Monday, March 31, 2014

Review: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18465577-second-star
Second Star
by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Website | Twitter

Publication Date: May 13th 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780374382674
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Retellings
Source: From Publisher for Review

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them. (Goodreads)
Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel is described as a modern day retelling of Peter Pan. I couldn’t wait to get started on the book because I’ve recently come to really love retellings. Also, I couldn’t resist the gorgeous cover for this book!

The main character in the story is Wendy, a teenage girl whose life was turned upside down after the mysterious disappearance of her two surfer brothers. Not wanting to give up on finding her brothers, like her parents have, Wendy sets out to try to find the boys with the help of the mysterious Pete.

Wendy was an interesting character. She was very determined to find her brothers, at whatever cost, so it seems.  At times it felt that her search was fueled on pure desperation, which leads her to make somewhat irrational choices. Of course, there is a reason for this, but it’s a while before we find out this reasoning. I did admire Wendy for her determination to want to find out what happened with her brothers, and not to let the mystery remain for the rest of her life.

There is a tiny bit of a love triangle in the story between Wendy, Pete, and Jas, the mysterious and dangerous drug-dealer who is Pete’s rival. We actually see a bit more interaction throughout the story between Wendy and Jas than with Pete, and I was kind of okay with that. I don’t know if this is because of the whole ‘bad-boy’ thing that I have going on lately, or what… but I think I really liked Jas more than Pete. I think Jas really wanted to be a better person because of Wendy.

Other than the characters names, there’s not really much similar in the storyline to the original Peter Pan. I actually went into the story kind of expecting a story more like the Peter Pan story, but that’s definitely not what you will get with this story. There was a bit of a plot twist toward the end of the book that kind of caught me off guard, even though there were hints about said twist mentioned in the book a few times. I kept waiting for something really big to happen the closer I got to the end of the book, but the ending was pretty mellow, and it kind of left me hanging a bit. I'm curious to know what happens next for Wendy.

I really enjoyed the beach setting for the story, as well as all of the surfing that the characters did in the book. I think that aspect of the book will really make this a great book for summer reading. At 256 pages, this book was a really quick read for me as well.

Overall; while the story was not what I expected, I still found this to be a very interesting read. The book will definitely make for a quick summer read to check out while you spend the day at the beach!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16081202-open-road-summer
Open Road Summer
by Emery Lord
Website | Twitter | Tumblr

Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780802736109
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Netgalley

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes. (Goodreads)
The first thing that attracted me to Open Road Summer was the gorgeously designed cover. Then I read the synopsis for the book, and I just knew that it was going to be a must read for me. After reading so many great reviews for the book, I couldn’t wait to get started on it. Let me tell you this, the book definitely does not disappoint!

The story revolves around Reagan, who sets out with her best friend on a summer music tour, in attempt to give up her rebellious ways and become a better person. Reagan has definitely not had the best childhood/young adulthood, and as a result she has been in some situations that she’s not exactly proud of. She jumps on the opportunity to go on the summer tour with Dee, what better way to leave the past behind and start over fresh. Reagan was a really great character. She was snarky and hilarious, and she did not let what happened in her past define her, and I found that to be very admirable. I found her to be a great young lady.

Reagan and Dee have been friends for FOREVER, and what a wonderful friendship they have. They have always been there for each other, through thick and thin, and nothing was going to change that. Even though Dee was a country music superstar, she was still really down to earth and just such a sweet person. I found her to be an extremely likeable character. Their friendship is the type that every girl dreams of.

Matt Finch is the love interest of Reagan’s in the story, and is also a singer on tour with Dee. I love that Matt makes Reagan want to be better; he brings out the best in her. Though their relationship did not get off to the best start, his charm finally wore her down and she saw the good in him as well. They were so insanely sweet together.

The storyline for the book was very cute, and makes for a really great summer read. The writing style flows gracefully, which also makes this a very quick read. I flew through the pages a lot faster than I expected to.

Overall, I really, really enjoyed reading this book! It definitely makes for not only a great summer read, but a great anytime read! I’m really looking forward to reading more by this author in the future.

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #140 - Snow Like Ashes & The Jewel

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17399160-snow-like-ashes
Snow Like Ashes
(Snow Like Ashes #1)
by Sara Raasch
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062286925

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17399160-snow-like-ashes

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Sara Raasch’s debut fantasy is a lightning-fast tale of loyalty, love, and finding one’s destiny. (Goodreads)


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16068780-the-jewel
The Jewel
by Amy Ewing
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062235794

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16068780-the-jewel

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty––because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence . . . and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for. (Goodreads)

Can I first say that both of these books have amazingly gorgeous covers??
And the stories sound pretty awesome as well.
I can't wait to read both of these!!

What are you Waiting for this week??

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Monday, March 24, 2014

Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18296030-don-t-look-back
Don't Look Back.
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781423175124
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Mystery
Source: Publisher
*in exchange for honest review

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive? (Goodreads)
I was extremely excited to start reading Don’t Look Back, because I had heard nothing but great things about Jennifer L. Armentrout, but I had never had the chance to read one of her books before. I was curious to see just why everyone loves this author.

Samantha was the ultimate mean girl, the kind of girl that I have always despised. But after losing memory, we get to see a completely different side of her. This ‘new’ Sam was sooooo much better than the ‘old’ Sam. I don’t think I could have tolerated her in the novel as a mean girl. Just reading about some of the things that she had done in the past made me uncomfortable while reading the book. But after losing her memory, Sam definitely became a more likeable person. I liked that she was really determined as well, not just to find out what had happened to herself the night she lost her memory, but as to find out what happened to her friend.

Ok, and can I just say that Carson is kind of perfect?? Throughout all the bad stuff, he always believed in Sam. Even after all that she had put him through in the past, he never gave up on her or thought that she was crazy like everyone else seemed to. Also, he was a real gentleman. How rare is that these days??  I should also mention that Sam’s brother, Scott, and his girlfriend Julie were pretty great characters as well.

I loved the mystery in this book, it was seriously addicting! The secondary characters were all well written, and it was fun trying to decide who the bad guy in the story was. I guess the person pretty early on, and even thought I second guessed myself a few times, imagine my surprise when my suspicions were correct! Seriously, this book messed with my head a few times, and I loved every single minute of it!

Overall, this book was a super highly addictive read. I enjoyed it so much more than I expected to, and I’m really, really looking forward to reading more by Ms. Armentrout in the near future. Add this to your reading list today!



Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18242896-the-here-and-now
The Here and Now
by Ann Brashares
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: April 8th 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780385736800
Genre: Young Adult | Sci-Fi- | Time-Travel 
Source: Netgalley

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year. (Goodreads)
I was really looking forward to reading The Here and Now, as I have just recently been introduced to the awesome writing of Ann Brashares’ with her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by the wonderful ladies in my book club. I actually didn’t know that this was a dystopian novel when I first started it, so that was a pleasant surprise as well. It turned out to be a pretty interesting read.

The two main characters in the novel were both very interesting characters. With Prenna being from the future and having to hide all of her secrets and her true identity, and Ethan being way too smart for his own good and knowing everything that was going on, I thought they made a really interesting pair together. Both were very determined to find out a way to keep the future from becoming the ruined world she left behind. I really liked their relationship as well, Ethan was a sweetheart.

I really enjoyed the storyline for the book; it felt very realistic to me. There were some things that happened in the book that I could totally see happening in our future world, which is very scary to even think about. I find these types of dystopian novels completely fascinating. This made the book a very quick read for me; I read this in just a little over a day.

The only thing that bothered me about the book was the amount of information that was packed into the pages. I really felt that with so much info, it could have been spread out into a second book, or this even could have been made into a series. (I’m assuming that this book is a stand-alone novel, but someone please correct me if I am wrong on this.) There were also a few things that I felt were left unanswered in the novel as well.

Overall; I found this to be a quick, enjoyable read. There are still SO many books by this author that I still need to read, so I can’t really compare it to her previous work, but I did enjoy the book.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review: Far From You by Tess Sharpe

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18296034-far-from-you
Far From You
by Tess Sharpe
Twitter | Tumblr

Publication Date: April 8th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781423184621
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Mystery
Source: Publisher
*In exchange for honest review

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice.

The first time, she's fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that'll take years to kick.

The second time, she's seventeen, and it's no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina's murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery.

After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. Mina's brother won't speak to her, her parents fear she'll relapse, old friends have become enemies, and Sophie has to learn how to live without her other half. To make matters worse, no one is looking in the right places and Sophie must search for Mina's murderer on her own. But with every step, Sophie comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina and about the secret they shared. (Goodreads)
Far From You by Tess Sharpe is a book that somehow managed to slip under my radar. I had seen the book around the internet, but never really took the time to read up on it. After receiving a copy from the wonderful people at Disney Publishing, I decided to give the book a read. Now I am really, really glad that I did!

Sophie, the main character in the story, has not had the best young-adulthood. She survived a car crash, barely, which lead to her addiction to pain medication. After sobering up, she and her best friend Mina have a confrontation with a masked gunman in the forest, which leads to Mina’s death, and the blame falling on Sophie. After a few months in rehab, Sophie returns home to a world that was completely different than the one she left. With the help of a few friends, Sophie sets out to find out exactly what happened in the forest the night Mina died.

It was interesting reading the story from Sophie’s point of view, because we not only get to experience the story from her while she is clean and sober, but we also experience things from her while she was deeply addicted to pain medication. The story about her addiction was gritty and realistic. She did not have an easy time with everything that had happened, and even with other parts of her life that she couldn’t control. Escaping into her drug-induced bliss was the only way that she could cope. That just shows how imperfect this character was, but I still really, really liked her, and found her really relatable.

There are no perfect characters in this story, and I loved that because the story seemed so much more realistic this way. The secondary characters were very well written, and I found myself enjoying them all. (Well, the good people, anyways.)

The story is told in both present and past tense, the past tense being over a course of a few years. I thought going back and forth in the story would be confusing, but it wasn’t at all, and it was really more interesting reading the story this way. The storyline was completely mysterious and very addictive. I couldn’t stop turning the pages; I had to know what was going to happen, and what had happened in the past, and who the bad guy was. There were also quite a few surprises in the book that really caught me off guard. I read this book in a day, and that doesn’t happen very often with me lately. But I love it when it does!

Overall; I really didn’t know what to think about this book when I first started it, and honestly I really didn’t know if I was going to like it, but the book proved me wrong. I enjoyed the book so much more than I expected to, and now I’m really looking forward to reading more from this talented author in the future. Definitely check out Far From You today!




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #139 - Trial by Fire & Black Ice

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18530258-trial-by-fire
Trial by Fire
(The Worldwalker Trilogy #1)
by Josephine Angelini
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 9781250050885

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18530258-trial-by-fire

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy? (Goodreads)


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16059938-black-ice
Black Ice
by Becca Fitzpatrick
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781442474260

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16059938-black-ice

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous… (Goodreads)

Whooot! We have a cover for Trial by Fire!
I love Josephine Angelini, and I am SO excited for her newest book.
It sounds like it's going to be awesome!!

I'm really excited to see what Becca Fitzpatrick's new book is going to be like as well.
I really enjoyed her Hush, Hush series. SO good!

Two really great books this week!
Add them to your to-read list!

What are you Waiting for this week??


**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17236366-sea-of-shadows
Sea of Shadows
(Age of Legends #1)
by Kelley Armstrong
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: April 8th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780062071248
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever. (Goodreads)
I was so super excited to get my hands on a copy of Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong! Kelley’s Darkest Powers trilogy is one the first series of books that I read when I first started reading young adult books, and I’ve been hooked ever since!  Sea of Shadows is a going to be a wonderful addition to my book collection!

The story revolves around two twin sisters, Moria and Ashyn. These two sisters were chosen by the spirits to be the Keeper and the Seeker, given the task of freeing the souls of the damned. But this year things start to go wrong, and people start mysteriously dying. Traveling on a difficult journey, these girls must not only keep themselves alive, but they must save their world as well.

Moria and Ashyn were really interesting characters. They may look alike, but that’s where the resemblance ends. Each girl has her own personality. Moria is strong and brave, whereas Ashyn is more reserved and quiet. These differences are what make these characters so special, and so different. Reading the story from each girl’s viewpoint was great, I really felt that I got to know each of them so much better because of this, and got to learn more of the story as well.

There were quite a few secondary characters involved as well, but only a few that we can really get invested in. Roman and Gavril are two characters, who also end up becoming the love interests to the girls. These boys help the girls on their dangerous journey, and fight alongside them to keep them safe.

The world building for this book is like nothing I’ve read before. Seriously, like, ever.  There was rarely ever a dull moment in this book. Something was always happening or something always seemed to be attacking these poor girls. This just goes to show how insanely dangerous this world was, and also showed that the only people that the girls could trust were each other. Oh, and Armstrong does not hold back on the gory details. There is some seriously creepy stuff involved in this book.

Overall, if you want to read something that is different from the norm, and seriously addictive, you’re definitely going to want to check out Sea of Shadows. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book, because after the end of this book, there HAS to be a next book! I can’t wait to get my hands on it.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17883441-the-forever-song
The Forever Song
(Blood of Eden #3)
by Julie Kagawa
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blood Of Eden Website

Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780373211128
Genre: Young Adult | Dystopia | Vampires
Source: Netgalley

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone. (Goodreads)

Julie Kagawa has managed to amaze me once again with The Forever Song, the dark, disturbing, amazing conclusion to the Blood of Eden series. I was SO super excited to get my hands on this book. It is one of my most anticipated reads of 2014, if not THE most anticipated read for 2014. After much stalking, I was finally able to get my hands on an advance copy, and thank goodness for that, because I really couldn’t wait a moment longer to read this book. I have adored this series since I started reading the very first book. While I am sad to see the series end, it is definitely going out with a bang!

** This will be a spoiler free review.

Allison has been one of my most favorite characters since the beginning. She is not one to be trifled with; she knows what she is and what she has to do to keep from becoming a monster. She is so very strong and stubborn; she really is one of my most favorite characters ever. I have loved all of the characters throughout this series. Kanin, for being a wonderful, albeit very mysterious master to Allison, I can’t imagine her being who she turned out to be without his help. I love Kanin so very much. In the beginning of the series, it was Zeke that showed Allison that she wasn’t a monster, even when everyone though that she was. That made a huge impact not only on Allison’s character, but to me as well. I loved Zeke. Even Jackal holds a place in my heart. In his dark, twisted way, he also managed to share some wisdom with Allison.  All of these people helped Allison become this amazing character that I absolutely adore.

The storyline for this book (and series) was so dark and twisted; it’s definitely a change of pace from the normal. There were quite a few plot twists that totally weren’t expected. Actually, I anticipated one thing that did happen almost halfway through the book, but I didn’t know how or when it would happen. I was pleasantly surprised with how this twist turned out. The end of the book had me tearing up quite a bit. I enjoyed the story and the characters so very much. I was a bit terrified to see how the book was going to come to an end, but I can’t imagine it being any different. It was perfect.

It amazes me how Julie Kagawa can go from writing love stories about fae, which I adore, to writing things that are so twisted and disturbing like in this series. I love when a writer is so super creative, and they allow us to see the many different sides of themselves.

Overall, The Forever Song was an excellent addition and conclusion to the Blood of Eden series. I am really going to miss all of the characters in this story; I’ve come to love them all so much. If you haven't checked out this series yet, I definitely recommend that you do so! I really can’t wait to see what Mrs. Kagawa has for next for us in the future!

Happy Reading!

Books in this Series:



The Immortal Rules  |  The Eternity Cure  |  The Forever Song




Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #138 - Amity & Of Monsters and Madness

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20862524-amity
Amity
by Micol Ostow
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: August 26th 2014
Publisher: Egmont USA
ISBN: 9781606841563

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20862524-amity

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For fans of Stephen King and American Horror Story, a gruesome thriller suggested by the events of the Amityville Horror.

Connor's family moves to Amity to escape shady business deals. Ten years later, Gwen's family moves to Amity for a fresh start after she's recovered from a psychotic break.

But something is not right about this secluded house. Connor's nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons and destruction. Dreams he kind of likes. Gwen has lurid visions of corpses that aren't there and bleeding blisters that disappear in the blink of an eye. She knows Amity is evil and she must get her family out, but who would ever believe her?

Amity isn't just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a bloody end as she's done before. As she'll do again.

Alternating between parallel narratives, Amity is a tense and terrifying tale suggested by true-crime events that will satisfy even the most demanding horror fan. (Amazon)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19507564-of-monsters-and-madness
Of Monsters and Madness
by Jessica Verday
Website | Facebook

Publication Date: September 9th, 2014
Publisher: Egmont USA
ISBN: 9781606844632

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19507564-of-monsters-and-madness

Available for Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A romantic, historical retelling of classic Gothic horror featuring Edgar Allan Poe and his character Annabel Lee, from a New York Times best-selling author.

Summoned to her father's home in 1820's Philadelphia, a girl finds herself in the midst of a rash of gruesome murders in which he might be implicated. She is torn romantically between her father's assistants-one kind and proper, one mysterious and brooding-who share a dark secret and may have more to do with the violent events than they're letting on. (Goodreads)

Do these books sound amazingly creepy, or what?
I just discovered both books last week, and I had to share them with everyone.
Luckily I managed to snag both of these from Edelweiss,
if anyone else wants to grab them as well!

What are you Waiting for this week???

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Review: The Last Forever by Deb Caletti

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18051301-the-last-forever
The Last Forever
by Deb Caletti
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781442450004
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Endings and beginnings sit so close to each other that it’s sometimes impossible to tell which is which.

Nothing lasts forever, and no one gets that more than Tessa. After her mother died, it’s all she can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. And then there’s her dad. He’s stuck in his own daze, and it’s so hard to feel like a family when their house no longer seems like a home.

Her father’s solution? An impromptu road trip that lands them in a small coastal town at Tessa’s grandmother’s. Despite all the warmth and beauty there, Tessa can’t help but feel even more lost.

Enter Henry Lark. He understands the relationships that matter. And more importantly, he understands her. A secret stands between them, but Tessa’s willing to do anything to bring them together—because Henry may just be her one chance at forever. (Goodreads)
The Last Forever is the very first novel that I’ve read by Deb Caletti. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this author, so I was super excited to get started on this book.

After being forced to go on a spontaneous road trip by her grieving father, Tess ends up in her grandmothers small town of Parrish Island. Even though she feels lost and alone, especially after her dad deserts her, she starts to feel welcome in this small town. With the help of the people she meets along the way, she learns that in life, nothing lasts forever. 

Tess was an interesting character. I can imagine the pain that she is going through after the loss of her mother, and I can definitely understand the grief. Because of this, she seems very closed off in the beginning of the novel. But once she starts meeting new friends on the island, we finally start to see a different side of her.

Henry Lark is the love interest in the story, and he was a very sweet young man, very gentlemanly as well. I found him to be the highlight of the book. He does have a secret throughout the book that turns out to be a pretty big plot twist that I didn’t see coming, but I still love him nonetheless.

All of the secondary characters in this novel were pretty interesting. Tess’ grandmother, Jenny is quite the character. And while it took me a while to warm up to her dad, because honestly he needed to grieve himself and grow up as well, I ended up loving him as well.  There are so many more characters that I could mention, but I will just leave it at that they were all pretty funny people.

I also really enjoyed the world-building in this novel, even as simple as it was. The small island town seemed very warm and inviting, and most of the story was set in a library. I LOVE books that have libraries in them!

Overall; The Last Forever is a story of love and loss and letting go. I think that it will be a book that a lot of girls will love, and will be able to relate to.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18140047-love-letters-to-the-dead
Love Letters to the Dead
by Ava Dellaira
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 323
ISBN: 9780374346676
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path. (Goodreads)
When I first discovered Love Letters to the Dead, I knew it was a book that I would have to get my hands on. Not only had it gotten pretty great reviews, but the summary just made the book sound so very interesting. I’m glad that I had the chance to read this book, it definitely did not disappoint!

One of the very first assignments that Laurel receives her freshman year at her new school is to write a letter to a dead person. For her first letter, Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain, as he died at a very young age, just like Laurel’s sister May did. But Laurel doesn’t stop with just one letter, she writes more to various singers, authors and actors, and talks to the dead people about anything from starting high school to her new relationships, and eventually, even about her sister’s death.

Laurel was a very interesting character. While she had had a pretty decent childhood, her teen years were not quite as good. This poor child had been through so very much in such a short period of time; it wasn’t surprising that she had shutdown about what had happened. Her parents split up, her sister died, her mom moved across the country, leaving Laurel to think that everything was her fault.  Throughout the book, as more of the story starts to unfold, I couldn’t help but feel bad for this girl. I thought that Laurel writing these letters to dead people was a very therapeutic way for her to come to terms with what happened with her sister. It gave her a sense of closure that she desperately needed.  I hate that she blamed herself for what happened, and the more we read into the story, we clearly see that it wasn’t her fault at all. 

I really, really love the way this novel was written. The story is completely told, just as the title suggests, as a series of letters to dead people. While Laurel wrote about her day to day life, I love that the author also included information about things that happened in the life recipient of the letter. It was so clever to include that information as well, and how Laurel related to each person.

The only thing in the book that bothered me, as a parent, was that I felt that Laurel’s parents were kind of oblivious. I mean, I they knew that Laurel was sad, and that she was hurting and missing her sister, but they didn’t see how deep it went. Regardless, they should have gotten her help anyways after her sister died. Especially considering how close they were, and how it all happened.

Overall, I knew this was going to be a good read, but I really ended up enjoying so much more than I expected to. Check it out!



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15728577-side-effects-may-vary
Side Effects May Vary
by Julie Murphy
Website | Twitter | Tumblr

Publication Date: March 18th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780062245359
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality. (Goodreads)
I was super excited to get my hands on Side Effects May Vary, as I had seen people talking about the book, and I was super curious to see what it was all about. I went into this book expecting something like John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, or Melissa Kantor’s Maybe One Day.  While the book had some similarities to these, mostly the dealings with cancer, that’s basically where the similarities end.

The main character in this novel, Alice, was not a nice girl. It took me to almost the end of the book to actually start caring for her. I hesitate to say that I couldn’t connect  with Alice,—in some introverted way I kind of understood her, and even her reasoning’s—but I didn’t care for the way she acted and treated people, so I had a hard time connecting.  I do understand how she felt. She was scared of living life. Death was something that she could face; it was something that she had come to expect. Living her life after thinking that she was going to die, it’s something she just couldn’t handle. And because of that, she pushed everyone away. Thankfully she does have a bit of a ‘wake-up’ moment towards the end of the book, and we finally get to see a different side of dear Alice. This is when I really start to like her.

Harvey, Alice’s best friend, was definitely the best part of this book. Oh, how he loved Alice. I hated the way that she treated him in return, and that she wouldn’t share how she truly felt about him. There was so much back and forth between these two, I really just wanted to smack them in the head and tell them to get their act together. But they had their moments, and those moments were very sweet.

I was a little worried about the storyline for this book when I first started reading it. I’m seeing books about terminal illness pop up a lot lately, and I’m worried that it’s a subject that is going to be overused. This book was definitely able to hold its own against other stories with that involves illness. I didn’t include a whole lot of cancer terminology, and for that, I was kind of thankful. The storyline flowed really well, and I was able to read this book really quickly.

Overall; despite it taking a long while for me to warm up to the main character, I found this to be a very enjoyable read. I’m really glad to have discovered this author; she has a way with words. I’m really looking forward to reading more from her in the future.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #137 - Invaded by Melissa Landers

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17316770-invaded
Invaded
(Alienated #2)
by Melissa Landers
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: February 3rd 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 9781423169499

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17316770-invaded
The romantic sequel to Alienated takes long-distance relationships to a new level as Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe...until a threat to both their worlds reunites them.

Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return? (Goodreads)

I was soooooo very excited to see the cover for Invaded!
I adored Alienated, and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel.
I'm dying to see what's going to happen next!
Is it 2015 yet???

What are you Waiting for this week?

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12369550-elusion
Elusion
by Claudia Gabel 
Website | Twitter | Facebook
& Cheryl Klam
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: March 18th 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780062122414
Genre:Young Adult | Dystopian | Sci-Fi
Source: Edelweiss

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions. (Goodreads)
I’ve been super curious about Elusion for a while now. I was definitely drawn in by the stunning cover, and I was looking to see if the story was just as great. The story definitely does not disappoint.

Elusion, a device that can transport you to any exotic destination of your choice for a quick escape from reality, is the hottest new technology on the market. Regan’s father and best friend, Patrick, worked for a long time to perfect this device, so that it could be released nationwide. But after her father’s tragic death, and rumors of the device failing, it’s up to Regan to find out what’s really going on.

The main character in the novel was Regan. I found her to be a very determined young lady. She knew the difference between right and wrong, and she was willing to stand up for what she believed in—even when sometimes her beliefs weren’t actually the right ones. I really liked her determination to find out what was going on. There were two boys in the novel, Josh and Patrick, but I hesitate to say that it was a love triangle. Yes, both boys had feelings for Regan, but I didn’t exactly feel that she reciprocated those feelings. And honestly, I didn’t really feel like either boy was right for her anyways. If I had to pick one, it would probably be Josh. But that may change in the future.

The world-building for the book was really interesting.  This is not a world like we know it. This is a world that has major air pollution problems, smog, and even acid rain. People have to wear breathing masks when they go outside just so that they don’t inhale the polluted air, and use special treated umbrellas in the rain. This is the whole reason that Regan’s dad created Elusion. Things were so bad in the dad-to-day life; he just wanted to have a place for people to go to escape their troubles for a while.  It was a great idea; it just fell into the wrong hands, so to speak.

What I really liked about this book was that I can see something like what happened in the book happening in real life. Not only with the technology, but also the way people can become so absorbed with it. I thought it was very realistic the way people reacted to the device. At first I thought that Elusion was going to be a stand-alone novel, but after the mild cliffhanger ending at the end of the book, I see that there must be a sequel in the future. For this I am glad, because there were a lot of things left unresolved at the end of the novel, and I’m itching to know what’s going to happen with these characters.

Overall, this was a very interesting book to read.  I enjoyed reading it, and I am really looking forward to reading the next book. I’m also super curious to see how many books are going to be in this series.

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