Mundie Moms

Friday, December 4, 2015

THE TROUBLE WITH DESTINY by Lauren Morrill / Blog Tour: Book Review / Giveaway

Hello and welcome  to today's blog tour for THE TROUBLE WITH DESTINY! Check out my review below for Lauren Morrill's newest release & be sure to enter to WIN!


By: Lauren Morrill
Published by: Delacorte Press
To Be Released on: December 8th, 2015
Add it to Goodreads

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey... 

With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize. 

Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.

But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.

Lauren Morrill is one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. I've loved her books, and was thrilled to have the chance to review her newest release, The Trouble With Destiny. With it's catchy cover, which I totally love, and set on a cruise ship, this is a book that I've been looking forward to reading.

What I liked about this book, is that unlike her previous YA books, which I loved, I felt like this book was more fitted for a younger YA audience and older MG readers. While the characters are teens, there was more a middle grade, young YA voice to the story. Viewing the story this way made me enjoy the book more. There was something lacking in the story for me to feel it was more for an older YA audience. 

Character wise, I was not a huge fan of the protagonist, Liza. She was hard to like through out much of the book. Though, there are times I did like her. She does some things that just, I don't, really irritated me. At first she had my sympathy, but then I realize she's just not a very nice person. However, I like that she's not a perfect character. She has flaws and she learns from her mistakes. In learning from these she does her best to correct what she does wrong. I give huge props for that. 

I really enjoyed the the secondary characters in this book. For me, they were the ones that kept me hooked. They were easy to like, relateable characters, and I enjoyed reading about them. My favorite character was Huck. Who wouldn't want a best friend like him? I would have loved a BFF like him back in middle school and high school. Then there's Russ. I totally loved his guy. This big ole high school football player is not at all what I was excepting. I loved him and Huck. Most importantly, I like that they do for Liza and how they treat her, even when she's horrible to them. These two guys get huge props in my book!

The romance is light, fluffy, and slow to develop. It's one I liked, but by the time it finally developed into something more, I didn't want the story to end. I wish it hadn't been as slow to develop. Even though I wanted more, I did love the way things turned out. I did find it predictable, which didn't take away from my enjoying it. 

Over all, I liked The Trouble With Destiny. It's a fun, quick, enjoyable read. I enjoyed the few hours I spent reading it one afternoon. Plus, I liked that I was able to venture out on a cruise ship without having to leave the comforts of my home. And I didn't have to worry about over coming my fear of being on the ocean, on a ship. haha. 

My favorite quote from the book:

"Because if there's one thing I've learned from Destiny, it's that you never know what's going to happen next.... and it just might change your life."

Praise for The Book


Lauren Elizabeth Morrill is many things, including, but not limited to, a writer, an educator, a badass roller derby skater, a former band nerd, an aggressive driver, and a die-hard Mac person. She also watches a lot of TV, eats a lot of junk food, and drinks a lot of Coke. It's a wonder her brain and teeth haven't rotted out of her head.

Lauren is the author of Meant to Be, Being Sloane Jacobs, The Trouble With Destiny, and the forthcoming My Unscripted Life (October 2016), all from Random House.
Find Lauren online: Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram


One winner (US or Canada Only) will receive a Lauren Morrill prize pack of signed copies of all Lauren's books and swag!

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FORBIDDEN by Eve Bunting / Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway

Hello & welcome to today's stop in the FORBIDDEN blog tour, hosted by Rock Star Blog Tours.Today's stop features my review for Eve's newest release and a GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter to win at the end of this post. 

By: Eve Bunting
Published by: Clarion Books
Released on: 12.1.2015
Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads
Source: arc to review from publisher, in exchange for my honest review

In early-nineteenth century Scotland, sixteen-year-old Josie, an orphan, is sent to live with an aunt and uncle on the rocky, stormy northwest coast. Everything and everyone in her new surroundings, including her relatives, is sinister, threatening, and mysterious. She's told that Eli, the young man she's attracted to, is forbidden to her, but not why. Spirited, curious, and determined, Josie sets out to learn the village's secrets and discovers evil, fueled by heartless greed, as well as a ghostly presence eager for revenge. An author's note gives the historical inspiration for this story.

My Review

There are two things this book had going for it. It's early-nineteenth century Scotland setting, and Josie, the main character. When you combine my love of historical settings, and strong female lead who goes against what's excepted of her in her time period, than you've got the makings of a book I'm going to like. At least hopefully. 

Let's talk setting. This book had me at 'early-nineteenth century Scotland'. I am a sucker for a historical setting, not to mention on set in Scotland. The setting was just as eerie, and dark as the synopsis makes it sound. I love how the setting came to life in the story. I felt like the setting itself was more of a key character in the story than a place to set the story in. I love that when authors do that. The lore, and the weather were key elements in the story as well, and really added to the eeriness and mystery surrounding Josie's new home. 

Josie is another thing I liked about the story. Despite what's proper and excepted of her during this time period, she breaks the mold a bit, When the time calls for it, she goes against being proper and does what she feels is right. This girl has had her whole life uprooted. Her parents have both recently died, leaving her in the care of Aunt and Uncle she's never met. She came from wealth and a close knit to family, to something that's completely opposite of all she's ever known. Her Aunt and Uncle are gruff, sinister, and cold. There's a lot of mystery surrounding them, and Josie's new home, but a lack of details and answers with things that are going on. I'll admit, as a reader it was just as frustrating as it was for Josie, trying to figure out what's going on. However, it's obvious that her Aunt and Uncle are up to something evil, as are the coastal town's people. 

I admired Josie for her not putting up with being ordered around. I also liked that she didn't accept the lack of answers she was being told nor did she like being told no when she questioned things that were going on. While she does uncover some truth and answers, there were still things I felt that were left unanswered. As a reader, I feel when there are specific things mentioned in the story, there should be a reason or explanation for why they are. I never got the why on some things, which in the end made me wonder why it was ever mentioned in the first place. Though I didn't love this story, I have to admit, with the way the story ended I would probably pick up the next book (if there was one), just to see how a certain something (I won't say what because of spoilers) was possible. 

Over all, I felt like FORBIDDEN was more of the kind of story that could be told around a campfire to unsettle and spook you, than it was a book that I'd take out and reread again. That's not a bad thing. In fact it's an unique thing to the story. Book wise, this book and I just weren't meant to be. I was left wanting more than I got. However, I would have definitely felt a little spooked had this been a story told to me outside, in the dark, by a campfire.

About The Author

Also known as Evelyn Bolton and A.E. Bunting.

Anne Evelyn Bunting, better known as Eve Bunting, is an author with more than 250 books. Her books are diverse in age groups, from picture books to chapter books, and topic, ranging from Thanksgiving to riots in Los Angeles. Eve Bunting has won several awards for her works.

Bunting went to school in Ireland and grew up with storytelling. In Ireland, “There used to be Shanachies… the shanachie was a storyteller who went from house to house telling his tales of ghosts and fairies, of old Irish heroes and battles still to be won. Maybe I’m a bit of a Shanchie myself, telling stories to anyone who will listen.” This storytelling began as an inspiration for Bunting and continues with her work.

In 1958, Bunting moved to the United States with her husband and three children. A few years later, Bunting enrolled in a community college writing course. She felt the desire to write about her heritage. Bunting has taught writing classes at UCLA. She now lives in Pasadena, California.

Find her on: Website | Goodreads


3 winners will receive a finished copy of FORBIDDEN, US Only.

Follow The Blog Tour
11/23/2015- The Cover ContessaInterview
11/24/2015- Book BriefsReview
11/25/2015- A Dream Within A DreamGuest Post
11/26/2015- Zach's YA ReviewsReview
11/27/2015- BookHounds YAInterview
11/30/2015- Just Commonly- Review
12/1/2015- Curling Up With A Good BookInterview
12/2/2015- Novel NoviceReview
12/3/2015- The Reading Nook ReviewsGuest Post
12/4/2015- Mundie MomsReview

REBEL SPRING by Morgan Rhodes / Flashback Friday: Book Review #FallingKingdomSeries

Happy Flashback Friday! This is a weekly meme we started doing years ago and then slacked off on, and now we're picking it back up. This weekly meme allows us spotlight books we've read that are not recent releases. This week's FBF is for REBEL SPRING, by Morgan Rhodes.

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To celebrate the upcoming release of FROZEN TIDES by Morgan Rhodes, I've teamed up with Penguin Teen to count down to the release of Frozen Tides. Each week I will be spotlighting the first three books in The Falling Kingdom series. During the release week of Frozen Tides, Morgan herself will be stopping by the blog for an interview! Stay tuned for that, and my review of Frozen Tides!

 If you haven't yet picked up this series, I highly recommend that you do! My review below was originally posted here


By: Morgan Rhodes
Published by: Razborbill
Released on: December 3rd, 2013
Series: Falling Kingdoms #2
5 Stars: I LOVED IT!
Purchase it From: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

Love, power, and magic collide with war in the second book of the Falling Kingdoms series

Auranos has fallen and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now united as one country called Mytica. But still, magic beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world...

When the evil King Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of events that will forever change the face of this land, forcing Cleo the dethroned princess, Magnus the reluctant heir, Lucia the haunted sorceress, and Jonas the desperate rebel to take steps they never could have imagined.


One of the best fantasy books of 2013! I LOVED it. This book surpassed all my acceptations! What doesn't this book have? There's plenty of romance, power struggles, twists, secrets, betrayals, magic, fighting, death, gut wrenching moments, action, fights, and a shocking arranged marriage. Most importantly, there are many characters who make this story so enticing, most importantly our main four characters.

Just as I thought King Gaius couldn't be any more of a cruel man, I was proven wrong. Everyone is a pawn in his game and quest for magic and power. The person who's not afraid of him, Princess Cleo. I really admired Cleo's secret determination to bring down the King. I loved that she figured out how to get under the King's skin, and how she'd do things to defy him in her own way, and does so with a smile on her face. Prince Magnus is the one I feel like I'm at war with myself trying to figure out how I want to feel about him. I felt bad for him in the first book, but this time around I'm starting to like him against my better judgement. I think there's still more to him then we've seen so far. The biggest shocker is the King's announcement of Magnus and Cleo's engagement. That was a surprise to everyone, including the two of them. Okay and myself.

One of my favorite characters in this book was someone I hadn't excepted to like as much, Jonas. Jonas and his band of rebels were one of my favorite things about this story. With his best friend Brion, and their new addition, Lysandra, this group knows how to defy the King. Lysandra's edition to the story has a purpose, and I'm dying to find out if my hunch about her role is right. I really liked her. She's a fiery, independent character who's on a quest for vengeance and justice against a King who's killed scores of innocent people in his quest to rule all the kingdoms as one, just as Jonas is. I love that this band of rebels stands for truth and justice, and wants people to see through the King's lies. They want to protect their people, and their home lands that have already suffered so much. While these rebels have hope, and a just cause, they are forced to rethink their strategy as many of their people die fighting for their cause.

Cleo and Magnus. These two have a hatred towards each other unlike any other. Neither of them wants to be married to the other, but no one says no to the King. There's something between the two of them, that I feel they could be beneficial to out smarting the King. I'm curious to see if my prediction might be right. I think their hatred is the perfect ploy into something that could happen. Both Cleo and Magnus are pawns in the King's plans. Cleo will do whatever it takes to take back her kingdom. This poor girl has lost her family, and the love of her life, so she clearly has nothing to lose now. Marrying Magnus is the last thing she wants, but she's not allowed to say no. Magnus, well he's the Prince who wants to be the good son, but I think there's something changing in Magnus that will play a crucial role in book three. If I wasn't already starting to like him, I loved him after the outcome of the fight he and Anon have. When you read that scene you'll know why. I have despised Anon since Falling Kingdoms, and he finally gets what he deserves.

Magnus at times comes across as spineless, and weak, but sometimes those are the characters who become the strongest, and through out the book I felt like Rhodes was given readers a look into the person Magnus may become. He and Cleo were the two that grew the most for me. Cleo does have some issues she needs to work out. That deals with the romance. I LOVED the bickering between her and Jonas. It was comical. While Cleo closely guards her heart, there's twists in the story that have her kissing one swoon worthy rebel, and one cold, yet handsome Prince. Thankfully there's no love triangles going on, but there are some twists in who Cleo needs to trust, and who she should give her heart to, if she does. One thing is for certain, there's a rebel that needs Cleo on his side, and Prince who might be able to help Cleo's secret plot.  Cleo and Magnus have started to figure a lot of things out about the King, and it will be interesting to see who trusts who, and who confides in who.

While Magnus has figured out what he has to keep away from his father, Cleo has figured out the key to the King's success. Lucia's part in this story keeps getting more interesting. I didn't see her being drugged coming, and whom was drugging her, neither did I see the twist in how Cleo can help her coming. One thing is certain, the twist with what's happening with The Kindred and the role their play in this entire series has just gotten a lot more complex. Now I'm left with all these theories on what I think will happen next. I need the next book like now.

Morgan Rhodes does a stellar job at intertwining the complex, and enticing story line with the four different character point of views. Like Falling Kingdoms, it's incredibly easy to follow each character, and the all that happens in the story. Each character is not only crucial in telling this story, but each point of view fuels the story's growth. I've not read a more perfectly written story with multiple points of views. Rhodes definitely set the bar for multiple points of views, and I've not yet read another book that could surpass what Rhodes has done.

I LOVE this series! I'm addicted to this series and Rhodes's writing. I NEED the next book already. I need to know what happens next. That cliff hanger of an ending was almost as evil as King Gaius..... lol If you love Fantasy, go pick up this book! It's one of my favorite reads of 2013!

Don't miss my blog tour stop / interview with Morgan on December 18th!