Tuesday, 26 August 2014

[ARC Review] The Aftermath by Jen Alexander



Title: The Aftermath
Author: Jen Alexander
Series: Unknown Series
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopian
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Release Date: August 26th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: ARC received by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads







Sometimes, I dream that I'm someone else.

A girl with dark hair who doesn't worry about hunger

or thirst or running from flesh-eaters.

In her world, those sorts of things don't exist.

Since the spring of 2036, when the world changed forever, Claudia and a small clan of survivors have roamed the streets of a very altered Nashville: polluted and desolate, except for the ever-present threat of cannibal Hoarders. Together they must undergo punishing tests of endurance and psychological challenge sometimes with devastating consequences all just to live another day.

With food and water in dwindling supply, and with danger lurking around every corner, no one can be trusted. And as her world starts to make less and less sense, Claudia begins to realize something terrifying: she is just a pawn in some sort of game, and all of her actions are being controlled from afar by a mysterious gamer. So when she meets a maddening and fascinating outsider named Declan, who claims to be a game moderator, she must decide whether to join him in exchange for protection and access to the border.

If they play the game right, they are each other's best hope for survival and a life beyond the only world Claudia's ever known: the terrifying live-action game known as The Aftermath.



Usually when I read YA books I need to be grabbed from the very beginning because I have so many books to read and if you don't grab me from the beginning then I will usually just out the book back down. So when I picked up The Aftermath I was surprised that the beginning was as slow as it was. I loved the concept of the book going in and I have to be honest and say that in the beginning I was extremely confused as to what was going on. This does happen sometimes but I have to say that this books beginning threw me a bit and i had to make myself keep reading. But I will say that I am happy I did finish this book because the second half of this book was great!

Once our main character, Claudia, met Declan, then everything started to make sense for me and flow a bit better. I really liked their relationship because it felt real. It was not love at first sight, but once they spent some more time together then things started to change. I also really loved the dual perspectives between Claudia and Olivia and how it was done. Both perspectives were from Claudias head so that was very interested to me, and figuring out what was going on with Claudia was a great way for me to get into the book.

I will say that pacing was a huge problem for me in this book. There were times when I was so invested that I could not stop reading, but then there were times were I was bored and would just start skimming to get to another scene. I really wish that there was more dialogue in this book because when I was reading it I learned more about the characters than from the authors descriptions.

The end. The end of this book was my favorite part. I usually do not like cliffhangers but seriously this one was a great one. It reveal something that I was not expecting and it made me really want the next book! I also loved that we got SOME answers but not enough so it makes you really want the next book.
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Monday, 25 August 2014

[eARC Review] I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre



Title: I Want It That Way
Author: Ann Aquirre
Series: 2B Trilogy #1
Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Release Date: August 26th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Source: eARC received from publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads








Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.



I love New Adult, but if I am honest I have to say that it can get a bit tired after a while, and i think its because the stories are always the same, with some kind of secret that no one knows and a past that is so horrible that once someone finds out everything changes. So I always go into this genre with interesting expectations, but when I finished this book I knew I had read something incredibly special, and something unlike any NA book I have read in a long time.

Nadia, our main character was quickly a favorite of mine because she was written for us to relate to her on every level. Her struggle at school to keep her scholarship, she struggled to keep her job at the local daycare center, her struggle to keep her friendships afloat admits some crazy drama. All of these things made her a character we, as readers, could relate to, and I loved that.Nadia was a strong fierce character who any girls should aspire to be. Ty, Nadia's love interest was just as amazing. He was sweet, caring and hot. But the fact that he was a single dad just made everything him about him heightened. The way her acted towards his son was probably my favorite part of the book. Without telling us anything we saw who Ty was and what kind of guy he was.

The romance between Nadia and Ty was amazing. I loved every aspect of it because Ann Aguirre has a way with sexual tension and man was it amazing to read. I loved that. And because this was New Adult there has to be a conflict that tears the couple apart and what I think made this book so amazing for me was how real the conflict was. It had nothing to do with someone past, or someone doing something wrong. It was just life getting in the way and the characters not being ready for what their relationship would mean in the end.

Overall this book was amazing. I loved every aspects of this story, from the characters to the conflict, to the secondary characters that definitely made this book that much better. If you are look for a fresh new voice in the New Adult genre, the this book is the book for you. A must read for sure!

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Friday, 22 August 2014

[eARC Review] Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes


Title: Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Harper Children’s
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Inidgo | TBD | Goodreads








This emotional, hilarious, devastating, and ultimately triumphant YA debut, based on actual events, recounts one girl’s rejection of her high school’s hierarchy—and her discovery of her true self in the face of tragedy.

Fall’s buzzed-about, in-house favorite. Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika—from laughter to tears, and everything in between.



This book took my by surprise. I was wary of it because of all the hype that was behind it, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book. I particularly loved the main characters voice throughout the book. Anika was a great main character and narrator because she sounded so real and genuine. I loved her especially because she told it like it was with no filter and I found that to be a very interesting way to narrate a book especially when she switches topic so frequently. But I think i liked that the most about her because the narrative sounded like a conversation with a teenage girl. It is never linear and almost never makes complete sense so I found myself laughing more often than not with the things that she was saying.

I loved the struggles that Anika went through throughout the book, she was part of what most would call the "popular crowd" and what i thought was interesting was that Anika really had no real opinion on this. She really did not like them that much but still hung out with them and she even said that she really didn't know why. And I found that so refreshing to read. I also really enjoyed Anika's home life because it was not made out to be this perfect house where everyone got along. There were fights, and parents that were never around and very demanding when it came to school. So it was a very interesting to read this kind of family life and the impact it has on a teenage girl.

I wasn't very fond of the love story, well both actually. There was a love triangle and honestly I am so sick of them in YA fiction. Sometimes I think that they are used as a means for conflict and this instance I think that hypothesis is right. Anika started falling for the "geek" and therefore she hid it from her friends because she knew what that would do. They snuck around and hung out etc etc. But then she starts getting "courted" by the most popular boy in town and then she ditches said geek and all hell breaks loose. There are other, more complicated thins that happen in between all of this that I will not say because it will ruin the book for you.

Overall Anatomy of a Misfit was a great read. It was so different from all the other contemporary fictions i have read over the years. I loved how this book ended. It was sad, and heartbreaking but at the same time made so much sense to the story and and the characters. Please pick up this book you will not be disappointed!
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Thursday, 21 August 2014

[ARC Review] Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper


Title: Salt and Storm
Author: Kendall Kulper
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Historical Paranormal
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Release Date: September 1st 2014
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads








A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.
Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.
Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.



I love historical fiction, especially when it is meshed with the paranormal. So when I saw that this book was not only set in the past but also had to do with witches I knew I needed to read it and this book did not disappoint. It had everything you could ever want, a great mystery, suspense, a great stetting full of intrigue and some great magic.

The writing in this book was above anything I ever expected. It was phenomenal, it sucked you in right from the beginning and it made you feel like you were there, in that time period with these characters. The author made everything about this book genuine and real. I loved the setting and the fact that although I knew nothing about that time period, I still felt very connected not only with the main characters but also all the characters that interacted with them. it was great to read.

The only aspect of the book that i didn't particularly like was the love story. I wasn't totally convinced of it throughout the book and I questioned some of the characters decisions when it came to their feelings. But as the story when on it grew on me a bit, but not enough for me to care about their relationship and where it went in the end.

The end. I loved the end the most out of the entire book. I say this because i thought it was extremely realistic not only to the characters but to the story itself. It was extremely sad and I felt for all the characters involved but I loved that we got a lot of answers and we saw a lot of character growth from not only our main character but all the secondary characters as well.

Overall Salt and Storm was one of the most unique historical paranormal books I have read i years and I will say that for those who are on the fence about picking it...do it, because you do not find books like this very often. Ones that create an amazing world around you while you read and pull you in and refuse to let you go. This book was an amazing read and I recommend to anyone and everyone.
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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

[eARC Review] Eternal Night by Carina Adly Mackenzie


Title: Eternal Night
Author: Carina Adly Mackenzie
Series: Standalone for now
Genre: YA Mythology, Mystery
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: The Studio, a Paper Lantern Lit imprint
Source: eARC received from publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads








There are gods among us...

Six young gods are hiding in plain sight among mortals, living secretly in cities across the world. From lavish penthouse soirees to pulsing underground clubs, for them, the party literally never ends. Until now.

On a hot June morning, the body of a beautiful girl is found floating in the rooftop pool of the Jefferson Hotel, her white-ink tattoos revealing the story of a life much longer than seems possible. Only the immortals know the truth: Nadia was the goddess of hope. Now she’s gone, and the world as they know it is ending. The Hudson River has turned blood red. Storms rage overhead. Mania is rapidly spreading across the globe.

It is up to the remaining gods—Lola, Dean, Weston, Mark, Nike and Peitha—to put aside centuries of betrayal and heartbreak, and stop the mysterious source of darkness that is taking over… before the sun sets forever.

Carina Adly MacKenzie, writer for The CW's hit series "The Originals," has penned a steamy, romantic, and ultimately redemptive story of forgotten gods, the persistence of hope, and the power of love to save us.

 

I am a sucker for all things mythology so when I read the synopsis for Eternal Night I knew I wanted to read it. And I got even more excited when I saw who the author was and the projects she was involved in since I was a huge fan of them. But sadly the more I read the more I began to dislike this book.

I loved the concept of the book, having Greek Gods living in the real world without their powers seemed like a great idea. But for me there were just way too many characters for me to read. i felt overwhelmed by all of theme and got very confused more than once because I forgot which one had which storyline. And to be very honest I had a hard time connecting with any character so when something happened to them I honestly didn't feel for them when I really wanted to. I will say that there were a few characters that I liked more than others and I connected with them a lot more than the others.

The writing for me was an issue because there were so many long winded descriptions that I kept glazing over most of it because I didn't find it helpful to the story. There were a lot of descriptions of clothes and setting but it went too far. It distracted from my enjoyment of the book itself and I wanted so much more dialogue because I always think that when characters talk to each other to find out more about them, and in this instance I didn't get that.

Overall Eternal Night had a great concept and would make a great tv show or movie but as a book it was too much. There were too many character and too many pointless descriptions. And as for the end of the book, although we got some answers and I liked that, there was just too much crammed into a short period of time. I felt overwhelmed by all the info I was getting. In the end this book was just not for me.
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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I MUST read!


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the awesome The Broke & The Bookish! This weeks topic is: Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read


1. Anna and the French Kiss
SO MANY people have told me to read this book, and I honestly have meant to read for ages I just never have the time! But I hope I finally get to read it soon, hopefully by the end of this year at least!

2. Sweet Evil
I have heard so many good things about this series in general and about the love story and I have the first two books in the series on my shelf!  Hopefully I will find the time I get to them :D

3. Under the Never Sky
I have meant to read this series now for years but I keep forgetting I have the forst two books. So many people have said what such a great world this is and how amazing the characters are, so I cannot wait to dig in!

4. The Fault in our Stars
 I have no idea why I haven't picked this book up. I meant the entire world had read it but me. But I think it has to do with the hype behind it and the fact that I know the entire storyline, so that might have something to do with it too. 

5. Incarnate
I think the cover of this book is the main reason why it was on my radar in the first place, but it was the following it received after the series continued that has made me curious. Hopefully I will get to it soon.

6. Code Name Verity
So many people have read and loved this book, and I think my hesitation is the hype behind it be also the subject matter. But I know I will read it, I just need to find the time :)

7. I Hunt Killers
I love these types of books, so I don't know why I haven't read it yet, but from so many people saying how amazing it is, I just keep thinking I should pick it up! 

8. The Selection
I have heard mixed feelings about this book but still I have soo many people I know that LOVED IT! So that means I need to start this series right??

9. Sabriel
This book has been around forever and I have heard some so many people that it is worth the read. So I finally bought the whole series (minus Clariel of course) and hopefully I can start reading them soon!

10. Gone
This series has been on my radar since I was in university and everyone loves it and so many people have told me that I need to get into it, so since I have the first book already hopefully I can start soon!


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Monday, 18 August 2014

[eARC Review] Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre


Title: Mortal Danger
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Immortal Game #1
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 372 pages
Release Date: August 5th 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source:  eARC received from publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads









Revenge is a dish best served cold.

In Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger, Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly . . . bad things are happening. It’s a head rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what—she can trust. Not even her own mind.

 

This book was very high on my TBR list because the cover was amazing and I am a sucker for books set in a boarding school. So when I got the chance to review this book I was super excited. But sadly this book fell short for me because it was nothing like what I expected.

The beginning of the book started off on a weird foot when we watch as our main character, Edie try and kill herself by jumping off a bridge, but then Kian shows up, saves her and changes her life. What I think I had the most trouble with in this book was the fact that it was centered around beauty and how if you are not as pretty as someone else you will not be noticed kind of irked me. And the fact that Edie could not get her revenge on those that made fun of her until she was as pretty as them made me question her a character. I understood her motives but then again I did not like the way she handled it in the end.

There was a great mystery element to the boo which I loved and it involved students disappearing and ending up dead, and for me that was a large part of why i kept reading it because I wanted to know what was happening to these characters and if it was in any way connected to Edie and Kian. And Kian. In the beginning I thought Edies "love" for him was a little too much too fast and I kept rolling my eyes at them, but as the story moved forward it kind of grew on me and I liked them together even though it felt a little forced.

Overall I liked Mortal Danger but in the end I was left with more questions than answers and I couldn't really connect with the character because I didn't feel like they were genuine enough for me to connect with. Mortal Danger was an interesting read with many intriguing qualities but in the end it just wasn't for me.


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Friday, 15 August 2014

[eARC Review] The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich


Title: The Sweet Spot
Author: Stephanie Evanovich
Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult Romance
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Release Date: July 8th 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads








The amazing Stephanie Evanovich returns with The Sweet Spot, the sizzling story of everyone’s favorite couple from her New York Times bestseller Big Girl Panties: hunky professional baseball player Chase Walker and his sassy wife Amanda

When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn’t interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates.

But Chase isn’t about to strike out. A man who isn’t interested in playing the field, he’s a monogamist who wants an independent woman like Amanda. His hopes rally when she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pre-game rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan.

Then a tabloid discovers the truth and turns their spanking good fun into a late- night punch-line. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?

 

For me, liking a book means that I remember what happens in the plot weeks after I have read it. And so when I go to write a review of a book that I read a few weeks ago and don't remember much about the plot means that I probably didn't like it as much as others, and unfortunately The Sweet Spot is one of those books.

Although I don't remember this book is detail, I do remember certain things I did and did not like. For example I remember I did like the overall conflict of the book and how real it felt and I honestly felt like it could happen to anyone. But sadly that was pretty much all I liked about this book.

Characters are a large apart of my enjoyment of a book and with this one I felt no connectio whatsoever to any of them. I felt like they were very 2 dimentional and therefore I had no emotiona stake is wjhat they were doing or what was happening to them. I also a big fan of characters showing us who they are what what is happening to them, but in this instance there was way too much telling for me to stay interested.

The romance. Because this is a romance novel I expected some great romantic scenes and maybe some sexy times, but what I did not expect was the intsa-love (which I hate in YA and even more in adult) and the S & M action that came out of nowhere. And when I saw nowhere I mean I thought I was reading a cute romantic novel and then half way through it became all about ropes and spanking and all of that and i felt like I was reading a COMPLETELY different book! And to be honest, I felt like that part of the book was the weakest part. I didn't believe any of it and it felt very fake, like the author didn't do any actual research in the topic and just wanted to have it her book. I have read these types of scenes before and I know that there more details you have, usually the better it is for the reader. In this case I felt like the author glossed over so much and that made me question the scenes in general.

So overall this book was not what i expected and i felt a little confused at to what kind of romance this book was. The romance was too fast and the sex scenes were lackluster at best. I just wanted so much more than what I got.

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Thursday, 14 August 2014

[eARC Review] Random by Tom Leveen


Title: Random
Author: Tom Leveen
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary, Suicide
Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Release Date: August 12th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodeads









Who's the real victim here? This tense and gripping exploration of cyberbullying and teen suicide is perfect for fans of Before I Fall and Thirteen Reasons Why.

Late at night Tori receives a random phone call. It's a wrong number. But the caller seems to want to talk, so she stays on the line.

He asks for a single thing—one reason not to kill himself.

The request plunges her into confusion. Because if this random caller actually does what he plans, he'll be the second person connected to Tori to take his own life. And the first just might land her in jail. After her Facebook page became Exhibit A in a tragic national news story about cyberbullying, Tori can't help but suspect the caller is a fraud. But what if he’s not? Her words alone may hold the power of life or death.

With the clock ticking, Tori has little time to save a stranger—and maybe redeem herself—leading to a startling conclusion that changes everything…



To start off I have to say that I have never been a fan of books dealing with bullies. I think they are necessary and need to be read, but for me it is just tough. Especially when the book focuses on the bully and their point of view and not the bullied. So going into Random, which is a book about a bully who is being prosecuted for what she did to a boy before he committed suicide, I knew it was going to be a hard read. What I didn't expect was to enjoy it as much as i did.

I think the reason I enjoyed this book so much was Tori, our narrator. I connected with her even though I hated what she did. This was something I never thought could happen in a book like this, but honestly I felt for her, and I think part of that had to do with what was happening to her. i think the fact that Tori was faced with someone else thinking about committing suicide made her rethink what she did and what caused her target to ultimate take his life.

I also liked that Tori actually had character growth, was it enough for me forgive her for what she did, no, it wasn't, but there was enough growth for me see that she was realizing what she was wrong that she would change her behavior in the future. I loved how Tori had to face her demons in ways that no one should ever do, but I felt for her character it was needed. She needed to be thrust into that kind of situation in order for her to understand what the bullied are going through and how it feels to be accountable for someone else life, even if you don't want to be.

The only issue I had was with the end. I wanted more resolution than what I got, but I also felt like there is more to Tori's story and her character would not do I 360 in personality in 300 pages, it takes more than that to change a character completely so it partly felt right. What I did live about the end was the reveal. Now I will not say anything about it because it is supposed to be a surprise, but for me that made the book so much better. It made sense, and I loved the way it effected Tori and how she saw the whole situation. This book was a huge surprise for me, but I loved it.
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

[eARC Review] The Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne


Title: Midnight Thief
Author: Livia Blackburne
Series: The Midnight Thief #1
Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure
Format: Hardcover, 376 pages
Release Date: July 8th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: eARC copy received by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads








Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.

But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

In her arresting debut novel, Livia Blackburne creates a captivating world where intrigue prowls around every corner—and danger is a way of life.

 


When I picked up this book I felt hooked right away. The world was extremely well done and I loved getting immersed in it, and finding out how the characters would live in such a world. The writing in this book was phenomenal, I loved everything about the way the author described this world. She created a world that took me by surprise and I loved it until the very end. Another aspect of this book that I loved was the main character. Kyra was strong, fierce and extremely loyal and I loved that the author created her as our main character because she was such a great person to read. although she was not perfect, I mean really what character is, I loved watching her navigate her mistakes and figure out what works for her and stand up for what she believed it.

I did however, find that the first half of the book was better than the latter half. I found the tone of the second half was very different from the beginning. I found myself disconnected from the characters in the second half and I really don't know why. I just wasn't as into the story as i wanted to be. But I will say that the dual POVs were a great way for me to get to now all sides of the story and for me to get an overall perspective on the story and I really liked that. It also allowed for a male perspective to the story and I loved that, it added something very different to the story.

As for the end, I was a little unsatisfied because I think I was expecting something very different. There was a reveal at the end that left me a bit confused and I think it clashed with my expectations of what would happen in this story. I can't really say anything else because I will ruin the end. Overall this book was a very interesting read with great world building and great characters that helped move the story along. But sadly I was also disappointed in the latter half of the book and how it ended. But this book would be perfect for anyone who loves Fantasy and/or adventure books!

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

[ARC Review] Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen


Title: Blind Spot for Boys
Author: Justina Chen
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Release Date: August 12th 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads








Shana has always had a blind spot for boys. Can she trust the one who's right in front of her?

Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it's time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong.

Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don't just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana's interest. Right as she's about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind. Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into none other than Quattro himself. But even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously... Love and loss, humor and heartbreak collide in this new novel from acclaimed author Justina Chen.

 

As you all are well aware of, I am a sucker for contemporary YA, I love it and will always gravitate towards it when I am in a slump. So when I got the chance to review Blind Spot for Boys I was so excited because I was in need of a fun, flirty beach read. But sadly that is not what I got.

Let's start with the positive shall we? I loved the setting of this book. It is set in Machu Pichu which was amazing and I loved reading about the country and what it was like to hike and discovery the scenery around the characters. I liked that the focus of the book was on Shana and her family. I thought that was very different than some other reads in the same genre. But sadly that is where my likes end.

I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters in this book. I felt very disconnected from them and the story itself. I was looking forward to a book about a family struggling with Shana's dad's illness but what I got was more of a book about Shana's struggles through Machu Pechu. I wanted more family dynamic and I wanted more emotion so that when something happens, my emotions are with the character, and for me that never happened. I also thought that there were two many secondary characters. I felt overwhelmed by their numbers and most of the time gt confused as to who was who. I also felt that they were very 2 dimensional at times and did nothing to propel the story forward.

Now, with the title of this book being Blind Spot for Boys, you expect there to be a boy, and there is. But for me their relationship was too slow building and I felt to tension between them and no chemistry whatsoever. I wanted more from them and I wanted there to be more conflict and more romance. I just wanted more in general. It was very lack luster for me. Actually to be perfectly honest I felt like the ending itself was lackluster. I felt like I didn't get what I wanted. I got no resolution and really o closure. It just ended and I was sitting there and questioning what this book was about and what I had I had just read. In the end, this book was really disappointing for me and I wish it had had more substance for me really enjoy it.

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Monday, 11 August 2014

[ARC Review] Forget Me by K.A Harrington


Title: Forget Me
Author: K.A Harrington
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Release Date: August 7th 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Source: ARC received from pubsliher in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads








An edge-of-your seat psychological thriller with a romantic twist

On the three-month anniversary of her boyfriend Flynn’s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure—but she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as "Evan Murphy." She’s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive.

Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents' involvement in this massive web of lies.

 

Mysteries are always a must read for me, especially in YA. So when I read about Forget Me I knew I had to request it, and I am so happy I got a chance to read it because boy was it fantastic!

The key to my enjoyment came in two waves. The mystery and the main character. I will start with the main character. Morgan was a great narrator. She was extremely easy to relate to, although I did question her relationship with her boyfriend in the beginning. It seemed a bit far fetched but that is what made me like her even more. She knew their relationship was not normal and therefore she questioned herself constantly. It was nice to read a girl who was not too confident. She had doubts, not only about herself but about life itself and those around her. She asked questions when no one else did and that got her the answers she was looking for. Morgan had two very different relationships in this book, she had her friendship with her BF which was great to read because they were so different from one another and therefore they were great together on the page. But there was also Morgan's friendship with Ethan. I think I liked this one the most because of how slowly they got to know each other and watching them learn to trust each other was great to read.

Now onto the mystery. This was the best part of the entire book because it kept me wanting to read from the first page. I was sucked in right from the beginning and I think I read this book in one sitting because I could not put it down. The author's ability to suck you into this story and make you a part of it was great and I loved how addictive the writing was. It kept me wanting more. I can't give much away in this review because the reveal at the end of the book was amazing and I don't want to ruin that for anyone else. But let me just tell you that it makes perfect sense and I did not see it coming.

Overall, Forget Me was an amazing read. It was filled with love, laughter and mystery; everything you would want in a YA book and I will tell you, if you pick up this book, clear your schedule because you will not be able to put this book down.
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Saturday, 9 August 2014

20 Questions with Sarah Fine!


This is a brand new feature for the blog! This is where I ask publishing professionals (authors, marketers, and bloggers) some awesome questions!

Today I am happy to have Sarah Fine on the blog! She is the author of the book Of Metal and Wishes! This book is absolutely amazing, my review is here. So without further ado, here is Sarah!

1. Explain what part of the Publishing world you are a part of (ie. Publisher, Author, Blogger etc.)

I’m in the part of the publishing world fueled by caffeine and fever dreams. In other words, author.

2. Who is your favourite author of all time, and why?

Salman Rushdie. Wild creativity, beautiful prose.

3. Who would you chose to play you in the movie depicting your life?

Seth Rogen. I’m kidding. Or am I?

4. What was/is your favourite candy or snack from your childhood?

Reese’s Pieces.

5. Who is your favorite fictional character, and why?

Orual from Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. I’ve just always related to her.

6. Do you have a TV show that is your guilty pleasure? If so which one is it?

Project Runway.

7. Do you have a bucket list? What is one item on that list?

I don’t have a bucket list! Maybe I should get on that. Any suggestions?

8. Are you a Mac or PC
[Sarah forgot to answer this one!]

9. Do you have a favourite fictional couple?

Katsa and Po from Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

10. What is your most anticipated movie you cannot wait to see, and why?

I don’t go to many movies and I’m never aware of what’s coming out, so ... maybe Mockingjay? But that’ll probably be two movies, right? Isn’t that what most studios are doing with adaptations of final books these days?

11. What season is your favourite, and why?

Fall. No more summer heat, lovely foliage, and the cozy slide into the darkness of winter.

12. If you could do any profession, other than your own for a day, which would it be and why?

A baker, maybe? One that makes bread, not cakes and cupcakes. I just think it would be a very satisfying physical and sensory experience.

13. Who was your first ever concert?

I honestly can’t remember. Candlebox, maybe?

14. Where is your favourite reading spot, and why?

Bed. Couch. Wherever. I don’t pay a lot of attention to my physical environment when I’m reading or writing. As long as I’m not uncomfortable, then my mind is free to submerge itself in the story.

15. Did you have a nickname as a child? If so what was it?

Sure--my mother called me the “demon barber.” Again, kidding. No nickname

16. What posters did you hang on your wall when you were younger?

Again, I don’t pay a huge amount of attention to my physical environment. And I have a terrible memory. Some concert posters, definitely. Tool, perhaps? Alice in Chains? It was the early 90s, after all.

17. What is your favourite genre to read, and why?

Urban fantasy and paranormal romance. It’s pure escape.

18. If you could describe yourself as a potato chip flavour, why would it be and why?

Salt and Cracked Pepper, I suppose. Generally tasty. A little too spicy for complete comfort.

19. Do you agree with the notion that over time, ebooks will eliminate print books? 

Absolutely. But I think it’ll take a while.

20. What book are you most looking forward to reading this year?
Catalyst by Lydia Kang! It comes out in December and is the sequel to Control. I love those characters so much (I sigh for Cy).

BONUS!

Who would you love to see fill out this survey? 

Send it Lydia’s way. I want to know what kind of potato chip she is.






About The Author

I’m the author of the Guards of the Shadowlands YA urban fantasy series (Skyscape/Amazon Children’s Publishing), including Sanctum (October 2012) and Fractured (October 2013). The third and final book in this series comes out in October 2014. In May 2014, Putnam/Penguin will publish Scan, the first of two thrillers I co-authored with Walter Jury. My gothic young adult novel Of Metal and Wishes will be published by McElderry/Simon & Schuster in August 2014. When I’m not writing, I’m psychologizing. Sometimes I do both at the same time. The results are unpredictable

Find the Author here:


About Of Metal and Wishes

There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.

As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.
Purchase the book here:

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