Monday, December 23, 2013

"Touch of Power" by Maria V. Snyder

Series:  Healer #1
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Paperback; 390 pages
Publication: December 12, 2011 by Mira
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book! Touch of Power was not my first venture into MVS' writing, though. I was introduced to her books by reading her Study series, which was amazing. I really enjoyed reading them, so when my lovely and amazing GReep friend Jen went to one of MVS book signings I hopped on the band wagon and asked her to snag me a signed copy of TOP. ...And I'm so glad I did. While I really liked the Study series, for me, TOP is by far the best and is now sitting pretty on my "favorites shelf".

You remember back in middle school you always had those few creepy kids that wanted to learn all about the Black Plague in History? They would ask the teacher endless questions and keep everyone late after class because they were such morbid nerds? Well, that was totally me. Something about such an epic pandemic killing off two thirds of the population is pretty engrossing to me. Especially when we learn how people acted during and after such disasters. This is what really drew me in to TOP. In Avery's world, a plague has just killed off more than half of the population. As a healer (someone with the magical ability to take in another's illness or wounds), she should have been able to help cure the disease, but for some unknown reason the healers were unable to cure the Plague without dying themselves. Because of this, the realm began to blame the healers for the plague, and eventually started to hunt them down one by one.

As far as Avery knows, she maybe the last one left of her kind. Constantly on the run and hiding from a society that would punish her for her gift, she trusts no one. Until she meets a band of misfit warriors sent to rescue her in the hopes of her curing their Prince.

Besides the amazingly entertaining plot, I also really loved the chemistry between all of the characters. I felt like I was actually on the run with Avery, Kerrick, Flea, Belen, and the monkeys, and even though they were in a completely different world, I could completely connect with each of them.

Overall, Touch of Power is just a fantastic and well written fantasy that I will definitely be recommending to all of my friends!

My Rating:

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Monday, December 2, 2013

"Flowers in the Attic" Read/ Re-read!

In case some of you didn't know, Flowers in the Attic was my very first favorite "adult" book love when I read it in middle school. Which led me to be a complete fangirl for the original V.C. Andrews and all things uber creepy and taboo. When I finally got my hands on the 80's movie, I was thrilled... only to end up throwing my shoe at my television in bitter disappointment. We all know it was god awful and did nothing for the book. So you can imagine my enthusiasm when I found out LIFETIME was re-creating it for TV to be aired in January!

Doesn't it look amazing?! I can't wait to watch it! But in the meantime, author Stacy Kade (The Ghost and the Goth Trilogy and Project Paper Doll) has arranged a Flowers in the Attic read (or re-read) group! We started yesterday, but it's not too late to join! For all the info on the fun, check out Stacy's post here. If you're on Twitter, you can keep up with the conversation by using hashtag #FIAread.

Hope to "see" you there!

"Looking for Alaska" by John Green

Genre: YA
Format: Paperback; 221 pages
Publication: December 28, 2006 by Speak
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same

My Thoughts: I think it's safe to say, if you're reading a John Green novel it's going to be amazing. Looking for Alaska is my second JG read and now I don't know which one I love more- this one or The Fault in Our Stars. They're both exceedingly different stories, but they still have that coming of age theme going on.

For me, this story was just so, so fantastic. I live in the city it takes place in, and at first that made me weary to read it. Being southern, I know there are a A LOT of misconceptions about Alabama, and it's a real pet peeve of mine. For instance, we're all suppose to have that southern drawl and be a bunch of rednecks. The first thing that stuck out to me abut this book, is that John Green didn't really mention ANY southern accents... except for one that I can remember. Which I loved, because WE DON'T ALL HAVE THAT SOUTHERN HICK DRAWL. Sorry to burst that bubble, but it's true. Also, the city that I live in is pretty rad, and has a lot going on that has nothing to do with sister lovin' or country concerts lol.

Sorry, back to the book. I found LFA to be so insanely relateable, it was almost scary. Even though I am a girl, I found myself laughing along with Pudge's journey through his young adolescent years, saying "Oh yeah, I remember how that was such a big deal" or "Yep. I felt that way too." The older I get, the more I realize that the passion I carried as a teenager is fading away from me. I just don't get those huge overwhelming feelings about certain things anymore. Which is sad, but something I can be grateful for at the same time (I mean, honestly being a teenager is the best/worst). However, when I read a novel like this one, it all comes flooding back. It makes me sad and nostalgic and brings that "being alive and reckless" feeling back. Looking for Alaska, though, really hit home for me. It was the first time I had ever read a book where I related more to the guy than I did the girl. In school, I felt like the dorky, socially challenged Pudge, and my best-friend Jerm was more like Alaska- eccentric, philosophical trouble-maker, slightly relying too much on booze and cigarettes to get by, with an excellent taste in books and music. It was a hard book for me to read. Especially because the ending was so very similar to my own friendship.

But that is what makes John Green such an amazing author. He tugs at our heartstrings and makes us remember what it was like (or if you are a teenager, he makes you feel like you're not alone in all the crap that's going on in your world). If this book had fallen flat, I wouldn't have been up crying in the middle night, taking a stroll down memory lane. I loved, loved, this book, even though it was painful for me to read. Because if a story can make me cry, well then, it's worth it.

My Rating:
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"Ruined" by Tracy Wolff

Series: Ethan Frost #1
Genre: New Adult
Format: Kindle
Publication: January 7, 2014 by Loveswept
Cover Rating: 4/5 Stars

From Goodreads: He’s the last man Chloe Girard should love . . . but the first she ever could.

Ethan Frost is a visionary, a genius, every woman’s deepest, darkest fantasy—even mine. And, somehow, I am his.

He stole into my life like a dream. Turned my reality upside down and made my every desire come true—especially those I never knew I had. He demanded everything I had to give and gave me everything of himself in return.

But dreams don’t last forever, and ours is no exception. Because my nightmares are darker, and my wounds deeper, than I could ever reveal. And as much as Ethan wants to protect me, the secrets we we share will only tear us apart.

My Thoughts: Despite Ethan and Chloe's very silly meeting over a smoothie and a blender, I found that I really did enjoy their story. It had some twists and turns mixed in with a heavy dose of romance to make a yummy guilty pleasure read. Ethan is the wealthy CEO of Frost Industries who falls in almost insta-love with our young intern heroine, Chloe. From there, we get some drama overlapped in a huge secret and a major cliff-hanger ending.

Overall, if you're looking for a good, fast, steamy, sugary guilty pleasure read, then this is your book. It doesn't really contain anything that I would go fangirling about, but that's only because I'm not a huge fan of the wealthy guy gets the shy girl. It's become a little too popular lately. However, Chloe's personal story is pretty original, and is mainly what kept me interested in it and what will get me to read the next installment.

My Rating:

"The Sky is Everywhere" by Jandy Nelson

Genre: YA
Format: Paperback; 277 pages
Publication: March 1, 2010 by Speak
Cover Rating: 4/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Lennie plays second clarinet in the school orchestra and has always happily been second fiddle to her charismatic older sister, Bailey. Then Bailey dies suddenly, and Lennie is left at sea without her anchor. Overcome by emotion, Lennie soon finds herself torn between two boys: Bailey's boyfriend, Toby, and Joe, the charming and musically gifted new boy in town. While Toby can't see her without seeing Bailey and Joe sees her only for herself, each offers Lennie something she desperately needs. But ultimately, it's up to Lennie to find her own way toward what she really needs-without Bailey. A remarkable debut novel perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block.

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book and Lennie! It was so beautiful and touching, I couldn't put it down once I started. I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with Joe. I found TSIE to be refreshingly honest and real. Lennie is such a fantastic heroine because she isn't your typical shy, dorky YA main character. She's outspoken and funny. She talks about boners and being obsessed with kissing, she makes mistakes and she owns up to them as she tries to make her way through the jungle of grief after the death of her sister.

Then you have the chemistry between the characters which is just... wow. So amazing. Between Lennie and Joe/ Lennie and Toby / Lennie and her Grandma and Uncle Big... they all interact so well together, that the story becomes more than Lennie's, it becomes all of theirs.

I truly loved this book and Jandy Nelson's writing. Each sentence was just overflowing with beauty and power and I highly recommend it!

My Rating:
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Forever Black" by Sandi Lynn

Genre: New Adult
Publication: February 16, 2013
Format: Kindle
Cover Rating: 2/5 Stars

From Goodreads: When Ellery moved to New York with her boyfriend, she thought they’d live happily ever after in their small New York apartment. She never thought he’d pack his bags and leave because he “needed space.” With her newfound single status and fear of being alone, Ellery buries herself in her artwork and paintings until one night she helps a mysterious intoxicated stranger get home safely. Little did she know the mysterious stranger is none other than CEO and millionaire Connor Black. After finding Ellery in his kitchen the next morning and assuming she broke his #1 rule about sleepovers, he becomes intrigued, not only by her stubbornness and defiance, but by her kindness.

Connor Black, emotionally dead and damaged, that stemmed from a personal tragedy, made a vow to never love or fall in love with a woman, until Ellery Lane walked into his life by accident. After she opens up and shows him her world, Connor starts to feel emotions and feelings he never knew existed. Despite the rumors and warnings regarding Connor Black and his use and misuse of women, Ellery finds herself being drawn into his world. 

Ellery knows they can never be together because she is harboring a deep secret that could destroy Connor emotionally forever. 

Join Connor and Ellery as they embark on a journey of courage, love and strength. Will it be enough to save them?

My Thoughts: This book read like a rough first draft. It felt like the author wrote her story out, but didn't bother to go through it and fix any of her mistakes... and there were a lot of mistakes. Here's the thing: I am not a grammar Nazi. Really, it doesn't bother me if I'm reading a story and I happen to notice a few errors. Hey, it happens. In fact, I'm a prime example because I always, ALWAYS, find flaws in what I'm writing (especially reviews). Here's the part that pisses me off though. If you're going to self-publish your book, then at the very least you should EDIT your work. You should edit it until you think you can't edit it anymore, then you should do it once more! Hand it over to someone trust-worthy and then get them to edit it.

Okay, so I don't know the author and I don't know what she did, but if she did hand her book over to someone to edit, then she needs to find someone else for her future works. The reason I'm so mad about it though, is because this could have been a really great book. The story was good, the characters had great chemistry... but it all fell flat because of the first draft feel. I felt like we could have been given more insight into certain characters had they been "fluffed" out more, if that makes any sense.

Forever Black is like a bad (albeit milder) re-telling of Fifty Shades of Grey, but with a few plot twist here and there, replacing Christian with Conner. Although, I will say this, I definitely liked Elle over Anna any day of the week. Overall, I would NOT recommend this book, unless the author went through and at least fixed her grammatical errors and lowered the price. For $3.99 on Amazon, it's just not worth it.

My Rating:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Addicted to You" by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Series: Addicted #1
Genre: New Adult 18+
Format: Kindle
Publication: August 22, 2013 (Indie)
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: She’s addicted to sex. He’s addicted to booze…the only way out is rock bottom.

No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.

Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.

But as they sink beneath the weight of their addictions, they cling harder to their destructive relationship and wonder if a life together, for real, is better than a lie. Strangers and family begin to infiltrate their guarded lives, and with new challenges, they realize they may not just be addicted to alcohol and sex.

Their real vice may be each other. 

My Thoughts: I actually really enjoyed this book... with a few exceptions. Let's talk about what I really liked first though:

With the New Adult genre, it's hard to burst in with something original. I mean, there's only so much drama that can go around. But sex addicts and alcoholics? Yeah, that was definitely a new one. I thought the Ritchie's did a fantastic job of portraying someone with an addiction. I know what people are like when they're addicted to something- I grew up in it. So I was hesitant to pick up this book. I didn't want to read it, and be cheated out of the emotional upheaval that comes with addiction. However, I was impressed. Lo and Lil's flaws were spot on and the nature of their problems made sense. They're emotions were devastating and disastrous and exactly what a person would be feeling. They were real. 

I also really really loved the plot/story itself. Like I said, they get major bonus points for originality with this book. It was definitely something I hadn't seen done before and that was refreshing.

So, what was my problem? It's hard to put my finger on it exactly. While I definitely didn't want to put the book down, I couldn't help but feel cheated out of Lo and Lil's real relationship. Usually, when you pick up a New Adult book, it's about the romance. Which this story is... to a point. But what you're mostly getting when you pick up Addicted to You is an emotional roller coaster about addiction. Which is awesome, but I think a lot of people are going to go into it expecting more. I felt like every time we were about to go to another level of Lo and Lil's relationship, the door was shut on us- blocking the reader out. 

Which ties into my next issue: the sex. Okay, this story is about a sex addict (mostly), and while we can see Lily's struggle somewhat, we get blocked out from her experiences. If she's having sex, we don't read about it. She just let's us know that she did. Either one some random guy(s) or with Lo. Which would be okay... if it wasn't such a huge part of the story. It feels like we are just told these characters have this problem and then we see the after effects of it. We don't get roped into why they enjoy their addictions so much. Which makes it harder to connect with them. Especially for Lily.

Overall, I would probably recommend this series to someone who was engrossed in the NA genre, but who wanted a "milder" read.

My Rating:


Friday, November 1, 2013

"Allegiant" by Veronica Roth: A Non-Spoilery and a Spoilery Review in Two Parts

Series: Divergent #3
Genre: Dystopia
Publication: October 22, 2013 by Harper Collins
Format: Hardback, 526 Pages
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

I will be reviewing this book in two parts. The first is a Non-Spoiler Review (of Allegiant- however it will discuss the previous books). The second review at the bottom (which I will warn you about a head of time) will be a SPOILER review. Just a heads up! 

My Thoughts: SPOILER FREE: I don't even know where to being with this. Some of you will hate it, loathe it, and throw it at your bedroom door. Others, like myself, will love it. Allegiant was amazing for me. I read it without being spoiled first (thank God), but I did know that readers were finding it very upsetting. The backlash this book created was just ridiculous. So, yes I was worried. But I trucked on and it was worth it. I can also safely say, that this was probably one of the better endings to a series I've read in some time. I completely loved it and I will definitely continue to recommend the books and go see the films.



SPOILER REVIEW: Okay, I understand why people are angry when first finishing the book. It was shocking to find out that Tris died. It was upsetting. I sobbed like a baby and hid under my covers. BUT it made sense to me. The whole time I was reading it, I was getting more and more upset because I thought Four was gonna be offed and I was just NOT okay with that. He still had too much to figure out about who he was and how he could contribute to the rebellion. When I read Tris's last chapter I was obviously shocked, but I was also weirdly... content? That's not the right word, but I felt like things where as they should be. It made sense to me that Tris would die in that rebellion because she was the hero... and not just a hero, but one who made the hard decisions and accepted them. It was more then that though... at her heart, Tris was brought up in Abnigation- the faction that believed in sacrificing everything for the good of the community, to be selfless above all else. While Tris was more than Abnigation or Dauntless, it makes sense that she took the best part of if each faction with her. So of course, OF COURSE, she would sacrifice herself for Caleb and for the rebellion. And that IS what she did. She didn't want to go, but she knew she had to and she accepted that. 

Honestly, I think it was just perfect.

My Rating:
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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Follow Friday!

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee.

Q: What book are you embarrassed to admit you LOVED? (try to think beyond Twilight).

Honestly, I don't have one. I don't really believe in "guilty pleasure" reading- because I don't think you should feel guilty about anything you read. The fact that you pick up a book period is pretty damn amazing. I guess, if anything, I would say I have "guilty pleasure themes", like Love Triangles. I eat those suckers up. I know they're not for everyone, but I love a good dramatic edge of your seat "who's she gonna pick" romance. But I still don't really consider those "guilty pleasures" lol.

Make sure you tell me in the comment the ways in which you follow (preferably GFC or FB) and leave me a link to your blog so I can follow back in the same way(s)!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!

This weeks WW is Sentinel by JLA! It's a bittersweet wait though, since it's the final Covenant book! I don't know how I'm going to manage without Aiden!

From Goodreads: It's a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Origin" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Lux #4
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/ Aliens
Format: Kindle
Publication: August 27, 2013 by Entangled
Cover Rating: 5/5 ...DUH, come on look at him! Like I would give him anything less!

From Goodreads: Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything. 

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on? 

And will they even be together?

My Thoughts: The Queen of Cliff-Hangers has done it again! JLA what are you doing to me?! You're killing me! KILLING ME! I need the next book now! Can't we just... can't we just come to some kind of agreement about this? You give me the next book,and I supply you with coffee for a year? No? Darn.

Seriously kids,I feel silly even trying to write this review. Because we all know what I'm going to say: JLA is epic and awesome and this book was phenomenal and can I please have Daemon's babies. The Lux series just keeps getting better with each new book and the action amps up majorly in Origin. We see a side of both Daemon and Kat that we haven't before and it's pretty freaking great. I love how the characters are growing as the series continues on- it really shows how great of a writer JLA is. She has definitely got a gift.

Anyway, I loved it and I really really really really cannot wait until the next book! I hope I don't die between now then, because I'll be super pissed ;)

My Rating:
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Top Ten Scariest Looking Book Covers!

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

I love this weeks category! But in a surprising turn of events, I have only actually read one of these books! When I was in grade school, I picked up R.L. Stine's Night of the Living Dummy. I don't really remember it very well, but I remember being pretty freaked out by the cover! I hate those wooden dolls!

I definitely think the scariest cover on here goes to The Dead of Winter, though. Totally freaky.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a spooktacular Halloween!


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