My Top 5 YA Contemporaries That Give Me All the Feels!

Posted November 16, 2017 by Nereyda in Favorites / 9 Comments
My Top 5 YA Contemporaries That Give Me All the Feels!

 I feel like YA Contemporary books sometimes get a bad rep for simply being cute and fluffy. First of all, what’s wrong with cute and fluffy?? I personally love when contemporary books find that sweet spot of having that perfect balance between fluffy while still having substance and giving you all the feels. I love YA contemporary books but sadly I haven’t been in love with them recently. I don’t know, it may just be me but I feel like books know try too hard to check off that diverse checklist and sometimes the story gets lost along the way. Here are some of my top 5 all time favorite YA contemporary books that are definitely cute and fluffy while still having substance and give me all the feels. That ‘omg this chemistry is so good I feel it in the tips of my fingers’ good! (Or does that just happen to me???) At first I thought narrowing down my list would be an impossible task but it was surprisingly […]

5 Things I Can’t Live Without

Posted November 15, 2017 by Nick in Personal / 12 Comments
5 Things I Can’t Live Without

Happy Wednesday, friends! I’ve been wanting to do more personal posts on the blog, but always find an excuse not to. But I thought today should finally be the day I share something more about myself than the surface level most of you know. I thought it would be fun and interesting for me to share 5 things I can’t live without. I’m sure most of you can already guess at least two of these! 😉 1. Family This is my number one on my list for obvious reasons. I love my parents and siblings, and it kills me on a daily basis that I’m so far away from them. My parents were immigrants in a country where they knew no one, so we only had each other growing up (other than our friends, I mean). I owe a lot to my parents for how far I’ve been able to get in life, and my sister for being so supportive of me. <3 2. Naps This girl gets me! I’m […]

Nereyda’s Monthly Favorites (October)

Posted November 14, 2017 by Nereyda in Beyond Books / 8 Comments
Nereyda’s Monthly Favorites (October)

 I’m gonna be honest and say that I don’t really remember much of October. October was such a busy month for me and I spent most of it severely sleep deprived. It was my 17-year anniversary, the boyfriends 32nd birthday, my dad’s birthday, my parents anniversary and Halloween. These are the items that were favorites and life savers for the month of October. My Monthly Favorites:  I love music. That’s an understatement. I listen to music almost every minute of the day. Even when I’m working I have one headphone in one ear so I could at least listen to my music while I work. I have loved Pink since her first days back in middle school and I have been waiting 5 years for a new CD from her. Beautiful Trauma finally came out last month and I love it. The songs are so very Pink and real and raw and honest and bittersweet and I already know all the words memorized. Guys, I’m not even lying when I […]

I Have A Kink And It’s Grumpy Heroes

Posted November 13, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, ARC, review / 16 Comments
I Have A Kink And It’s Grumpy Heroes

Head Coach by Lia Riley Lia Riley is a very dependable author for me. She writes romances that can only described as “feel-good” as they leave me feeling light and happy. Having thoroughly enjoyed her foray into hockey romance with Mister Hockey, I was excited to see what she would come up with in Head Coach. I loved loved loved the glimpses we got into the interactions between Neve, a sports journalist and Tor, head coach of the Denver Hellions. You all know I’m a big sucker for a good hate-to-love and Head Coach promised exactly that. I was glued to the pages of this book from the very start, and it’s mostly because Lia Riley writes wonderful characters that you want to root for. Neve was relatable in many many ways. She’s a hardworking reporter, who unfortunately hasn’t had much luck in the love department. I think a lot of women will relate to Neve, especially to some of her body image issues that she expresses throughout the book. […]

The Weekly Recap (258): Nick Is Cold & Nereyda Chops Off Her Hair (& Loses Shit, But What’s New?)

Posted November 11, 2017 by Nick & Nereyda in STS / 18 Comments
The Weekly Recap (258): Nick Is Cold & Nereyda Chops Off Her Hair (& Loses Shit, But What’s New?)

Nick’s Weekly Recap: Hi! How’s everyone doing? I’m well, but super cold. The temperatures suddenly dropped from about 70 on Monday to 35 on Tuesday, and my body is not adjusting to the cold as I would like. I’m constantly cold and bleary and ugh all I want to do is sleep. These past two weeks were absolute hell for me. I had 3 exams, and they were all for pretty tough courses, so I was buried in my school books for the most part. I am hoping that my exams went okay though I’ll admit to not feeling extra great after them. I’m finally done though until early December, so yay! After my exams ended, I went to T-Swirl Crepe in Chinatown. It’s this Japanese creperie that has AMAZING crepes. My friend and I needed a pick-me-up after the two weeks we had, so we we decided to go there. And it was just what I needed that day! I as always took crappy pictures of my crepe, so […]

Come For The Wild West Setting, Stay For The Brilliant Characters: Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

Posted November 9, 2017 by Nick in 5 stars, ARC, review / 9 Comments
Come For The Wild West Setting, Stay For The Brilliant Characters: Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

Retribution Rails is a testament to how brilliant Erin Bowman is at crafting these YA Westerns. She pens a harsh, gritty world, but with sympathetic characters, so deftly. Her stories are easy to sink it, and she keeps you glued to the pages until you turn the last page. If you enjoyed Vengeance Road, then this half-companion half-sequel will absolutely wow you. Though the landscape is a historical one, Bowman finds a way to make readers feel like you are part of the story through her characters. These are characters that brave and flawed, and beautifully realistic. I had high hopes going into Retribution Rails, especially after loving Kate and Jesse from Vengeance Road, and Erin Bowman does not disappoint. Both Charlotte and Reece are complex and layered characters who easily find a way to settle in your heart. Charlotte, with her aspirations to become a journalist, her love for her mother, and her desire to save her father’s legacy, was a fantastic character to become acquainted with. She’s a […]

Blog Tour Giveaway: Taking a Chance by Maggie McGinnis!

Posted November 7, 2017 by Nick & Nereyda in Blog Tour, GIVEAWAY / 6 Comments
Blog Tour Giveaway: Taking a Chance by Maggie McGinnis!

Hi guys! We love our romance books around here, especially those featuring small town settings and rugged love interests. Today we’re featuring Taking a Chance by Maggie McGinnis from one of our favorite publishing houses. Enjoy the excerpt below and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom to enter to win one of 2 ebook copies! Excerpt: He snapped off a long blade of grass. “Did you ever learn how to play a grass whistle?” “Um, no. Didn’t know that was a thing.” “Totally is.” He pressed his thumbs together with the grass between them, then lifted his hands to his mouth and blew. The sound that came out made Emma laugh out loud. “That sounds like a dying bird.” “Does not.” He blew again, and it was even worse. “I have it on good authority that it actually sounds like a hippopotamus’s mating call.” She laughed again as she sat up. “Who in your circle of weirdos even knows what a hippo’s mating call sound like?” “Not […]

A Hero You’ll Want Santa To Bring You: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

Posted November 6, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, ARC, Blog Tour, review / 19 Comments
A Hero You’ll Want Santa To Bring You: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

When Lauren Layne charms, she sure does charm. An Ex for Christmas is just the perfect romantic book to spend a cold winter night with, especially if you’re in need of a “lift-me-up”. It’s delightful, and just oozes joy from every page. No doubt, lovers of all things holidays and romance will devour this magical read. On her way back home from work one evening before the holidays, Kelly meets a psychic who tells her that she’s already met the love of her life. Being the romantic and superstitious girl that she is, Kelly is convinced that one of her exes is her true love, so she goes on a mission trying to reconnect with all of them by Christmas. Watching her on the sidelines? Her best friend, Mark, who has always been there for her! I adored the setup for this book. It was so warm and lovely, and Lauren Layne does a beautiful job with it. It could easily have gotten tangled as Kelly goes through her list, […]

Monthly Memories: October 2017

Posted November 4, 2017 by Nick in Monthly Recap / 11 Comments
Monthly Memories: October 2017

Hello, friends! How are things with you guys? I’m here to share my October recap. It’s hard to believe that the year is nearly over, but honestly, this year has been a mess, so I’m ready for 2017 to be over! Fingers crossed 2018 will be a better year for everyone (except Voldemort-in-chief). It was back to school month for me. It was tough getting back into school-mode. School has been good. It’s busier than it was last year, and I feel like I barely have time to do fun things or even read. I’m enjoying my classes for the most part, but a couple of them are quite hard, so I have to put extra effort. I’m also TAing a graduate class this quarter and I’m honestly not the biggest fan. I’m not very much of a people’s person and having to interact with the students stresses me out. I like the grading portion of it, but I’ll be happy to get it over with. It was my birthday […]

The Rarity of Platonic Boy-Girl Relationships in YA : Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

Posted November 2, 2017 by Nick in 3.5 stars, ARC, review / 15 Comments
The Rarity of Platonic Boy-Girl Relationships in YA : Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

I have such conflicting feelings about Top Ten by Katie Cotugno. On the one hand, I absolutely loved that we got the story between two friends, one with a bisexual character too. And I was hoping that this would  be like what Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg was for me. While there are some very strong elements to Top Ten, I do think the way the book is organized led to some confusion on my part. The book is told in the dual voices of Ryan and Gabby, two unlikely people who unexpectedly forge a friendship that has a lot of ups and downs throughout its progression. I enjoyed both Ryan and Gabby’s voices and I thought Cotugno was very adept at giving the two unique personalities. Gabby is the quieter of the two, the sort of girl who turns out has a very bold and vivacious personality once you get to know her. Gabby also struggles with severe anxiety, that’s explored realistically throughout Top Ten. Ryan is the […]

Bikers, Magic & Romantic Drama: Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Posted October 30, 2017 by Nick in 3 stars, ARC, review / 13 Comments
Bikers, Magic & Romantic Drama: Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Devils & Thieves gave me old-school YA vibes, which I’ve been craving lately. I loved the idea of bikers and magic, and was curious to see how Jennifer Rush would weave them together. Though the book wasn’t without its flaws, I found to be quite enjoyable, and by the end, I was definitely invested enough to want to continue on with the series. The magic system in Devils & Thieves was quite interesting and was was what predominantly got me going through the book. It’s a world in which some people have magic and some don’t. Jemmie, the protagonist, has magic, but hasn’t been able to use it for a while now because it makes her grotesquely sick. This leads her to feeling isolated among her friends in the biker gang, and the story goes deeper into her struggles with this. Her relationship with her father is also a highlight of Devils & Thieves. It’s a contentious relationship as Jemmie is still hurting and angry that her father left her […]

The Weekly Recap (257): Nick Is Studying So It’s A Short Recap

Posted October 29, 2017 by Nick in STS / 13 Comments
The Weekly Recap (257): Nick Is Studying So It’s A Short Recap

Nick’s Weekly Recap: Hello friends! I’m keeping this recap short this week as I’m in the middle of studying at the moment. Plus, this whole week was kind of a blur for me and I don’t recall there being anything exciting or fun on my end. It was mostly me going to school, studying and doing homework, so you know, same old story! I hope you are all doing well though and are leading way more exciting lives than I am! We’re going to be having some changes in the coming weeks on the blog. Both Nereyda and I have gotten really busy, and we’re struggling a little bit to balance everything out. One of my suggestions was do the recap every other week instead of weekly, so that way we have more to talk about, and have more time on our end to schedule other posts. Nereyda is also going to be taking a break in the next few weeks, so say bye to her! Let’s get to my […]

High Hopes…So Disappointing: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Posted October 26, 2017 by Nereyda in Audiobook, review / 9 Comments
High Hopes…So Disappointing: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

*insert sigh here* I love Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books. I really do. After I Do is one of the most painful and most beautiful-lest books I’ve read and I loved it so much that I’ve heard it on audio two more times. TJR has such talent that she can take such simple love stories and pack so much emotions into them without going over the top with the dramatics. There’s something about the simplicity of the stories and characters that makes them even more special to me. As soon as I first heard about this book, I knew that there was something different about this book (for me). It didn’t have that same appeal to me that attracted me to her other books but it was still a book by freakin Taylor Jenkins Reid so I wanted to give it a try anyway… I should have just stayed away. *another sigh* This book was not what I expected at all, and not in a good way. I just didn’t like […]

Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Sex Scenes?

Posted October 25, 2017 by Nick in ARC, review / 19 Comments
Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Sex Scenes?

Hooking Up by Helena Hunting Shacking Up was a pleasant surprise for me. It was funny, witty and had a really sweet slow-burn romance. I was excited to find out that Amie, bff of the previous heroine, was getting her own book as her fiance was a dipshit. Hooking Up opens up at Amie’s wedding during which her dipshit of a husband gets a blow-job, that gets broadcast over the loud-speaker. Hurt, and angry, Amie throws herself at Lexington, who proceeds to reject her … but for gentlemanly reasons. Fast forward a few days, and Amie decides to go on her honeymoon solo and surprise surprise, guess who she finds out is also on his way to Bora Bora? Though I liked both Amie and Lexington quite a bit in Hooking Up, I wanted to love them more as a couple as I did Bane and Ruby in the previous book. The two have PLENTY of sexual chemistry together – seriously, so much so that they nearly burned up my […]

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Posted October 24, 2017 by Nereyda in Audiobook, review / 7 Comments
Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

I hate to admit this, but I totally judged this book before I had even read it, which is never fair to a book. I have been a big fan of Christina Lauren books (although there have been a few misses here and there, like any author) because I can always count on them to be entertaining, funny and sexy. When I first read the summary for this book, the one thought that came to mind was that this was a rip-off of The Hating Game, especially since I had just finished reading that book (and yes, I loved it). I was a little put off by that but I still wanted to read it since I have read most of their other books. It took me a while to finally get to this, because I was in no real rush to be honest, but when I did I quickly realized that although the concepts are similar, this is nothing like the rip-off I was expecting. Instead, I got a […]

Absolutely Revolutionary: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Posted October 23, 2017 by Nick in 4.5 stars, ARC, review / 12 Comments
Absolutely Revolutionary: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear Martin was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I was nervous to pick it up because there was a lot of hype surrounding it, but also my expectations were ridiculous. I had nothing to worry about because Nic Stone has written what has got to be one of the most brilliant YA books of 2017. I can’t wait for this book to revolutionize YA as I know it will. This book is short at around 220 pages, but it packs such an emotional punch. Dear Martin is a book that’s powerful in its subtlety. I adored the protagonist, Justyce. His voice was just completely captivating from the very start. His thoughts, his struggles, his emotions, were described so deftly. As the book progresses, you get to know Justyce intimately. Nic Stone does a fabulous job at not only building up his character, but also developing him. Even though at first glance, I had nothing in common with him, I grew a very strong connection to him. […]

The Weekly Recap (256): This Week Was So Sloooooow

Posted October 22, 2017 by Nick in STS / 18 Comments
The Weekly Recap (256): This Week Was So Sloooooow

Nick’s Weekly Recap: Hello friends! How is everyone doing? This week felt really long for some reason. It just seemed like it was never-ending. I have already been back to school for 1 month. Can you believe it? In a few weeks, I have to take mid-terms, then thanksgiving break, then finals! It was a busy week at school for me. I’m overwhelmed with all the assignments and studying that needs to be done. I’m trying to maintain my sanity by taking breaks and attempting to socialize a little bit than I normally do. Anyways, earlier this week, my neighbors upstairs and I had a bit of an issue. On Tuesday night they kept vacuuming up there for 3 hours non-stop and they have one of those loud industrial vacuums. I was frustrated and annoyed, but didn’t say anything. Then, the next day they started again, and I was not having it. I went upstairs and asked them to keep it down as people are trying to get studying done […]

A Favorite Series Ends

Posted October 18, 2017 by Nick in 4 stars, review / 14 Comments
A Favorite Series Ends

Finishing a series is always such a bittersweet experience. I have loved The Gold Seer trilogy since the first book, so I went into this finale with a lot of expectations, but also a bit of hesitancy as I didn’t want to say goodbye to these characters. Into the Bright Unknown wraps up Lee and her friends’ story brilliantly, and I know for sure that this is one series I will be revisiting over and over again. Without a doubt, this book and this series’ stars are the characters. Lee, in particular, is a terrific protagonist. She has come a very long way since the first book when she lost her parents, went on a long trek and faced danger after danger. She has learned a lot from her experiences, and has become a strong, bright and tenacious young woman. I didn’t just love Lee for her strengths – I admired her even more for how kind and selfless she was. Every action of hers was driven by her love […]