Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Blast! - Chasing Hope

chasing hope tour

Chasing Hope  Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman A Personal Drama of Shattered Dreams and Second Chances A talented runner fully committed to Olympic dreams, Sabrina Rice's future was shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she has new goals and dreams that have nothing to do with running--something that's become far too painful to think on. Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it's all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina becomes Brandy's best hope for staying out of juvenile hall. Soon, Sabrina begins to feel an uncomfortable nudge that her new life is just about to be toppled...that God may be calling her to minister to this talented but troubled girl.

  kathrynAuthor Kathryn Cushman Author Kathryn "Katie" Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the author of five novels, including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. She is also the co-author of Angel Song with Sheila Walsh. Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California.

  BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/11/13   Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green

Genre: YA/ Fiction
Format: Hardcover; 313 Pages
Publication: January 10, 2012 by Dutton Books
Cover Rating: 3/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

My Thoughts: This book tore my soul in half and left me sobbing into my pillow late into the night.


Every once in a while, you find a book that just makes you reevaluate everything you thought you knew about life, love, and death. It becomes one of the hardest books you've ever had to read, but yet you can't stop yourself from devouring its pages as your mind whirls and spins soaking in every word it offers up to you. When you finish (usually crying tears of joy or sadness, sometimes both), you know that this will be one of those important "things" that you carry with you throughout your life. This will be something that you will reference back to many times, that you will keep in your heart and say "That was the moment I realized..."

And that is exactly what The Fault in Our Stars was for me. It was amazing, splendid, heartbreaking, witty, touching, and memorable.

Hazel quickly moved herself to my favorite book character ever. She is beyond words, and so I can not give you any kind of accurate character insight. Just know that she and Augustus and her parents and Isaac are all worth reading about. They're worth knowing.

This was my first John Green novel, and I can promise you it will not be my last (in fact, I have Looking for Alaska on my TBR shelf right now). If you read absoluely nothing else that I have ever recommend, please let this be the one you DO read. It's the most worthwhile book I've read in quite some time. Simply amazing.

My Rating:
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"Divergent" by Veronica Roth

Series: Divergent #1
Genre: YA Dystopian
Publication: January 1, 2011
Format: Paperback; 487 pages
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

My Thoughts: I know what you're thinking... WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ THIS EPICNESS?! Well... I have no good answer for you. Like so many before it, this book fell to the "Dusty Book Syndrome" as it sat on my shelf for months, that ended up being years.With promises of "Oh, I'll read you next..." while my fingers slide by it's blue spine, grasping it's neighbor instead. It's hopes slowly diminishing as it thinks "Will I ever be read by her?" There's nothing I can say to you Divergent except...

Okay, enough of that. This book was seriously EPIC. It had everything you could possible want in a Dystopian novel, and yet it remained original and pure to it's core. I LOVE Tris. I mean, I seriously love her (#WCW). While we see a lot of badass heroines, there was just something special about her that sets her apart from her other fellow badassians. Maybe it's because she truly is courageous, but not in that forced way. For Tris, having courage and being fearless seems to come natural. She's pretty much amazing.

As for the story itself, well it's chalked full of quality plotty goodness. We have some mega action, mystery, betrayal, and yes, you guessed it: romance thanks to the hotness that is Four (I promise, I will never look at that number the same way again).

Overall, I loved it and I highly recommend it to everyone!

p.s. In case you've been hiding under a rock- Divergent is being made into a movie! Check out the trailer below. Honestly, I'm pretty excited about it! 

My Rating:
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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Austenland" by Shannon Hale

Genre: Chick Lit
Format: Kindle
Publication: August 10, 2010 by Bloomsbury
Cover Rating: 3/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined. 

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen—or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It’s all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

My Thoughts: The premise to this book held so much potential! I went into it knowing it was going to be a cutesy, fluffy, romantic comedy, and I was okay with that. But I was still let down! While yes, this IS a cutesy fluff novel, it felt like the author just slapped some characters on a page without bothering to try to make them "real" for the reader. I had a hard time relating to Jane and I felt like her Austen obsession was just an excuse for A) Wanting someone as hot as Colin Firth in "breeches" and B) to believe in "love at first sight". However I pushed myself to keep reading it because I thought SURELY this gets better... and it did. At least, a little.

I really enjoyed the idea behind the story, but as so often happens, I didn't love the way it was executed. Not even the charming Mr. Nobley could change my mind. I'm still holding out hope though that the movie will surpass the book.

My Rating:


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cover Reveal: Vision of Shadows!

Title: Vision of Shadows
Series: Vision series
Author: Vincent Morrone
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Lenght: 210 pages
Release Date: December 30, 2013

Is Bristol Blackburn about to meet the love of her life...or her killer? 

After the death of her parents, Bristol Blackburn's life is thrown into chaos and she's forced to move to Spirit, a small town where shadows are stirring. As she learns to navigate her new school and figures out how to keep her psychic abilities secret from her family, Bristol comes face to face with the boy who makes a regular appearance in her dreams: the gorgeous, possibly deadly, Payne McKnight. Soon she’ll find out if Payne will be the love of her life, or the end of it — and she has no idea which possibility scares her more.

And that's not even the worst of it. Strange shadows are haunting her dreams, and they're up to something that could put Bristol and the lives of everyone she loves in jeopardy.

You can add Vision of Shadows to your to-read list on Goodreads:

About the Author:
Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Vincent Morrone now resides in Upstate NY with his wife. (Although he can still speak fluent Brooklynese.) His twin daughters remain not only his biggest fans, but usually are the first to read all of his work. Their home is run and operated for the comfort and convenience of their dogs.

Vincent has been writing fiction, poetry and song lyrics for as long as he can remember, most of which involve magical misfits, paranormal prodigies and even on occasion superheroes and their sidekicks.

As they say in Brooklyn: Yo, you got something to say to Vincent?

Check out where you can learn about Vincent and leave him a comment.  You can also connect with Vincent on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Shadow Bound" by Rachel Vincent

Series: Unbound #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance
Format: Paperback; 439 Pages
Publication: May 22nd 2012 by Mira
Cover Rating: 4/5 Stars

From Goodreads: If you live in the dark long enough, you begin to forget the light... 

Kori Daniels is a shadow-walker, able to travel instantly from one shadow to another. After weeks of confinement for betraying her boss, she's ready to break free of the Tower syndicate for good. But Jake Tower has one final job for Kori, one chance to secure freedom for herself and her sister, Kenley, even if it means taking it from someone else.... 

The job? Recruit Ian Holt-or kill him. 

Ian's ability to manipulate the dark has drawn interest from every syndicate in the world, most notably an invitation from Jake Tower. Though he has no interest in organized crime, Ian accepts the invite, because he's on a mission of his own. Ian has come to kill Tower's top Binder: Kori's little sister. 

Amid the tangle of lies, an unexpected thread of truth connecting Ian and Kori comes to light. But with opposing goals, they'll have to choose between love and liberty...

My Thoughts: This series is just awesome!!! Rachel Vincent can write just about anything now and I'm going to be hardcore fangirling. I'm not going to lie, when I found out this novel was NOT told in the original characters POV, I was super pissed. But, Rachel didn't let me down! If possible, I feel even more in love with Kori and Ian than I ever did with Cam and Liv.

Where Liv's life wasn't exactly easy, it had nothing on the life Kori has had to lead. I was absolutely obsessed with Kori as a character, she was disturbing and amazingly strong, and I was truly saddened by all that she had to go through. We also get a huge look into the evil Tower syndicate (and trust me when I say he is evil- much more so than Cavazos). And while yes, this book has it's romance too, I think the story is really starting to shift into that Urban Fantasy genre where we get to the grittyness of the life these characters lead and how they are going to overcome it. I can't wait to read the next installment!

My Rating:


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Audio Review: "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Fantasy/ Magical Realism
Publication: September 13, 2011 by Random House
Format: Audible
Narrated By: Jim Dale
Narration Rating: 5/5 Stars
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. 

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

My Thoughts: This book was so incredibly enchanting and bizarre! I have never read anything like it before, and sadly I doubt I will ever find anything similar to it or it's quality again. I never wanted it to end! I think that this is one of those stories that people will either love or hate, for whatever reason. However, I found myself taking the long way home from work just so I could keep listening to Jim Dale read me this magical tale.

The story has many different view points, sometimes we are actual patrons of the circus, other times we are witnessing individual characters lives of the circus itself (mostly Marco's and Celia's). We also time jump from past to present frequently. It is a bit to keep up with if you're listening to it, but not impossible or distracting, and very much worth the satisfying ending.

The characters are beyond lovable, and the plot careens, twists, and soars into the depths of your mind, carving the tale of The Night Circus firmly in your imagination.

As for the audible version and Jim Dale's narration? It was amazing. It didn't take away from the book at all, and Dale gave my drives home this enchanting quality that I could never have reached had I simply read it myself. Which is a bit odd of me to say, but it's true. There was just something about his voice that made me dive into this world of enchanters, seers, and contortionist.

Overall, I highly recommend the audio version of this book!

My Rating:
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