Friday, July 31, 2015

Adult Review: The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings, #1)The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Release Date: July 28th, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal....

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.
My thoughts:
This is another time where I just have to post an adult review!  The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward was fantastic and I think our older readers should definitely know about this book!

I've been a long term fan of Ms.Wards and while her BDB series has taken a somewhat wrong turn for me I couldn't let The Bourbon Kings go unread.  This book totally surpassed my expectations and brought me back to the Ward that I love and adore!

This is as most have described it.  A little bit Dallas, a little bit soap operaish, and at its core a romance.  With Wards BDB series I love the romance part of it and her unique ability to craft a family I want to live in.  What I didn't like was the Lesser part because well they are icky.  The Bourbon Kings takes everything I love about her BDB series and adds in amazing drama that kept me hooked from the get go without the icky Lessers.  

I admit I loved soap operas back in the day so this is definitely up my alley, but I think it's more than just that that I loved.  The way Ward writes her characters is just amazing and even the messed up ones I rooted for...and yes there are some pretty messed up characters.  I thought the whole Southern thing was done very well and I could honestly picture each and every scene that was written.  I think Ward has most definitely found her home with this genre!

There were two things that bothered me.  One being that Lane kept a very vital piece of information from Lizzie.  I think if he had told her upfront a few scenes and drama could have been avoided, but seeing as how Lizzie needed to trust him I can see why it was written the way it was.  The other being I would have liked to have seen more of Lane's father.  He played a huge role in this book and I would have liked a few more scenes with him. 

Other than those two things I absolutely loved this and found myself addicted to the writing, story, and characters.  I cannot wait for the next installment as I have to know what's around the next corner for Lane, Lizzie, Edward, Max, and Gin. 
4.5 snowflakes


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was True 
by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published April 15th 2014 by Dial Books for Young Readers

From the acclaimed author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions. Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say good-bye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is. A magnetic, push-you-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.

My Thoughts

What I Thought Was True is my second Huntley book. I am still kinda new in the genre and while it wasn't my all time love of my life book, there was still a lot that I enjoyed. This is classic other side of the track tale of a girl named Gwen who is learning quickly and sometimes a bit harshly that things aren't always what she believed them to be.

 I can totally see the appeal of Mrs. Fitzpatrick is that she is the queen of capturing that certain personification whether it be the tough sarcastic girl from the working class family or the spoiled rich kid who can never quite fill his older siblings shoes. She seems to be greatly attuned to people and is able to really give them all a ton of depth. it shines through in her writing as clear as day. I really like Gwen's dry, kind of self depreciating, sense of humor. She is just so funny to me. Very unlike most Contemporary books I have read (which is like 3 so I know my experience is limited here folks). 

I was to thrilled with the layout by that i mean the flashbacks interspersed through out the first 60% of the book. I see what the author was trying to do by slowly building the history/ back story but I wasn't feeling it. Maybe if they had a nice segue or something but no, they're just kinda inserted when Gwen's mind wanders. I have had to re-read a few of those scenes to actually make sure they we the flash backs. I thought they were a different scene al together. Did anyone else have this issue? Anyway I know it's on purpose so I'll overlook it.

I didn't particularly fall for the romance either. Gwen and Cass's cat and mouse game was tedious at best. It took far to long or me to become invested in the dilemma. Let me just say that I did like the enlightenment aspect that both characters faced though, another nod to her awesome characterizations.

This plot seemed very gritty and real, almost seemed more to life as in there was no grand gesture after a huge fight were all kiss and make up. It payed out like life would. Huntley was able to capture that perfectly. She also does a great job or portraying the inner working of family life. It isn't always peaches and cream. Parents and kids alike can make mistakes but everyone has their own story. That was the redeeming quality of this book. That and Gwen's sense of humor. Nic and Viv, that whole thing felt unnecessary. 

I was not really a fan of this story but I simply cannot overlook the sheer brilliance of Huntley's writing so I will absolutely read her next book. As a matter of fact I will be doing that next week! I am thrilled to get back to the Garretts.

3.5 Snowflakes

The lovely folks at Penguin are super awesome and are offering you a chance to win a copy of What I Thought Was True & an arc of The Boy Most Likely To! Amazing right?!?!?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - Reawakened by Colleen Houck

Welcome to Waiting On Wednesday here at

 Winterhaven Books!

This is a feature created by Jill at Breaking The Spine where we share some books we are anxiously awaiting.

This week's pick...

Reawakened (The Reawakened #1)
by Colleen Houck
Expected publication: August 11th 2015 by Delacorte Press 

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification. And she really can't imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind. But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world. From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.
I simple cannot believe i did not even know about this book till BEA then I also managed to miss it there. Not to fear for there is only a few weeks to go till it is released! I am super obsessed with all things mythology namely Egyptian and Greek so this is sooo perfect for me. also the rave reviews make my mouth water!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blog Tour: Dr. Seuss Classic Celebratory Tour

As a lover of books I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I love Dr. Seuss.  I have grown up loving his books and have passed that love onto my family.  I am beyond thrilled to join in the celebration tour for his newest book What Pet Should I Get?  This book is already on my must have to list to add to my collection and I know it will be amazing.
As part of my tour stop I have some information about What Pet Should I Get?, a review of The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, and a giveaway for our readers!
In the Fall of 2013, an original manuscript with accompanying sketches by Dr. Seuss, aka Ted Geisel, was discovered in the La Jolla, California home of the late beloved children’s author. That complete manuscript was for the picture book, WHAT PET SHOULD I GET?, and will be published by Random House Children’s Books on July 28, 2015. It is the first original new Dr. Seuss book since the publication of the last book of Dr. Seuss’s career, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! in 1990. WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? captures the excitement of a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and features the brother and sister characters that Dr. Seuss drew in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 12th, 1958
Purchase: Amazon
The Cat in the Hat returns for more out-of-control fun in this wintry Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss. It’s a snowy day and Dick and Sally are stuck shoveling . . . until the Cat in the Hat arrives to liven things up (to say the least!). Featuring the Cat’s helpers Little Cat A, Little Cat B, and so on, and ending with a gigantic Voom, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back is a riotous, fun-filled follow-up to Dr. Seuss’s classic The Cat in the Hat.

Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

My thoughts:
I simply adored The Cat in the Hat and this sequel is just as amazing.  

The crazy Cat in the Hat is back with more adventures for Sally and Dick.  Only they both know there is no time for fun and quickly tell the Cat in the Hat that they have chores to do and to go away before he can cause any trouble.  Now I am sure you guessed that the Cat in the Hat does not in fact go away and mayhem happens.  

I love how Dr. Seuss introduces a whole new character and kept this sequel fresh and new.  The storyline is basically the same, but the story itself has lots of fun twists and turns that will leave you wondering if Sally and Dick will ever get their chores done and if they will get the massive mess that the Cat in the Hat creates cleaned up.  I honestly wasn't sure myself!

This is another great addition to the Dr. Seuss library for fans.  I think readers will love falling into this crazy world again and will secretly hope one day to find the Cat in the Hat on their doorstep.

5 snowflakes

Theodor “Seuss” Geisel is one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. His long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck, the Pulitzer Prize, and eight honorary doctorates. Works based on his original stories have won three Oscars, three Emmys, three Grammys and a Peabody. Geisel wrote and illustrated 45 books during his lifetime, and his books have sold more than 650 million copies worldwide. Though Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading. For more information about Dr. Seuss and his works, visit

Giveaway time!  
The wonderful people at Random House Kids has offered one lucky reader their very own copy of What Pet Should I Get!  Ton enter fill out the form below.
US Only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to visit the other amazing blogs who are joining in the celebration!  Each blog will feature their favorite Dr. Seuss book! 
Dr. Seuss 44 Classic Book Celebratory Tour

  1. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, 1937 – The Young
  2. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, 1938 – Bookish Antics
  3. The Seven Lady Godivas, 1939 – The Eater of Books
  4. The King’s Stilts, 1939 – On Starships and Dragonwings
  5. Horton Hatches the Egg, 1940 – The Book Cellar
  6. McElligot’s Pool, 1947 – Media Mikes
  7. Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, 1948 –Mommie of 2
  8. Bartholomew and the Oobleck, 1949 – Nonperfect Parenting
  9. If I Ran the Zoo, 1950 – Live to Read
  10. Scrambled Eggs Super! 1953 – Word Spelunking
  11. Horton Hears a Who! 1954 - Bookiemoji
  12. On Beyond Zebra! 1955 - Jessabella Reads
  13. If I Ran the Circus, 1956 – Book Hounds
  14. The Cat in the Hat, 1957 – The Bookbag
  15. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 1957 – Nightly Reading
  16. The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, 1958 – Winter Haven Books
  17. Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories, 1958 – Alice Marvels
  18. Happy Birthday to You! 1959 – Chapter by Chapter
  19. Green Eggs and Ham, 1960 – Poland Bananas
  20. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, 1960 – Once Upon a Twilight
  21. The Sneetches and Other Stories, 1961 - The Mod Podge Bookshelf
  22. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book, 1962 – Good Books and Good Wine
  23. Dr. Seuss’s ABC, 1963 – The Irish Banana
  24. Hop on Pop, 1963 – Mundie Moms
  25. Fox in Socks, 1965 – Page Turners
  26. I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, 1965 – Book Rock Betty
  27. The Cat in the Hat Songbook, 1967 – Giveaway Train
  28. The Foot Book, 1968 – I Am A Reader
  29. I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! And Other Stories, 1969 – Cuddlebuggery
  30. I Can Draw It Myself, 1970 – The Children’s Book Review
  31. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? 1970 – Curling Up with a Good Book
  32. The Lorax, 1971 - Elizziebooks
  33. Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! 1972 – Reading with ABC
  34. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? 1973 – Me, Myshelf, and I
  35. The Shape of Me and Other Stuff, 1973 – Paperback Princess
  36. There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! 1974 – Presenting Lenore
  37. Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! 1975 – YA Books Central
  38. The Cat’s Quizzer, 1976 – Lille Punkin’
  39. I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! 1978 – Confessions Of A Vi3tbabe
  40. Oh Say Can You Say? 1979 – Ex Libris
  41. Hunches in Bunches, 1982 – No BS Book Reviews
  42. The Butter Battle Book, 1984 – Novel Novice
  43. You’re Only Old Once! 1986 – Dad of Divas
  44. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! 1990  - Jesse the Reader

Monday, July 27, 2015

ARC Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Expected publication: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Philomel Books an imprint of Penguin Random House
The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.
Told in alternating points of view, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff—the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

Perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson's critically acclaimed #1 New York Times bestseller Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity.

My Thoughts
Quote take from an uncorrected proof: "I raised my face to the sun. My war had been so long, my winter so cold. But I had finally made it home. And for the first time in a long time, I was not afraid."

Amazing! One of those books that you just can't put down. The narrative is gripping and the overall story is filled with heroic moments during a time of war and devastation.

Salt to the Sea takes place in 1945, which was four years after Germany invaded Russia during World War II. The war is drawing to a close and many refugees are fleeing to the coast to board the Wilhelm-Gustloff in hopes of finding freedom. More than ten thousand people board the Gustloff with a capacity of less that fifteen hundred and only twenty-two lifeboats available. When a Russian submarine attacks the ship, the people aboard see their only hope for freedom sink into the sea.

At a time when three young adults are fighting to survive, they reach within themselves to prove how humanity can prevail. My heart broke for Joana, Emilia and Florian as I got to know them through their powerful voices. Joana is a nurse that fled Lithuania in 1941. Throughout the novel, you see her strength shine during times of uncertainty and horror. Florian is an apprentice tasked to restore and preserve valuable pieces of art for Hitler, when he comes across the Amber Rose and his employer’s true intentions. He devises a plan for revenge and flees his post. Emilia is a Polish girl targeted by the Germans who is desparate to hide her secret. These three characters come together at a time of desperation and devastation. Each carry a secret, but they learn to rely on each other as they journey toward freedom.

There were so many powerful moments in this book that added to the profound experience of learning about this time in history that is not well-known. Before this, I didn’t know this tragic event occurred and I wonder why it’s been hidden in the history books. I marveled at Ruta Sepetys’s ability to created a vivid and dramatic account through short bursts of narrative among the main characters.

Overall, Salt to the Sea is one of those novels that deserves attention and praise. For avid fans of historical fiction that’s both gripping and emotional, you won’t go wrong diving into this novel.

Lastly, I’m so grateful to Penguin Publishers who offered me an uncorrected proof that doesn't even have art cover quite yet. This story captured my heart and attention for the entire journey.

5 Snowflakes

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Review: The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher
Published May 19th by Katherine Tegen Books
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is Stonewall Book Award-winning author Brian Katcher’s hilarious he said/she said romance about two teens recovering from heartbreak and discovering themselves on an out-of-this-world accidental first date.

It all begins when Ana Watson's little brother, Clayton, secretly ditches the quiz bowl semifinals to go to the Washingcon sci-fi convention on what should have been a normal, résumé-building school trip.

If slacker Zak Duquette hadn't talked up the geek fan fest so much, maybe Clayton wouldn't have broken nearly every school rule or jeopardized Ana’s last shot at freedom from her uptight parents.

Now, teaming up with Duquette is the only way for Ana to chase down Clayton in the sea of orcs, zombies, bikini-clad princesses, Trekkies, and Smurfs. After all, one does not simply walk into Washingcon.

But in spite of Zak's devil-may-care attitude, he has his own reasons for being as lost as Ana-and Ana may have more in common with him than she thinks. Ana and Zak certainly don’t expect the long crazy night, which begins as a nerdfighter manhunt, to transform into so much more…
My Thoughts 

As someone who considers going to San Diego Comic Con as one of the major items on my bucket list, I was obviously extremely excited when I read the synopsis for The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak. Unfortunately, my excitement waded as I kept reading and the overall experience with the book was mostly "meh" rather than "awesome", which is what I expected it to be.

Ana and Zak are complete opposites in many ways, or at least that is how they see it. Zak is intelligent, but also bit a slacker, which means that his smarts are often clouded by his slacker lifestyle and easy sense of humor. Ana is the straight A girl every single high school drama has - uptight, goody goody and a bit annoying. When Zak is forced to skip his favorite convention to attend a quiz bowl with Ana and the rest of the team, he feels like he is made to skip Christmas. But then Ana's younger brother Clayton ditches the hotel during a free night at the quiz bowl trip and goes to the convention. Ana and Zak need to find him, which means that they need to delve into the world of the convention, the world of geeks.

Geek. Nerd. Geeky. Nerdy. Whichever way you want to put it, I am it. And I am proud of it. Because of that, one of the main issues that caused problems for me with this book was Ana's attitude towards the Con and the people that attend it. It feels like she pretty much believes every single guy who's there will end up being over weight and miserable. And that every girl there is just kind of weird in general. She is a geek/nerd herself, just in a different way, so I couldn't really understand what her issue was with the convention. Yeah, she does not fit in, but hey, she could try.

Zak is an alright character, but to be honest, I probably won't remember much about him in a couple of days time. All in all, my impression of the characters was left a bit flat - I did not hate them, but I did not like them either. I must admit that towards the end of the novel, when things start to get pretty ridiculous (there's for example fighting and guns involved), I skimmed a little. I wanted to see what happens in the end, but at the same time I did not want to spend too much time to reach that end.

Katcher attempts to touch on issues of family and relationships (Ana's estranged sister, Zak's father and stepfather), but unfortunately those story lines feel slightly unnecessary and underdeveloped. Maybe if the characters would have been more extensively developed those story lines would have left a bigger impression.

All in all, The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak was bit of a disappointment. It did not anger me or make me regret reading it, but at the same time, it did not really leave any kind of impression on me.

2 Snowflakes

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #89

 A weekly meme hosted by, Tynga's Reviews, that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review.
Our recap for the past week!


Here's what landed in our happy hands this week!
Menagerie (Menagerie, #1) The Unquiet This Monstrous Thing
For Review:
Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett
The Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

*Special thanks to MIRA, Greenwillow Books,  & Katherine Tegen Books*

That's it for us this week! I hope everyone had an amazing week as well! Leave me a link so I can see all your pretties!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

I Crawl Through ItI Crawl Through It by A.S. King
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
A boldly surreal novel from one of the best YA writers working today.

Four talented teenagers are traumatized-coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults--and they'll do anything to escape the pressure. They'll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them... until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it.

 My thoughts:
This is definitely a different type of book and one that won't necessarily work for everybody, but it did work for me.  I Crawl Through It isn't an in your face easy read, it's a read between the lines and quietly shouts at you type of book.

This story isn't really an easy one to describe.  It is told from three perspectives Stanzi, China, and Lansdale.  These three are all friends who in each their own way need help.  There's a lot of psychological things going on with each and every character and honestly I am not even sure if I fully grasped the depth of their needs.  The story takes us through numerous events like an invisible helicopter ride, bomb threats, and a naked bush man.  Even though I am not sure what each event really signified I can tell each one was a huge moment and I felt like I was meant to remember them.

So you can see this is not something I fully understand, but at the same time I felt its greatness.  There are always these hidden books that affect me and make me ponder the story and characters long after I put the book down.  A.S. King has managed to do this and I know I will still be thinking about this book next year and the years to come after that.  I find I might do a little digging and research to see if I can find out what the author was really trying to portray in her beautiful writing.

Like I said this book won't be for everyone.  I definitely had to be in the mood for this type of read because sometimes I want things screaming at me, but this time I really did want something a little more quiet that would make me think.  If you are looking for something different that takes care and time to understand this is for you.

On a side note for some reason this felt very Aussie to me and I am not sure why.  I kept thinking this took place in Australia, but I was so very wrong.  So if you like Aussie authors you just might like this as well.

4 snowflakes

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Movie Release and Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

I'm a huge fan of John Green, and when I saw his book The Fault in our Stars hit the big screen I thought the movie adaptation was amazing. So when it was announced that he has another novel being made into a movie, I immediately locked the date on my calendar!

Well, Paper Towns movie release is tomorrow - Friday, July 24, 2015, so I thought I'd share a bit about the book, my review, and the movie trailer. Enjoy!

Original Book Cover
Published: October 1, 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

My Thoughts
Original Review Date: November 2010

thiS reView desErves A moMent oF ranDom capitaliZation

joHn greeN, i'M convinCed thiS stoRy Is abOut yoU. thEre Is nO wAy You cAn naiL tHe emoTions aNd thouGhts Of tHese Characters withoUt hAving experIenced somE Of thE aWesomeness fouNd In thIs boOk!!

Okay, back to normal...
Quentin's two best friends are Ben, a tragically confident first clarinet band geek that is trying to live down a kidney infection rumor, and Radar, a nerdtastic computer genius that spends most of his time editing Omnictionary posts and hiding the fact that his parents own the largest collection of black Santas. But, Quentin Jacobsen, aka Q, is just a regular high school guy that happens to fall for Margo Roth Spiegelman, an amazing, but complex girl, who crawls into his window one night dressed as a ninja and takes him on the adventure of his life. After that amazing night, he spends the rest of the school year trying to find this girl and figure out who she really is, but just ends up discovering that no matter how hard you try, you can’t make your fantasy into reality.

This story is heartwarming, humorous and an instant hit for me. Not to mention the extra wow factor found in Part III that included a road trip. That's right baaaayyyyybbbbeeee a road trip! The characters are loveable in that John Green magic sorta way, and the dialog is hilariously funny and engaging. There is no doubt this book deserves its accolades, and I can’t wait to see it translated to film.

Lastly, Green makes me terribly happy that I was born a girl because if his books are any indication of what goes through a teenage boy’s mind, I’d be in serious need of therapy. Great book that’s signature of Green’s ability to make you laugh out loud, cringe with chagrin and ponder things you never considered. Loved it!

Quotes that made me think
Isn't it also that on some fundamental level we find it difficult to understand that other people are human beings in the same way that we are? We idealize them as gods or dismiss them as animals.

What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.

I'm starting to realize that people lack good mirrors. It's so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone how we feel.

As much as life can suck, it always beats the alternative.

If you don't imagine, nothing ever happens at all.

Quotes that made me laugh and/or sigh
Tonight, darling, we are going to right a lot of wrongs. And we are going to wrong some rights. The first shall be last; the last shall be first; the meek shall do some earth-inheriting. But before we can radically reshape the world, we need to shop.

Peeing is like a good book in that it is very, very hard to stop once you start.

I stand in this parking lot, realizing that I’ve never been this far from home, and here is this girl I love and cannot follow. I hope this is the hero’s errand, because not following her is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Poetry is just so emo,' he said. 'Oh, the pain. The pain. It always rains. In my soul.

Dude, I don’t want to talk about Lacey’s prom shoes. And I’ll tell you why: I have this thing that makes me really uninterested in prom shoes. It’s called a pen!$.
4 Snowflakes

Movie Tie-in Edition Book Cover of Paper Towns
Be sure to let me know if you plan to see this movie! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

Welcome to Waiting On Wednesday here at

 Winterhaven Books!

This is a feature created by Jill at Breaking The Spine where we share some books we are anxiously awaiting.

This week's pick...

The Great Hunt 
by Wendy Higgins
Expected publication: March 8th 2016 by HarperTeen 

Kill the beast. Win the girl.
A strange beast stirs fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach, terrorizing towns with its brutality and hunger. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage. Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom though it pains her to imagine marrying a stranger. It would be foolish to set her sights on any particular man in the great hunt, but when a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention, there’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment. Paxton is not keen on marriage. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast and protecting his family—yet Princess Aerity continues to challenge his notions with her unpredictability and charm. But as past secrets collide with present desires, dire choices threaten everything Paxton holds dear. Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, outlawed magic, and a princess willing to risk all to save her people.
I am made of all things fairytale in case you didn't know this by now. I also like the darker, not so happily ever after version such as the Brother's Grimm provided. If you have never heard of the tale of "The Singing Bone" you should definitely read it. It is a rather disturbing account of a brother who kill his younger to take credit for a kill and marry the king's daughter. Then the brother bones are found and made into a horn which then rats out the murder and all is brought to bloody justice! LOVE IT! These aren't the types of fairy tales for your children nor for the weak of heart. I am incredibly curious to see Mrs. Higgins' take on this account. I also have learned to temper my expectation when a blurb promises the comparative qualities of another story. I guess all in all we shall see. i am still thrilled to read this!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

Rebel Mechanics (Rebel Mechanics #1)by Shanna Swendson
Published July 14th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing. It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children's young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she'll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

My Thoughts

Rebel Mechanics had all the things I love about books. There was an imaginative alternate US where the British were still in power. They also have a strict divide among classes, those Magisters who have power and the common people who don't. There was masked swoony bandits and some good old fashioned espionage! It all came together really well in this unique steampunk-esque setting. 

Verity was a brilliant character! She has many secrets of her own as well which thickened the plot a bit. She takes a job at the illustrious Lyndon Mansion. While simultaneously juggling her new position as governess and meeting a new group of friends, the Rebel Mechanics, Verity find herself way more caught up in the revolution then she ever imagined. This gangly group was great fun. Verity takes to the lively bunch becoming fast friends with Lizzie, and even starts to fall for a mechanic name Alec. As we follow along the events that have to do with the mechanics you get a good sense on where the people vs. governments stand. I thought this was a really fun ride and loved hearing about the non-magical inventions they made to hopefully one day supersede the use of Magisters to run everything. This also had quite the twist which I did not see coming but made for a great breaking point. 

With that being said, I would have liked to know more about the magic itself. It seemed pretty interesting but was barely touched upon. All I got was only the Magisters have magic and it was drawn from the Aether in the air. know is that I'm hoping to see more of that in future books. I also have to say I was semi-disappointed with the big reveal. It was rather bleh. I wish it would have been a bit more clever.
All in all this will be a sure crowd pleaser for those steampunk/fantasy fans. I really enjoyed it with the exception of a few snafu's and can't wait for the next installment!

4 Snowflakes

ARC Review & Giveaway: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Expected publication: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes. 
My Thoughts
Pretty awesome!
I read Illuminae in one short sitting, which is sort of rare as of late. If I had to categorize this novel, it would fall under futuristic sci-fi at its finest!

The narrative is both unique and captivating, as the story is told through a collection of memorandums, debrief interviews, unipedia entries, intra-ship messages, personal emails, surveillance summaries and computer generated discussions.

It takes place in 2575, when Kady and Ezra’s planet of Kerenza is invaded. They each flee to two different battle carriers, the Alexander and Hypatia, and find themselves in the middle of an intergalactic war that includes feuding carriers, rampant viruses and a faulty computer system AIDAN that is no longer controlled by humans. Kady and Ezra must work together to get their airships to safety, while battling the elements against them.

Illuminae is definitely one of its kind! I’ve never experienced an adventure such as this that was told in an absolutely engaging and creative way. There were certain formats I enjoyed reading more than others. I was absolutely drawn by the inter-ship messages between Kady and Ezra. Having witnessed their shaky start at the beginning of the novel, where is wasn’t quite clear why Kady broke-up with her boyfriend, I was curious how these two would ultimately come together at the end. The inter-messages between these two, were both heartfelt, funny and sarcastic adding a bit of levity to their situation.

Surprisingly, my opinion of AIDAN shifted quite a bit toward the end. I really like how this computer system became so real and ultimately developed its own unique character through her… his… its interactions with Kady.

I understand Illuminae is the first installment in a series, but rest assured, it can stand quite nicely on its own if you're not in the mood for a drawn out series. I, for one, will keep the subsequent installments on my radar. Also, I can comfortably anticipate this book will make a significant splash when it hits the shelves in October. Definitely worth keeping your eye out for it!
4 Snowflakes
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Review: What We Knew by Barbara Stewart

What We KnewWhat We Knew by Barbara Stewart
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: July 14th, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
When a local myth starts to seem like a dangerous reality, two girls are set on a path that could change their lives forever

"When I was little, I imagined a monster: Scaly hands. Pits for eyes..."

When Tracy and her best friend, Lisa, were kids, stories about a man—a creep who exposes himself to little girls—kept them out of the woods and in their own backyards. But Tracy and Lisa aren't so little anymore, and the man in the woods is nothing but a stupid legend. Right?

But someone is in the woods. Someone is watching. And he knows all their secrets, secrets they can't tell anyone—not even each other.

"Monsters don't exist."

Lisa's just being paranoid. At least that’s what Tracy thinks. But when a disturbing "gift" confirms her worst fears, it sets the girls on a dangerous journey that takes them beyond the edge of the woods. But reality is more terrifying than the most chilling myth, and what they find will test the bonds of friendship, loyalty, and love.

"Once upon a time, two girls were lost in the woods."

In Barbara's Stewart's What We Knew, Tracy and Lisa can't destroy the evil they'll face, but can they stop it from destroying each other?
My Thoughts:
This really didn't work for me and I am honestly half blaming the synopsis.  I've found lately that with several books the synopsis given does not in fact match the book at all.  This is the case with What We Knew.  The synopsis in my opinion promises creepy stalker craziness and what this book delivers is actually troubled teenagers who have been abused.  Sooo not the same thing at all and I really wonder who writes those synopsis'!

I'm not saying this would have worked more for me if the synopsis actually matched the book, but it is hard for me to switch gears when I settle in to read something.  I am a mood reader so I pick my books based on what I want at the moment and I think I would have chosen to read this at a different time if I had known it was going to be incredibly heavy.  My previous book left me wanting something creepy and a palette cleanser and this just wasn't it.  It is a very heavy book that deals with very heavy issues.  Yes there is a creep factor sort of in it but it really takes a back seat to what's really going on with Tracy and her friends.

Like I said the whole going in and switching gears wasn't the only reason why this didn't work for me.  I found each and every character to be annoying.  Tracy was whiny and yes I know she went through something very traumatic, but she was just not somebody I could root for.  She ended up being very hypocritical by the middle of the book and when that happened I lost respect for her.  There was no reason to do what she did and she didn't even really feel bad about it until the blow up happened.  I just really couldn't connect with her.

The other characters weren't any better.  Lisa was mean and grouchy which again I now know the reason for her mood swings, but I just can't forgive some of her actions.  Gabe, Trey and Adam weren't likeable at all either.  They just seemed like your typical stoner high schoolers and while I am on the subject there is a lot of drinking and drugs in this. I was honestly appalled at how much substance abuse was used through this book.  Where were the parents??!  These activities actually happened in someones home!  That to me is a plot hole I would have liked explained more.

I think the author chose to focus too much on teenage drama in the beginning and lost me by the middle. The end of the book was actually brilliant and really made me wish the beginning would have been just as brilliant.  Looking back I can see clues to where the story was ultimately going, but the execution just stunk.  I adore Barbara Stewart and this won't be my last book by her, but man this was a let down.
2 snowflakes

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Review: Deceptive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Deceptive by Emily Lloyd- Jones
Publisher- July 14th 205
Released- Little Brown Books for YA
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

Don't miss this thrilling, high-stakes sequel to Illusive.You don’t belong with us. These are the words that echo through the minds of all immune Americans—those suffering the so-called adverse effects of an experimental vaccine, including perfect recall, body manipulation, telepathy, precognition, levitation, mind-control, and the ability to change one’s appearance at will.When immune individuals begin to disappear—in great numbers, but seemingly at random—fear and tension mount, and unrest begins to brew across the country. Through separate channels, super-powered teenagers Ciere, Daniel, and Devon find themselves on the case; super criminals and government agents working side-by-side. It’s an effort that will ultimately define them all—for better or for worse.
My Thoughts:
After reading Illusive, I was instantly addicted by this explosive world and couldn't wait to get my hands on book two. Deceptive is just as crazy amazing as book one and even better then I expected.

Emily Lloyd-Jones is such a fantastic storyteller! I absolutely  love the her writing style. It's fast paced, in your face and solid entertainment from the first page, on. I adore the concept of super-powered teens working with different government agents with a mystery that entwines them together again. Ciere and Alan, Devon, and Daniel all work with different organizations, but I think that's what I love most about this series. They are friends, or well, not each others enemies. As an immune, they have no choice but to work with their 'respected organizations', but when push comes to shove, they are still protecting each other and when they're working together, the chemistry is off the charts fun.

The plot is a complete rush and I can't express how gripping and thrilling this series is. It's constantly moving, unpredictable and while I might not have cared for the whole mob/government agents before in my reads, I can't help but be addicted to it now. Then again, the whole immune powers really puts this in a rather intriguing place. But really, it's these incredible characters that really own this book. Cirea is a firecracker, Alan is protective and wonderful and Devon is still hilarious, reckless and amazing. I was happy to see more of Daniel in this book since he didn't play a huge role in the first book. I think I've got to know him better and while he's still somewhat of a mystery, I loved what he brought into this world. I'm also happy to see that some romance is playing out in this book, but I'm not sure it was the romance I was hoping for...still, it was sweet and I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Bottom line, I loved this book. The writing, the concept, the storyline and the characters. This one has it all. It's fun and funny with quick wit and charming banter with an endless stream of action and thrills. The ending was decent enough, but there has to be more. It simple can't end here and I for one can't wait for the next book! An addicting read!

Find the author:
Website / Goodreads                               4.5 Snowflakes