Book Review: Finding It

Finding It (Losing It, #3)Finding It

by Cora Carmack

Published: 10 October 2013 by Ebury Press

Version: Ebook received from InkSlinger PR (review my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 4 sofas

Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong…

Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She’s having the time of her life . . . or that’s what she keeps telling herself.

It’s a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you’re afraid you won’t like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey’s loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey’s mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.

I am thrilled to be taking part in the review tour for Finding It (organised by InkSlinger PR). I have adored Cora’s previous books and was excited to hear more about Kelsey. I always eagerly anticipate Cora’s books as I know just what to expect: a little bit of sexy romance combined with funny awkward moments, and above all a great story. I can tell you know that Finding It certainly did not disappoint, so if you loved her others you should definitely pick this up. And if you haven’t, you really should! 

We follow Kelsey (who we met in Losing It) as she goes travelling around Europe. Kelsey is a fun loving character, but when she appears to be followed by a sexy soldier, it sends her party plans out the window. 

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“Adventures don’t happen when you’re worried about the future or tied down by the past. They only exist in the now. And they always, always come at the most unexpected time, in the least likely of packages. An adventure is an open window; and an adventurer is the person willing to crawl out on the ledge and leap.”

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I’d love to be able to travel around Europe and visit all the romantic and exotic locations, such as Italy and Paris. I’m just not brave enough to do so! This is one of the reasons I fell in love with this book; each location Kelsey and Jackson travel to makes me more wistful of beautiful places. Sometimes fun and usually romantic, each setting is special in its own different way, and this set Finding It apart from Cora’s other books, which have both been focussed around  America. 

Kelsey as a character was quite hard to love. The way she wore her happy mask showed pretty much from the beginning that she was a girl running away from something. Heavily in denial about her baggage, she threw herself into the partying lifestyle. In a way, she reminded me of Max from ‘Faking It’. Unfortunately, while Max’s story hit me hard and made me fall in love with her, I just didn’t take to Kelsey the same way. Whether it is because I was more invested in Cade as a partner than Jackson, I’m not sure.

If you love European romances, this is definitely the book for you. Fun and very romantic, this made me want to explore secret locations all over the world. Yet another winner by Cora! 4 sofas.

Author Bio

Cora Carmack bio pic

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

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FI Review Tour

Top Ten: Books On my Autumn TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

The topic for today is Fall’s (Autumn’s) TBR List. For October I am going to try and eliminate as many ebooks as possible from my TBR pile. I have let them build up and it is not really fair on those authors and publishers. So I am going to try and clear my conscience before the year is out….  

Acid by Emma Pass: I’ve heard such awesome things about this one, I definitely need to read it soon. 

Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess: This was hailed as one of the first major NA books without sex as a major feature. 

Keeping Her by Cora Carmack: One of my favourite authors, there is no good excuse why I haven’t already read this. 

              The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles: This sounds like a really cute contemporary and I have her second book on my shelf as well, so I need to crack on with this one. 

Speechless by Hannah Harrington: Lots of people I know adore this one. The concept sounds really interesting, but it just keeps getting pushed down my pile.  

         Acid         Brooklyn Girls          Keeping Her (Losing It #1.5)

The Kissing Booth                    Speechless

There are also some print copies that I can’t wait to delve into.

Are We There Yet? by David Levithan: David Levithan, yo! Loving his books at the minute. 

Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke: This sounds like its gonna be very emotional, but amazing. 

Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield: I have heard nothing but awesomeness about this one. 

Metawars series by Jeff Norton: The first three books in this series are sitting on my shelf, with the fourth to be released soon. This sci-fi adventure set will make a nice break from all the contemporaries!       

Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz: This sounds like a good ‘issues’ kind of books and is lovely and thin!  

                Are We There Yet?            Another Way to Fall           Friday Brown

MetaWars: Fight for the Future                      Colin Fischer

That’s the plan for my reading list, but what should I read first? Leave me some recommendations! Have you read any of these before? Link me to your TTT below!   

Letterbox Love #29

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey of Narratively Speaking whereby book lovers can exhibit the books they received this week.

This week has been so hectic for me but I’ve managed to squeeze in buying a few books…     

Bought:

Soulmates by Holly Bourne

The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore

Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover by Ally Carter

The Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Flyaway by Lucy Christopher

There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff

From Where I Stand by Tabitha Suzuma

Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzie

Ebooks:

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

Thanks very much to Algonquin Books and Netgalley.

Keeping Her by Cora Carmack

Yay! Thanks Random House and Netgalley for this, I will sneak it in my reading list soon!

Library:

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

 Keeping Her (Losing It #1.5)       If You Could Be Mine

What did you receive this week? Have you read any of my books and do you think it should be at the top or the bottom of my to read pile?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Bookish Events

This year I’ve been luckily enough to attend lots of bookish events. However, there are lots I missed out on but am planning for next year! I thought I’d just give you an overview of the types of event I have attended and the pros and cons of each. 

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Usually reserved for popular books or authors, these signings are good for racking up signatures in books. Not usually so good for spending time with the author! 

The signings that I’ve attended like this include Cassie Clare, Stephenie Meyer and Michael McIntyre. While I was thrilled to be able to meet them and get a coveted signature, you do just feel like part of an assembly line. Often it doesn’t allow much time to speak to the author. It does, however, usually involve lots of waiting around in a queue beforehand!

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I think so far this is my favourite type of event. The ones I have attended have mostly been at Waterstones Piccadilly, and involve one or more authors. They have an opportunity to talk about their book, answer questions and then have a signing at the end.

As well as getting a greater insight into the author and the story behind the book, it allows for talk with other bloggers while the signing line goes down!

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Obviously exclusive for bloggers, these events are great in getting to communicate with authors and publicists. My first event as a blogger was Holly Smale’s Geek Girl party. Here I met some bloggers that I consider to be great bookish friends now, and often see at other events. It’s also nice to meet the publicists behind the emails and the proofs, and to get to know them personally. 

I can say the only real negative about blogger events is not getting invited to them, especially when it seems everyone else in the world is going. I’ve definitely experienced this more than once, but its still amazing to hear about them afterwards and see all the goodies! ggparty

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The bonus of launch parties is that friends of the author quite often attend. And those friends are quite often authors themselves. I discovered this when I went to James Dawsons’ launch for Cruel Summer, and found myself face to face with people such as Patrick Ness and Tanya Byrne. While I didn’t speak to these personally (I was too in awe!) it gives an amazing opportunity to meet lots of authors in one place. The other plus is that it is such a relaxed environment, usually involving drinks and snacks and lots of conversation. 

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I haven’t yet attended a book festival. I’m planning to go to one day of Bath Kids Lit Festival, but I would love to spend a whole weekend or week immersed in books. Earlier this year I swooned over all the people over the ocean going to BEA, and I hope in the next couple of years I can make this dream a reality.

A bit closer to home, and I also missed out on the London Book Fair this year due to other arrangements. Faye wrote a post about her experience, and the seminars sounded like a really awesome insight into the book and publishing world. I am definitely putting it on my calendar for next year, so watch this space!

What events have you attended? What is your opinion on the best format? Any events that you would recommend? 

A Bookish Survey: A to Z

Lots of people have been taking part in the A-Z survey created by Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner, and I thought I’d give it a go! Sounded like fun 🙂

a to z survey

Author you’ve read the most books from:

By far my most read author is Robert Muchamore! According to Goodreads, I have read 22 of his books. Blimey! 

Best Sequel Ever:

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I think I actually liked it more than the first…

Currently Reading:

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

I mostly drink fruit juice. Though in the winter there is nothing nicer than curling up with a book and some white hot chocolate!

E-reader or Physical Book?

My kindle is useful when commuting, but I am definitely a physical book gal. There is nothing better!

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

I’d love to say Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, but truth be told I was way too shy to have a boyfriend back then!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Hidden Gem Book:

Between The Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer. The illustrations! ❤

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

When I began working at the library. Before then, I used to reread a lot of the same books again. It taught me to be more adventurous with reading!

Just Finished:

Hurt by Tabitha Suzuma

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I do try and read all genres of YA, but when it comes to adult books I’m much more picky. I don’t read many literary fiction, historical or heavy fantasy/scifi.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (870 pages). This is one of my favourite books of the series as well 😀 

Major book hangover because of:

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Number of Bookcases You Own:

One official bookcase. I also have some shelves and keep some under my dressing table!

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Any non-fiction book by Torey Hayden. Her books were my inspiration to originally be a speech and language therapist.

Preferred Place To Read:

On the train; its the only place with minimal distractions! Or else in bed.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.” from Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

Reading Regret:

Not starting a blog earlier! Or reading more variety as a kid.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):

All of them? Off the top of my head, Michael Grant’s Gone series, Ally Condie’s Matched series and Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

Only three?! The Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella,  Race to the Pole by James Cracknell & Ben Fogle and the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Rainbow Rowell. Ever since I discovered Attachments I knew her writing was special, and it has just grown and grown and every book is that little bit better!

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan! It sounds AHMAZING and I only have two more weeks to wait! 

Worst Bookish Habit:

From a blogging point of view, it would definitely be not writing reviews! Abandoning half-finished books perhaps?

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Before I go to Sleep by SJ Watson.

Your latest book purchase:

Skinny by Donna Cooner.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Faking It by Cora Carmack. I just HAD to finish it. I adore her books so much ❤

Well that was my survey! Please link me up to yours if you’ve taken part too 🙂

Book Blitz: Keeping Her

Eek! I’m so excited for Keeping Her by Cora Carmack, the continuation of Garrick and Bliss’ relationship.

Keeping Her (Losing It, #1.5)

Garrick Taylor and Bliss Edwards managed to find their happily-ever-after despite a rather . . . ahem . . . complicated start. By comparison, meeting the parents should be an absolute breeze, right?

But from the moment the pair lands in London, new snags just keep cropping up: a disapproving mother-in-law-to-be, more than one (mostly) minor mishap, and the realization that perhaps they aren’t quite as ready for their future as they thought.

As it turns out, the only thing harder than finding love is keeping it.

Check out the first chapter plus some bonus Garrick POV scenes from LOSING IT.

Also, Cora Carmack is planning to donate 20% of all her royalties from this book to the charity Planting Peace for the life of the book. You can find out more about Planting Peace here:  http://www.plantingpeace.org/. Planting Peace is a progressive nonprofit organization founded for the purpose of spreading peace in a hurting world. Although the organization operates on a global level, they emphasize the power of one; the ability that each person possesses to make a difference in the world.

Author Bio

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

http://coracarmack.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/CoraCarmackBooks

https://twitter.com/CoraCarmack

http://www.harpercollins.com/imprints/index.aspx?imprintid=518003

https://www.facebook.com/WmMorrowbks

https://twitter.com/WmMorrowBks

BUY LINKS:

 Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Giveaway

There will be two winners. One will win a set of signed copies of LOSING IT and FAKING IT and the other will win their name as a character in an upcoming novella by Cora Carmack scheduled to release in early 2014! This is an International giveaway!

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Book Review: Faking It

Faking It (Losing It, #2)Faking It

by Cora Carmack

Published: June 2013 by Ebury Press

Version: Paperback from Ebury Press via blogger party (review is my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 5 sofas

Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

After reading Losing It and absolutely LOVING it (check out my review here), I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next one. I was lucky enough to bag an invite to the Making It Faking It party hosted by Ebury Press. Ever since reading Losing It, I have been stalking Cora Carmack on twitter. She is just so AWESOME. It was great to finally meet her, and hear about how she wrote the books. She read one of my favourite passages from Losing It, and also a bit from each perspective of Faking It. And my god, did it make me want to read it!

So yes, Faking It. It is written from two perspectives (Cade’s and Max’s). Cade we already know from Losing It, as Bliss’ best friend. He is the boy next door, the good guy, that one that always misses out. To be honest, from Losing It I kind of thought he was a bit of a wimp, but boy did Faking It change my perspective! As the book starts, Cade is still moping after Bliss. But when Max waltzes into the coffee shop and asks Cade to pretend to be her boyfriend and meet her parents, his life flips completely.

Max is a very closed off character. Its clear from the beginning that she has emotional issues, and usually picks bad boys so that she doesn’t have to open herself up. She chooses Cade to meet her parents to impress them, as she knows they don’t approve of her string of tattooed, highly pierced ‘bad boy’ boyfriends. She is shocked (and a bit jealous) how much her parents love him, but then starts to realise why.

At the beginning Max is quite hard to love because of her defensive nature. But even Cora said that it was easier to write Cade at first. He is familiar, like an old shirt. But Max has her good side too. I love the banter between them, it had me stifling giggles on the train. I retreated further into the book during the sexy scenes too! From the first page I was addicted, and did not want to put it down. 

I didn’t think I could love an NA book more than Losing It, but I actually think I enjoyed Faking It even more. Cora’s writing just makes me smile and it exudes sexiness and funniness. However, Faking It has an added depth that make the characters so much more real and emotional. The dual POV really worked, and I especially loved getting to know Cade more. A definite 5 sofas from me, and I can’t WAIT for Cora’s next book!