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Review: Where the Stars Still Shine

Title: Where the Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Pub Deets: September 2013, Bloomsbury 
Series/Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Source: Gifted by Jamie via The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa
Genre: Contemporary

Callie is reunited with her father and his new family after her mom was arrested for kidnapping her many years ago. Callie struggles with her life up to this point, how she moves on from the life she thought she knew and how to grow into the person everyone expects her to be. Much romance is also in the picture.

This is one of those books where the plot is super hard to explain. I mean, I've rewritten the "In a sentence or so" thing like 50 times and it still doesn't feel right. Which is a huge compliment to this book because the emotional depth, complexity and richness is so deep and exhausting that I really can't summarize it very well. SO THERE.

Anyway, Trish has this crazy intensity with her writing that doesn't ever feel hokey or silly. The emotions are real. The frustrations that Callie experiences (and that we have with Callie) are real. Her life is hard. There is also hope for her future and support from her family. 

If you're looking for a contemporary read that has an incredible balance of intense emotions, serious family issues, sexy romance and character growth - this book is for you!

A quiet night with nothing to do because you WILL want to finish this book in a sitting. I promise you that! 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've been told to read!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish

Were any of those on your list? 
Do you agree that I definitely need to read those books?

Let me know!

Legend of Korra Recap | Chapter 11

Sorry for the super late post on the recap situation. The Nick website was acting wonky last night, darn it!

Anyway, on with the recap!


So, the Earth queen is dead. She was murdered by Zahir when he SUCKED ALL THE AIR OUT OF HER. I mean, she was terrible but still. That was a wicked way to go. In general, the upper ring is in chaos. Looting and wildness and lots of things on fire. Mako and Bolin have to find Korra to deliver Zahir’s message, but they’re in the desert you know. So they steal an airship! Of course!

They remember that their family is in the Earth Kingdom so they decide to save them because Mako and Bolin are stand up guys. The trouble is, Grandma refuses to leave, despite the fact that the earth city is burning down around them. Bolin says something touching along the lines of home is where the heart is, hoists her up over his shoulder and off they go! The extended Mako/Bolin clan is all en route to get to Korra.
from cap-that.com

They find the remains of the ship that Asami and Korra were on and follow the trail that leads them to the little town they're waiting at. ALSO ZUKO’S DRAGON CONTINUES TO LIE IN WAIT. Amazing. I mean, the dude just rides a dragon because he is Fire Lord Zuko, you know? I am so happy that Bolin is just as much in love with Zuko as I am, it turns out. Grandma Yin meets the rest of the Avatar crew. She then makes Mako feel uncomfortable by asking why he’s not dating nice girls like Asami or Korra. So good.
from cap-that.com

Meanwhile, Zahir is headed to the northern air temple to kill all the airbenders unless Korra turns herself in. Because Zahir is crazy and terrible. They are trying to reach Tenzin but no one is at the radio. WHY YOU NO ANSWER YOUR RADIO?!

Korra decides to go to the spirit world to catch Zahir. She finds Ihro. MY HEART EXPLODES. Korra tells Ihro what’s on her heart. He tells her to talk to Zuko. Meanwhile, Zuko is getting ready to FLY HIS DRAGON back to the fire nation to protect it. He gives her some advice that's okay but is basically like "Aang and I were friends and he'd be proud of you but being the Avatar is hard, man."
from www.cap-that.com

KORRA IS TOO LATE BY THE TIME SHE WARNS TENZIN ABOUT ZAHIR AND I CANNOT. I mean why wouldn't they answer the darn phone?! Gah. Anyway, Tenzin tries to evacuate everyone but crazy lava bender starts bending lava like crazy. Honestly I know they’re bad guys but their bending is SO. COOL.

from www.cap-that.com

Once he finds out what they want (Korra), Tenzin’s all BITCH PLEASE I PROTECT THE AVATAR so he tries to fight off the crazy bad guy benders with his siblings and it might be the baddest assest thing I’ve ever seen. The rest of the air nation tries escape and has to stay out of the line of sight with the explosion mind bender so they can ride the baby air bison (squee!) out of the temple. Armless water bender goes all doc oc. Lava bender makes it quite difficult for Bumi so he bites him. Mind explosion bender scares off the bison with her mind explosions. Kai tries to help but gets blown up in the process. The fight scenes are like 10 minutes long and it’s epic. EPIC.

Just when I think all hope is lost, there are baby air bison paws and my heart is stable enough to move forward. Just barely, though. We are barreling towards the conclusion, y'all! How will Korra manage to save the air benders? How can she possibly defeat the Red Lotus gang? Will she ever be able to get in touch with her past lives again? WILL ZUKO RIDE HIS DRAGON SOME MORE?
from www.cap-that.com

Best quote of the episode: “As long as I am breathing, it’s not over.” - Tenzin
from www.cap-that.com 

You can do it!

Inspirational quotes to motivate

Previously at The Motivated Type

Jackaby - Exclusive Content & Giveaway!

As y'all well know, when I love a book I love it to the moon and back. There are books that just make me SO happy and I want to talk about them all day, every day. JACKABY is truly one of those books.

In case you missed my initial review/fangirling, you can check it out here! Or if you're feeling lazy, here's my review in a nutshell:

JACKABY was the perfect mysterious, funny, quirky, a little dark and a lot fun book I was looking for. It doesn't take itself too seriously but is still really well done and has some great characters.

I mean seriously. SERIOUSLY.

Anyway, enough of rehashing what you already know to be true (my love for that book) and to present the new info! Please excuse the wonky formatting. The article is AMAZING though, so please be sure to click on the image to read more!

I loooove that reading has ALWAYS been a big part of William's life and that definitely shows in JACKABY. The references are subtle, but definitely enhance the story and make it smarter than your average paranormal mystery. As he concludes at the end, Jackaby is definitely a story that celebrates stories. And we love stories! YAY STORIES!

Okay, so if you haven't read the book yet, you definitely need to do that immediately! Let me (okay, Algonquin Press) help you out with that! 

Thank you SO much to Kelly with Algonquin Press for allowing me to host this giveaway! And thank you to William Ritter for writing such a rad book, too. 

Top Ten Tuesday: To Read or Not To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the fly honeys at The Broke and The Bookish

Oh yes. This resonates with my soul these days because I've picked up a few books that I was like THIS WILL BE LOVE and it wasn't love and then my heart was broken. I'm so afraid to love again. Will every book break my heart and my spirit? Forever? Help me decide! VOTE PLZ. 

I started this series WAY back when. I liked it a lot, but it was a bit absurd. Like a cheesy horror movie that you love, you know? But I don't know if it's worth pursuing the series. HALP. 

I tried to read this years ago. Yes, years. I can't tell if I didn't like it or if I just wasn't in the mood for it. It came recommended from someone I very much respect, but haven't found a lot of people who've read it. So either it's a hidden gem or...not. 

I thought The Golden Compass was okay. I wanted to love it, but it was lukewarm at best. I mean, fantasy is MY JAM so I want to be head over heels for this. Will it get better as I read on? 

I was super excited about this one at first, but the longer it sits on my shelf, the more I'm like mehhhhhh.

LOVED the first one. Was 50/50 on the second one. Does it wrap up well? 

I haven't heard a lot about this series from the blogosphere at large, but I know some people are very loyal to it. Is it a Lisa book? 

This is another one of those series people seem to LOVE or feel meh about. Where will I fall? 

The cover is honestly what keeps me from reading this one. I know. I'm the worst. 

Mixed reviews on this series in general! Worth a binge read? 

This has ALL the elements of a book I should love, but people seem to NOT love it. Will I? 

THANK YOU for your help!

You guys, I suck at blogging lately.

The title says it all. Truly, I do suck at blogging lately. I think it's due to the following reasons:

    I'm in a reading slump because I attempted to read two books that just did not mesh well with me in which I had SUPER high expectations and ended up DNFing them both. IN A ROW. The resulting bummer led to a total lack of motivation to read. I haven't finished a book in all of July. SERIOUSLY. It's bad. It sucks. I hate it. But here we are and that is life and life is hard, you know? 
    You probably know I work with teens and children. In the summer, they are more flexible and I like to spend time with them so I'm doing more of that. Which means my routine is all wacky. Which means my blogging gets pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. Also we are repainting all the Sunday School Rooms (which are going to look so rad and I will definitely be sharing when they are finished) which is taking up EVEN MORE of my time!
    We just hosted a Heavy Games Weekend at our house this weekend. Basically we had people come over and play those epic, long, brainy European-style board games that burn my brain and make my heart so happy! I went a bit cray on Instagram, so I'm sure you saw some of what I'm talking about. 
    Okay, let the record show I am well aware that I have the world's easiest kid. She goes to bed by 7:30 and wakes up at 7:30 the next day. Truly, I'm blessed to have a scheduled and pretty easy going little miss. But still, when she's awake I want to spend time with her so that means ALL of the things get pushed back until after 7:30. And then when those things are done, I'm not in the mood to think anymore! Blurgh. 
    Andrew and I are catching up with Korra (which I am sucking so hard at, Amy, and I'm so so sorry) and the latest season of 24 and other shows. It's our zen time at the end of the day and we both enjoy it and I don't want to give that up either. Plus the other day I was reminded how amazing the TV show Cops was so I watched that for like 2 hours while getting over a headache in bed and it was basically the best night I've had in weeks. 
Okay, so these are my public reasons why I've totally sucked all the eggs at blogging lately. Allow me to thank you from the bottom of my heart that you stick by me and still chat with me on Twitter and hopefully are still reading these things. I seriously smiled like an idiot when I logged into Goodreads to update my books and saw that I had 6 friend requests. LOVE YOU, INTERNET. 

I promise, I'm not leaving. I may be re-imagining what I'm doing with this blog and where I'm going with the future - I gotta be me, you know? - but I'm not calling it quits. 

Y'all the best. Thank you. Bye.