Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Bad Rep by A. Meredith Walters

Bad Rep
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Publication Date: December 21, 2012

Maysie Ardin is soaking up the summer before her junior year of college, shopping, hanging by the pool and shopping some more. But when her black belt in spending lands her in trouble with her parents, she is forced to take a second job at a local bar to dig herself out of a deep financial pit.

She thought she’d be miserable. But then Maysie didn’t count on Jordan Levitt, the hot, pierced and tattooed, drum playing bartender who also happens to be very interested in her. And the feelings are totally mutual.

It had the makings of the perfect romantic set up. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy has girlfriend? Okay, maybe not.

But attraction is a hard thing to ignore and soon Jordan and Maysie find themselves in the middle of a gossip induced firestorm. Maysie has to learn whether she can set aside her fear of public disapproval in order to be with the one she wants. Or will she let the opinions of others dictate her life and her heart?
A. Meredith Walters is an incredible writer and I fell in love with Find You in the Dark and Light in the Shadows. Because of these 2 books, I think I had super high expectations for Bad Rep and therefore, I was a little let down. Bad Rep was a good book and I enjoyed reading it but it didn't live up to my expectations for it.

Maysie was an okay character, but she wasn't one of my favorites. I felt like she was a little whiny and self-absorbed. I felt really bad for all of the things she had to go through, especially since it wasn't all one-sided but she knew there would be consequences for her actions. I don't think she deserved all of the things that happened to her because, even though she did something that was wrong, it was not to be malicious and she was truly sorry. Everything she did was because of how she felt for Jordan and then she pushed him away instead of working through it together. I did like the way she grew up a little at the end and stood up for herself finally. 

Jordan was a good guy and he had this instant connection with Maysie that he couldn't explain. However, I didn't like the way he pursued her while he was dating Olivia and I give Maysie credit for really trying to stay away from him. He didn't make it easy for her. I felt like he should have broke things off with Olivia before getting involved with Maysie because his actions had consequences too and they ended up costing Maysie more than him. I also didn't like that Jordan let Maysie take so much of the heat for what happened without standing up for her more. Granted, he may not have known about all that was going on but he had a hand to play in everything. In the end, he did man up stand by Maysie like he should have from the beginning.

Overall, this was a well written book and the story flowed really well together. You could really feel the chemistry that Jordan and Maysie shared from the writing and you could feel the tension from the situation they were in flow off the pages. I am interested to check out Perfect Regret and see how the author will handle Riley & Garrett's story. 
"You know, I say do what you want. You have to do what makes you happy," I said. Jordan smiled. "That's what I'm trying to do," he said and I had a feeling he was talking about more than just his music." ~Maysie (Bad Rep by A. Meredith Walters)

~IPOD Picks~
"I Need Your Love" by Ellie Goulding & Calvin Harris
"I Knew You Were Trouble" by Taylor Swift
"Love Somebody" by Maroon Five

Synopsis: Goodreads
Cover Photo: Goodreads

Armchair BEA Day 4: Ethics & Non-Fiction

Topic 1: Ethics

Ethics is something that is very important to me personally and I think it carries over into everything you do. As someone who works in finance on a daily basis, I understand ethics and the importance of making ethical decisions. I think whether you are a blogger for a living or a blogger for fun, it is always important to be ethical and give credit where it is due. It is also important to be honest and make sure your readers have all of the facts. I have only been blogging for 3 months now and I am pretty sure that I have not been plagiarized  and I have never plagiarized from someone else. Here are a few things I do to try and make sure I run an ethical and honest blog.

* I write all of my own reviews, 100% from my own thoughts and mind. I generally don't read someone else's review of a book until I have read and reviewed it myself. I would never intentionally use someone else's work but this makes me feel more comfortable.

* I disclose in my review policy that some books I read and review may be provided to me by the publisher and author but all opinions are honest and 100% my own. I also disclose in the review, if the books was provided to me and who provided it.

* I use Goodreads for all cover photos and the synopsis I provide for my review and I cite them as a source at the bottom of my review.

* I don't use a lot of pics outside of book covers but if I do, I cite the source or use my own photos.

Topic 2: Non-Fiction

I will admit that I am not really much of non-fiction reader. I love the fantasy world that fiction takes me into and that is one of the reasons I love to read so much. However, I do read non-fiction once in a while and usually when I do, I love to read true crime. True crime fascinates me and in another life, I think I could have been a criminal psychologist because I really want to know what makes them do what they do. How could they commit such crimes or acts against other humans? When true crime is concerned, I absolutely love Ann Rule. She is from the Seattle area and writes a lot of her true crime novels based on crimes in Washington. She also used to be a police officer so she has the credibility and the knowledge. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday Blog Hop #14

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by Alison Can Read & Parajunkee.

This week's question is:

What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.

 There are so many amazing bloggers out there but there are a few that I get the amazing opportunity to interact with through our blogs and shared interests and I would love to meet them, so here there are.

Trish @ Between the Lines: Trish and I have so many of the same books in common and she always posts great discussions. I love to go back and forth with her through our blog comments and it would be awesome to meet her in real life. If I ever make that dream trip to Ireland, I am totally looking her up!

Evie @ Evie-Bookish: Evie is so awesome and we have had some awesome conversations over Twitter. She is a seasoned blogger and she has inspired me so much. I know someday I will get to meet her in person and I can't wait to grab a Starbucks coffee with her. :-)

Jessica @ Lovin Los Libros: Jessica is a new blogger like me and we have a lot in common. We share a similar taste in books and I love checking out her reviews and seeing what she thought of the books I liked too. 

Natasha @ Natasha is a Book Junkie: Um, Natasha is an amazing blogger with an amazing blog. She is also part of the reason for my purchasing problem on Amazon with all her amazing new adult and adult book recommendations. 

There are about a billion more so I would like to throw a shout out to the following bloggers too. I love all of you!

Cece @ Cece's Steaming Mug of Books
Nikki @ There Were Books Involved
Lexxie @ Unconvential Book Reviews
Jenea @ Books Live Forever
Cayce @ Fighting Dreamer

These are just to name a few. I could seriously go on and on!

Armchair BEA Day 3: Literary Fiction

This topic is a tough one for me because I am more of a genre fiction reader. I read a lot of Indie author books and new adult novels that are less known outside of the blogging community.

What books have you read this year that would fit into this category?

I haven't read a lot of books this year that would be considered literary fiction. However, I did read Divergent and Insurgent. I also have The Fault in Our Stars but I haven't started reading it yet. I also just picked up Inferno by Dan Brown

Is there anything coming up that you're particularly excited about?

I usually don't become familiar with a new literary fiction book until it is released. Now that I am a blogger, I am a lot more aware of books before their release date. Off the top of my head, I would have to go with Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I am really excited to see how the trilogy plays out and ends.

What authors/novels would you recommend to someone new to the genre?

Authors that I can think of for this category would be J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, John Green, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins. 

Are there any misconceptions or things that you'd like to clear up for people unfamiliar with literary fiction?

A misconception of literary fiction that I had myself was that they were all classics. However, doing this post, I have learned that it is more about books that have made an impact on the literary world whether they are classics or not. A few books I have read in the past include The Help, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The DaVinci Code.

Surface Book Blitz: Excerpt & Giveaway

I am super happy to be a part of the book blitz for Surface by Tiffany Duane. To celebrate this book I have an excerpt to share and a giveaway from the author. Enjoy!
Bound to the water bound to land, a Siren’s soul will never be safe on either side of the ocean’s surface. Hidden beneath the rolling waves lies the secret to Theia’s past and as she unveils each haunting truth, she realizes the last seventeen years of her life have been a lie. Now, drawn into a mysterious new world and with nowhere to turn, Theia must place her trust in Luc, a beautiful boy who stops her heart with each dazzling smile, but even his unearthly charm can’t hide the truth—he has secrets— dark secrets binding him to his world—an underwater world where Theia will never belong—a world determined to destroy her soul.

Surface by Tiffany Daune
Publication: February, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal

Tears streamed down the girl's cheeks. She pounded her knees into Dumas's back, struggling to free herself. Dumas reached for his bag, yanking it closer, and pulled out a black hood. Cradling her neck, he slipped the hood over her head. She tried once more to jab him in the back with her knee, but, as the hood enveloped her face, she gave in to the darkness surrounding her, and her body fell limp.
Dumas turned to Oliver, but the boy was bent over, his chest heaving for air. Dumas shook his head, his lips pursed. He didn't have time for this right now. He needed to get the girl out of the house. With one arm, he dragged the girl to her feet and guided her down the hall while Oliver stumbled behind them like a newly resurrected zombie.
Downstairs, Dumas found Fiona pacing the kitchen, her black soles scuffing the tiled floors.
"What happened up there?" Fiona's gaze shifted to Oliver. "What's wrong with him?"
Dumas handed the girl to Fiona. "Take her to the van."
He tossed the keys to Oliver who grabbed them. Facing Dumas with hollow eyes, he awaited further instructions.
Dumas sighed. "Follow Fiona. You can hold the girl in the back of the van."
Oliver ran after Fiona, his feet shuffling through the fallen leaves. Dumas rolled his eyes—next time, he would leave Oliver behind.
Dumas knelt to wipe the floor clean. A little dirt wouldn't matter when he had already created such a big mess, but the simple action grounded his thoughts. He stood up, resting his gaze on the collection of photos pinned to the refrigerator, a museum of shared memories. A small picture of the girl's mother standing beside a handsome young man with golden hair and piercing sea green eyes stared back at him. The man's gaze haunted Dumas, filling him with unwanted memories, too painful to remember, and forcing him to look away.
Dumas sighed as he removed a crumpled envelope from his pocket. He held the letter tight for a moment before placing it on the table. He traced the scrawled name with his finger—Sophia. He hated leaving her this letter. She had already lost so much. Dumas hoped she would understand, but already he was pulling at stitches—opening a wound so deep nothing could stanch the bleeding. With a heavy heart, he closed the door and headed into the emptiness of the night.


Tiffany Daune doesn't get why people want to grow up or why anyone would ever stop eating candy. Her purse is filled with books, lip gloss and a few pieces of Lego bricks. She writes best with a dish of chocolate chips on hand and finds licorice makes a better straw than plastic.
She lives on an island and believes mermaids may be raiding her candy stash, though she hasn't caught them, yet.
Surface is her first novel and pairs well with gummy sharks.

Author Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Armchair BEA Day 2: Part 2 Discussing Fiction Genres

If you’re a reader of genre fiction do you have a favorite author or series? And what keeps bringing you back for more fantasy/sci fi/horror etc? And if you don’t read one (or more) of these genres what is it that deters you from those sections of the bookstore? I’m also curious to hear why you think these genres often don’t get the recognition they deserve.

When it comes to fiction, I am a genre hopper. I have to admit that right now my favorite Genre is New Adult. I have fallen in love with this genre and it seems to be all I read right now. However, I do not discriminate. I love to read dystopians, young adult, contemporary romance, adult romance, thriller, historical fiction. I would probably say that the only genre that I rarely read is sci fi because I have never really found it interesting but I am willing to read it if I find a good book that catches my eye. I don't really have a favorite author because I love so many! Some of the authors that I have read everthing they have written include: Jennifer Armentrout, Colleen Hoover, Abbi Glines, Sandra Brown, Patricia Cornwell, Nicole Williams, Addison Moore, Erica Stevens. These are just to name a few but I love so many more authors out there.

Here are a few of my favorite books from my favorite genres.

New Adult

Young Adult



Contemporary Romance

Armchair BEA Day 2: Part 1 Blogger Development

So it is day 2 of Armchair BEA and the we are discussing Blogger Development and Fiction Genres. I am a newbie blogger, having only started my blog back in February but I feel like I have grown and developed my blog so much since then.

Tell us about things you've done to expand your blogging horizons, and the things you'd like to do but haven't managed (or figured out) yet. 

When I started blogging, it was a spur of the moment thing. I had been reading so much but didn't really have an outlet for discussing my books. I hopped on blogger, picked a simple design and titled my blog Chelsea's Bookshelf Blog. I joined Book Blogs networking site and it has been tremendous in helping me connect with other bloggers. After a few weeks of blogging and starting to get the hang of things, I decided that I wanted a more unique name for my blog so I came up with Starbucks & Books Obsession because I have a serious obsession with both things. I drink A LOT of Starbucks and I read A LOT of books. I got a lot of positive feedback when I changed it so I am really happy with that decision. 

Since I have started, I have also re-designed my blog a little to really showcase my title. I changed up the layout a bit and I created my own collage header. I am really happy with the changes and how it is coming along. I would really like to have a button for my blog but I am not a computer genius (I work in Finance) so that is something I would like to do but haven't managed yet. 

Review: Aberrant by Ruth Silver

Author: Ruth Silver
Publisher: Lazy Day Publishing
Publication Date: April 17, 2013


In the future Dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government's match in marriage and "The Day of the Chosen", a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn't existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she's arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from "The Day of the Chosen." The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system. 

With Joshua's help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.
I have spent the last few months mostly reading new adult and contemporary romance novels so Aberrant was the first dystopian I have read in a while and it was a nice change of pace. I really like dystopians and this book didn't disappoint. 

The beginning makes it seem as though it will be a romance dystopian as society requires them to get married at 18, right after graduation and their spouse is chosen for them. However, it quickly becomes action-packed and it is clear that it is more than just a romance. I am more of a fan of action dystopians than romance so I was hooked as soon as the action began. 

The book is written from the point of view of Olivia Parker and she is the main heroine. Olivia is very important to both the controlling government and the rebel cause. She is very unique and both sides desperately need her.  She wasn't afraid to speak out and let people know exactly what she was thinking or feeling. I liked that she wanted to control her own life and she doesn't really know who to trust but she knows she can really trust Josh.  Josh is not as strong of a character as Olivia. I liked him, then I didn't like him, then I liked him again. He was difficult to get a handle on but I liked that he cares about Olivia and will do anything to protect her. In the end, he proves himself to me and I like the direction and growth of his character. 

Overall, I felt like Aberrant started out a little slow but quickly became intriguing and action packed. It has a unique dystopian plot and I really liked the direction that the author took the story. It was very unpredictable and I really like the characters so far. I felt like a few parts may have been a little rushed and that the author could have added a little more depth and made it a little longer. However, this did not take anything away from the book and I was still very captivated to the very end. I am really excited for the next book to come out and to see where the author takes the story. I feel like this could become a little more new adult and I would love to see that because most dystopians are young adult and it would be interesting to read a more adult dystopian novel. It was not left on a cliff-hanger but there are definitely a lot of questions left to be answered. 
"My stomach shifted in waves, and my skin grew ashen and clammy. My hands trembled as I tried to stay strong, but I felt as though I was failing miserably. I let my mind wander as I did my best to calm my nerves. If I had the choice, who would I choose to marry?" ~Olivia (Aberrant by Ruth Silver)

~IPOD Picks~
"The Scientist" by Coldplay
"Leave Out All the Rest" by Linkin Park
"Iridescent" by Linkin Park

*An eBook copy of this book was provided to me by the author for an honest review. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own, unbiased opinions.*

Synopsis: Goodreads
Cover Photo: Goodreads

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Holding on and Letting Go by Lucy Kelly

I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the Holding On and Letting Go Blog Tour hosted by Irresistible Reads Book Tours. I have a review to share with you today. Let's get to it!

Holding On and Letting Go
Author: Lucy Kelly
Publication Date: March 10, 2013


Is there a way to describe the ties that bind us together? What happens when one of those ties is unexpectedly severed? Can everything else remain the same? Will the other ties hold strong?

Two years after her little brother's death, sixteen year old Emerson Caulfield returns to a home that she spent the last two years missing. In theory, everything should be the same. Her best friend, Matt,

still lives next door. Her house is in the exact same condition as they left it. The scenery and hallways haven't changed, yet for Emerson, everything is completely different. The place may be the same, but Emerson is most certainly not. She returns home hurt, angry, and miles away from the girl she once was.
Holding On and Letting Go was a very emotional read. It really tugged at my heartstrings and dealt with the overwhelming grief that surrounds someone when they lose a loved one. This book truly delves into the sibling bond and the unwavering love siblings share for one another.

Emerson has been through a lot in her young life and the loss of her little brother had a profound affect on her. It truly changed her as a person and no matter how much she wants to or how much Matt wants her to, she can never be the person she was before she lost Peter. I really liked the way she opened up to Matt and her friends again and she really grew and strengthend throughout the book. She was so fragile and broken but she made the decision to live for Peter because it is what he would have wanted and she started the healing process. Her strength really shined in the last few chapters, which were very emotional and heartbreaking.

Matt had lost his best friend and when she came back, he could instantly see the changes in her and how broken and devastated she was. He so desperately wanted to fix her and bring back the old Emerson that he only ended up pushing her away. Matt went through some very difficult situations himself and in the end, I think he really grew as well. 

The sibling bond really shined through in this book, not just in Emerson's life, but in Matt's and Luke's as well. Emerson's parent were really terrible and it was easy to see why she was so broken. She could handle their disappointment and coldness with indifference but after Peter, it really broke her down. In the end, coming home and finding comfort and support in her friends is what helped her heal and learn to live again. I really enjoyed the heartwarming bonds between siblings and friends and even though there was some heartbreaking moments, the end was really beautiful and sweet.
"Em, I'm sorry," Matt replied quietly. "I'm sorry too. I'm sorry I can't be the girl you knew growing up. I'm sorry that I'm not who you want me to be." I paused for a second. "You know what? I'm not sorry for any of that stuff. I can't apologize for who I am." ~Emerson (Holding On and Letting Go by Lucy Kelly)

~IPOD Picks~
"Down" by Jason Walker
"Both of Us" by B.o.B
"Falling Slowly" by Kris Allen

About the Author

I'm not really going to write a biography. Though I am supportive of the high schools and colleges I have attended, it's probably not actually the most interesting stuff about me. I'm going to do a list of five really random things instead for now.

1) I like making lists. It's weird, and I never actually scratch things off of the list.
2) I sing and dance in the car like a maniac.
3) For the first six years of my life, I truly believed a shark lived under my bed. I watched Jaws at too young of an age.
4) Without a doubt, I am a night person. I am enormously grumpy when first woken up in the morning.
5) When I was younger, I read almost every Nancy Drew book, both new and old. I had a notebook, and I would take notes to see if I could figure out who the "bad guy" was before Nancy did. We probably tied.

Social Links:
Facebook  Goodreads  Twitter

*This book was provided to me by the author for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own and unbiased.*

Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Armchair BEA 2013: Intro Post

This is my first year participating in Armchair BEA. I thought it would be fun since I couldn't get out to NYC for the BEA conference. To kick it off, we are asked to introduce ourselves so let me tell you a little about myself.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? 
Hi! I am Chelsea and I am 27. I work in Finance but in my spare time I LOVE to read and blog about books. I am fairly new to blogging, I just started my blog back in February. I started blogging because I not many of my friends are as big of readers as I am and I wanted to connect with others out there  to discuss books and I wanted an outlet to express my thoughts and opinions on the books I love. It has definitely gone from a hobby to an obsession but I love it.

Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures. 
I am reaching out to the blogging world from Seattle, WA. A not so unknown fact about Seattle is that it rains A LOT here, especially from November to June. I feel like a vampire when the sun comes out. However, Seattle is gorgeous in the summer time and there are so many things to do.

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013? 
I just finished reading Unbreak Me by Lexi Ryan last night so I am trying to decide what to start reading tonight when I get home from work. I have a purchasing problem on Amazon so I have a ton of unread books on my Kindle.

Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read? 
I do a Saturday feature on my blog called "Saturday @ Starbucks" and I have a lot of fun with it because I get to feature my favorite Starbucks drinks and discuss a bookish topic. My favorite one I have done so far would probably be my Saturday @ Starbucks #12: Discussing New Adult Novels with a Mocha. I am a NA book addict so this has been my favorite discussion.

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? 
My favorite part of the book blogging community is all of the awesome people I have met and the friends I have made. I have had the opportunity to have amazing discussions about books that I have read and loved. I have also received so many amazing book recommendations because of blogging. My TBR has BLOWN up but I love it. I absolutely love the people who regularly visit and comment on my blog and I love stopping by their's and sharing in the love.

Today's Discussion Topic: Classic Novels

I admittedly do not read a lot of classic novels. I don't know if I have read one since I was in high school which has been almost 10 years. I do have Oliver Twist and Little Women on my kindle. I may need to pull them out of the archives and give them a shot this year. I do love To Kill a Mockingbird and The Canterbury Tales, though I have not read either one in years.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays #11: Favorite New Adult Novels

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/meme created by The Broke & the Bookish. Here we list our top ten picks for the topic.

This week's topic is:
This week was a freebie week to pick anything you want so I decided to go with my Top Ten Favorite New Adult Novels since I have been an NA fiend over the past few months.

I absolutely loved the way the author handled this book and the female empowerment that was portrayed in this novel. 

 I have never read a book that toyed with my emotions more than The Edge of Never. I was laughing one minute and on the verge to tears the next.

 This book really got inside of me. I couldn't get this book out of my head for days after finishing it. It was such a beautifully written book.

 This book was so powerful and I absolutely loved it. It was so well written and emotionally enthralling.

 This was one of the first new adult novels that I read and it hooked me to the genre.

 What was there not to love about this book? I was ready to pack up and go stay at a ranch in Montana after reading this one.

 This was such a cute and endearing novel and it really showcases the versatility of Addison Moore as an author.

 I loved everything about this book. The setting, the plot, the characters and the writing. I could not put it down.

 I am a huge Jennifer Armentrout fan and I love her books as J. Lynn. This book did not disappoint.

Will Ryan is my new book boyfriend! I loved Sweet Thing and he is one of the main reasons. This book is definitely one of my favorite books of 2013 in general.

What about you? What Top Ten topic did you decide on this week?