Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017 Reading Challenge Announcement

   Hello Happy Readers and Goodbye 2016! 

                Today is the last day of 2016 and I am so ready for 2017.  This has been a crazy year for sure filled with both good and bad.  Yesterday I posted my challenge update to see how I did on my goals of 2016 which you can see here.  I think overall I did pretty well.  I achieved all but one of my challenges and that one was pretty close too.  I also had lots of fun participating in these so I wanted to continue with that fun and sign up for some 2017 challenges.  So now I’m talking about them!

Goal: 125
                Basic reading challenge, all books read count.

Goal: 12
                This is one I did last year (and completed) to read 12 or more debut books from 2017.  It’s great because it brings new authors to your attention!  Now for this one they don’t count until they have been reviewed.  #2017DebAuthC 

Goal: As many as possible!
                Another one I did last year and enjoyed and again is pretty straight forward.  Books on your TBR that have been published before 2017.  Basically cleaning off your shelf of unread books!  Monthly wrap up’s will be posted with #RockMyTBR   

Goal: 15
                The last challenge from 2016 I did and this one is the one I failed at reaching my goal of 15 coming in at only 12.  So this time I’m ready to give it another go and reach it!  The goal is to finish series simple as that.  Only the last book in the series counts (hence series ender) so you can read the final book in a series you started a while ago or read the whole series.  Monthly wrap-up posts will be posted on the 25th of every month. 

Goal: 31-60
                Books have to be released and reviews in 2017!  Minimum page length is 100 pages so super short 20 page novellas don’t count.  Really I like this one because last year I read a bunch of new releases but they didn’t count towards any of my challenges which made my competitive side sad but I really wanted to read them so this year I’m covering them!  I’m aiming for a New Release Pro of 31-60 books, yikes!

Goal: 5-10
                So I’ve recently started to get into audiobooks more and more.  They were good for trips in the car and such but that was about the only time I listened.  Now I’ve started to listen to them on my phone more frequently and thought this sounded like fun!  I’m aiming for Weekend Warrior of 5-10.

                            Those are all the challenges I have decided to try in 2017.  There were so many wonderful ones to choose from but I didn't want to be overwhelmed.  That said I will be posting monthly updates to my progress on the 25th of the month.  I have high expectations for reading in 2017 and I hope yo all do as well!  Help me stay on track and motivated.  Share your own challenge links below so I can do the same!  All of this information and links will be posted on a tab at the top of the page where I'll update my progress monthly!    

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Reading Wrap-Up!

                Hello Happy Readers!  2017 is almost over so that means it's time to look back at my year of reading.  I want to discuss my reading challenges and how I did in them as well as some of my other goals I had mentioned.  I had a bit of a slow last half of the year with apartment issues and then the craziness of buying a house and all it entails and then holiday madness but that said I still had a great reading year.  The first half of the year I was flying through books!  I've already had some great reads so I call it a win/win.


Goodreads: My goal was 100 books and I have read (at time of posting) 103 books!  I made my goal, mostly in the first part of the year.

2016 Debut Author Challenge:  Goal was to read 12 debut books of 2016 and review them. So I ended up completing this one with 14 books!  I didn't get the last 4 on my blog yet but I did review them on Goodreads!  Still cheers to that one! 

Rock My TBR Challenge: This one I didn't have a specific number of books in mind just that I wanted to read lots of books I already owned prior to 2016 from my shelf.  That said I completed 35 books (and hoping to finish 2 more before the end of 2016) so I call this one a win as well!

My last challenge I participated in was the Series Ender Challenge:  Basically to finish off series either if you only had 1 book left or you read the whole series through just the final book counts.  I had a goal of 15 but sadly I didn't meet this one.  I was a bit ambitious as most of mine I read from start to finish and I only managed to finish 12.  Still proud of this just shot a bit too high for my year.  Still 12 is awesome that's 12 series I have finished up!

      Debut books I had hoped/planned to read this year: (original list)

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman (review)
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker (review)
Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers
After the Woods by Kim Savage
Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
Don't Get Caught by Kurt Dinan (review)
My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul (review)
The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

                Here I got 4/10 which isn't great but this was made when I didn't know all the amazing debut books coming out so while I read some real hits I didn't get to each of these.  Some I did buy and do plan to read in 2017 which include Burning Glass, The Love That Split the World, and Assassin's Heart.

Books/Series I  had planned to read/finish: (original list)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (and follow up series) by RIck Riordan- Didn't touch them.  I wanted to badly to but then I had so many other books they kept being pushed back thinking I would finish quickly but never did.
The 5th Wave series by Rick Yancey- I did read the first two books before the final book came out but since then I have not finished out the last book as intended. (The 5th Wave & The Infinite Sea)
Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin- Never started.  Shame.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone series by Laini Taylor- I finished this one!  Whoohoo!!! (Daughter of Smoke & Bone / Days of Blood & Starlight)
Snow Like Ashes series by Sara Raasch- Finished this one too!  Cheers I'm doing okay here.  (Snow Like Ashes / Ice Life Fire)
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black- Nope
Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout- I just started the first book via audiobook and hope to finish today or tomorrow but won't have the series completed this year. 
Summer trilogy by Jenny Hann- Never touched them.  I meant to do it in the summer when it would fit the season but somehow they got skipped.
The Selection series by Kiera Cass- Yes!  Another win for me.  I read all of these even the novellas. (Selection / Elite / One / Heir / Crown)
Adorkable by Sara Manning- Nope.  I forgot I had this on my list until I went back to look and dang it there it was. 

                So here I did kind of 50/50 I'd say.  Some of these will even make it to my 2017 lists while others will not.  So that is my 2016 wrap-up.  I can only hope to do even better next year!  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wayfarer (Passenger #2) Sneak Peek

                Hello Happy Readers!  So excited for 2017!  We are almost there but first I have one more snip-it for you.  I’ll also be sharing my 2016 wrap-up and 2017 goals/challenges in the next couple of days so stay tuned.  But first Wayfarer (Passengers #2).

                So you may remember but last year I was stoked to get an ARC of Passenger (review)by Alexandra Bracken from NetGalley.  I loved the book and my biggest complaint was that I had to wait even longer for more.  That said when I saw the cover for Wayfarer, one of my most anticipated books of 2017, on NetGalley I clicked request faster than lightening.  I got it right away but then I noticed that it was only a sneak peek, the first seven chapters of the book.  Now I was skeptical about this as I have mixed feelings on chapter samplers normally but I figured I needed at least one answer to hold me over and the book comes out in the first month of 2017 so I went ahead and devoured it.

                This sampler was not nearly enough to completely satisfy but if did the job of getting me amped up and ready for book two.  It took me back to the world of Passenger and reminded me of everything that had happened.  It made sure that when my pre-order of Wayfarer arrives it is read right away and now I can also get a jump start! 

                Nicholas is working with Sophia are working together.  Etta is alone but finds unexpected company in someone I'd been so excited to learn more about, Julian and even got the first glimpse of a new character Li Min who had me unsure from the start.  So much was encompassed in those seven chapters I can't wait to get my hands on the whole thing.  Basically next week can't come soon enough!  Until then here is the summary to help tide us over.

                All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history.  After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed.  When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master's heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta's past could put them both at risk.

                Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail.  They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia.  But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives. 

                As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable…and might just run out on both of them.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

~Waiting on Wednesday~ Midnight Jewel (The Glittering Court #2)

               So I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas last weekend.  I was swamped with baking for the holidays with my family, friends, co-workers, and my own party (had the whole family over to see the new place while everyone was off and in town) and yeah it was insane.  I kid you not I used over 10 lbs of butter, 20 lbs of flour and so on it was intense but so worth it everyone loved them.  Not done baking yet, have a birthday party and New Years baking to work on.  I am working on my 2016 wrap-up and my goals/challenges for 2017 so look for that Friday and Saturday but until then the last WoW of 2016!
                 “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  Basically books that are not yet out that we are dying to get our hands on.  This week’s pick is:

Midnight Jewel (The Glittering Court #2) by Richelle Mead
Out: 4/25

From Goodreads:
                In Midnight Jewel, Richelle Mead goes beyond the glitz and glamour of the Glittering Court, delving into the dark, political underbelly of Cape Triumph through the eyes of one girl who dares to fight for her freedom.

                A refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best.  In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court.

                Both a school and business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World.  There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.

                By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin.  But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.

                Midnight Jewel is the extraordinary story of a girl with few options who courageously forges a new path, finding love, passion, lifelong friendships, and maybe even a way to freedom.

Why I’m Waiting:
                 Richelle Mead.  Auto-buy author.  Enough said.  But if you need more, I really enjoyed The Glittering Court (review) and seeing everything from Adelaide but there was a lot happening with Mira and Tamsin that we still don’t know and to see what Mira was up to in that same span of time should be rather interesting she was always sneakings off and I’ll finally get to figure out to where.

                What are you waiting on?  Tell me below what you think of this title and leave a link to your WoW as well so I can check it out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

~Waiting on Wednesday~ Now I Rise (And I Darken #2)

                “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  Basically books that are not yet out that we are dying to get our hands on.  This week’s pick is:

Now I Rise (And I Darken #2) by Kiersten White
Out: 6/27

From Goodreads:
                Lada Dracul has no allies.  No throne.  All she has is what she’s always had:  herself.  After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path.  Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land.  But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants.  And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart.  There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her.  She left him before he could leave her.

                What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill.  But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission.  Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines.  Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help.  Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing.  If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

                As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide:  what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies?  Empires will topple, thrones will be won…and souls will be lost.

Why I’m Waiting:
                 Normally I’m not big on historical fiction but And I Darken (review) really pulled me in and the whole concept of a female Vlad the Impaler seemed interesting.  Not being a fan of history I don’t know how close it follows real historic moments and to that end I have no idea where it will go but I’m ready to find out what happens to Lada and Radu.

                What are you waiting on?  Tell me below what you think of this title and leave a link to your WoW as well so I can check it out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Acca (Angelbound Origins #3)

                Hello happy readers!  So normally on Tuesday I’d be posting a Top Ten Tuesday but today I wanted to share my review on release day of a new book in a series I completely adore.  The book in question is Acca (Angelbound Origins #3) by Christina Bauer.  I love this series!  To see all my love check out the past reviews for Angelbound, Scala, and Armageddon and the Angelbound Offspring books Maxon and Portia.  I received an early copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review and I’m trilled to share it with you on release day.  Acca contains spoilers for Angelbound and Scala but not for the other books in the series so you don’t have much to catch up on!

Rating: 5 Stars

                So Acca takes us back to the beginning. After book two, Scala, we jump forward several years but we know where Myla and Lincoln are concerned they had plenty of adventures and stories from that time.  We go back and see more from that time, when Myla and Lincoln work towards dismantling the House of Acca and sending their evil leader to prison…or they will end up in jail themselves and that would put a real damper on their impending wedding.  To stop him they must present their proof to the courts but it is never that simple, not when the man you’re trying to take down is as slimy as an eel and has most everyone under their control.  Myla and Lincoln go undercover on Earth to get what they need but time is of the essence.

                As much as I loved seeing Maxon and Portia I still have to say Myla and Lincoln are still my favorites!  Having them front and center again was right on point.  Myla was her usual self, tough as nails and hot tempered and ready to kick some ass, or ogle a nice one.  She is part wrath and lust demon after all.  She is trying to find a balance though and put on the appearance of being stately being that she’s about to become Queen and all but that never stops her from being true to herself.  Lincoln is just as bad ass and fierce but he is also much calmer that Myla and together they balance one another out so beautifully.  They both know how to calm, or goad, the other up and the understanding between them just makes your heart melt.   They are by far the best thing ever and I could read a hundred books about them easy.
I mean look at them!
                The story is also packed full of goodies.  First the plot to take down the evil and corrupt house.  Aldred is a real piece of work.  As I was reading I just wanted to reach through my kindle and strangle him at ever mention of his name.  He is just so devious and conniving it makes your skin crawl, more when you see the influence he has.  So rooting for our couple to find what they need to finally end him is natural.  Still as evil as he is there is something fascinating about him, in a you’re interesting but I still want you dead kind of way.  Because then you have to think about everyone who supports him and their reasons and if you can really trust them as well, very complex.

                Through in an undercover mission to gather evidence and you have a winning combo.  Seriously the idea of making Myla go undercover back in school, a school on Earth no less, and even with the urgency of everything I was laughing.  Okay no matter how serious things got and how on edge I was worrying about certain characters Myla and her outbursts or antics could make me laugh for a moment.  Oh and her tail I can’t leave him our or he’d get mad. 
                This book was amazing as were the others and I’m so excited to see that Thrax is coming out soon-ish and we will get to continue learning more of the adventures of Myla and Lincoln!  I’ve already pre-ordered my copy because auto-buy series/author here.  Highly recommend!

                Until next time…

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2)

                Hello Happy Readers!  So I read The Orphan Queen (review) back before I hit my reading freeze or whatever with everything happening and I really enjoyed it.  I was also thrilled, and only somewhat nervous, that it was part of a dualology and that I had the next book ready to go.  So one book left to figure out oh so so much.  So today I’m discussing the sequel and final book, The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows.  Spoilers for the first book as this picks up where the other left us hanging.

Rating:  5 Stars

                When I saw we pick up where we left off, I mean it.  Prince was breaking our hearts announcing his wedding date to his fiancĂ© and not our Wil and then being shot.  We don’t know if he’ll make it and all sorts of madness ensues. I was caught in this because I wanted something to stop the impending wedding but I didn’t want him hurt.  Saving him is of utmost importance and then, despite it all he still must hold true to his plans for the wedding which breaks our hearts in a different way.  What’s harder still is that his bride to be, Meredith,  isn't horrible. 

                The Mirror King had a lot to answer to finish up the journey we started in book one.  More than the clear romantic pairing that is separated by so much that is.  Though I admit to having that high on my list.  What can I saw I'm a romantic.  We also had this Wrath boy to contend with on top of the whole battle against the wraith and battle of kingdoms.  Both Wil and Tobiah are in difficult situations and we keep seeing that no matter how much you may desire something when you have people or a kingdom counting on you its never that easy.

                Meadows drove in deeper with the characters themselves.  We got to really get into Wil's mind and also see much more of some of the others both those we enjoy and those we wouldn’t mind the wraith swallowing up.  No one was one sided and dull but multi-faceted.  Wil in particular really grows to understand herself but also her powers more while struggling with something everyone can understand, insecurities.  While she has her magic sure I love she never uses it as a crutch but rather her strength and skills she has built over the years is her strong base. 

                The fact that there are multiple "villains" in the story both real people and the wraith but also the evil inside ourselves.  I loved the complexity of this.  While it did have a few moments here and there where it seemed a bit slower pace than I would like I was so invested in the story and unraveling it all that I didn't mind.  Still there was a level of seriousness throughout and it is very clear there are consequences to this war and people you love may not make it out alive.  Knowing that no one is safe and trying to figure out constantly a way to possibly resolve this into a happy ending for everyone in my head was intense. 

                Overall as a duology I highly recommend it.  It had all the great elements from complex characters, heartbreak, developed world and story line, and an end that is satisfying.  Sure it may break your heart a million times over but you still love it.  Meadows did a fantastic job of hitting just the right notes of hope and despair throughout.  She also ended things in a way that cleared everything up and didn't leave you with tons of unanswered questions.  I loved it.

                Until next time…

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

~Waiting on Wednesday~ The Wish Granter (Ravenspire #2)

                “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  Basically books that are not yet out that we are dying to get our hands on.  This week’s pick is:

The Wish Granter (Ravenspire #2) by C.J. Redwine
Out: 2/14

From Goodreads:
                An epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C.J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen.  Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

                The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of SĂșndraille’s king.  Their mother was murdered.  The royal family died mysteriously.  And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop. 

                Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess.  And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate.  It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

                So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague.  With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother---and herself.

                But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess.  And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.           

Why I’m Waiting:
                I really enjoyed The Shadow Queen (review) so I’m excited to see what else this world has to offer.  Plus I never knew much of the Rumpelstiltskin story other than from Once Upon a Time and I really enjoy the character so I’m thrilled to see this idea play out.         

                What are you waiting on?  Tell me below what you think of this title and leave a link to your WoW as well so I can check it out.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Vincent, Survivor (Vincent Series #1)

                Hello happy readers!  So as I mentioned last week in my challenge wrap-up post I explained why I’ve been so MIA as of late.  Also the better news that everything seems to be calming back down I also am fighting off the last of a sinus infection so cheers but I’m getting back into the swing of things and back to blogging as usual!  Also I’m so in love with my house!  I will share photos of the library once I get it finished or at least set up as I want it for now.  Today I want to share my thoughts on Vincent, Survivor (Vincent Series #1) by O.L Eggert, which is the first book in a new series and a debut author for the author.  I was contacted about this book by the author and was happy to received an ebook copy and provide an honest review.  So here goes.

Review:  4 Stars

                Vincent, Survivor is a bit different than some of the typical YA I've been reading as of late and if I'm honest part of what drew me to it.  It's real and gritty.  It's the end of the world and there is lots of swearing and some bad decisions.  Vincent is a regular guy working in a gang infested home of Oakwood where he always figured he'd end up dying be it from gangs or his vices of smoking and booze.  Never did he think creatures from another world like minotaur's or ghouls and the like would make the list.  Still as the world goes to hell and back as a mysterious figure opens a portal to another world Vincent must face more than he ever expected.  Vincent is a survivor and he will do whatever he has to in order to make it.

                The circumstances Vincent and those he is with are faced with and the decisions that have to be made seem like real conversations I'd have.  Saving people and playing hero is well and good but so is not risking your life for strangers on a whim but being practical.  When everything you know about life goes out the window and you're forced to create a new resting point for "normal" you learn things about yourself and what one can learn to adapt to.  That's what kept me in the story as much as the supernatural elements wondering what could be happening next.  The idea that it was about a normal person, not some chosen one or someone destined to be a hero just a normal guy.  As strange as it sounds it seemed normal in his voice.

                The story moved along quickly making a fast read.  The only down side to that for me were a few instanced of injury that were very serious but then later at an unspecified amount of time later it wasn't as big of an issue.  This didn't deflect my enjoyment at all I still very much enjoyed the read but just in a few moments did get pulled out of it long enough to check and see if I had missed something. 

                So Vincent is real.  Some of our other characters had their own great aspects.  I adored Flea.  He was so fun to read about all of his scenes he stole them.  His personality was so strong but then when you have the mental image as well it just took the show.  Grandma was a hoot.  I mean she's not like my grandmas that's for sure but I have known some people in my life that I feel could be her and some parts to aspire to be.  Elise, like Vincent for me, was real in that she really struggled with the whole right and wrong morality of the new world understanding the logistics that the world has changed into a darker version of itself and really accepting it.

                Because let's face it there is some seriously dark stuff happening.  Not only from the creatures that have taken over which seem bad enough but then factoring the rest of the human population and if they are a good hearted band of survivors like yourself or a demented band of psychos.  Again the idea that the story pulls in both aspects of the supernatural threat but doesn't ignore that another world might not be the only threats.  Still as dark as the book seems in parts there is still that hope.  You have to have something to keep pushing you to survive the world after all.

                Overall I enjoyed the book and I'm happy to have read it and look forward to following into the next book as it wrapped up some aspects but still have a lot of ground to cover and questions left to answer.  Plus I have some suspicions about a few things and I'm curious to see if I'm right or way off base.  Vincent, Survivor was a book that did manage to surprise me at times that is for sure.  I saw a few larger things coming but was kept on guard most of the time which is always fun. 

                Until next time…

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Season for Fireflies

                Hello happy readers!  So today I wanted to share my thoughts and feels on a cute contemporary that I read some time back that I realized I never posted my review on.  Bad me.  The book in question is ASeason For Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel and the original review can be found on No BS Book Reviews as I received a copy for an always honest review.

Rating:  4 Stars

               This book was such a quick read.  I flew through it in one sitting which is a great feeling to start and finish a book so rapidly and have that sense of completion.

                That said this book hits one of those areas that I’ve seen pop up a bit more as of late, memory loss.  Whatever the circumstance the memory is lost to a point and how life has changed.  This always intrigues me and makes me wonder if I lost my memory and had to ask people what kind of person I was would I like the answer.  Penny didn't lose all of her memories just those from the last year when her life went completely upside down from what she was used to. 

                Penny is fun and quirky.  She always likes to make an entrance and she loves her friends and has her passion.  She is having a hard time with things at home though and it takes a toll.  I could relate to some of her decisions and her lack of desire to want to talk about things even with her closest friends.  When you've always thrived at being in the spotlight and now you need to step back and stay out of the light.  Sometimes it's easier to start fresh, rather than pull down the good in one's life with the bad.  She makes some pretty crappy decisions along the way.  She basically decides to change her entire life in one emotion filled night.  While it made an interesting concept but it was a bit harder to see her sticking to her guns like that.

                Two others who really caught my eye were Wes and new BFF Kylie.  I loved the dynamic after Penny loses her memory and pretty much doesn't remember Kylie but on the other end she always felt a connection to Wes.  There is something really great in those parts to read.  Maizel did a great job there. I enjoyed post memory loss the best part because it was like relearning things all over again and the emotions portrayed were so genuine.  Confused to find your life not as you remember….horrifying.  Thankfully for me my life doesn't change all that much so I wouldn't have much issue but it's still a scary thought.  I wish we had a bit more with her original drama friends before to get more of a feel for them and just have a bit more of a connection to them but for such a short read it gave me enough to imagine the depth of their connection. 

                This book is full of complex dynamics between friends past and present and reconciling the different but it also touches on some serious family dynamics. Her mom is not mom of the year.  Her dad is sweet but distant, lost in his own world.  Throughout the book they both come into play and both factor into who she is and who she becomes because in the end it's a book of self discovery.  It only took a little lightening strike in a pool to help her put her priorities in order.  Side note here, apologize to my mother for all the times I rolled my eyes as she made me get out of the pool when it started to storm because yep nope this doesn't sound fun in the least.

                Overall I enjoyed it and for a couple hours of reading I had a great time.  I even liked the idea of the influx of fireflies because who doesn't remember being a kid and chasing after them to catch them.  In times much more innocent before things got all wonky and adulting took over.