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[Stacking the Shelves] - #35

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your bookshelf, be it the physical one or your digital one!

      I know this is a bit late for a Mailbox Monday, and while I have been trying to maintain a normal schedule and last week I had one of my best weeks. It just pains me as well to release one this late, but I guess it's better late than never right. I did get some time to get out to go to Barnes and Noble, and look around at other bookstores. In the process I did pick up a few books, see if you can guess the theme in this weeks list. I didn't at the time, but a theme appeared. :P

      While I was working this week, it was rough with a lot of people complaining, I had the chance to pick up a few cover reveals, which I will highlight this week instead of doing a Featured Discussion this week. While they were posted last week, around Weds. or Thurs., I wanted EpicReads to have their spotlight and give them some space, so I wouldn't be stealing their thunder or just redirecting people to their page. I wanted to give people my perspectives on the covers, and see what others had to say.

Drowning Instinct
What She
Left Behind
The Book of Blood
and Shadow
If You Find Me
Stay With Me

Mailbox Pickup:

Title:Drowning Instinct
   Author: Ilsa J. Bick
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: February 1st, 2012

     There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

     Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.

     There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

     Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain... magnetism.

     And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

     Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.

     Ilsa J. Bick has been on my list to read, and while I have been warned that Ashes isn't what I was hoping for, I am still up to see with Bick can produce, and the works that are out on the shelves at the moment. Furthermore, Drowning Instinct is one of those books that caught my eye right away. Something about how this book just doesn't sugarcoat reality, as well, it hides who is the monster and who is the victim well.

     As well, Drowning Instinct doesn't seem to be told from one persons point of view, which could be hard to deal with. Jenna seems more like a better candidate for a main character. Mitch doesn't seem like a man who would be faithful, or well just a family man. Yea he may be a teacher and a coach, and a compassionate husband, but that doesn't mean it's a great person. He could be doing more on the side, and it begs the question, who is trustworthy.

Title: What She Left Behind
   Author: Tracy Bilen
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: January 22nd, 2013

     “Don’t even think of leaving… I will find you," he whispered. “Guaranteed."

     Sara and her mom have a plan to finally escape Sara’s abusive father. But when her mom doesn’t show up as expected, Sara’s terrified. Her father says that she’s on a business trip, but Sara knows he’s lying. Her mom is missing—and her dad had something to do with it.

     With each day that passes, Sara’s more on edge. Her friends know that something’s wrong, but she won’t endanger anyone else with her secret. And with her dad growing increasingly violent, Sara must figure out what happened to her mom before it’s too late…for them both.

     Now when I saw Drowning Instinct, this book popped up as well as a recommendation and the title alone made me want to read the synopsis. It's the title that told me the most about this book, the synopsis tells briefly about Sara and her mother, and the state they are living in. However, the issue with the synopsis is that I am asking a few questions that I was hoping would be answered. Sara's mother disappears, I understand that the solution is part of the book, and ultimately the entire plot so that one I have to swallow and move on.

     The other is Sara, I am curious on her personality. Like how old is she, is she stubborn, submissive, independent, etc.? There is so many questions with her character that I'm on edge about the book. However, as well,  you can't really build a character in a synopsis alone so I am going to have to swallow this and hop into the book and let Bilen lead me through the rough and tumble world of an abusive parental story.

Title:The Book of Blood and Shadow
   Author: Robin Wasserman
   Format: Hardcover
   Release Date: April 10th, 2012

     It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.

     But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

     Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

     The Book of Blood and Shadow took my feed by storm one day when I was getting setup and just starting my blog, so this book has been on my radar for a lengthy while. However, the more and more times I passed this book, the more it vexed me and almost pushed me away completely. I finally broke down at a local Books-A-Million store and bought it, and looking at the synopsis now, I don't know why I was so perplexed about this book or what my fears were.

     A traumatic event cost Chris his life, and Nora's best friend and Chris's girlfriend was catatonic; and with a simple twist Nora's Prince was gone. It begs the question and with all fingers pointing at Max, did he really do it. However this isn't just a simple murder mystery, there is some Lumen Dei that gives the controller immense power. That night that struck Nora so hard, gives her the key to find this book/object to solve the mystery and ultimately her life. However, my question is, Why is her life in danger? That never really got brought to focus and leaves you with a question of what's the pint of the book, and what's is dangerous?


Title: If You Find Me
   Author: Emily Murdoch
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: March 26th, 2013

     There are some things you can’t leave behind…

     A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

     Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

     If You Find Me tore my heart wide hope and posed one question that turns over and over in my mind, was the person they were living with and calling mother, Really their mother. Carey and her sister rely heavily on each other. So it's no doubt that with the mentally ill "mother" disappears and two men come in and remove the two, that they wouldn't take the change well. Furthermore, they are thrown into a new world and their relationship is tested even more.

     The statement on the truth about her mother and why she abducted the two girls. However, what is that truth and ultimately is that really her mother? There is so many questions and the response to this book has been greatly received. Carey and her sister in this new world, struggle with each other, and risk everything to hold on to a new life, but the secrets she keeps risks exposing everything. And those secrets are? I am curious and the questions and responses to this book have been very favorable and good, so I am happy to have this book in my possession.

Title: Stay With Me
   Author: Paul Griffin
   Format: Hardback
   Release Date: September 8th, 2012

     An urban romance that will capture your soul, break your heart, and restore your faith in the human spirit

     Fifteen-year-olds Cece and Mack didn't expect to fall in love. She's a sensitive A student; he's a high school dropout. But soon they're spending every moment together, bonding over a rescued dog, telling their secrets, making plans for the future. Everything is perfect. Until. Until. Mack makes a horrible mistake, and in just a few minutes, the future they'd planned becomes impossible. In this stark new reality, both of them must find meaning and hope in the memories of what they had, to survive when the person they love can't stay.

     From award-winning writer Paul Griffin, Stay with Me is both heartbreaking and uplifting, filled with characters (both dog and human) that will forever change the way you look at the world.

     I picked this book up on a whim, and I loved the idea behind this. However, I would change the characters somewhat, but this isn't my story to tell and I'll be more than happy to see Griffin's version. Mack is a high school drop out who falls for Cece who happens to be a terrific student and very compassionate/sensitive. My question with the characters is how do these two even relate to each other, let alone find and fall for each other? Oh right the rescued dog, while I love involving animals in a story and what character they add to the life and joy of the story, it seems cliche and overdone in this instance.

     So we have an unlikely couple that is planning their future and working through the common nuances of being in a relationship. However, Mack makes a mistake and ruins all of their plans and future. Again What sort of mistake did he make, and just how can one act ruin everything? From my perspective cheating is sole reason to give up on a person, we all screw up and deserve second chances, and trust can be regained, but just how bad does it have to be to ruin a couple's future? I am interested to see this romance, and just how far the emotional involvement and toll will take.
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