowledge his feelings … both for his future, and for her.
A shocking tragedy rocks the tiny town, and Easter’s life is turned upside down in the best way possible. But when the truth is revealed and everything she thinks she wanted falls into her lap, life only becomes more complicated.

My Review

Well, I LOVED this!!!! This was the perfect action packed story. So much happened and I was left fully satisfied. It was nice to have a shorter book to read, instead of another epic. With Beautiful Oblivion coming out in a few months, this was a nice little taste of Jamie’s awesomeness.

Erin Easter has a rough life. Bullying, and absent dad, and an there but not there mom, are the gist of her life. She is just trying to hold it together until she graduates, then she is out of this town. She used to love it here, with the other Erins, but at some point, it all changed for the worse.

But one day, her life seemed to change for the better. Weston actually talked to her. Soon he was sneaking out to see her and showing her that she is worth more than what these people of her.

I totally loved Weston!! He was so kind, when he finally decided to be. I loved how protective he was of her, even to his own girlfriend. I love the way he slowly began to grow a backbone and stood up for things that were wrong. When he started to care more for Erin, the words he would speak, totally made me smile. He was so very sweet.

“I can’t give up on you now. When we spend time together, I feel this peace that I don’t get when you’re not around. It’s kind of like when you’re a kid and you put on fresh PJs after a bath and get into a made bed with clean sheets straight out of the dryer. That’s what being with you feels like.”

The strength that grew from them being together, was totally needed when the tragedy of the story happened. Which then leads to the shocker of the story, which rattles the entire town. They must lean on each other, in order to get through this next phase of their lives.

I can’t wait to read the next in the series. I am dying to know what happens in their relationship and where they’re headed after they graduate.

A bonus in the book is the first chapter of Beautiful Oblivion. But I can’t read it. I need to be shocked and surprised. I never read teasers. So this is taunting me. That sneaky Jamie McGuire. 🙂

Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

~Melpomene

Buy
On Amazon Happenstance: A Novella

On BN Happenstance: A Novella

Review: Beautiful Disaster, by Jamie McGuire

517HnHcEuWL After seeing Jamie McGuire, in October, I was drawn to reread Beautiful Disaster. Can I just say that I LOVE Travis. I truly do. He is, and forever will be, my book boyfriend. I just love him to pieces. He is the epitome of a bad boy. But his heart wants to love. And when he finds his love, she will make him whole.

If you haven’t read BD, then you don’t know the true feeling of angst. I remember reading this, for the first time, right after I got my kindle. I didn’t understand what angst was, at the time. But I was trying to find my perfect book. Well, this was perfect in my eyes. It has everything I love, and need, in a book. After I read this, I remember looking on Goodreads and Amazon for all the books that were similar to this. I’ve read a ton, since then, but none can compare to Beautiful Disaster. They come close, but this one’s on the top.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, and haven’t read it, let me tell you a little bit about it.

Travis Maddox was an underground fighter, and lover of many women, at Eastern University. He gets good grades, but likes to fight for his money. It was at one of his fights that he met Abby Abernathy. She wasn’t impressed by him or his fighting. But he wasn’t letting her go. He would do anything to keep her, even if it meant just being her friend.

Abby, at first, wants nothing to do with Travis cuz he reminds her to much of what she left behind. She wants nothing to do with that life anymore. But as luck would have it, she is about to spend a great deal of time with him.

He is determined to show that he can be just a friend, if that’s what she wants. But you know how that goes. Boy likes girl, girl likes boy but is determined NOT too. So boy becomes crazy protective and drives girl away.

I loved watching their friendship blossom and their love sneak up her. Abby was so oblivious to everything Travis said or did. She just thought he wanted to be friends. But he wanted so much more. She had no idea how she was slowly destroying him.

“I didn’t know I was lost until you found me.”

Travis made me so mad at parts. I was yelling at him. But then at others, I was totally swooning. He has a way of invoking such crazy feelings that you can’t help but love him, even though he does just stupid things. I loved watching him interact with his brothers and dad. You could see how he loved them, even if growing up wasn’t a walk in the park.

I know some people didn’t like Abby, but I did. She was so clueless, I don’t think she realized how fiercely he wasn’t letting her go. He was gonna get her back if it killed him. He changed his entire behavior for her. He was determined to go down fighting, if need be.

“You can’t tell me what to do any more, Travis! I don’t belong to you!”

In the second it took him to turn and face me, his expression had contorted into anger. He stomped toward me, planting his hands on the bed and leaning into my face.

“WELL I BELONG TO YOU!”

*seriously swooning*

Words cannot express my true feelings for this book. And when I read Walking Disaster, I was seriously destroyed. Travis is amazing and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed the male POV so much, like I did in this one. I highly recommend it. It wasn’t just a recap of BD, it was a whole new story. And of course I sobbed. That’s really not a surprise, I know. But I never expected to sob in the beginning. Whew!!

And since I love love love this book, when I was writing my Top 10 post, I knew which book belonged on top. If you’ve never read this, you really should get on the ball, since the next book, Beautiful Oblivion, comes out in July. I can’t wait!!!

~Melpomene

Buy Beautiful Disaster: A Novel

Buy Walking Disaster: A Novel