Mini Review: The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

untitledTitle: The Smell of Other People’s Houses

Author: Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Publication Date: February 23, 2016

Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books

Synopsis: In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled.

The Smell of Other People’s Houses is told through the perspective of four young adults in Alaska during the 1970’s. Each character lives a very different life, but eventually all their stories become connected. Ruth has fallen for the wrong guy and is currently dealing with the consequences of her decision. Dora comes from a broken and abusive home and would do anything to stay with the family who has taken her in. Alyce is torn between her mother and her father. Does she stay with her mother and work on her dancing or should she spend the summer fishing on a boat with her father? Hank has decided that the best chance him and his brothers have is to runaway.

The Smell of Other People’s Houses is not a fast-paced read. It takes its’ time to tell its’ story. This book gives its’ readers stories that are realistic and genuine. There were moments that I forgot that this book is a historical fiction due to the honest way these stories are told. There are not many books that can make me cry, but this book did just that. This book is so unique and is now one of my favorite historical fictions to date!

4 out of 5 stars

Meet The Author


Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock was born and raised in Alaska. She worked many years fishing commercially with her family and as a reporter for Alaska Public Radio stations around the state. She was also the host and producer of “Independent Native News,” a daily newscast produced in Fairbanks, focusing on Alaska Natives, American Indians, and Canada’s First Nations. Her writing is inspired by her family’s four generations in Alaska.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, and her website.


Waiting on Wednesday: Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.  “Waiting on Wednesday” spotlights upcoming releases that I’m eagerly anticipating.

Title: Given to the Sea

Author: Mindy McGinnis

Publication Date: April 11, 2016



Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given.

Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

22840421Title: My Lady Jane

Authors: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

Publication Date: June 7, 2016

Publisher: Harper Teen

Synopsis: Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

King Edward is dying and has no heirs. In an effort to keep the throne in the family, he makes the decision to make his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, the next in line for the throne. Edward also betroths Lady Jane to Gifford Dudley in hopes that they will one day produce a male heir for the throne. The only tiny problem with Gifford (or G), is the fact that he is horse by day and a boy at night. G is what you would call an Edian. Edians are people who possess the magic to turn into an animal whenever they wish.

The characters in this book were phenomenal. As a bookworm and slightly shy character, Jane was a character I could easily connect with. The fact that she brought fifty books on her honeymoon was simply the best. She is sharp, quick, and has a heart to help others.

While G may have a reputation with the ladies, the truth is quite the opposite. G spends his days as a horse, galloping through fields and munching on hay, and spends his nights reciting his own poetry. Because he is embarrassed of his poetry, he lets other believe that he spends his nights with women to cover up the real reason he is out all night.

Then we have King Edward. Poor King Edward has been given only a few months to live, but his health is declining very rapidly. He hopes that his dear cousin Jane won’t hate him for betrothing her to a perfect stranger. Oh, and he is also going to die without having ever kissed a girl. The tragedy.

My Lady Jane is just so darn entertaining. This book is light, silly, and will have you laughing from start to finish. I don’t read near enough books with humor so I was very excited to start this one and I was not left down. There were so many moments I was snorting and laughing out loud that my husband wanted to know what was so funny.

I have so much love for this book and I genuinely wish that there was going to be a sequel for this book. I did not want to leave this hilarious and raucous world. My Lady Jane is the first book I have read by all of these authors and I will be reading their other work very soon.

4 out of 5 stars

Meet The Authors


Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly series with HarperTeen: Unearthly, Hallowed, Radiant (an enovella) and Boundless, and the NYT bestselling contemporary, The Last Time We Say Goodbye. She lives with her family in Idaho, where she teaches courses in creative writing at Boise State University. Her latest book, My Lady Jane, (cowritten with Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows) was released on June 7, 2016.


Brodi Ashton writes Young Adult novels. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Utah and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Her debut series, the Everneath trilogy, is available now. My Lady Jane (HarperCollins) comes out June 7th, 2016. Diplomatic Immunity (HarperCollins) hits shelves Fall 2016.


Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of the Incarnate Trilogy and the Orphan Queen Duology (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen), and a coauthor of My Lady Jane (HarperTeen).

*A Kippy is a cat.

You can find all these lovely ladies at their shared Twitter account.

Blog Tour: Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker – Review + Favorite Quotes + Giveaway


Click on the tour banner to follow the rest of the tour!

27272262Title: Smash & Grab

Author: Amy Christine Parker

Publication Date: July 19, 2016

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Synopsis: Ocean’s Eleven meets the star-crossed lovers of West Side Story. Grab some popcorn and get ready for an adrenaline-filled heist!
Lexi is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.
Christian is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful. . . .
Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.
Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun. Hand to fans of Perfect Chemistry, The Conspiracy of Us, and Heist Society.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo


I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

When Lexi’s father is arrested for mortgage fraud, Lexi cannot come to terms with the fact that her father was the only one involved in the financial scam. In order to find evidence against her father’s coworker, Lexi and her friends team up with a group of professional bank robbers.

If Christian and his friends are going to pull off a fifty million dollar heist, they are going to need help from Lexi and her friends. Although the situation may be less than ideal, they just might come out of their heist alive and richer then ever before.

This story is told from two points of views, Lexi’s point of view and then Christian’s point of view. I especially enjoyed these two points of views because they are so different from each other. Up until just recently, Lexi’s life has been easy and carefree, while Christian’s life has been anything but. In order to pay off his father’s gambling debts, Christian joins a Mexican gang. This gang has been forcing Christian to commit bank robberies. If Christian doesn’t do as he is told, the Mexican gang will not only kill him, but kill his family as well. Even though Lexi and Christian come from completely two different worlds, they quickly realize that they are more alike then they imagined.

Smash and Grab is such an easy novel to lose yourself in. This action packed story jumps right in, literally BASE jumping, and will leave you breathless from start to finish. The characters are fantastic and complement each other wonderfully. There are even a few surprises at the end that I did not see coming. If you are looking for a fast paced, action packed, and exciting read, Smash and Grab might just be the book for you!

4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quotes

“I think it’s better if we keep this strictly professional,” she says. I laugh. “Baby, there is nothing professional about what we’re doing.” Her mouth quirks up. “Okay, so we keep it strictly criminal then.”

“I’m the one with all the choices, and I’m starting to realize that all I want to do know is make the right ones.”

Meet The Author

Amy Christine

Amy Christine Parker writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and her website.



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Waiting on Wednesday: Wait for Me by Caroline Leech

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.  “Waiting on Wednesday” spotlights upcoming releases that I’m eagerly anticipating.

Title: Wait for Me

Author: Caroline Leech

Publication Date: January 31, 2017



Set on a Scottish farm in the spring of 1945, Wait for Me begins as Paul, a severely burned German prisoner-of-war, is sent to the farm to work. Lorna, the farmer’s teenage daughter, soon discovers that in wartime, your family and your allies might not actually be your friends, and your enemy might turn out to be the love of your life. Lorna’s friendship with Paul, and their developing love for each other, is challenged by Lorna’s own prejudices and by the intolerance of her soldier brother and her friends in the village. Ultimately, the events which bring peace to Europe will tear Lorna and Paul apart. What will Lorna have to give up in order to find Paul again?