Giveaway: Hades by Alexandra Adornetto Book Trailer

I have mentioned before how awesome Macmillan Publishing is but I’ll say it again! I would like to give a HUGE thank you to them for allowing me to post another wonderful book trailer AND giveaway on my blog! Today we have the trailer for the highly anticipated second installment of Alexandra Adornetto’s Halo series titled Hades. I have my beautiful copy of Halo sitting on my shelf just dying to be read and I can honestly say that after watching the book trailer for Hades, I cannot wait to start this series!

Title: Hades (Halo #2)

Author: Alexandra Adornetto

Bethany and Xavier are even closer since battling Jake Thorn and his evil influence (in Halo) and Beth and her angel siblings must still protect Venus Cove from the Dark Forces.

When a party game – a séance – inadvertently releases Jake from the Underworld, he disguises himself and tricks Beth into taking a ride on his motorcycle. When the highway opens up and swallows them, Beth learns too late that she’s now a prisoner in hell. What happens to angels there? As her archangel brother, Gabriel, her sister Ivy, Xavier, and her best friend, Molly search for her, Beth must weigh Jake’s bargaining for her freedom: one night with him, and she will be released back to Earth.
Can Jake be trusted in this wager? And is he also using Beth to engineer the fall of the archangel Gabriel? Xavier has already lost one love – when Jake tricks him into thinking that Bethany is dead, his grief and anger result in a betrayal that will leave Bethany – and readers – wondering if he is so good after all.

It will be up to Beth to use everything she’s learned about her powers as an angel – and about love – to free herself and those she loves from the clutches of Hades. (Summary courtesy of

Now that you know what the book is about, check out this amazing book trailer below!

Is that great or what? I am getting so excited to read this series!


Now onto the rules for the giveaway!

-Must have a U.S. or Canadian shipping address

-Must leave a valid e-mail address in the comments section

-Must leave a comment telling Macmillan Publishing, Alexandra Adornetto, and myself what you think of that awesome book trailer

-Must leave a comment before 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 7 2011

-Winner will have 24 hours to respond to an e-mail before another winner is chosen

I hope you guys enjoyed the video and don’t forget to add Hades on!

Tune-In Tuesday (23)

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

Tuesdays have quickly become my favorite blogging day because I just adore this feature so much! This is the last week of Tune In Tuesday 90′s Edition and I would just like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Ginger for coming up with this awesome idea. I have had a blast going back in time to the start of my passion for music. I hope to bring back some more classics every now and then as part of my regular Tune-In Tuesday posts. Without further ado, I give to you the final videos of the 90’s!

Okay how could any of us forget how Lizzy McGuire….ah I mean Hilary Duff, grew up and became the beautiful Cinderella in A Cinderella Story? Well let me tell you something, I watched that movie about 900 times and as much as I love that movie, it would not be as great without this next wonderful song. In 1998 I’ll Be by Edwin McCain was only # 74 on the top 100 list. How does a song like this wind up near the bottom???? Even though I can complain about this song’s spot on the list I will just say that it is one of the most beautiful, timeless love songs that I know of. So good!

Next, I am going to share with you guys my ghetto side! This doesn’t happen very often (unless I am on a road trip with my BFF Kati and decide to break out into random rap songs….but that story is for another time) Something about Ghetto Superstar by Pras featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Maya just makes me want to get up and shake what my momma should have given me if she had any booty to share! What I mean by that statement is, it makes me want to dance even though I have zero skills!

At the beginning of 1998’s top 100 list there are quite a few awesome songs that I grew up listening to. These songs mean the world to me and guess what….they are country songs! You’re Still The One by Shania Twain is ah-mazing. She has a wonderful voice and I listened to her CD’s non-stop while my dad told stories about how they dated once…clearly that was a lie. How Do I Live by LeAnn Rhymes is a song featured in a movie Con Air. I think this movie was a bit inappropriate for 6-year-old Katelyn to be watching but guess what, she didn’t care! After hounding my parents about this song, they finally broke down and bought me the cassette tape. I carried that thing around with me EVERYWHERE! Practical Magic is a movie I adore with all of my heart. Halloween is my favorite holiday (aside from Christmas). I make sure to watch Practical Magic every year around Halloween time and This Kiss by Faith Hill is a song that is featured in it. I love Faith Hill especially her songs from when she first started out! Lastly and perhaps my favorite out of this group is Make You Feel My Love by Garth Brooks. This song was originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan in 1997. Garth Brooks had success with it when his version appeared in a movie that I love (are you sensing a theme here? Movies I love….songs I love….) titled Hope Floats. I love this version of the song so much!

For 1999 I was having a hard time chosing just a few songs to share with you guys. I tried my best to narrow it down to my favorite five….that’s right five is the least I could do so here they are!

LFO, Blink-182, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Smash Mouth were the  artists/bands that made the soundtrack of my childhood. They are a part of every great memory. Even though I hardly listen to their music anymore, I know that just by turning one song of theirs on, my mind will wander back to a different time.

LFO was of course super popular for their song Girls of Summer BUT my favorite was and always will be Girl on  TV. I don’t understand what they are saying about scooby snacks somewhere in there but I don’t even care; I love it all the same!

Blink-182 was my first ever ring tone on my own phone that I got to keep in my bedroom! I was so excited when I got that phone and even more excited when I realized that All the Small Things was one of the available ringtones!

Britney Spears was a MAJOR part of my pre-teen years. My poor parents they were probably saying “Katelyn is going to DRIVE ME CRAZY if she listens to that Cd ONE MORE TIME”<<<< Did you catch my cleverness right there?

Christina Aguilera’s story is just about the same. I listened to What A Girl Wants about 50 times too many but I just couldn’t help myself!

Smash Mouth’s song, All Star was a song I would sing before every soccer practice. It made me feel kind of tough even if I did suck majorly at soccer. I would beg any adult around to turn Radio Disney on because I just wanted to hear that song so bad!

I know that is A TON of songs to take in all at once but I just wanted to end 90’s Edition with a bang! I hope you all enjoyed my 90’s picks for the past month as I have enjoyed listening to everyone else’s!

Book Review: Witch Song by Amber Argyle

Title: Witch Song

Author: Amber Argyle

Publisher: Rehmalda Publishing

Pages: 305 paperback

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Source: I received and e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

The world is changing. Once, Witch Song controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons-but not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by a traitor. All but Brusenna. As the echo of their songs fades, the traitor grows stronger. Now she is coming for Brusenna. Her guardian has sworn to protect her, but even he can’t stop the Dark Witch. Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the traitor. Fight her. Defeat her. Because if Brusenna doesn’t, there won’t be anything left to save. (Summary, courtesy of

As a little girl, I liked fairy tales. I was never one to be extremely interested in them but I enjoyed them all the same. I was more of the American Girl and Babysitters Club fan-girl; I loved all those snarky, quick-witted girls. It is stories like Witch Song that make me wish that I was a fairy tale addict back in the day! This story combines so many wonderful elements to create a world that you want to live in just so you can see these things first hand. I wish I could hear the intoxicating voices of the witches. I want to see the plants of the world react to their songs. I even want to meet Pogg, a frog person, regardless of how freaky frogs are. The world building was tremendous, the characters were unique, and Amber’s take on witches was magical for lack of a better word.

The world that was created in Witch Song is like one that I have always wanted to live in. I don’t care how dirty and grimy things may have been in the medieval days but I have always been fascinated with it. Witch Song doesn’t necessarily take place in this time period but a lot of the qualities reminded me of it. Large kingdoms with soldiers, merchants, and stocks where thieves would spend their nights locked up were all small but important qualities that brought this story to life for me. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the well written descriptions of the things Senna was seeing and the places she was going!

Senna was a very strong lead character. I loved how she was so brave throughout every danger and obstacle she faced. She knew her mother, the other witches, and the fate of the world was in her hands but she never let that slow her down. She kept on doing what needed to be done in order to protect everyone. The only thing that truly bugged me about Senna was her thought process. There were a few scenes where she would come to decisions out of thin air. I was given little to no clues on what Senna was deciding to do so I was surprised more than once. A little more inner dialogue to show how she reached a decision would have been nice. Aside from that she was a strong, brave main character.

Throughout the story we meet several side characters; some are evil, some are good but they all worked well together to keep the story interesting. Most important of the side characters is Joshen, Senna’s guardian. Of course there is a little romance between the two near the end but my fondness for Joshen is so much more than that. He is a protector to the core and he puts himself in between Senna and whatever evil is facing her at the moment more than once. He doesn’t possess any special powers but he still manages to keep Senna safe. Espen and her two sidekicks Wardof and Garg were the perfect villains in this book. We know little about them but they still managed to send chills up my spine with just the mention of their names. All of the small characters that helped Senna throughout the whole book such as Pogg, Captain Parknel, and even Senna’s trusty dog, Bruke, made a great impact on the story. I loved learning about their different, unique personality traits.

The most striking quality about this book was Amber’s take on witches. There weren’t spells, broomsticks, and cauldrons. Witches in this story used their voices to make the elements do things for them. They could throw a certain seed, start singing, and all of a sudden a tree would grow and start throwing unwanted people around. I am sure the book’s description of this is so much better but that is the best example I could come up with. The witches had limits but they also had many, many amazing powers that I loved learning about. I was so intrigued with how witches were handled in this story.

Witch Song is a wonderful, refreshing fairytale that I was completely engrossed in from start to finish. A mix of characters with strong personality traits, along with fascinating world building, makes this book a must read!

Make sure you check out the awesome interview that Amber did with my dear friend Ashley @ Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing!


In My Mailbox (23)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is a way for book bloggers to post what they have received for review, borrowed from a friend, bought at the bookstore, or picked up at the library. I have been 1) extremely lazy….err, I mean BUSY and 2) my mailbox has been overflowing with awesomeness so this week’s IMM is actually 3 weeks in one which means LOTS OF BOOKS! Also, I am kind of changing the way I do my IMM posts to make them a bit easier to read. I hope it helps!


The amazing girls over at Mint Tea and A Good Book (an AWESOME blog to go check out if you haven’t already) had a sister themed giveaway and I was so psyched to find out that I won! Thank you ladies for allowing me to add these wonderful books to my home library! For the giveaway I won:

Ten Rules for Living with my Sister by Ann M. Martin

My Thoughts: This book sounds absolutely delightful! My older sister was out of the house when I was growing up so I am used to being the one in charge. I am so excited to read about a younger sibling!

Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle

My Thoughts: I am so thrilled this was one of the books that I won! I can already to relate to the main character and I haven’t even begun reading the actual story yet!

Sass & Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler (signed)

My Thoughts: This sounds like the cutest book ever! Watching two sisters deal with their emotions regarding two different guys is going to be awesome!

Next is a HUGE, AWESOME, EXTRAORDINARY pile of books that I won from Bailey at IB Book Blogging! She had this awesome blogoversary giveaway that puts all other blogoversary giveaways (including my own!) to shame! She sent over 10 ARC’s and some awesome swag! Thank you so much Bailey!

The Jewel and the Key by Louise Spiegler

My Thoughts: If you know me at all, you know that I love a good book about time travel. I am really interested in seeing what this book has to offer!

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

My Thoughts: Oh my goodness! This one sounds freaky, mysterious, and haunting! I can’t wait to see what it is all about!

Reel Life Starring Us by Lisa Greenwald

My Thoughts: I could not think of a more perfect story for YA/MG girls! It sounds like a touching book about friends, popularity, understanding, etc. I am sure this will be one that I share with my younger sister!

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber

My Thoughts: This seems like it could be a funny, unique, action-packed story plus I am loving that the MC is a guy!

You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

My Thoughts: This one sounds like it is going to be a tear-jerker for sure! I can’t wait to read it!

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

My Thoughts: In all honesty, I am a  bit nervous to start this book! I have heard wonderful things about Ellen’s books but I also know they are like big, winding, twisty emotional roller coasters.

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

My Thoughts: I know I already have this book once but hey, I am excited about this still! A war against high school guys and girls sounds amazing!

Family by Micol Ostow

My Thoughts: My gosh this book sounds amazing! I don’t usually go for books that are dark and creepy like this but I am SO EXCITED to read it!

Reasons to Be Happy by Katrina Kittle

My Thoughts: This sounds like the greatest mix of sad and happy. The summary shows how this book covers tougher issues but then on the back of the book there is a quirky little list of “Reasons to Be Happy” and you can tell it is going to have it’s lighter moments too!

Going Underground by Susan Vaught

My Thoughts: I am POSITIVE that this is the best giveaway I have ever won. This book sounds amazing too! I love that it deals with texting explicit pictures. That is such a big issue in society today so I can’t wait to see how it is portrayed in this book!


The first three books I got when the Borders sale went from 25% to 30%. I cried when I walked into Borders that day. Seriously, I can’t believe Borders will soon be gone for good!

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

My Thoughts: Can I just say that I am SO PUMPED to read my first verse novel?!?! Everyone raves about Lisa Schroeder all of the time so I think she is a good first choice!

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

My Thoughts: Ok, I am convinced that this book will soon be a favorite for me. Just last week I couldn’t log onto Twitter without seeing a million tweets about this book!

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

My Thoughts: Karsten is one of my favorite authors and I haven’t even read anything by him yet! His vlogs are the funniest things ever created. This sounds like a new, unique, refreshing paranormal book!

The rest of these “bought” books were from my latest trip to Borders (yesterday). I got a ton of books at 50% off. While I still am extremely sad my favorite store will be closing, I loved all the good sales!

How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

My Thoughts: This was CHEAP and it sounds pretty cute. I am sure it will be a while before I actually get to read it but I just couldn’t pass it up!

The Education of Hailey Kendrick by Eileen Cook

My Thoughts: This one sounds like a book I’d love! I good girl getting caught in a bad act, that is something a lot of us go through!

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

My Thoughts: A few people who I know were a bit apprehensive about reading this book but then ended up loving it. The whole premise sounds SO GOOD!

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

My Thoughts: This sounds like the most hilarious book ever. It is like Miss USA meets Survivor. I cannot wait to read it!!!

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

My Thoughts: This book was another one that was super cheap and sounded cute. It sounds like a light, fun read PLUS I love me some coffee :)

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

My Thoughts: Books that deal with mother and daughter relationships are usually somewhat hard for me to read however I truly believe that I will love this one!

Take A Vacation! by The Young Veins

My Thoughts: This isn’t a book but it is music (my other love) so I just had to include it! Have any of you heard of The Young Veins before? Well I sure as heck haven’t so I am anxious to hear them!


Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My Thoughts: Kati, my best friend is so kindly allowing me to read her copy of this book. She said it is one of her favorite books! Does that mean I am anxious to read it? Well, heck yes it sure does!

That’s it for the past couple weeks! Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you think of the book that I got and don’t forget to leave a link to your IMM post!

TGIF (13)

TGIF is a fun little feature hosted at GReads! Every week we re-cap what has happened on the blog plus Ginger asks a question for us to answer. This week’s question is:

Book Associations:

Which genre, authors, or particular books do you think people associate with your reading style?

Oh my goodness gracious, this is such a fun question and probably one of the easiest ones I have ever had to answer! Seriously, you guys were probably getting a bit tired of my super long lists that are also known as my TGIF posts. Anyway, when people think of me and my blog, it’s safe to assume they think about Young Adult books but more specifically Contemporary Fiction. I LOVE reading mystery, paranormal romance, historical fiction, etc. BUT my heart truly lies with Contemporary books. They are just so full of awesomesauce!

When people think of particular authors, I hope with all of my heart they think of the few that I ramble about week after week. Most importantly there is Sarah Dessen. She is my writing rock star and I really don’t know what I’d do without her books. Other loves of mine that everyone should read at least one book by are Diana Peterfreund, Jennifer Echols, Melina Marchetta, and Simone Elkeles. The Secret Society Girl series, Forget You, Jellicoe Road, and the How to Ruin series are books that fill my heart with happiness. (Notice how I threw book recommendations in there? I am just a sneaky ninja like that!)

Now for the books in particular! The Truth About Forever, Just Listen, and This Lullaby are my three favorite Sarah Dessen books so my smiling face should always come to mind when reading those! I would love to say Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta but my darling Ashley at Books From Bleh To Basically Amazing is the only person I picture when thinking of that book (Seriously, she will recommend that book to a ROCK, but at the end of the day she is still spreading the love for one of the best books ever written). For the people who know of my rocker girl-ish side (I REALLY love good music, if you didn’t know already!), I hope that books like Audrey, Wait! and Five Flavors of Dumb pop into your head when you think of Katelyn from Katelyn’s Blog!

Now let me know what you think! Did I guess what genres, authors, and books come to mind when you think of me?

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (8/19-8/26):

Instructions for an Inexperienced Lover by Amanda Leduc

A Potential Problem by Jennifer Groepl

Tune-In Tuesday (22)

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith Book Trailer + Giveaway (ends 8/31)

Alex Charles: The Evening Oak by Kim Reynolds

Book Review: Alex Charles – The Evening Oak by Kim Reynolds

Title: Alex Charles: The Evening Oak (Alex Charles #1)

Author: Kim Reynolds

Pages: 270 Hardcover

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Source: I received a book from the author in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

Could you believe the impossible? What if time travel is actually possible? Alex Charles is an intelligent, level-headed, high school graduate. Her parents had died in an unexpected horrific accident, when she was just 16. Friends, parties, and an unknown destiny are part of normal everyday life; but then again, she wasn’t any average girl. Enter the proverbial long-lost-uncle, Joseph Graham. Warm hearted, smart, handsome, but very mysterious due to one reoccurring issue… he is running out of time. What exactly is the “family business” that her mother kept secret all these years? (Summary, courtesy of

I love books about time travel. Even more, I love books about time travel that are written extremely well. Alex Charles: The Evening Oak is most definitely one of those books! I loved learning about the oh, so serious Alex, her fun-loving uncle, and the secret family business that up until recently, Alex had no idea even existed.

I love the main character Alex! She is a girl you feel for right from the beginning. We meet Alex during a very tough time in her life. She is still dealing with the emotional turmoil of losing both of her parents less than two years ago. On top of that she must deal with the fact that graduation has come and gone and she still has no direction in mind for her future. She spends her days trying to relax with her great group of friends but feels herself slowly losing grips on what she wants out of life. Up until this point the only “family” she had was her neighbor AND guardian Lilly and her close-knit group of friends. A strange call from a man changes all of this though! The man that calls Alex claiming that he is “running out of time” is in fact her long-lost uncle. After debating with herself over it, Alex decides that it would be beneficial to meet him. Soon she is swept up in all of the possibilities that her Uncle Joe offers her.

Alex and Joe together are like the two greatest characters you could imagine. Alex is this serious, always thinking type of character. Her mind is constantly racing with questions and possible answers. She is lonely, scared, and wants nothing more than to feel at home. Joe is quite the opposite. I loved learning all about him right along with Alex! He is charming, easy-going, charismatic, but most importantly he offers Alex something she has gone a long time without and that is a strong family connection. These two gave each other so much that my heart just about melted! I love that Alex was able to find such happiness with her family again!

The way that time traveling was introduced in this book was phenomenal and so extremely unique. The gift to time travel is hereditary. If you are a member of the Graham family (Alex’s mom was a Graham), you possess the ability to travel back in time. Once you marry, your spouse and then all of your children inherit that ability. The point of time travel in this particular novel is to choose a certain person, situation, or problem and go back in time and fix it. If someone dies a horrible, terrible death then members of the Graham family can go back in time and attempt to stop it from happening. Throughout their lifetime they have a total of 7 time travel jumps. Once they travel back in time for the 7th time, they will stay in that time period and carry out their lives. I just found this whole concept to be a breath of fresh air; there is an actual point to time travel in this novel!

This book is really about two separate stories; the first is Alex’s account of learning about her uncle and the time traveling business she is supposed to carry on with. The second story we learn about is of Joe’s very first time traveling experience. We get to learn about Joe’s first love and why they could not stay together. It was heart-breaking and beautiful at the same time but I have a feeling this will not be the last time we hear about Joe and his long-lost Laura Chestnut.

I love this book and I am already half-way through the second in the series. Kimberly does such a wonderful job of mixing romance, family, history, and time travel all together in this one-of-a-kind book!

Giveaway: Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith

The wonderful people of Macmillan Publishing have presented this awesome opportunity for you to not only watch the new book trailer for Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith but also enter for your chance to win the book! I would like to send out a BIG THANK YOU for Macmillan Publishing allowing me to do this. Here is a little bit about the book:

Title: Lockdown (Escape From The Furnace #1)

Author: Alexander Gordon Smith

Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison. Together with a bunch of inmates—some innocent kids who have been framed, others cold-blooded killers—Alex plans an escape. But as he starts to uncover the truth about Furnace’s deeper, darker purpose, Alex’s actions grow ever more dangerous, and he must risk everything to expose this nightmare that’s hidden from the eyes of the world. (Summary, courtesy of

Is that not the most unique, interesting premise for a book you have ever heard? Take a look at the book trailer below! It is wonderfully done and it looks so creep-tastic!


And now for the part you are all here for, the giveaway! Rules will be simple for this one:

-Must have U.S. or Canadian mailing address

-Must leave valid e-mail address in the comments section

-Must leave a comment telling me, Macmillan Publishing, and of course Alexander Gordon Smith what you think of the book trailer

-Must leave comment before 11:59 p.m. on 8/31/11

-Winner will have 24 hours to respond to an e-mail before another winner is chosen

I hope you guys enjoyed and don’t forget to add Lockdown on Goodreads!

Tune-In Tuesday (22)

Tune in Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

Tuesdays have quickly become my favorite blogging day because I just adore this feature so much! This is the THIRD week of Tune In Tuesday 90′s Edition and I have a ton of great songs for you guys today!

For the year 1995 I just HAD to go with a song that was not even made in 1995! TGIF sung by The Secret Handshake (a newer band that I totally love) is like one of the best songs ever. It mentions EVERY single awesome TV show that aired in the 90’s because let’s all be honest, you just can’t beat shows like Step By Step and Boy Meets World!

One of my favorite songs from the year 1996 is Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something. I can still listen to it to this day and sing all the words to it!

1997 is where all the super great music came into play so I had to choose a few songs for that year! You Were Meant For Me by Jewel is a song that I LOVE to listen to. Wannabe by the Spice Girls and Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) by the Backstreet Boys are the songs that started my crazed fan-girlness of these two groups. Last but definitely not least for today is a song from one of my favorite country music duos ever. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have perhaps one of the greatest love songs of all time. I remember this song being sung at my cousin’s wedding and believing with my whole heart that this song fit the couple perfectly. It’s Your Love is a great song that I still listen to every now and then!

Book Review: A Potential Problem by Jennifer Groepl

Title: A Potential Problem (Lily Garner #1)

Author: Jennifer Groepl

Publisher: Self published

Pages: 53,000 words

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Source: I received an e-book from the author in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

A gifted student, Lily follows the rules, makes her parents proud, and gives the impression that she’s strong enough to handle anything. Maybe that’s why her recently divorced parents think it’s perfectly acceptable to leave her unsupervised All. The. Time. What they don’t seem to realize is that their barely teenage daughter is struggling because of it.

When her middle school reputation downgrades from awesome potential to “creepy counting girl”, Lily begins to act out as only a gifted teen can – faster and more thoroughly than everyone else. Diving head first into trouble, Lily falls hard for Tony Jacquez, a local gangbanger with a problem much bigger than hers. In way over her head, but too young and in love to realize it, Lily ultimately uses both her book-smarts and newly-acquired street-smarts in a plan to help Tony. Only this time it’s Lily who forgets she’s really just a kid.

A Potential Problem is a 53,000-word realistic YA fiction novel, the first novel in the Lily Gardner series. (Summary, courtesy of

For such a short story, Jennifer Groepl tackled many touching, heart breaking issues. Anything from divorce, rape, to drug abuse is covered in this one of a kind story of a girl’s journey through a very tough moment in her young life.

When we were first introduced to the main character Lily, I had a hard time liking her. I found a lot of her actions unbelievable even though I could definitely understand where she was coming from. Finding out her parents are divorcing, watching her mom spend all her time at work, while her dad spent all his time with his new family could not have been easy on Lily.  I could relate to this part of the story so very well because for the longest time, that was how my life was. But I just couldn’t understand her attitude. Lily was always going from happy to depressed, mouthing off to any adult figure in sight, saying a stream of swear words that I, now an 18-year-old, don’t say. I started to get really annoyed until I remembered her age. Well of course it all made sense after that! Middle school girls act like that. My younger sister acts like that along with all of her friends. They say swear words, they mouth off to adults, they pout about everything. That is exactly what pre-teen (well most pre-teen girls…not me, I was definitely an out-of-the-norm type of kid) act. A lot of young girls feel like the whole world is closing in on them so they rebel against anything they possibly can. Lily was no exception to this generalization.

Lily’s downfall begins right after the divorce. She starts speaking out against both of her parents. In all honesty, I would have not have been able to handle all of the things these people say to her. Her dad’s new girlfriend is so cruel towards Lily and her dad just watches it happen. Iris, Lily’s older sister takes all her frustration of the divorce out on her. With everyone either ignoring or being completely mean to Lily, my heart broke for her. I couldn’t imagine being in her situation.

Soon Lily’s troubles at home transfer to troubles at school. She is going to a gifted school but after her parent’s divorce, Lily finds it hard to concentrate on a whole lot. Sixth grade goes by for Lily and before she knows it 7th grade has approached and she will be completely alone because her best friend Ana will not be attending the same school. If things were bad with Lily before, they begin to get much, much worse at this point. Lily is buried beneath so much loneliness that she just stops caring. She drinks, smokes both cigarettes and marijuana, and you could just forget about her actually doing her homework. I felt so incredibly bad for this character. She was in so much intense pain and I could feel it with every turning page.

The problems for Lily continue when her dad announces that he will be marrying his evil girlfriend. In rebellion towards that, Lily starts to hang out with her next door neighbor Randy. For the most part he is a pretty nice guy if you don’t consider the fact that he is much older and deals marijuana. I won’t get into much detail, but a tragedy strikes Lily that Randy is a part of. After this happened, I was a bit confused with the story. As you can tell from above, there are A LOT of issues that this short story deals with. In fact, I think there may be too many issues. I know that divorce, depression, rape, alcohol and drug use, as well as rebellion are huge problems that young people deal with today but I think this story would have been a bit more beneficial had it focused on a few of these as opposed to all of them. After a while, I found myself in such a negative state of mind. So many bad things were happening to one character!

I would have found this to be way too negative of a story had we not been introduced to a certain someone! About halfway through the story, Lily starts hanging out with a young guy named Tony. Tony reminded me somewhat of the Fuentes brothers from Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry series. Tony is a part of a gang but he is trying his best to make a good life for himself regardless of all the crap he has been dealt. Tony and Lily are quite a match. While both of them do have a few bad habits like smoking pot and cigarettes, they ultimately want the best for one another. Tony is like a bright ray of sunshine in Lily’s life and I love him for that. He loves her for who she is, makes her feel special and beautiful, plus he pushes her to want a better life.

But again, this positive bit of story is tarnished by another negative instance. After dating for a long time, Lily discovers Tony with another girl. After months of being apart, Lily finally allows Tony to apologize. It is then that we learn of Tony’s place in the gang and he and Lily devise a plan to get him out of it. Of course the gang would not just allow Tony to leave just like that.

Major things happen in the end; people are hospitalized, and the story ends on a rather sad note but I still think it is a series I will continue reading. If an author can make me care so deeply about a character in the span of 53,000 words, then it is an author I will without a doubt continue reading. Although this story was weighed down with one negative problem after another, I loved the bright moments that were of Lily and Tony together. I am anxious to see where Jennifer takes these two characters in future books!

Book Review: Instructions for an Inexperienced Lover by Amanda Leduc

Title: Instructions for an Inexperienced Lover

Author: Amanda Leduc

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 289 paperback

My Rating: 3-3.5/5 stars

Source: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

“Blank” is Rosa Delacroix’s first novel. She is currently at work on “Blank”, a collection of short stories. When not writing, she can be found burrowed in her apartment, reading books and thinking about James.

Rosa wants to be a writer. She also wants to be a good person (and learn how to make the perfect crême brûlée). But she’s about to discover that writing life and living it isn’t easy. Not when women like Aylish show up at Rosa’s door, impish and intoxicating and entirely unpredictable … (Summary, courtesy of

This is one of those books that you read and enjoy but as time goes on you find that you like it even more. At first the characters were okay, the situations the main character, Rosa went through were slightly entertaining, and the style of writing seemed to bounce around. However, as I stated just a moment ago, I found myself REALLY liking it the more I continued to read this story.

Rosa is a young woman trying her hand at writing. At a first glance she is a rather boring character. She always does the right thing, doesn’t have a social life, and the only relationship she has ever had with a guy is the crush she has on her much older, former teacher named James. Rosa as a character, much like every other aspect of the book, got better in time. Once she met Aylish, a character I will talk about in a moment, she comes out of her shell. She starts to make  things interesting by going out more with Aylish, furthering her relationship abilities, and ultimately create intriguing stories based on her experiences with Aylish. Rosa gradually grows as a character throughout the whole book. She really thinks about what she wants out of life including her religion, her relationships with both James and Aylish, as well as what she wants to do with her future. Even though I was not a fan of Rosa at the beginning, she certainly grew on me throughout the book.

Aylish and James are two completely different characters but they both have one main similarity and that Rosa is in love with them. Aylish is sporadic, funny, out-going, and extremely indecisive. James is caring, mature, knowledgeable, and like Aylish, very indecisive. Both of these characters string Rosa along. They make the time for her when they need her but it seemed to me that when Rosa really needed them to be there for her, they were absent. I really did not like the way that Aylish knew she had a certain control over Rosa. She could convince her to do things that normally went against her morals. She challenged Rosa’s religion and beliefs but in the end, Rosa still felt strongly for her. I may not have liked Aylish at all but she was a vital character for Rosa’s growth. James is a character I liked only slightly more than Aylish. Like Aylish, he knows that Rosa is his; hook, line, sinker BUT he never does anything to try and let her know that he is just not interested. He likes the fact that Rosa would walk to the ends of the Earth just to make him happy and that irritated me. James was not my favorite but he still caused major changes in Rosa that would have not been possible in any other way.

This book ended up being a so-so read for me but I am still a fan of Amanda Leduc’s writing style. Like I stated earlier, it took a while getting used to, but it was beautiful in its originality. This book felt so incredibly real to me. It was almost as if I was reading someone’s extra long diary. I was able to learn a lot about Rosa and why she did and thought the way that she did. At a glance the story may seem like the situations the character goes through are insignificant but in my opinion that is the most intriguing part of this story. Amanda didn’t create a character dealing with the death of the parent or someone who inherits supernatural abilities, she created a regular Joe. Rosa could be anyone, your neighbor, the young woman at the grocery store, or a girl that sits near you in class. She is just so normal that you feel you are getting to know a real person.

Amanda’s unique writing style will take some getting used to but in the end, it is worth it. I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next!