REVIEW: The Next Breath by Laurel Osterkamp + Giveaway!!

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TITLE: The Next Breath
AUTHOR: Laurel Osterkamp
PUBLICATION: Published August 11th 2014 by PMI Books
GENRE: A > Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
PAGES: 313pages (kindle edition)
SOURCE: review copy via tour host
RATING:
 
 

4 ★★★★1/2

 
 
You can buy the Book here:
AMAZON
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to make…”
Robin loves sweet, responsible Nick, with his penchant for Beethoven and Ben Folds Five. But she also still loves her college boyfriend Jed, an irreverent playwright plagued with cystic fibrosis. Now Robin is struggling to reveal her secrets and confront her past, as she finally performs in the play that Jed wrote for her, eleven years ago. Will Robin have the strength to keep her promise and stay true to her heart?
Alternating between present-day scenes, college flashbacks, and segments from Jed’s play, this tear-jerking yet uplifting tale illustrates how life is finite but love is infinite, and the road to recovery begins with the next breath.

 

 

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[click here for tour schedule]

 

 

REVIEW:

 

I was not ready for all that tears.

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Ever since I’ve read The Holdout by Laurel Osterkamp, I’ve been her fan. The Holdout brought me some laughs and a lot of life lessons, The Next Breath isn’t that different. Though, in here, there’s tears. Lots of them.

Osterkamp’s writing always gets to me. Her characters are authentic and incredibly real. Robin is someone I can identify with, which surprises me since she’s a lot older than me. Nick and Jed are both well written characters as well and both wonderful. I can feel and see Robin’s love for them. I’m glad that I feel like I experienced it too because of Osterkamp’s writing. I was with Robin all throughout the novel.

The story is… wow. Its deep and absolutely heartbreaking. Heartbreaking in some way but moving in a lot of ways. Robin’s story is something you read slowly so that you can feel everything she’s saying. Its engaging and I can’t help but devour it all.

The Next Breath is about loss and moving on. About choosing between holding back.. or moving forward. Laurel Osterkamp weaved a novel about love and family and she done it wonderfully! I’m blown away. Nothing but praise from me!!

 

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

Laurel Osterkamp

 

Website | Twitter

 

Laurel Osterkamp becomes very attached to her characters, and it’s hard for her to stop writing about them.  The Holdout, November Surprise, Blue State, Campaign Promises, American Angst and The Next Breath all feature the Bricker family, as their stories continue. (But you can read any of these books in any order.) You can find Laurel on Twitter but she needs to work on sending clever Tweets. A better idea is to follow her blog at www.laurelosterkamp.blogspot.com. Laurel teaches in Minneapolis, MN, where she tries to stay warm, spend time with her two nearly perfect children and husband, and find the time to write.  Her other novels are Following My Toes and Starring in the Movie of My Life. Visit her at www.laurelosterkamp.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

$25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

Ends December 3rd, 2014

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

TOUR HOST:

Candace’s Book Blog & CBB Book Promotions

ARC REVIEW: Hemlock Veils by Jennie Davenport

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TITLE: Hemlock Veils
AUTHOR: Jennie Davenport
PUBLICATION: Expected publication: November 25th 2014 by Swoon Romance
GENRE: NA/A > Fantasy | Retelling
PAGES:
SOURCE: arc via tour host
RATING:
 
 

4 ★★★★1/2

 
 
You can buy the book here:
AMAZON
 
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
When Elizabeth Ashton escapes her damaging city life and finds herself in the remote town of Hemlock Veils, Oregon, she is smitten by its quaint mystery; but the surrounding forest holds an enchantment she didn’t think existed, and worse, a most terrifying monster. The town claims it vicious and evil, but Elizabeth suspects something is amiss. Even with its enormous, hairy frame, gruesome claws, and knifelike teeth, the monster’s eyes speak to her: wolf-like and ringed with gold, yet holding an awareness that can only be human. That’s when Elizabeth knows she is the only one who can see the struggling soul trapped inside, the soul to which she is moved.
Secretly, Elizabeth befriends the beast at night, discovering there’s more to his story and that the rising of the sun transforms him into a human more complex than his beastly self. Elizabeth eventually learns that his curse is unlike any other and that a single murderous act is all that stands between him and his freedom. Though love is not enough to break his curse, it may be the only means by which the unimaginable can be done: sacrifice a beauty for the beast.
 
 
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[click here for tour schedule]

 

 

REVIEW:

 

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Oh wow. I’ve never read a Beauty and the Beast retelling before, which is kind of weird because it’s my favorite Disney movie ever. Bella is me. I just know it. If you’re going to ask me right now for captivating, gripping and magical Adult version of Beauty and the Beast? Hemlock Veils will always be my answer.

 

The story started out by Elizabeth getting away from her past. She’s hoping to reach the town that her father has always been talking about. But Fate do not agree with her plans. And instead, she found herself being lead by Eustace (a hunter) to a small town called Hemlock Veils. Hemlock Veils is so hidden you see, a very small village. And people are afraid of a creature they called Beast. But Elizabeth isn’t afraid.. she’s fascinated. So she decided to just stay in the town. Too bad Mr. Clayton isn’t too fond of her.

Wait, this is a debut novel?? WHAT!? This is incredible. Jennie Davenport’s words slays. Its magical and it gripped me from the first word I’ve read. Hemlock Veils has that kind of atmosphere that transfers you into its setting whenever you started reading it. The characters stands out. Elizabeth, Henry, all of Hemlock Veils’ townspeople are well written. They’re authentic. These are people you can meet in your daily life.

And of course, being the hopeless romantic that I am, I have to comment on the Romance aspect of the book. I have no words, I LOVE IT!! Its that slow burn kind and its intense and sexy with clothes on, which I must say is the best. What’s between Henry and Elizabeth isn’t just attraction or lust.. its PURE LOVE OKAY. My shipper heart is happy. I got teary eyed at the near end because Jennie can be evil. HINT: That ending!! *sniff sniff*

Hemlock Veils is a very memorable read. The pacing will keep you turning the pages, the writing is brilliant and the storyline is well thought and executed. I love its modern take of the classic Disney film, Beauty and the Beast. There’s nothing more to say but READ IT!! IMMEDIATELY!!

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

jennie davenport

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

Though Jennie Davenport was raised throughout the Midwest, she now lives in the little desert mining town of Bagdad, Arizona, where six guys beg for her constant attention: a husband, three young, blond sons, a German shepherd with a name much mightier than his disposition (Zeus), and a black cat named Mouse. When she isn’t trying to run her home with as little casualties as possible, Jennie loves snuggling with her family, laughing with her friends, delving into brilliant entertainment of any vein, and playing outside. Despite the way being a writer is in her blood, and the wheels of her writerly mind are constantly turning, Jennie likes to think that in another life, she would have been a Broadway star. Or an American Idol finalist.

Jennie lives for the fall, and not just because of her adoration for the NFL (Go Broncos!). In her perfect world, she would have the springs, summers, and falls of Colorado, and the winters of Arizona—someplace where the climate and weather would allow her to go on a trail run all year round. But even though she prefers the pines and mountains, she is a devoted fan of all nature, from sandy beaches to woodsy cabins, and all are her greatest inspiration. She believes nature is one of the best healing remedies, with a magic all its own.

Jennie’s passion for writing is the way she survives, and is as vital to her sanity as oxygen, caffeine, food, and music. Even before she began writing it, well-told, original, and character-driven romance was always her weak spot. Add the paranormal or magical realism element and she may never make it back to reality.

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

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REVIEW: This Is Not A Test (This Is Not A Test #1) by Courtney Summers a.k.a a a zombie book, but not really

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TITLE: This Is Not A Test (This Is Not A Test #1)
AUTHOR: Courtney Summers
PUBLICATION: Published June 19th 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin
GENRE: YA > Horror | Zombies
PAGES: 336pages (Kindle Edition)
SOURCE: purchased
RATING: 

 

 4 ★★★★

 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.
To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.
But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.
When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

 

 

REVIEW:

 

If there’s one word to describe my emotion after reading This Is Not A Test, it’s.. surprised.

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I know that zombies are involved, I just didn’t know that it would be that emotional and that the story has that depth that usually books by this genre lacks. It’s amazing how Courtney Summers made her readers sympathize to a main protagonist who whines every chapter because she just wanted to die. I honestly don’t feel for suicidal heroines, I know, I’m heartless. But most of them are just irritating that’s why it’s hard to sympathize. But Sloane is different. She’s real, she developed as a character and her journey is just heart wrenching.

Sloane is one of the students that hid inside Cortege High when the apocalypse broke down. In there, six students are trying to survive and making plans to stay alive. But they don’t know that Sloane has other plans. You see, Sloane wants to die. From the opening chapter of the book, she makes it clear that she no longer wants to live. Her father hurts her and her sister, the only family she cares about, left her. What’s the reason to live? But Sloane will find the answer to that question when she and and six more students found themselves trapped in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

This Is Not A Test is a zombie book, but it’s really not. Do you get what I’m saying? The atmosphere of the book is really good, it’s like you’re really there with Sloane that’s why you get the chills and the creeps, and yet, the story.. is so emotionally raw. It’s terrifying and poignant. Courtney Summers is one of the best authors ever, I can attest to that. Her writing is… WOW. I can’t describe it. It’s lyrical, gritty and gripping.

This is also one of the most character driven book I’ve ever read. The characterization is brilliant. Each character has stories and you will find yourself eager to know it. Though the book isn’t focused on the romance aspect, being me, I still shipped Sloane with someone and guess what? It sailed! 

Courtney Summers could write on a napkin and I would read it, devour it, love it. Although the fact that it’s a zombie novel is going to be widely publicized, the novel is so much more than that. This is a zombie novel for people who don’t like books about zombies. Fantastic contemporary YA with a twist. Highly, highly recommended.

Paula

Bookish Thoughts #001: ‘take that book away from me. please and thank you.’

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Welcome to Book-ish thoughts! A weekly post here on Her Book Thoughts on where I ask for a little of your time to share a thought about useless and nonsense things. YAY! Don’t worry, it will ALWAYS have something to do with a book or anything bookish!


 

Hey people! I don’t usually ask questions here on the blog because, well, tbh I’m too lazy to ask. But this question has been nagging me for weeks and I’m really curious about your answers. 

 

“What makes you back away from a Book?”

 

Let me tell you a story first.

Before I became a book maniac, I remember spending 2 days– yes, 2 days of just adding books on my Goodreads TBR. It just feels so good to press that ‘Want to Read’ button you know? Even though I know that my TBR will outlive me, I don’t care. I just kept adding and adding and I just based it on the cover. Who cares about what the book is about? NOT ME! and besides, my TBR is out of control already, IT CANNOT BE TAMED ANYMORE.

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Then I started reading some of them and WOW. I discovered a lot of things about myself because of that, like, I can actually *throw* a book across my room because of frustration.. I can press my forehead so hard to my kindle screen because of annoyance.. I can rant for 3 hours just because of a JerkPid (Jerk+Stupid) characters… and I FRIGGIN HATE LOVE TRIANGLES! See, I didn’t know that. Because in movies and soap operas they seem cool, romantic and even though I always ended up rooting for the loser guy, I still enjoy watching them. 

But books are different. Love Triangles in books are different. I avoid them now like I avoid Justin Bieber’s face, voice and existence.

Now I know what you’re thinking.. WHAT IF YOU’RE MISSING OUT? 

Trust me, I’ve thought of that. But I also thought of all the books I’ve read just because of the hype and disappointed me. I’m still mourning all the time I wasted. Still mourning!

I’d like to think I’m a smart and a practical reader now. Though I still consider myself as a wide reader, I want to put limitations too. Like, if the blurb hinted a LOVE TRIANGLE, I’m going to back away.. slowly.. and happily. If the blurb screams typical NA, I tend to back away too. And I admit that sometimes I feel like I’m missing out, what I do is that I read reviews. 

Now I don’t know if I’m the only one who do this. Do you back away at some books too? What’s your reasons? Share your thoughts!! 

ARC REVIEW: Bad Romeo (The Starcrossed series #1) by Leisa Raven a.k.a O Romeo, O Romeo… please stay away from me

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TITLE: Bad Romeo (The Starcrossed series #1)
AUTHOR: Leisa Rayven
PUBLICATION: Expected publication: December 23rd 2014 by St. Martin’s Press
GENRE: NA > Romance | Contemporary
PAGES: 288pages (kindle edition)
SOURCE: e-arc via publisher (netgalley)
RATING:

 

2 ★★ 1/2

 

You can buy/pre-order the Book here:
AMAZON | B&N

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

When Cassie Taylor met Ethan Holt at acting school, sparks flew. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy about campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing, Cassie and Ethan’s romance seemed destined. Until he broke her heart and betrayed her trust. Now the A-list heartthrob is back in her life and turning her world around. One touch at a time.
Cast as romantic leads once again, they’re forced to confront raw memories of the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their secret college affair. But they’ll also discover that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks

 

 

REVIEW:

 

Maybe because I was never a fan of Romeo and Juliet? Nah. 

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Ethan is oh-so-perfect you guys. Even his foot is yummy.

“For a few seconds, I just stare. His foot is beautiful. Perfect. He could be a goddamn foot model.” – Cassie.

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And Cassie is virgin and *gasps* nobody can believe it because HELLLOOO PEOPLE, SHE IS SO PRETTTEH AND PURRFECT.

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I want to like this. I really do. But here’s the problem: I don’t buy it. Any of it. The romance, the characters.. everything just feels so forced. They can have sex every day or have that ~very hot connection~ between them, I still don’t buy it. I don’t even care about that CHEMISTRY that everybody is speaking of. EXCUSE ME BUT WHERE? WHERE IS THE LOVE STORY THAT YOU PROMISED? This book made Bella and Edward’s ~love story~ more interesting.

Ethan Holt was heartbroken so he doesn’t date. He’s having a hard time committing to a relationship. Whatever. He has issues. Baggage. But Cassie doesn’t care about that because she’s a virgin and Ethan is making her feel things so she wants him to deflower her. Oh but perfect Ethan have hurty feelings and he thinks Cassie ‘deserves better’ so he tries to stay away and just be an asshat. But Cassie is a martyr!!! She doesn’t care even if he’s being a douche and that the guy is unhinge because they have ~connection~ and CHEMISTRY. SHE wants HIM. And that my friends is how the girl became obsess. 

And that’s what the book is just about. A virgin girl. A destructive boy. An unhealthy relationship. And chapters with them just lusting at each other. Seriously, why did I even. I should have just listened to the mess in our house and gave my attention to them.

Every time I turn a chapter, I keep hoping that the plot will eventually turn around and be about Cassie’s self realizations. Because at the first few chapters that’s what the book is about. It’s supposed to be about Cassie finding herself because she have no idea who she is. And acting is her passion. Oh and also thinking erotic thoughts about Ethan Holt.

BUT THIS IS WHY I DIDN’T REALLY LIKE THIS: I actually expected this, I mean, this is NA. But I also expected it to have a heart. To have a meaning. That even though some chapters are just them lusting each other, I will say “YES, THEY BELONG TO EACH AND THEIR LOVE IS REAL” But no, this is the most BS of all the BS book relationship I’ve read. AND THIS GIRL HAVE NO SELF RESPECT. I have a lot of Virgin friends and yes, they feel lonely. And yes, they think about sex but they’re not like Cassie who thinks and writes about a guy’s peen in her diary because she’s fascinated. 

Cassie says thing like this:

“No, I didn’t know it was a fluffing porn term. Do I look like a porn-watching pervert..”

And then watches porn after. 

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The guys a pig. ‘Nuff said. Seriously, who falls in love with a guy like this?! 

The writing is decent that’s why I added a star rating. And that’s the only good thing I can say. I

(I might add more to this review but this whole thing is typed right after I finished the book. Yes, I finished it. Pat in the back for me.)

Paula