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The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel Book Review

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1)After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.
This year, it is my turn.
My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.
But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Ideas
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope all of you have a wonderful day and eat lots of great food :)

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger Book Review

Class is back in session...
Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style--with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what--or who--they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine's proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.

Sisterhood of the World Book Bloggers Tag Part 1

Thank you so much to both Lili from Lili's Reflections and Em from The YA Book Butterfly for nominating me to do this tag! If you're not already following their blogs, you definitely should! They're both amazing bloggers. I decided to split the tag into two parts, since there were two sets of questions. I'll have my responses to Em's questions up sometime later this month or next month :) Here are my responses to Lili's:

1) When and why did you start blogging? 
Back in 2011, I stumbled across The Book Barbies blog while searching for a review of Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. I hadn't even known book blogs existed before that and I thought it was so cool that there was a way to share your opinions of books with other book lovers. I ended up starting The Book Belles a few months after discovering The Book Barbies and several great experiences have come out of it.

2) What is your favorite genre and why? 
I absolutely love the contemporary genre! I think the reason for this is due to the fact that I enjoy reading about characters who have relatable life experiences. I also think that some of the best stories are the ones that could possibly happen in life today. 

3) Recommend a book that you love that you think deserves more hype.
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock is an amazing novel! The werewolf aspect is done very well and in a more unique way than typical in young adult novels. Also, I can't recommend Smart Girls Get What They Want enough :) 

4) Aside from reading, what are your favorite hobbies?
I love seeing movies and going shopping with my friends. I don't have a lot of free time, but when I do, that's what I tend to do (besides reading). 

5) Top 3 books you have ever read? 
This is completely impossible, but since I have to pick, I'll say Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer, and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. They are all amazing reads, if you haven't yet read them :)

6) Who are your favorite authors and why?
Jennifer Armentrout and Kasie West are two of my favorites. Jennifer puts out so many great novels and I'm especially in love with her latest series, The Dark Elements. Roth is one of my favorite book boyfriends by her. Kasie West, on the other hand, never ceases to put out books that put a smile on my face. Her contemporaries are especially adorable.

7) What is the best book you have read so far this month?
Whatever Life Throws at You was my first read by Julie Cross, and I ended up loving it. It's a truly memorable read and it does a great job at crossing between the young adult and new adult genres.

8) What book is responsible for making you the reader you are today?
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand was the book that got me into reading YA. After reading a great review for it on The Book Barbies (one of the first book blogs I ever discovered), I picked up a copy of the novel and immediately fell in love with it. From then on, I've read all the YA I can get my hands on :)

9) Do you collect anything other than books?
Does bookish swag count? ;) I actually do collect ticket stubs from various movies and concerts I go to and compile them in a ticket book that I've had for a few years.

10) Tell us a weird fact about yourself that we probably wouldn't know.
This isn't particularly weird, but I work at a movie theater, which is a lot of fun!

Teen Angst? Naaah... by Ned Vizzini Book Review

"The events in these stories are real. Some names have been changed so I don't get yelled at."
Ned Vizzini writes about the weird, funny, and sometimes mortifying moments that made up his teen years. With wit, irony, and honesty, "Teen Angst? Naaah..." invites you into his world of school, parents, street people, rock bands, friends, fame, camp, sex (sort of), Cancun (almost), prom, beer, Nintendo, the cool (and almost cool), and more. A Holden Caulfield for Generation Y, Ned Vizzini is an original voice to be reckoned with, read, and enjoyed.

All I Want for Christmas….

Ok. So I know Christmas is over a month away, but it snowed in my town today for the first time this year, the local radio station is already playing Christmas music, and winter break is calling my name. How can I not think about Christmas???
And Christmas means bookstore gift cards (because that's all I ask for)
And gift cards means more books! YAY!
So today I was thinking about some of the books I'm looking forward to getting this Christmas.

I cheated a little bit, because some of these books won't be out by Christmas (ok most of them)…but let's just say I'll save the money until they come out.

On the Edge by Allison van Diepen Book Review

From Allison van Diepen, author of Snitch and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel about a teen who witnesses a murder and gets caught up in the seedy world of Miami’s gangs.
Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn't, she wouldn't have seen two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, she knows there’s a target on her back.
But when the Reyes jump her on the street, Maddie is protected by a second gang and their secretive leader, Lobo, who is determined to take down the Reyes himself. Lobo is mysterious and passionate, and Maddie begins to fall for him. But when they live this close to the edge, can their love survive?
On the Edge is a compelling story about fighting for what’s right and figuring out where you belong. The novel showcases a gritty, realistic voice and earth–shattering romance that will intrigue readers of Simone Elkeles and Paul Griffin and captivate fans of Allison van Diepen's other novels.

Talon by Julie Kagawa Book Review

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.
Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.
Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Guest Review: Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho

Althea & Oliver
What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?
Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.
Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s, Cristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love—and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good.

Waiting on Wednesday: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson BoundWhen Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.
I absolutely loved Cruel Beauty, so to say that I'm excited for this one would be an understatement. The covers of Rosamund's books keep getting more and more gorgeous, too :) I've never read a book that's inspired by Red Riding Hood either, so this sounds amazing! What are you waiting on?

The Belles' Enchanted Book Exchange 2015

I'm so excited to announce that Rachel from Beauty and the Bookshelf and I will be hosting the Belles' Enchanted Book Exchange again this year. It was so much fun last year, and we expanded the sign-ups to also include international people this year :) Here are the details:

-Sign-ups start now and will last until November 20.
-The spending limit is around $20, so, maybe a book or two and/or a goodie?
-The deadline to mail out the package (with tracking) will be December 12, which hopefully avoids most of the holiday post office craziness.
-Also, keep in mind that The Book Depository offers free shipping! :) 

If you'd like to sign up, you can do so here.
If you have any questions, feel free to tweet either me (@MontanaGolin) or Rachel (@RachelllRaeee)

Stacking The Shelves #64

Hi everyone! Here's everything I received this week:

For Review (via Netgalley/Edelweiss):
Mistletoe and Mr. Right99 DaysInherit Midnight

For Review (Print):

The Start of Me and You
99 Days by Katie Cotugno: I haven't yet read Katie's debut, How To Love, but I've heard fantastic things about it. I'm hoping to dive into 99 Days sometime this month!

Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne: This one sounds like the perfect holiday read! The fact that it takes place in Ireland is a bonus, too.

Inherit Midnight by Kate Kae Myers: I'm so excited to read this, as the plot sounds extremely intense and full of all sorts of twists. I'm hoping it'll be as amazing as it looks. 

The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord: I had so many thoughts about Open Road Summer, and Emery has such a pretty writing style. Max already sounds adorably nerdy ;)

Thank you so much Harper Collins and Bloomsbury! :)

What did you get this week? I'd love to visit your Stacking The Shelves! 

Mindwar by Andrew Klavan Book Review

Rick Dial has the potential to be a hero. He just doesn't know it yet.
Rick's high school football team couldn't be stopped when he was leading them as their quarterback. He was going to Syracuse on a scholarship. But then his dad abandoned them and a terrible accident left him crippled.
Certain his old life is completely lost, Rick spends months hiding away in his room playing video games. He achieves the highest scores on so many games that he's approached by a government agency who claims to be trying to thwart a cyber attack on America that would destroy the technological infrastructure of the entire country. The agents say that the quick-thinking of a quarterback coupled with Nick's gaming experience make him perfect for this assignment. The problem is that there are no extra lives and this isn't just a game . . . but Rick doesn't have many other options at the moment.
Entering "The Realm" gives Rick the one thing he thought he'd never have again: a body that's as fast and as strong as he ever was before the accident. But the more time he spends in The Realm, the more questions he has. What secrets are these agents keeping from him? What really happened to his father? How many others have gone into The Realm already . . . and failed? And perhaps most important, is he the hero they think he is?

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers Book Review

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.
She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has...