Real Neat Blog Award Tag

Real Neat Blog Award

I’ve been tagged by the wonderful Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser for the Real Neat Blog Award. If you haven’t already you should go check out her blog because it’s Real Neat. Thanks, Amy!

The rules:

  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you & create 7 new ones
  • Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blog.
  • Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
  • Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog, etc.)

Amy’s questions:

1.Who is your favourite book/film/tv show character?

My favorite book character is Kate from Bright Side by Kim Holden.

My favorite film character is Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect 1 & 2.

My favorite TV show characters (I have two) are Jax from Sons of Anarchy and Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.

2. If you could choose to meet any famous person (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

This is a hard one. It all depends on how you define famous. If it’s a celebrity, I would pick either Ed Sheeran or Britney Spears. If it was someone outside of the celebrity category, I would pick Hillary Clinton.

3. Are you a Harry Potter fan? Be honest.

Yes and no. I truly enjoyed reading the series. I watched the movies. I’m just not obsessed with it. I credit that to the fact I was not a kid/teenager when I read them.

4. If you could live in any time period which would you choose?

I’m good with the here and now. I like toilets, running water, grocery stores, cars and being able to vote.

5. E-readers or physical books?

I like both, but I prefer my Kindle. It’s a matter of convenience, cost effectiveness and less hand/arm fatigue.

6. What’s the last film you went to see at the cinema?

The last movie I saw at the theater was Pitch Perfect 2. I tried to go see Magic Mike XXL with my friend Jaime for fun, but the dang thing was sold out. It was on a Tuesday night at 7:30 pm 2 weeks after the movie came out. I’m not sure what was up with that. 🙁

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? What would your ideal life be like?

5 years is going to go crazy fast. Once you have kids, time seriously flies by. I swear it was just 1996. (Oh goodness, I might just be dating myself here!) I’m going to take a guess and say I won’t be a stay at home mom anymore. I’ll be working, still taking my  12-year-old daughter to soccer practice, worrying about her friends/boys, and hopefully I’ll still be reading a bunch.


My questions:

  1. If you could tell me one book to read, what would it be and why?
  2. Who is your favorite musician/band/singer right now and what is your favorite song by them?
  3. Munchkins or Oompa loompas?
  4. If you could visit/tour one destination, where would you go and what would you see?
  5. Drive the car or be the passenger?
  6. Be honest, are you a fan of the Twilight Saga?
  7. What’s the book to movie adaptation you’re excited for the most in 2015-2016?

And now I nominate the following blogs for The Real Neat Blog Award:

Aentee @ Read at Midnight

Ally @ I Wuv Books

Audrey @ Forwards and Bookwords

Erika @ Erika in Bookventureland

Giselle @ Hardwork Boulevard

Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts

Kelly @ Here’s to Happy Endings

Paige @ Page by Paige

Skylee @ The Night Girl

Sue @ Sue’s Reading Corner

(Feel free to ignore if you’ve already received this award.)

Rev Me Up

Rev Me Up (Clover Park #6) by Kylie Gilmore

Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: Extra Fancy Books

Synopsis:

Classic car restorer Nico Marino’s happy with his bachelor status. He has no plans to give his heart away again. He’s perfectly content working in his shop and hooking up with random hot chicks. Which is why he’s stoked when the redhead his brother sends his way shows up at his garage. She’s beyond hot.

The last thing Lily Spencer expected when she walked into her wealthy father’s favorite car restoration shop was to be kissed senseless. Lily’s not used to being kissed. She’s used to be ignored. That’s normally what happens when men find out they won’t get a cent of her trust fund.

The kisses quickly come to halt when Nico realizes Lily isn’t who he thought she was. There’s no way Nico can seduce his wealthiest client’s daughter –even if they both want it to happen. No way.

But Lily isn’t ready for the seduction to stop. She’s had a long dry spell and she wants it to end with Nico. So, she does the only thing she can to entice him to finish what he started. Lily offers Nico a rare 1969 Mustang she inherited from her father — if he goes on a rode trip with her to pick it up and spends every one of those nights in her bed.

Will a case of mistaken identity lead to a lifetime of love for Nico and Lily?


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Rev Me Up is exactly the type of story I want when I’m reaching for an adult contemporary romance. It was well written, fast-paced, steamy and fun. Both characters had their issues to work past, but those issues didn’t overshadow the fun of their new romance.

While Rev Me Up is the sixth book in the Clover Park series, it can be read as a standalone. I’m sure there were nods to the series previous romances, but I couldn’t tell. I haven’t read any of the other books and I wouldn’t have realized there were more if not for the “a Clover Park novel” on the front of the book. I am happy there are more, though; because I want to read them all.

I truly enjoyed Rev Me Up. I’m pretty sure the Clover Park series is going to end up on my favorite adult contemporary romances series list, if the other books are as good as this one. I would recommend Rev Me Up to contemporary romance readers who like Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins, Rachel Gibson or Brenda Novak

**Thank you to Goodreads and Kylie Gilmore for the opportunity to read and honestly review Rev Me Up.

Other books in the Clover Park series:

  

  

Before the Blog #11: Belzhar

Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

_________________________________________________________________________

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Publication Date: January 1, 2014

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Synopsis from Goodreads:

If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Why did you choose this book?

Belzhar as one of my favorite books I read last year. It was dark. It was mysterious. It was enthralling. It was full of surprises. I didn’t want to put it down. When it was over, I wanted more. I know that I’m going to be telling all of my friends to read it. I really loved it.

When did you read this book?

December of 2014

Who would you recommend this book to?

Readers that like YA fiction with a little but of magic and a bunch of surprises.

WWW Wednesday: September 23, 2015

Lately, A Novel Glimpse has been reviews, reviews, reviews. While I love to review books, I needed something to break up the monotony a bit. I read a lot of different book blogs and one of the memes I’ve always been interested in is one called WWW Wednesdays. Since it’s once again Wednesday, I decided to go ahead and start including WWW Wednesdays on A Novel Glimpse. So, here it goes! Welcome to my first WWW Wednesday post!


WWW Wednesday is a meme started by MizB at Should be Reading and now hosted on Taking on a World of Words. To participate, you answer the three questions below.

1. What are you currently reading?

2. What did you recently finish reading?

3. What do you think you’ll read next?


 Currently Reading:

The Girl I Was Before  by Ginger Scott

The Girl I Was Before is the third book in the Falling series. Each book in the series is about different main characters, but they overlap in time, events and characters.

I decided to read the three books in this series in a row. I am thinking that I will review them all in one post/review.


Just Finished Reading:

  

This is Falling and You and Everything After by Ginger Scott

So, obviously, I just finished reading This is Falling and You and Everything After. They’re the first two books in the Falling series. I would say you should read the books in order to get the most impact out of them. Each has its own little twist that is mentioned in the next book.


Reading Next:

A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

I’ve had this book on my bookshelf since early this summer. I don’t know why I haven’t gotten around to reading it. I want to. I’ve heard great things about it. So, I’m thinking about making it my next read.


So, that was my first WWW Wednesday. I’ll be back next week with more of the fun! Thanks for reading!

The Hazards of Skinny Dipping

The Hazards of Skinny Dipping (Hazards #1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Publication Date: May 17, 2013

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Synopsis:

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I’ve been reading a lot of emotionally intense books lately. They’ve been amazing, but they have left me in a bit of a funk. When I was trying to decide what to read next, I wanted something that was just fun. I went through the list of books I’ve recently downloaded on my Kindle and picked The Hazards of Skinny Dipping. It sounded like the perfect book to change my mood.

It was. The Hazards of Skinny Dipping was fun and fast-paced. I loved watching the main character, Juliet, trying to figure out if the boy she had crushed on her entire life was really the one she wanted. I also liked the letters between Juliet and her cousin, Amy, at the beginning of each chapter. They added an extra dimension to the story. There were also a couple of great little twists in the story that I didn’t see coming.

Another thing I really liked about The Hazards of Skinny Dipping was the portrayal of Dylan. He was jealous, possessive and a tad bit crazy. Why would I like that? Well,I feel like young adult women are generally the ones described that way. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. I just feel like there are a lot crazy ex-girlfriend characters and not very many crazy ex-boyfriend ones. It was just something different.

I would recommend The Hazards of Skinny Dipping to NA readers looking for a fun college romance. I’m definitely going to be reading more of the Hazards series from Ashley Rose Ivy.

Other books in this series:

   

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List. (For anyone that doesn’t already know, TBR stands for To Be Read.) I’m really excited to share with you the books I can’t wait to read this fall!


1. After You by Jojo Moyes

Release date: September 29, 2015

Me Before You was the first book to really touch me and make me examine some of the ideas I had about life and death. I am so excited to see what is next for the main character, Louisa Clark. I want to see how she’s grown as a person since Me Before You. I’m pretty sure I’ll be shedding some more tears.

2. The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

Release date: September 1, 2015

I’m honestly not sure how I truly feel about the release of this book. I loved the second and third book in the Millenium series (Notice I left out the boring first book?), but I don’t know how I feel about someone else writing Lisbeth’s story. I will read it simply because I’m curious.

3. Tonight the Streets are Ours by Leila Sales

Release date: September 15, 2015

I loved This Song Will Save Your Life, so I’m interested in reading another of Leila Sales’ books. This one sounds good!

4. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Release date: October 6, 2015

I’ve read Fangirl, so there’s no way I’m missing Carry On. I’ve already put in a request from the library for it!

5. Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall

Release date: October 20, 2015

A Little Something Different was a favorite of mine. I’m looking forward to see if Signs Point to Yes is as intriguing and different as it.

6. All I Want (Animal Magnetism #7) by Jill Shalvis

Release date: October 6, 2015

Animal Magnetism is my favorite Jill Shalvis contemporary romance series. I can’t wait to read All I Want and get to know more about Zoe Stone. Plus, Jill Shalvis writes amazing alpha males.

7. The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, Tessa Gratton

Ummm….Two words: Maggie Stiefvater. Well, actually it’s one name, but you get it. She writes, I read.

8. Reckless in Love (The Maverick Billionaires #2) by Bella Andre & Jennifer Skully

Release date: October 14, 2015

One of my first reviews for A Novel Glimpse was Breathless in Love, the first book in this series. I’m definitely going to be reading the next book!

9. Anything for You (Blue Heron #7) by Kristan Higgins

Release date: December 29, 2015

Another of my favorite contemporary romance series is the Blue Heron series. Each book makes me laugh. I can’t wait to see what Kristan Higgins has in store for Connor O’Roarke.

10. November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Release date: November 10, 2015

November 9 is releasing on November 10. Huh… This is another obvious one. It’s CoHo. Of course, I’m going to read it the minute it comes out. By the snippets I’ve read so far, it’s bound to be amazing.


What books are on your TBR list this fall? Any that are the same? Different?

Infinity + One

Infinity + One by Amy Harmon

Publication Date: June 8, 2014

Publisher: Amy Harmon

Synopsis:

Bonnie Rae Shelby is done. She’s done being a country superstar. She’s done doing what’s she’s told. But mostly, Bonnie is done with living. Bonnie Rae’s made her choice, chosen her actions, but a chance meeting will change the course of her life forever.

Finn Clyde may not have much to live for, but he wants the chance to live. He knows helping Bonnie Rae will ruin his chance of a normal life. He knows he should walk away. He just can’t do it.

Together, Bonnie Rae and Finn embark on the journey of a lifetime. The journey will change their lives forever.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


The first thing I have to say (to myself) is why haven’t I read any of Amy Harmon’s books before? Friends had told me how amazing they were. I just hadn’t picked one up. That was a giant mistake.

Infinity + One was a very cleverly written book. I don’t want to say too much about the plot because there are so many neat little surprises in store for the reader. I will say the story was very entertaining, heartbreaking, funny and hopeful. I absolutely loved the complex characters Ms. Harmon created in Bonnie Rae and Finn.

I would highly recommend Infinity + One to anyone who loves an amazing NA contemporary read. It is going on my list of favorite books to recommend. (Sorry, I’m sure there are going to be a lot of Amy Harmon reviews from me in the near future.) I’m not sure if it’s still on sale, but I was lucky to get it for $.99 on an Amazon deal.

Running Wild

Running Wild (Sisterhood Diaries #4) by Susan Andersen

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: HQN Books

Synopsis:

Playboy Finn Kavanagh planned a nice, relaxing vacation in Mexico. His peaceful plans are derailed the minute he meets Magdalene Deluca. Instead of relaxing, he finds himself helping Mags search for her missing parents.

Mags doesn’t need a man to help her search for her parents. She’s quite capable of handling it herself. But if Mags has to have along for the ride, it might as well be one as ruggedly sexy as Finn.

As their search gets more and more dangerous, their attraction gets hotter and hotter. Will Mags be the one to make Finn want to change his playboy ways?

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

While Running Wild was good, it didn’t amaze me. It took me quite a while to get into the story. I blame that on the fact Finn and Mags did not have amazing chemistry right off the bat. In fact, it wasn’t until they actually decided to hook up that there was any chemistry between them. Even then, it was only sexual chemistry. The sex scenes were hot, but I didn’t see any emotional connection at all. It left an interesting plot kind of bland. Which is sad because Susan Anderson’s writing is great.

Running Wild is the fourth book in the Sisterhood Diaries series, but can be read as a standalone. I would recommend it to romantic suspense readers who enjoy stories filled with Mexican drug lords, cantinas and jungles.

**Thank you to Goodreads and Harlequin Books for the opportunity to read and honestly review Running Wild.

Other books in this series:

  

How I Read Tag

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The How I Read Tag is a tag that (gasp!) asks questions about how I read. Be prepared to be wowed. 😉

Thank you to Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts for tagging me for this fun tag!


How did you find out about new books to read?

I find books to read in many different ways. I like to read the book reviews in the BookPage magazine I pick up at my local library. Sometimes, friends tell me about books they’ve read or been told to read. I see books on Goodreads that friends have read or a group I’m in suggests reading. I’ve also been known to find random books on bookstore shelves. One of my favorite ways to find a new book/author is to Google “if I like ________’s books I’ll like”. Believe it or not I’ve found some great ones that way.


How did you get into reading?

Well, my mom used to read a lot to me as a child. I specifically remember being read Little House on the Prairie. I also remember loving The Boxcar Children series and The Baby-sitters Club series. In junior high, my best friend and I loved reading books by Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine. After college, my mom gave me my first Nora Roberts book and I read all of her books that came out after that. But I started reading the most after I had my daughter. It’s such a great escape from the day to day realities of being a parent.


How has your taste in books changed since you got older?

It’s definitely become more romance driven. I think I’ve lost my imagination a bit because it’s a lot harder to read fantasy type stuff than it used to be.


How often do you buy books?

Way too often. (At least, that’s what my husband tells me!) I try to get most of my books from the library or on the cheap (Thanks, Bookbub!). If it’s an author I absolutely love I will buy books at full price. I have to be careful, though. If I spend too much in a month I definitely hear about it.


How did you get into book reviewing?

When I first joined a book group, I signed up for Book Movement. I started rating and kind of reviewing the books I was reading. Then, a friend introduced me to Goodreads and I went through and rated books for a while. I loved being able to see all of the reviews on there, so I started leaving them.

As for review blogging, several friends encouraged me for a couple of years to start my own blog before I worked up the courage to go for it.


How do you react when you don’t like the end of a book?

Huh. I’m not sure. I guess I may not read the next book by the author. I think the entire book would have to be completely horrible for me to really complain about it.


How often do you sneak peak at the ending to see if there is a happy ending?

The only time I sneak a peak at an ending is if it’s a paperback/hardback book and (1) if I have lost interest in the book or (2) I don’t like what I’m reading.


Tag, you’re it:

Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser

Bookmarked

Brittany @ brittanymariereads

The Candid Cover

Dimple @ Entralling Dimple

Erika & Miedjel @ Partners in Books

Illeana @ Illeanas Book Reviews

Jessica @ Mud and Stars

Kelly @ Here’s to Happy Endings

Maria @ Marwhal

Pooja @ Dreamy Romance Book Blog

Skylee @ The Night Girl

Syc @ The Lit(erature) Mermaid

ARC Review: Luxe

Luxe by Ashley Antoinette

Publication Date: September 8, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Synopsis:

Bleu Montclair’s life has been anything but easy growing up in Flint, Michigan. At eighteen, she’s seen and done things that no kid should have. Lucky for her, Bleu has a chance to get out of Michigan and go to college at her dream school, UCLA.

But living her dream is way harder than Bleu expected. Her partial scholarship doesn’t cover enough of her costs. She’s struggling and the only way out is to take an opportunity her roommate gives her to make a lot of money fast. The opportunity will either be her saving grace or her downfall.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I’ve been sitting here trying to think of how to rate and review Luxe. It’s a hard one for me because while I didn’t enjoy the story, the writing was excellent. The book was fast-paced and had my attention from the first paragraph of the prologue. It felt real, raw and gritty.

I want to say it was too dark for me, but that can’t be the case. I’ve read books that are way darker and enjoyed them. I think it was more the hopelessness of the book. It started off with druggie parents, two deaths and a mention of a previous rape. That was all in the first 40 pages. It didn’t slow down from there. Horrendous situation after situation kept pushing Bleu down. Even things that should have been happy like college or a new amazing boyfriend were riddled with devastation. I didn’t see how things could get better. And just when I was starting to get my hopes up — BAM! Cliffhanger.

While there was nothing wrong with Luxe, I can’t say I enjoyed reading it. I needed a little sunlight in the darkness. So, I guess I just have to be honest and say it wasn’t the book for me.

Don’t let that deter you from reading it. Like I said, the writing was very realistic. If you’re a fan of complex characters dealing with drug addiction, violent crimes, etc. this might be the book for you.

**Thank you to Goodreads and St. Martin’s Griffin for the opportunity to read and honestly review an ARC of Luxe.