Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

[Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo]
Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and
it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.
The Good
  • The changing PoVs.
  • The realness.
  • Amazing themes.
The Bad
  • Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
The Gif

  Whenever I first started reading this, I totally thought, "teenagers aren't this bad" and rolled my eyes a few times. But then the realization smacked me in the face that teenagers are this bad and so are we. This book was such an eye opener. Sure, it held onto cliches and stereotypes, but it worked. The Truth About Alice was a brilliant and sad tale that left me with a smile as I finished it.

  I'm really into character driven stories. The way that the author tells this story is perfect for that. There are a handful of characters that you read from their point of view. It gives you all sorts of angles into the plot. I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Because of that, you get to know all of the characters fairly well. The character I had the most love/hate relationship with was Kelsie. At first, I hated her. But then I just pitied her. Kurt was definitely my favorite, and his parts were my favorites.

  This book handles a lot of issues so well. It doesn't sugar coat things. It serves them up as honest as it gets. It made me have a lot of respect for the book and the author.

  In a world where we can't go a day without hearing about someone being bullied, The Truth About Alice serves as the perfect cautionary tale that still manages to give hope. It's such a quick read that you'll read it one sitting. You won't regret it, either. Fans of Young Adult contemporary fiction, welcome to your new obsession.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Jennifer Mathieu and NetGalley.

#ArmchairBEA2014 Wrap-up

Design by Nina of Nina Reads
  You guys. I didn't want to write this post. I don't want ABEA to be over. This was my first ABEA, and I've fallen in love with this event! I have enjoyed this week with you all so much. I've always been the shy introvert. If we're being honest, that's why I didn't take the plunge and go to BEA this year. I could have made it happen. But I was so afraid of going by myself with barely knowing anyone. The regret, you guys. This week with ABEA has really helped me connect with more bloggers and open up. So, thank you. All of you. This has been an incredible week!

  My favorite topic of the week was definitely Beyond the Borders. I discovered so many diverse books. My TBR list is taking over the world at this point. I loved writing my post for the event, too. It was so good to speak on a subject that is so close to my heart. See my plea for more LGBT YA books and see a short list of my recommendations here.

  But most of all? My favorite part of this week was connecting with you guys. The Twitter parties have been awesome. I'm not an outgoing person, but I anticipated each of those chats. I'm always lurking on Twitter, so don't be afraid to say hi. (Because I obviously will be too afraid to say hi first.)

If you haven't entered my giveaway yet, what are you waiting for?! Go now! I have something for both US and INT!

  If you're set on going to BEA next year, let's keep in touch. I'm already starting to make plans for going. But I'm so nervous about going and not knowing anyone. So. Let's all keep in touch and be awkward and shy together next May together. Even if you're not going, let's still keep in touch. Okay? Okay.

#ArmchairBEA2014 Topic of Choice: Books on a Budget

Design by Nina of Nina Reads
  Being a bookworm can be expensive, ya'll! Thankfully, there are a lot of ways out there to find books on a budget. Bloggers and reviewers have an edge when it comes to scoring free reads. So my post today is geared at regular readers and bloggers alike. Anyone can find cheap books if you just look around.

Used Bookstores
You guys, I love a good used bookstore. My town doesn't have any bookstores. But the city that's an hour away has the most glorious of used bookstores, Mr. K's. They're also an independent bookseller where you can get new books, too! The thing with used bookstores that is so great is that you can essentially get books for free! Most stores will take books, CDs, vinyls, movies, and more for trade-ins.

Thrift Stores
My favorite place to get books and pick up some old furniture to up-cycle? Thrift stores!

I had to because I have a secret crush on Macklemore.
The thrift stores in my town have amazing deals on books. They're anywhere from twenty-five cents to a dollar each. Yes. That cheap. The downside? They usually put out every single book that's donated, so you have to dig through a lot of books. There are a lot of good books to be found, though! 

Don't know where to find thrift stores? 
Use the locator on TheThriftShopper. (This even has reviews and hours!)
Find your local Goodwill.

Library Sales
If you follow me on Instagram, you may catch pictures that I've posted from library sales. My most recent haul was 18 books for $2 on the last day of my local library's sale.

 It was all the books you could fit into a grocery bag for $2. The thing with library sales is you shouldn't expect the newest releases. And you should expect them to be former library books or a little bit used.

Don't know where to find a library sale at? 
I have the best website EVER for finding them: Book Sale Finder

Kindle Freebies
Nearly everyone has an ereader these days. If you don't, go download a Kindle app. It's available on nearly all computers and devices for free. Just click here!

A lot of times, I've found great books just by going to the store through the app and searching through my favorite genres and sorting by price to see the freebies first. But if you don't want the hassle, I have an amazing website to introduce you to some Kindle freebies! There are loads of websites that will show you Kindle freebies, but I like this one because it only shows freebies with a rating of 4 stars or higher.

You can also join LibraryThing for free. They have two different giveaway programs. Early Reviewers requires that you review the book you receive. But the Member Giveaways program only encourages reviewing but doesn't enforce it.

#ArmchairBEA2014 Beyond the Borders: LGBT in YA

Design by Nina of Nina Reads
  Whenever I was thirteen, I had my first kiss. It was with my neighbor. It was with a girl. I thought I was the only girl in the world who wanted to kiss other girls. Something was wrong with me, I just knew it. None of the books I had read mentioned anything about girls kissing girls.

  Thankfully, I've discovered since then that girls kiss girls, boys kiss boys, and boys and girls kiss. And there's some people like me who love to kiss regardless if it's with a boy or a girl or someone who doesn't fit into those labels. But that is something I would have loved to know whenever I was confronted with my sexuality at a young age. I would have loved to know that labels don't define us, but it's nice to know that I can identify as a pansexual and have an entire community of people to call my own that I belong with.

  Over the past few months, diversity in books has really been a hot button issue. I've seen the tweets. I've read the posts. I've looked at the lists. And it's about time! But my big draw back with the diversity movement is that I haven't seen a lot of LGBT books and authors being talked about. It saddens my heart.

  We need LGBT books. Specially, we need LGBT Young Adult books. For every thirteen year old out there who is questioning themselves and their sexuality like I was, they need to know that it's normal, it's okay, and you can be happy.

LGBT Young Adult Recommendations:
I love discovering new LGBT books. If I didn't list one of your favorites, please leave it in the comments below so I can check it out!

#ArmchairBEA2014 Giveaway [US & INT]

Design by Nina of Nina Reads
  Let's be serious. This is the day you've been waiting for! I have two different giveaways for you today, and I hope you guys like what I have picked out!

The US Giveaway
This prize pack will include a random assortment of at least six books (some ARCs, some signed, some new), a coffee mug, an assortment of coffee, and any other bookish gifts I spot before the giveaway is over.

The INT Giveaway
This giveaway is for a $10 Amazon gift card to spoil yourself with!

#ArmchairBEA2014 Expanding Blogging Horizons: Pretty Little Indies

Design by Nina of Nina Reads
  Honestly, today's topic has been the hardest for me to write about. I don't see myself getting into vlogging or podcasts. I just recently heard about Booktube. And I'm certainly not a published author. The one thing I am good at that helped expand my blog? Finding indie and small press authors that I adore.

  Before I signed up for Goodreads, I didn't know there were self-published authors. I didn't have a Kindle. It was big publishers and their printed books for me. Once I joined the rest of the world and got a Kindle, it was like Alice and the rabbit hole. How did I not know about this stuff?! I still remember the very first indie book that I read. It was Writing on the Wall by Tracey Ward. I wasn't even a zombie fan. It was free, and I liked the cover. But ever since that book, I've had an insatiable need to discover more incredible authors who self publish or publish with a small press.

  In an effort to showcase some of my favorite Indie authors and their books, I decided to start a weekly feature called Pretty Little Indies. It's been going for three weeks now, and I love it! I'm already booking authors for the month of July. It's crazy!

  In almost all Pretty Little Indies posts, I do an interview with the author. I love picking their brains and learning little snippets about them and their books! If I have time, I try to include a review or a link to previous reviews. And of course, I always try for giveaways. There's no better exposure for an author than putting their book in the hands of readers.

  Even though Pretty Little Indies is still new, I've grown to love it and the authors I've connected with through it! Have any of your read a great indie read lately? Tell me about it in the comments!

Review: Shadow Fire by Kimber Leigh Wheaton

Shadow Fire by Kimber Leigh Wheaton
(The Light Chronicles #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Ashlyn – a free-spirited teenager whose peaceful
life is shattered when the village elders honor her
with a perilous quest to recover a stolen relic.

Zane – a jaded mercenary, torn by his undeniable desire for Ashlyn and the dark secret that could make her hate him forever.

Delistaire – a malevolent sorcerer driven by an insatiable lust for power.
All three are bound together by an ancient relic supposedly infused with the power of a Goddess.

Shadow Fire - adventure, passion, secrets, and betrayal

As Ashlyn and Zane race to stay one step ahead of the evil lurking in the shadows, their passions are ignited and their bond strengthens. But will they find the relic before Delistaire? Or has their entire quest been orchestrated from the very beginning by a madman in pursuit of ultimate power?

The Good
  • Intriguing story.
  • Good pace after the beginning hurdle was over.
The Bad
  • Too romance heavy.
  • Modern language in historic setting was distracting.
The Gif
  I've found myself struggling with how to rate Shadow Fire. It's surprisingly difficult. I enjoyed most of what I read, but I feel like I think about the technicalities a lot more whenever I'm considering the rating. There were certain things that didn't add up to me. The language, mannerisms, and euphemisms did not match the time period at all, and I got distracted by it more than once. But with all of that aside, I really did get sucked into the story. Besides the drag around the beginning, I found myself really drawn in and racing through.

  Ashlyn was touch and go for me. At times, I thought she was the little badass that I had hoped for. But at other times, she would wane and I would begin to doubt her resolve. In the end, I did enjoy her. The romance between her and Zane was very in your face. If PDA makes you uncomfortable, you will be squeamish while reading Shadow Fire.

  Kimber Leigh Wheaton does an excellent job at painting a vivid description of her world. Aside from my faults with the technicalities, I found myself wondering what would happen next while reading Shadow Fire. This novel is a very good addition to the YA genre. Even though the romance and kissing are very present, I found that the romance still stayed at PG-13 appropriate levels. Shadow Fire can be enjoyed by a large range of readers who have a soft spot for fantasy. 

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Kimber Leigh Wheaton.

Penelope's Ghost Blog Tour [Review, Interview, and Giveaway]

Penelope's Ghost by Goldie Alexander

Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Contemporary

Haunted. Haunting. Redeemed.

When Lisa Harbinger takes a job as nanny to a prestigious Australian family, she gets more than she bargained for: two spoilt children, vengeful ghosts, a long-unsolved mystery and a blazing passion she and her enigmatic boss are unable to deny.
The Good:
  • Very descriptive
  • Good character development
  • Original
The Bad:
  • Rushed at times
The Gif:
  If I had to describe the romance in this book with just one word, I'd use sweet. The entire story itself is very good, and I found it to be an enjoyable read. Goldie Alexander is an established writer, and Penelope's Ghost is a testament to that. It was good for a light but mysterious break from some of my normal reading.

  The characters were the part that I enjoyed the most. A lot of attention was given to details. This gave all of the characters a unique and authentic voice. But I feel like the title was misleading a bit. Because of it, I expected Penelope's Ghost to focus more on the ghost story. Yet, I still enjoyed reading this.

  Parts of the story did seem rushed in an effort to get through necessary parts of the plot. It wasn't too distracting, but I did notice it. The love story as I said is sweet. If you're looking for passion and tearing of clothes, you'll be disappointed. If you're like me and don't mind your romance served sweet with a heap of mystery, you'll definitely enjoy what Penelope's Ghost by Goldie Alexander has to offer.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Bewitched Book Tours and Goldie Alexander.

1. Describe Penelope's Ghost in one word.

2. If you could choose any TV show to promote your book on, which would you choose?
The Ellen DeGeneres Show

3. Which chapter of Penelope's Ghost was your favorite to write?
The opening chapter. It titillates.

4. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Persistence is my motto.

5. Choose one character from Penelope's Ghost that you get to have dinner with. Who and why?
Richard Prescott, my hero. He is sexy and quiet. I think I could draw him out to talk about himself.

6. You can only read one book (that isn't one of yours) for the rest of your life. Which is it?
The collected works of Shakespeare.

7. Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate. Always chocolate. I am a chocoholic.

8. Lastly, what's up next for you? Any projects we should be looking out for?
Yes. My latest 2 Young Adult novels. “In Hades”, a verse novel, published by Celapene Press and “That Stranger Next Door” historical fiction set in 1954, published by Clandestine Press.

Goldie Alexander has published over 75 books plus many prize winning short stories and articles. For children she is best known for, "My Australian Story: Surviving Sydney Cove", now in its 10th edition. Amongst recent work are three collections of short stories: ‘Killer Virus’, ‘My Horrible Cousins’ and ‘Space Footy”.

Her latest novels for Young Adult include ‘The Youngest Cameleer’, ‘In Hades’ a verse novel, and ‘That Stranger next Door’. For middle grade readers: ‘eSide: A Journey into Cyberspace’. ‘ Cybertrix: 2043, and ‘Neptunia’, and the Junior novel ‘Gallipoli Medals’. She has authored the how-to-write ‘Mentoring Your Memoir’, facilitates creative writing workshops and mentors emerging authors.

Penelope's Ghost is Goldie's first, but far from last, Romance novel.





a Rafflecopter giveaway

#ArmchairBEA2014 More Than Just Words: Books vs. Movies & TV Shows

Design by Nina of Nina Reads
  I'll admit that I haven't jumped on the audiobook train. Or the graphic novel train. The only comics I collect are X-Men. Yeah. I'm a purely book type of reader. But I do enjoy watching books that I love (and some that I don't) play out as a movie or television show. Whenever something so special to the book fandom pops up in a show or movie, I have one of those "Yes! That was for me us!" moments. I love those moments. On the other hand, I have those "What the hell are they thinking?! That never happened" moments. I hate those moments.

  There is definitely a trend happening right now to move popular young adult series to the big screen. Almost anyone can name off at least one series that made the jump. Some, like The Hunger Games and Twilight, have been successful. Others, like Beautiful Creatures and The Mortal Instruments, have not. I don't think there's a certain formula for success when it comes to this. As a young adult fan, I can definitely say that we can find something to nitpick over even in the best of adaptations. Now, I present to you an adaptation that I hated and one that I loved.

The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris 
vs. True Blood on HBO
  I'm a huge SVM fangirl. I love Charlaine. I love Sookie. I love Bon Temps. I love Vin Diesel Quinn. I love Pam. But True Blood? I hate that show. I know, I know. It's a show that's meant to deviate away from the books to give readers a fresh story. But I hate it.

  The characters are portrayed nothing like they are in the books. If you rename them, they'd be completely different people. One of the biggest downfalls with True Blood for me is the portrayal of Bill Compton. In the books, he's someone that I absolutely abhorred. In the show, he's treated as a god. Literally.

  Another thing that gets me with the show is that the storylines are so far out from where the books are. Again, I get that it's a different entity and should be treated as such. But at this point, I think they should drop the "based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries" and just go with "inspired by The Southern Vampire Mysteries".

P.S. Anna Paquin is not my Sookie Stackhouse.


  I am about to admit something to you guys that I have never admitted to anyone. I actually liked the Twilight movies. Yes, the books are never going to make my favorites list. We all know that. But the movies made the story tolerable. The casting (minus Nikki Reed's uncolored eyebrows) seemed pretty spot on. And we all know how much I crush on Robert Pattinson for hating the books as much as I do.

  So there. I'm usually driving the "Books are better than their movies" bandwagon. When it comes to Twilight, I'm on the opposite side. I think a lot of it has to do with the setting. Before Twilight was even a wet dream in Stephenie Meyer's mind, I loved the Pacific Northwest. Eventually, I will live there. The films do an amazing job of showing off the scenery. It makes it easy for me to enjoy the movies.

  The casting, in my opinion, was good. It wasn't the best, obviously. It never can be. Some people have an issue with Kristen Stewart because she isn't expressive enough. But I think people forget that Bella Swan wasn't either. She was written in a way that allowed the readers to easily imagine themselves as her. She was one of the least developed and described characters. Kristen Stewart is a very plain actress. For the job of filling in a role like that, I think she fit well.

  Do I have to say spoilers? It's been years since the last movie came out. Should I? Spoilers. There. You've been warned. The battle scene in the final Breaking Dawn movie was positively brilliant. I was so pissed off whenever Stephenie Meyer wrapped up Breaking Dawn without any conflict. She just tied it up in a pretty little bow to make everyone happy, and it sucked. Seeing what could of been with the movie was such a treat. It gave the ending that edge that I needed.

Sound off in the comments below. Which are some of your favorite book to screen adaptations? Which ones could you have lived without? Which ones are you dying to see happen?

Blitz: Don't Fall by Rachel Schieffelbein

Don't Fall by Rachel Schieffelbein

Release Date: 2014
Swoon Romance
In which a teenage girl endures the over-protective love of her adoptive mother
until she falls for a boy who has her wanting to spread her wings, pitched as a contemporary retelling of RAPUNZEL.

Seventeen-year-old Anya leads a very secluded life in a house on the edge of town with her adopted mother. She doesn't go to school, but instead has a private tutor. Her over-protective mom keeps her so sheltered that she doesn't even have a best friend.

But Anya doesn't seem to mind. She has her books, her photography, and her daydreams, and would do anything to please her mom. Until one day at the library, the only place she's allowed to go, she takes a picture of a beautiful boy.

Before long she's lying to her mom, and sneaking out late at night to meet Zander. But Zander wants more than a secret romance. If Anya wants to be with the boy of her dreams, she will have to risk her relationship with the only other person she's ever cared about.

Retellings by Rachel Shieffelbein
First of all, thank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m going to talk a bit about fairy tales and why I wrote this retelling.

I have always loved fairy tales. I grew up on them, and I suppose I’m a bit of a romantic. I love magic, and true love, and happily ever afters. It makes me happy that retellings are gaining in popularity. All those old stories I loved are getting a new light shone on them, new twists, new characters, and new perspectives.

Rapunzel has been my favorite fairy tale from long before Disney made its version of it. (Although the Disney version is pretty cute.) To be honest, I think a big part of why it’s my favorite has to do with fond memories of visiting an elderly neighbor who used to read it to me.

It was a story I really wanted to work with, but making it contemporary had its challenges! So I will tell you now, no one climbs anyone’s hair. It’s the theme of the story I wanted to hold onto. The idea of this girl being locked away from the world, and how she has to set herself free to really find herself.

I love Anya, my Rapunzel. She’s sweet and innocent, but also spunky and fun. I wanted to write her a modern fairy tale, with its own kind of magic, true love, and happily ever after. Hopefully I’ve succeeded, and readers will fall for her and Zander, too.

Rachel grew up in a tiny town in Minnesota. She still lives there, with her husband and their four kids. She coaches high school speech and theater, rides Arabian horses, reads as much as she can, and writes stories.

Author Links:

1 ebook of Don’t Fall + $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

#ArmchairBEA2014 Literature: Welcome to Middle-earth

Design by Nina of Nina Reads
 Speak, friend, and enter.
  I struggled with what to make this post about. Literature is such a broad subject. I bounced from making this all about Austen to lists galore. But you know what? Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is obviously a timeless piece of British literature. It is my favorite book, and Middle-earth is my home. So today, I'm going to drag you guys along on a trip through Middle-earth!

  From the very first time that I picked up Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth felt real. It was like something had clicked and I found the place that I belonged. After finishing Lord of the Rings, I had to find more books about this place that suddenly became my home. Since then, I've slowly been collecting all of Tolkien's books, the ones in the Middle-earth universe and those that are not. His writing speaks to my soul, and I find so much comfort between the pages of his works.

  There's a list below with the books published by Tolkien set in Middle-earth. His son, Christopher, has since published a lot of his unfinished works and drafts. I've only included those published during Tolkien's life, but there's a link to the list of all the Middle-earth universe books. But first, this wouldn't be a post by me without some gifs.
If you really want to know what Middle-earth is based on, it's my wonder
and delight in the earth as it is, particularly the natural earth.

-J.R.R. Tolkien
Mount Doom
Books set in Middle-earth
The Hobbit, 1937

This list does not include the books that were published posthumously. For a full list, click here.

Click here for the Pretty Little Pages #ArmchairBEA2014 schedule.

#ArmchairBEA2014: Introductions!

Design by Nina of Nina Reads
  Hello, hello! As this is my very first Armchair BEA, I'm going to graciously ask for your patience while I learn how this all works, dear readers! I had considered going to BEA in person this year, but I decided against it. I'm already regretting that decision. Next year, BEA is mine!

To kick off the festivities, the participants have been asked to bore entertain you with a quick introductions post. Let's do this!

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from?
Look at that snazzy phone case.
I'm Kristen, and I've been blogging here on Pretty Little Pages since January of this year! I live in a tiny town in East Tennessee known for being the home of the first impeached president. Though, I actually live on the outskirts of the county. I'm lucky enough to call the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains home. I began blogging because I love to ramble and blabber about books. I mean, who doesn't?!

2. Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details -- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. -- so we can connect more online.
A tiny corner of the net devoted to fangirling about (mostly) Young Adult books and collecting cat whiskers!
Twitter: @Spockella | Instagram: @Spockella | Facebook | Goodreads

Yep, that's an actual whisker from Abi. Told you so.
3. What book would you love to see as a movie?
Gosh, which book don't I want to see a movie is more like it! I'd like to see the rest of The Mortal Instrument series made into movies. Obviously, there would need to be some recasting and major reworking, but I'd love to see the series continue on the big screen.

4. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 books would you bring? Why? What 3 non-book items would you bring? Why?
I'm assuming that people/pets aren't allowed. (If they were, my Dad, Chris the beau, and Abi the cat would be my picks!) The three books I would chose are really simple. I'd take Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien and The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe to pass time with. And I'd take a copy of The Boy Scouts Handbook so I wouldn't die! My three non-bookish items would be a knife, a sturdy metal pot for collecting and boiling water and cooking food, and flint and tender. I may be too practical, but damn it I want to survive!

5. What does your favorite/ideal reading space look like? (Pinterest encouraged!)
This, please.

So there's that! Curl up in your favorite armchair and join me for Armchair BEA 2014!

Schedule for #ArmchairBEA2014 on Pretty Little Pages
Monday, May 26th

Tuesday, May 27th

Wednesday, May 28th

Thursday, May 29th

Friday, May 30th

Saturday, May 31st

Don't forget to join me on Instagram for the Oh Snap! Armchair BEA Instagram Challenge
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...