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Estelle’s Shelve It >> 2/3/2013

weekly feature focusing on the books we bought, borrowed, and received from publishers

I’m pretty sure I did a Shelve It last year on Super Bowl Sunday (which fell on my birthday…) Oh my absolute favorite day in the world. Things are so tremendously different this year: new city, new place to live, an iPhone, my husband’s team is not actually playing tonight, and the half time show that will actually BE sexy. (I do hope Beyonce sings “Bootilicious”… it’s an old favorite.)

Anyway, one thing that remains constant around here are THE BOOKS. Hope you enjoy hearing about these! SORRY! It’s really long but I make a lot of hand gestures and my cat sort of says hi?

Borrowed:

Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt from Lena at Addicted to Novels! THANKS!
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith from Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner. THANKS!

Gifted from Mandee at Vegan YA Nerds:

No Such Thing as Love by Ali Cronin
What’s Up with Jody Barton by Hayley Long
Under Southern Skies by Anne McCullagh Rennie

From NetGalley:

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham
The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen
The Wanderer by Robin Carr
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spadling
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Bought:

If We Kiss by Rachel Vail
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer
Young House Love by Sherry + John Petersik
Love is a Canoe by Ben Schrank

On the blog:

A Literary Birthday — From What I Remember
Attention, Attention: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe
A review of Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols
A review of Scarlet by Marisa Meyer
A review of Hooked by Liz Fichera
A review of Austensibly Ordinary by Alyssa Goodnight

Have a great week!! And thanks for stopping by!

February 10, 2013 - 11:11 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I got approved for Someday, Someday, Maybe as well – and I’m so excited to read it. I’ve loved Lauren Graham ever since Gilmore Girls, so I hope I love her as an author, too. :)

February 6, 2013 - 11:04 pm

elena - HEY SEXY LAAAADY, please read that in Psy’s voice. Also, I would totally eat chocolate too if it was in my desk. Glad you’re enjoying Wild Awake. HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR BOOKS!!

February 4, 2013 - 4:18 pm

Alexa Y. - I ditched the Super Bowl for Target last night, since I wasn’t particularly rooting for either team. Teehee.

Anyway, I hope you end up liking Unearthly! It really is a great series, and the angel thing is pretty interesting.

February 4, 2013 - 1:18 am

Bookworm1858 - I’m bummed about the Super Bowl outcome :( but don’t really care too much. Looking forward to a great week of reading and hope the same for you :)

February 3, 2013 - 11:13 pm

Henry Circle - Three things: 1.) I love Sarah Zarr,too! Sweethearts was sweet and sad. 2) I want your cat. What a big cuddly baby! 3.) You are so pretty! If I looked like you, I would just make a huge banner of my face to put on my blog! lol Great vlog!

February 3, 2013 - 10:16 pm

Cynthia - Ahhhhh… I really hope you like Unearthly. I loooved it, it’s the only angel series I’ve kept up with. Your kitty is the cutest!!! =D

February 3, 2013 - 7:40 pm

VeganYANerds - I don’t get or care about the Super Bowl either, but then I’m an Aussie ;)

And yay, you went with Pepper, such a cute name for her! And I have to deal with Molly trying to knock over my camera each week, too!

Yay for Once Was Lost, I hope you like it. I have one more of Sara’s to read (not including her new release) – How To Save A Life.

HA! I love that you ate the chocolates already :D So glad you loved the package and that we’re psychic for sending each other polish + earrings!

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A Literary Birthday Celebration (From What I Remember)

confetti

I’ve said it before and said it again, but one of my favorite things about blogging is meeting new people.

About a month or two ago, I started to chat with Cassie of Books with Cass, who like me is from New Jersey (although she still lives there) and has a birthday in February.

And can you believe that we are exactly a day apart? (In fact, she shares a birthday with one of my best friends and the reason I met Magan in the first place!)

During one of our daily chats, we decided to had to jump on this coincidence and write joint posts today! Basically, Cassie and I have chosen a favorite read that would inspire the best birthday celebration.

So, for me, we are heading to…

mexico

[ oh mexico. it sounds so simple i just got to go. a lil james taylor for ya ]

Last June, on a wonderful summer vacation with my husband, I read From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas. It was so much fun, such a surprise hit, and it’s most definitely on my list to re-read when the weather gets a little warmer on the east coast.

Basically, the class brainiac (Kylie) and big man on campus (Max) are forced to work together on a last minute school project and a bit of bad luck comes their way — causing them to embark on an unexpected road trip to MEXICO. Kylie is a serious person with lots of responsibilities and Max seems quite the opposite, pretending his life is easy breezy when he has a lot going on in the background. There’s EXCITEMENT. CHEMISTRY. FEAR. VARIOUS MOVIE QUOTES. AND DRINKING.

Despite the chaos, this is what I’m seeing:

From What I Remember Fiesta

Mix an awesome setting + a great dress + some frozen libations and I feel a party coming on.

Although, I will opt out of the hangover when it’s all finished. Thank you very much.

I really appreciate you taking the time to celebrate my birthday with me (a few days early), and I hope you’ll head over to Books with Cass to see what Cassie has in store for her own birthday extravaganza!

Happy Saturday!

Psst. If you haven’t checked out From What I Remember yet, the title is under $8 for the Kindle edition + the Nook too!

February 5, 2013 - 2:56 pm

Jamie - LOVE! Can I come with youuuu??

February 4, 2013 - 3:52 pm

Alexa Y. - EEP. I am LOVING that dress. Mexico sounds good right about now… ESPECIALLY the frozen libations ;)

February 3, 2013 - 6:59 pm

Estelle's Shelve It: 2/3/2013 - [...] A Literary Birthday — From What I Remember Attention, Attention: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe A review of Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols A review of Scarlet by Marisa Meyer A review of Hooked by Liz Fichera A review of Austensibly Ordinary by Alyssa Goodnight [...]

February 2, 2013 - 4:34 pm

Randi M - Happy early birthday!! That vacation sounds absolutely wonderful right now, especially since I live in the Midwest which is ridiculously cold right now! The beach would be amazing. :) Hope you have a wonderful birthday celebration!

February 2, 2013 - 12:07 pm

elena - this post is so qt! LOVE that dress. also no hangovers on your birthday!! happy early birthday, darling estelle. xo

February 2, 2013 - 9:05 am

Henry Circle - What an awesome birthday party idea! And happy Birthday!

February 2, 2013 - 9:05 am

Cassie - I STILL LOVE THAT DRESS! and ill join you for some frozen beverages ;) Happy early birthday dear!

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Attention, Attention: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe

Hello again! Remember this feature? Well, it’s making its 2013 debut! And today I must talk to you about:

welcome, caller, this is chloe.

To this day, I still remember reading Magan’s review of this debut novel from last April. (That’s saying something because I’ve read quite a few.) She was so unbelievably upbeat about the book, and I couldn’t wait to run out and read it myself. Months and months later, I am kicking myself for not making it a priority sooner.

Because my partner was so right. Chloe is “quirky and funny” even though she has a ton to deal with.

Her best friends have ditched her, and her senior project (which was supposed to be about soap operas) has been changed by the new counselor at her school, and now she is going to be working at the school radio station that is about to be closed down. (Doesn’t it remind you of that Saved by the Bell episode?) Chloe’s grandma, her closest relative, is dealing with with symptoms of Parkinson’s and she’s constantly in the middle of disagreements between her mom and grandma.

Author Shelly Coriell does an exceptional job of showing just how relationships can grow and change with time — from the perspective of family and friends. (Especially when it’s really no one’s fault.) But despite everything, Chloe is a girl you want on your side. She’s loyal and sweet and hilarious. She’s also so optimistic; I found myself wishing I tapped into my Chloe side a little bit each day.

There’s some oh-la-la romance (but not too much of it) and a lot of fun moments when Chloe is diving into her work for the radio station and embarking on some new opportunities. The book is incredibly well-paced, had me smiling from ear to ear, and I was really sad when it was all over. We all know that’s a sign of a great read! (Plus Chloe loves vintage shoes and Mexican food — love it!)

favorite quotes:

[Big thanks to Racquel from The Book Barbies for compiling these for me.]

the first sentence:

“I LOVED BEING A BURRITO.

Not the actual costume, a stinky ankle-length tube of compressed foam with scratchy shoulder straps. No, I loved the physical act of being a burrito—more precisely, of getting people to notice me—and I was good at it.”

her love for shoes:

“So where did my passions lie? Easy. My friends. Family. Dos Hermanas. Soap operas. Shoes. Definitely shoes. Preferably of the vintage variety.”

“Unique. I liked that. Unique things stood out, they made a statement, like vintage shoes.”

Big heart:

“You’re a warped soul, Chloe.” He didn’t laugh, but that half smile curved his mouth. Mission accomplished.

Some swoon (and more shoe love!)

“But that’s okay. Tonight I have eggs and cheese on toast and”—he tipped the sandwich toward me—“a pretty girl with a big heart on her sleeve.

That big heart did a big jump. With a laugh I lifted my right foot and waggled it to the side. “And great shoes. You can’t forget the great shoes.”

Her wacky friendship with Clem:

“You’re right.”

“What?” Clem thwacked her ear, vaudeville style. “What did you say?”

I let out a sound that was part groan, part laugh. “Clementine Radmore is one hundred percent, unequivocally right. Do you want me to get on the air and issue a royal proclamation?”

“Can you?”

I ignored the grin on her face.

If you are more of a visual person, you might enjoy Magan’s themed gift back inspired by Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe.

Now really, what are you waiting for?! Go check this one out!

Goodreads | Amazon

February 5, 2013 - 2:58 pm

Jamie - I really think I’ll like this one!Definitely going to pick up for when I need a fun book! And what a cool job she has!

February 4, 2013 - 3:29 pm

Alexa Y. - This book was incredibly cute! I remember liking it, especially the fact that Chloe had to work at the school radio station. I think it’s awesome that she ended up with her own show ;)

February 3, 2013 - 7:00 pm

Estelle's Shelve It: 2/3/2013 - [...] Literary Birthday — From What I Remember Attention, Attention: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe A review of Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols A review of Scarlet [...]

February 2, 2013 - 12:14 pm

elena - you guys were definitely the reason why i read this book! gosh it made me really want mexican food.

February 1, 2013 - 7:53 pm

Mary @ My Sisters Bookshelf - Loved this one! I reviewed it too!

But it was also like the fourth book in a row that I read with a red-headed protagonist. I want someone to analyze this. The proportion of red-heads in young adult literature is way out of whack. My sister loves this (as a redhead). I love Anne of Green Gables, but I think we need some mousy brown heroines too. It’s like people have red hair so we know they are quirky?

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Estelle: Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols

Star Crossed by Jennifer EcholsStar Crossed by Jennifer Echols ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Pocket Books (Simon + Schuster)
Pages: 384
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: Vegas, PR, celebrities, enemies
Format read: ARC sent to me from S+S! (Thank you!!)

Summary: Wendy Mann has a lot riding on her current work assignment in Las Vegas. She’s working PR for an out of control celebrity, hanging on to her job by a thread, and forced to converse with her (deliciously hot) college nemesis  Daniel, who works at a competing firm. When the two begrudgingly team up for the sake of their clients and their careers, things between them progress in a way no one would have predicted.

Jennifer Echols is like an old reliable friend when it comes to toe-curling chemistry and addicting storylines. (Cases in point: Such a Rush + Going Too Far.) And in her adult debut, Star Crossed, she has the opportunity to take all of that whoa-action and nearly heart-stopping tension and take it a step farther. In fact, a few delicious leaps farther.

Despite a slow start (involving confusing placement of NYC landmarks), Star Crossed featured all the details I love about Jennifer’s writing: humor, hotness, DRAMA, and fun. Wendy, our leading lady, is not only sexy but she is smart, ambitious, feisty, and funny. (There was so many moments where I chuckled at her thoughts.) Daniel is equally good-looking but also classy, successful, and he feels a strong loyalty to his family (the reason why he remains in a job he doesn’t love). The best part about these two is that they share a history. College competitors! But unbeknownst to Wendy, Daniel has always crushed on her when she was just trying to crush him. (Kind of reminds of how I felt about my husband in college.)

There’s nothing sexier than two people who are attracted to each other but their relationship is so off-limits. From the moment Wendy and Daniel collide in Vegas, the story moves full speed ahead and I had to stop myself from skipping pages to find out when they would share a scene next. Working at enemy PR agencies but representing a toxic ex-couple that just needs to stay out of trouble for a small amount of days, they decide their best bet is to work together… very closely.

The whole question of whether or not they can trust each other also fuels their chemistry. Big time.

Vegas serves at the perfect backdrop for all the mayhem supplied by Wendy and Daniel’s clients, two celebrities I was continually trying to place in our own pop culture world. (Loreli, singer/actress/friend to the papparazzi, so reminded me of a down and out Britney Spears.) It’s fun and glitzy but also has this dark undercurrent that works well with a mysterious plotline. Now this particular thread in the story wasn’t my favorite. In fact, it felt a little too predictable, too swarmy, and too Lifetime movie. But it worked for what it was (beware: things get creeptastic) and certainly moved things along and pushed our couple together.

I could say more, a lot more, but I’m going to end with a tid-bit that should say it all: I ignored by husband for 3 hours straight because I was so wrapped up in Wendy and Daniel. (I had promised I’d read for only an hour.) I did not, let me repeat, did not even take a moment to change out of my work clothes. (This is a huge deal.)

Star Crossed is a top example of a romance novel that actually takes into consideration the importance of story without primarily focusing on the hot and heavy. Seriously, Jen Echols knows what’s she’s doing. And I can’t wait to get more of it.

own it now -- highest ranking from Rather Be Reading Blog

Add to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon

March 8, 2013 - 9:01 am

The Big Kids' Table: Double Dipping, Estelle - [...] Lauren DeStefano. ♥ With the recent release of YA queen Jennifer Echols’ first adult book (Star Crossed), I was thinking about other writers I’ve read who have also ventured into the adult world or [...]

February 9, 2013 - 1:57 am

VeganYANerds - I missed this review, so I’m glad you mentioned it this week. It sounds fantastic and I’m so glad this will be out this month :)

February 8, 2013 - 9:00 am

The Big Kids' Table: Fiction Picks (February 2013) - [...] fiction debut comes out on February 26! Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? Be sure to check out my review of Star Crossed to refresh your memory! Vegas! College rivals! Celebrities! The past! Such a fantastic read for [...]

February 5, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Jamie - OH YAY! I want this one!! And it would fit the bill since I’ve been craving some adult fiction! Plus ROMANCE YAY!

February 4, 2013 - 1:45 pm

Lena - HAHAHAHA, I spelled my name wrong. Serious fail :O

February 4, 2013 - 1:44 pm

Lena - I’m dying to read this one and am so glad you loved it! There really is nothing sexier than two people who are attracted to each other but are off-limits.

Awesome review, hon! :)

February 3, 2013 - 4:56 pm

Tara - Jen Echols = auto-read for this gal. Star Crossed did not disappoint and I agree that Vegas was the perfect backdrop for all the shenanigans that took place. Thanks again for letting me borrow :)

February 1, 2013 - 6:03 am

Lori - Jennifer’s books seem to be kind of hit or miss for me and I really hadn’t given this one much thought. You have convinced me as you so often do. It sounds fabulous!

January 31, 2013 - 2:06 pm

elena - this does sound like a v sexy book but D: to creeptastic things. I can only imagine what goes down when you say it’s like a Lifetime film. HELLO CRAIGSLIST KILLER. buuut I digress. Wendy + Daniel’s story sounds like one I would be into because the off limits relationship intrigues me, I think I would want to be flipping the pages to their scenes too.

January 31, 2013 - 12:33 pm

Nikki @ Foil the Plot - I’ve never read anything by Jennifer Echols because romance isn’t usually my thing, however, every now and again the mood will strike for something kinda swoony so I’ll go for it. And I do like that this is geared more for adults, because honestly, I can only take so much of the high school drama. I think the thing that’s most sppealing here is the forbidden “will they, won’t they” tease of it all. I think even that would have me all hot and bothered!

January 31, 2013 - 12:01 pm

Alexa Y. - EEP. I cannot wait to read this book! I’ve still only read one Jennifer Echols book (Such a Rush), but I absolutely LOVED that one. I think this one is precisely my cup of tea! I love that it’s an adult book too.

January 31, 2013 - 11:03 am

Cynthia - Oh this sounds good! Can’t wait to read it, I love Jennifer Echols and curious to see how I’ll like her fist adult novel. Great review Estelle! =D

January 31, 2013 - 10:30 am

Amy @ Tripping Over Books - OMG I can’t wait to read this!! My preorder is all lined up. I am a Jennifer Echols fangirl FOR LIFE. If her YA books have crazy chemistry and drama, I can’t wait to see what these “few steps further” are like!

January 31, 2013 - 9:22 am

Ginger @ GReads! - GREAT review, Estelle! You captured everything I loved about this novel so perfectly. With already being a total Jen Echols fangirl, it was hard to put this one down. I completely understand the need to stay in work clothes and keep reading, haha. Thank you again for sharing this one with me.

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Magan: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Book Cover for Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 464
Target audience: Young Adult
Keywords: dystopia, fairy tale retelling, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood
Format read: ARC from Macmillan at ALA Annual (Thank you!)
Previously Reviewed: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Summary: Cinder needs to figure out how to break out of prison after causing a scene at Prince Kai’s ball. Halfway around the world, Scarlet’s grandmother disappears and she’s introduced to Wolf — the only person who says he can help her.

[Please note there will be spoilers for Cinder. If you haven't read it yet, don't read beyond this point!]

Cinder was classified as A Book Magan Should Have Read Sooner. Much sooner. Thankfully upon finishing, I was able to dive right in to Scarlet. (Recommendation: Reading these back-to-back was flawless so if it’s been a while for you, do a refresher so you can remember all the details).

We meet Scarlet right away — her grandmother is missing. Law enforcement doesn’t believe she’s been kidnapped. They close her case because they want to believe that her grandmother chose to leave. They allude to suicide, but Scarlet knows better. Things seem super sketchy, right?

If you’re nervous about what happens to your favorite Cinder characters and you need answers + more Prince Kai, never fear. Cinder is still locked in prison and she’s just found out she’s Princess Selene. She desperately needs to escape before she’s taken back to Luna. The only way out is to ask another prisoner, Thorne, for help. Unbeknownst to Cinder, Thorne becomes her sidekick. He is comical, quirky, and despite being a nuisance 99% of the time, he proves he’s quite useful when he needs to be.

Ultimately, Cinder and Scarlet’s stories begin to interweave and this is where Marissa Meyer blows your mind. At times, the pacing seemed a bit slower than Cinder was, but I was still very engaged as a reader. I wanted to how/when/where Scarlet and Cinder’s stories would intersect. Kai was more of a peripheral character for me (I always, always want more Kai); he’s confused about Cinder. Did she use her glamour to persuade him to trust her? Did she manipulate him? He’s frustrated that Queen Levana has forced him to make abrupt decisions. Ay, yi, yi — Queen Levana — detestable woman!

What remains to be one of Meyer’s most striking storytelling tactics is how she alludes to details and lets her readers in on secrets before the characters have fully come to realize them. She continues to give clues that we can use to figure out what’s going to happen next, but I must say… Wolf confused the heck outta me. Scarlet is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling so naturally, I refreshed my memory because I wanted to know what to expect of Wolf. I didn’t want to fall in love with a character I was only supposed to hate! But oh, no! Meyer took my heart on a roller coaster ride and while I had a few suspicions about him from the very beginning, I still didn’t know whether or not to love him. He was dark and mysterious, carrying around lots of baggage. (If you like brooding boys, brace yourselves, girls!)

Scarlet was very much a — Who do I trust? / What’s happening in this world? / How does this piece together? / Where do things go from here? book. I feel like I have a grasp of what Meyer intends to do in the grand scheme of things, but I cannot wait to see what she does with the characters we’ll be introduced to. Believe me, guys, Scarlet is awesome. Remember how you felt about Cinder? Multiply that awesomeness by a million.

own it now -- highest ranking from Rather Be Reading Blog

Goodreads | Amazon

February 10, 2013 - 11:07 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - I didn’t read this because I STILL haven’t read Cinder yet but I’m going to. I promise. Especially because you gave Scarlet a READ THIS NOW rating :)

February 3, 2013 - 4:53 pm

Tara - This book just left me with all the feelings! I loved how Cinder’s and Scarlet’s stories intertwined and I cannot wait for Cress. Thanks again for letting me borrow :)

February 1, 2013 - 9:21 pm

Kelly - I’ve only seen glowing reviews for this, which makes me want to re-read Cinder so I can be as prepared as possibly to enjoy it! And a brooding bad boy? My fate is sealed!

January 31, 2013 - 11:08 am

Cynthia - Dying to read this one!! I loved Cinder and can’t wait to find out what happens to her and Kai in this sequel. Also eager to meet these new characters, I’ve been hearing lots about Wolf. =D

January 30, 2013 - 7:30 pm

Suz @ A Soul Unsung - Oh wow! Now, I’m really super excited and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Scarlet, if it’s all of that and so much more! *g*

I know that I instantaneously fell head over feet for Cinder and broody boys are one of the best things ever written in fiction, true facts.

Fantastic review!

January 30, 2013 - 3:28 pm

Stormy - I cannot wait for this book. I thought at the beginning of 2013 that Divergent #3 was going to be my most anticipated book of the year, but at this point I realize, nope, I’m WAY more excited for Scarlet. And like you, I also always want more Kai!

January 30, 2013 - 3:27 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I couldn’t agree more with you about everything you just said about Scarlet. I loved how Meyer weaves these stories together. And Wolf was such an interesting character. I’m also not exactly sure how I feel about him. I mean, I love him, but also I am a but wary (and maybe even scared) of him as well. I hate waiting for Cress. And I have a long wait on my hands :(

January 30, 2013 - 2:18 pm

Annette - I kind of only skimmed your review, because I’m about 1/2 way through Scarlet — but I’m really excited to finish it! I’m loving it too!

January 30, 2013 - 11:02 am

Rachel - I haven’t read this yet (obviously), but the intertwined stories is what has me impressed the most/the main reason why I’m looking forward to this book. I liked Cinder, but I wasn’t the hugest fan of some of the characters, so I’m looking forward to having the same story from Cinder, with some new characters as well. Great review!

January 30, 2013 - 10:44 am

Alexa Y. - I absolutely loved Scarlet (and thank you again for letting me borrow it!). I think Marissa Meyer is wonderful writer, and I love how she’s turning these classic fairytales into something new and fun and modern. I can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy – and to read the next installment when it FINALLY releases!

January 30, 2013 - 9:19 am

Janita @ Book, Interrupted - SO EXCITED! OMGOMG I just ordered this and it’s getting sent to me soon and I am freaking out so much. I just started reading Cinder all over again to prepare for the awesomeness. Everyone who has reviewed this has loved it! So glad that you liked it too! EEK!!

January 30, 2013 - 6:04 am

Lori - So happy to hear you loved it! I have no idea where she’s going to take us with this series and I love that.

January 30, 2013 - 5:47 am

Hemborgwife - I have had this is my amazon cart to pre-order for ages and this is really prompting me to actually make the purchase!

January 30, 2013 - 12:53 am

Bookworm1858 - I always want more Kai too! Jen Ryland/YA Romantics initially freaked me out, making me think there was a love triangle (with Thorne) but I’ve now read Scarlet and am relaxed on the Cinder/Kai front even if the evil queen is trying to get in the way. So glad to read someone’s thoughts who adores Kai like I do!

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