Aug 21

ARC Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Highly Recommend, Middle Grade, Review, Reviewed by Brittany 1

ARC Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between (Pram #1) by Lauren DeStefanoA Curious Tale of the In-Between on September 1st, 2015
Format: ARC
Goodreads
five-stars

Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

I love Lauren DeStefano books, she does creepy really well!  She is always able to add some eerie character or story-line into her books that make me a little creeped out.  The whole idea of The Chemical Garden Trilogy,  people dying at 20, kidnapping, and inhumane testing was so odd but worked so well.  If you haven’t read those yet, get to it because they are very odd and awesome.

A Curious Tale of the In Between is a middle grade fiction tale about a young girl name Pram.  Pram is an interesting young girl not only because of her unusual upbringing but she can also talk to ghosts.  She is a completely lovable character.  During the story she meets a young boy at school and together they embark on an adventure of sorts to find their lost parents.

I have seen so many people describe this story as charming and I can’t help but agree.  It may be written for middle grade but this book deserves to be read by all ages.  Anyone who has experienced any sort of loss will find this tale touching and beautifully written.  Grief is something felt to some degree by all human beings.

There are lots of tough subjects in here so I would really recommend any younger readers to read this with their parent or at least for the parents to read it first.

five-stars

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Aug 19

Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Uncategorized 0

Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland StoneEvery Last Word on June 16th, 2015
Goodreads
four-stars

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

I am teetering between a 3 and a 4 star on this book.  I can really see this book grabbing people’s attention like it grabbed mine.  These dark thoughts of Samantha are eerie and completely captivated my attention, I kept asking myself is she really going to do something?  I have read many books that tackle characters with mental illness but not quite as dark as Samantha.   It is a very up and personal look at a darker side of OCD.

However, where the book starts to go awry for me was some of the subplots.  There is just too much going on for me at points, I would have enjoyed a bit simpler plot in some ways. BUT I may be alone in this thinking…….

The Poet’s Corner is also something I really couldn’t identify with in this book.  I have the same problem when I read books about theater, artsy and dance plots.  I really enjoy the books but just can’t make a huge connection with it.

My biggest thought while reading is how much I couldn’t wait to give this to my students.  There is a sense of self discovery in this book that I would love for my students to read about.  I find books like this really move YA because they all can relate to their search for themselves.

four-stars

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Aug 18

5 STAR Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

5 Stars, Dystopia, Review, Reviewed by Brittany 0

5 STAR Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel CaineInk and Bone on July 7th, 2015
Genres: Dystopian
Format: ARC
Source: The Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…

First off, I am not even sure how I got this book but I am so glad I did thank you Penguin peeps! I can’t wait to share this one with my students.

I am going to give you the 5 REASONS I have gave this book 5 STARS!

1) Male Protagonist

I am so giddy when I see books that are different!  I think we have way too many cookie-cutter books and I just get tired of reading because of them.  I am also always on the lookout for stories from a male’s perspective because I love to have those in my classroom.  Jess is unlikely hero at points but he is a character that you can root for nonetheless. He also deeply loves books, what bookworm doesn’t swoon at that?

2) Just a hint of Romance

There is a ton of action in this book.  As a trainee of sorts Jess and the others are asked to do a lot of different tasks to show their worth and knowledge.  Some of them are even dangerous!  I loved that there is a hint of romance here and there but most of the book is focused elsewhere!

3) It’s a book all about books.

In this book the Great Library of Alexandria still exists and basically rules the world.  People die saving, stealing, and preserving books.  It is even illegal to own books, I wouldn’t survive in that world!!!

4) FRESH, NEW, ORIGINAL

Those people in a reading slump should read this book! Knowledge is the “bad” guy in this book, it isn’t a virus, zombies or nuclear warfare.  I have seen this book compared to Harry Potter, The Book Thief, and Fahrenheit 451 and I have to admit the comparison is not far off!

5) Great Writing

There is a ton of story in this book and I never felt lost.  The writing is smooth, easy, and flows beautifully.  You get to enjoy the story rather than decipher the words.

five-stars

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Aug 17

Vacation reads with mini-reviews!

Mini Review 0

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)

Synopsis: Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

Comments: Who doesn’t love a high fantasy about dragons?!?!  I loved the story, the world, and the characters but really struggled keeping names straight throughout the entire book.  I thought I would eventually get the hang of it but nope that didn’t happen.  I even tried to read the name glossary in the back of the book several times.  Either way I would recommend this book to all high fantasy lovers, I can’t wait to read the next book!
Never Never (Never Never, #1)

Synopsis: Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen.
                    Complete strangers since this morning.
                    He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget.

 

Comments: This book will suck you right in and not let you go.  It’s only 159 pages so it is over super fast with many questions left unanswered and a cliff hanger.  The characters do not know much about themselves so their development is a bit different than a normal book.   They start picking up the pieces of the “old” selves only to find out they weren’t exactly making the best decisions before.  There are lots of twists and turns in this book.  Can’t wait to read the next one!

A History of Glitter and Blood

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies.

But when Beckan’s clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn’t have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected.

Comments: I would like to start out with a big positive for this book and that is that it is very original.  I have never read anything even remotely similar to this.  It has me at a stalemate.  I definitely did not hate but I did not love it.  I am sure loads of people will not like this book but I found it oddly charming at points.  It takes a long while to understand what is going on in the story, the reader is literally tossed head first into this world without much help in the first half of the book.  

I am not even sure who I would recommend it to, this one is a big mystery to me!

DNF

Charmed (The Witch Hunter, #2)

Soo absolutely bummed about this one, I loved the first book.  :(

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Aug 13

Blog Tour Review: The Demon Gabriella Review by Rachel Calish

3.5 Stars, 4 Stars, Blog Tour 1

Blog Tour Review: The Demon Gabriella Review by Rachel CalishThe Demon Gabriella on June 15th, 2015
Goodreads
four-stars

Surviving an onslaught of dark forces took talent, strength—and allowing the Demon Abraxas into the world. Now Sabel Young’s order wants her to answer for her actions. All Sabel wants is the freedom to love the woman she rescued, Ana Khoury.
Nearly killed—and worse—in a world of magic she didn’t know existed, Ana is nursing new scars and old. Her brother wants to journey to South Dakota to confront their shared past before that opportunity is lost forever. The centuries-old feud between the demons and witches isn’t going to stop Ana from going with him.
Sabel knows there’s nowhere that Ana can go that evil won’t follow and she fears their newest ally, the Demon Gabriella, is a more profound danger than their enemies.

Before I even start my review, I want to say I respect books like this.  The publishing world is probably hard enough but I have been really enjoying seeing LGBT books finally get their well deserved spotlight.  The LGBT characters in this book are real and believable.  They don’t seem forced and written to be gay characters because that is what is different.  I have read a few LGBT books with characters that are just not believable and DNF those books.  The Demon Gabriella happens to be the first LGBT book that I have read in the fantasy genre.  The trend seems to be more realistic fiction BUT all I have to say is we need more LGBT fantasy/paranormal books.

Ok on to the book, well The Demon Gabriella is the second book in the series.  I didn’t  realize it until about half way through so if you have the chance, I would definitely recommend reading The Demon Abraxes.  I read the second one and did just fine but I will definitely going back to book one!  I want to know more about Sabel and Ana’s back story.

I have already talked about how much I liked the characters because of the their “realness” and depth.  I also really enjoyed the world building it was very unique and Calish’s writing brings you right into the story.  It is hard to stop reading once you have started.  It is not your typical demon read not only because of the characters but also because of the story and world building.

I would recommend this to all adult paranormal lovers. It is not suitable for YA aged readers!

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as two new titles from Rachel Calish–we’re calling them the Calish Couple—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either a $50 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of The Demon Gabriella by Rachel Calish, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, Song of Secrets by Tate Hallaway and Rachel Calish. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Calish Couple tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book:
Get The Demon Gabriella through Amazon.

About the author: Rachel Calish lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota because it’s so cold you just have to sit inside and write novels. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree by writing stories about sexy demons. A fan of games of all kinds, you can find her playing anything from the lat- est video game releases to Checkers with half the pieces missing. Under the name Rachel Gold, she writes LBGTQ Young Adult fiction.
Connect with Rachel on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..

Learn more about The Demon Gabriella‘s tour mate HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

four-stars

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Aug 11

Into the Dangerous World by Julie Chibbaro Exclusive Video and Images!!!

Book Blitz 0

Into the Dangerous World by Julie Chibbaro Exclusive Video and Images!!!Into the Dangerous World on August 18th, 2015
Goodreads

Ror lives to draw—to her, it’s like breathing; it’s how she understands life. When her father dies, she finds herself at a crossroads. Should she paint in the classic tradition, the way he taught her? Go to college, like her art teacher wants? Or should she listen to Trey, the seductive street artist who leads the crew Noise Ink? She is a brilliant artist—but will she use her talent, or waste it?

 

 
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My favorite images from the book:

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Check out the EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: 

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Aug 01

Blog Tour Review: Song of Secrets by Tate Hallaway & Rachel Calish

3.5 Stars, 4 Stars, Blog Tour, Review, Reviewed by Brittany 2

Blog Tour Review: Song of Secrets by Tate Hallaway & Rachel Calish

As a fellow Minnesotan, I was super excited to read this book.  I had read Tate’s vampire series a while back and really enjoyed them!  Song of Secrets packs a really fun combination of Harry Potter and X-Men.  The four main characters Theo, Gabe, Erin and Kitty all come from very different backgrounds,  all very lost until they find each other.  I also really liked the boldness of this book, I am sooo excited to see LGBT characters emerging in this genre, finally!  It is just so nice to find books that don’t claim to fit into a certain mold but are so beautifully original.

It felt like I was just getting into the swing of the world building, the characters, and the plot and BOOM the book was over way too soon!  I am glad that this is going to be a series because I can’t wait to read the rest of the story!

The addition of the illustrations was an interesting aspect in the book, some I loved and some were just alright.

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as two new titles from Rachel Calish–we’re calling them the Calish Couple—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either a $50 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of Song of Secrets by Tate Hallaway and Rachel Calish, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, The Demon Gabriella by Rachel Calish. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Calish Couple tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

Get Song of Secrets through Amazon.

About the authors: Tate Hallaway leads a double life. By day, she’s Lyda Morehouse, a mild-mannered science fiction author of the Shamus and Philip K. Dick award-winning AngeLINK series. By night, she’s the bestselling para- normal romance and urban fantasy writer, Tate Hallaway. She’s written and published over a dozen novels (five as Lyda and nine as Tate), and together her two identities have over a decade of professional publishing experience.

Connect with Tate on her website, Twitter,or GoodReads..

Rachel Calish lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota because it’s so cold you just have to sit inside and write novels. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree by writing stories about sexy demons. A fan of games of all kinds, you can find her playing anything from the lat- est video game releases to Checkers with half the pieces missing. Under the name Rachel Gold, she writes LBGTQ Young Adult fiction.

Connect with Rachel on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..

Learn more about Song of Secrets‘s tour mate HERE.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Jul 29

What I have been reading this summer…

Uncategorized 0

This summer I have had a ton of time to read so instead of doing a really long review for each book, I figured I would do lots of mini reviews!

Here are the YOUNG ADULT BOOKS

Everything, EverythingSynopsis: 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

There has been so much buzz about this book!!!!! Again not my typical genre but an extremely interesting and great read with a twist at the end.  I never saw the ending coming and it made the book even better.  I recommend this to all YA readers!   

Every Last Word

Synopsis: 

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

This is a really unique book and I could see myself recommending this to many of my students.   I think everyone can identify with this story no matter what point of your life you are in.

Happenstance (Happenstance, #1) Happenstance 2 (Happenstance, #2)Happenstance 3 (Happenstance, #3)

I LOVED THESE BOOKS!  They are a novella series !

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes, #2)

Synopsis: 

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.

This series is phenomenal.  I love strong female character  and Meira is just that!

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)

Synopsis: 

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love. 

Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2)

Synopsis: 

For the past two months, Kitty Doe’s life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister’s niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she’s accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she’ll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

The Shadow Prince (Mortal Enchantment, #1)

This prequel novella is FREE and available on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble!

DNF

SpelledThe Walled City

 

Here are the ADULT BOOKS:

Deer in Headlights (Hearts and Arrows, #1)Snake in the Grass (Hearts and Arrows, #2)Doe Eyes (Hearts and Arrows, #3)

Synopsis from the first book:

Lex is everything Dean needs — but he can’t have her.

It doesn’t matter that she’s beautiful or that her art and poetry speak to his shredded heart. She’s the new drummer’s girlfriend, the latest in a long line of drummers past. He promised the band he’d stay away to protect their record deal, so he’s left with no choice but to deny his heart for the sake of their music.

Dean is everything Lex wants — but she can’t take the risk.

When Lex meets Dean, she’s sure it’s only attraction that has her so hung up on the dark, damaged lead singer, but the more she learns about him, the more she wants him. Love has never been worth the sacrifice, until now. But she can’t put her heart on the line — she won’t — even though she wants to for the first time.

If only they knew they were just pawns in a much bigger game. And in this game of love, Aphrodite never loses.

These books are sooo great!  I have always loved Greek mythology and I can’t get enough of these books!  I love how the Greek Gods “interact” with humans in a sort of game!

 

With a Twist (Bad Habits, #1)

This is Staci Hart’s newest book.  It has nothing to do with Greek mythology but I still loved it!

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

Synopsis:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

This is definitely adult compared to her other series!!!! I loved this book! Sarah’s writing gets better and better with each book she writes!

 

Scorched (Frigid, #2) The Werewolf Prince and I (The Moretti Werewolf, #1)Reckless (Forever, #6)

 

I put these in order to how much I liked them! I did not really like the ending of The Werewolf Prince and I or Reckless.

I love everything by Jamie McGuire.  I am not sure why I waited soo long to read these but they were amazing!

The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1)The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never, #2)

Love the emotion and story of these two books!  I will definitely read more from this author!

The Becoming (The Becoming, #1)

Free Zombie novel on Kindle!!!! 4/5 Stars!

DNF

Fashionably Dead (Hot Damned, #1)  The Demon Mistress (Eva Prim, #1)

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Jul 29

Student Review: The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass

3.5 Stars, 4 Stars, Student Review 1

Student Review: The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera CassThe Heir on May 5th, 2015
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

This Selection is definitely much different than Maxon’s. I really like how we get to see through Princess Eadlyn how the Selection works from the inside. Eadlyn is the first girl to have a Selection and it is at a time when her parents need it the most. I think trying to distract the public from the recent uprisings with this is a good tactic to give the King and Queen time to think. Seeing how much Eday cares about helping her parents shows through when she reluctantly decides to go through a Selection. Even though she is completely against the idea, she does it in hopes of getting a break from talking about marriage and of course, to help her parents.
Princess Eadlyn’s is definitely not her mother, America, and I think that piece alone adds a lot to the story. Eadlyn comes off as spoiled and selfish, but she is very independent and she knows what she wants and how to get it. Throughout most of the story, Eadlyn’s personality is very bratty and a little stuck-up. She isn’t very good with socializing with people and is surprised when they become upset with her for offending them. She also has the tendency to be dramatic and over exaggerate situations. Her personality changes a little towards the end of the book as she starts to realize how much her actions affect others. The last few chapters when she makes these realizations show that there might be something more to her character than originally seen.
The interactions between Eady and her family felt very genuine. The scene were they all join some of the Selected in a game of baseball was one of my favorite parts of the book. It was very relaxed and it showed just how normal the royal family actually is. I also loved the relationship between Eadlyn and her twin brother, Ahren. He was one of my favorite characters in the book and his personality really balanced out with his sister’s. There is also a scene where Eady and her brothers are lying on a bed talking and their parents come in to join them in conversation. The scene is very laid-back and shows the family in the same way as when they played baseball.
Now to the Selected. Henri is definitely the sweetest guy anyone could ever meet. He is so kind and genuinely happy all the time. Unfortunately, he and Eadlyn don’t speak the same language; if it weren’t for that, I would be rooting for him to win the Selection. Erik is Henri’s translator, and while he wasn’t picked for the Selection, I think he might actually have a chance at winning the heart of Eadlyn. Hale is has a good fashion sense, according to the book, and he tries to prove himself in a new way every day. I think he could possibly have a chance. Kile has known Eady all her life and they have never really gotten along. She has always thought he was weird because he liked to read and he always thought she was annoying. Knowing that they grew up together, it wasn’t a surprise when his name was picked for the Selection. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about their relationship because it feels a little fake at times. But besides that, I think he might actually have a good chance at winning (there are also some parallels between their relationship and Eady’s parents’ relationship). If he doesn’t win, I could at least see them becoming better friends. The romance between Eady and each of the Selected was a little predictable in my mind, but overall, I think it’s just starting to develop into something better and will hopefully progress in the next book.
Eadlyn’s Selection is nothing like how her father’s was. Hopefully we see more character development in the next book and I hope that Eady at least finds someone that she can get to know better. This book wasn’t my favorite of the series, but I did enjoy reading i
three-half-stars

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Jul 06

Early Review: Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian

Contemporary, Review, Reviewed by Michelle, Romance, Uncategorized, Young Adult 1

I received this book for free from Edelwiess in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Early Review: Cut Both Ways by Carrie MesrobianCut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian
Published by HarperCollins on September 1st 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelwiess
Goodreads

Will Caynes never has been good with girls. At seventeen, he’s still waiting for his first kiss. He’s certainly not expecting it to happen in a drunken make-out session with his best friend, Angus. But it does and now Will’s conflicted—he knows he likes girls, but he didn’t exactly hate kissing a guy.Then Will meets Brandy, a cute and easy-to-talk-to sophomore. He’s totally into her too—which proves, for sure, that he’s not gay. So why does he keep hooking up with Angus on the sly?Will knows he can’t keep seeing both of them, but besides his new job in a diner, being with Brandy and Angus are the best parts of his whole messed-up life. His divorced parents just complicate everything. His father, after many half-baked business ventures and endless house renovations, has started drinking again. And his mom is no help—unless loading him up with a bunch of stuff he doesn’t need plus sticking him with his twin half-sisters counts as parenting. He’s been bouncing between both of them for years, and neither one feels like home.Deciding who to love, who to choose, where to live. Whichever way Will goes, someone will get hurt. Himself, probably the most.

This book was .. intense. And unique. It tugged at my heart.. it made me uncomfortable. It made me grin from ear to ear. A book that can do all of that is one that is going to stick with me for awhile.

This book is NOT for young readers. It definitely has some scenes that I wasn’t expecting. But it was brutally honest which made me love it even more. A love triangle that stands our from the YA crowd. It made me hate it.. but still love the story at the same time.

It’s hard to review this book without giving away too much. But let’s just say that It broke my heart. Repaired it. and broke it again. It is an honest story of a young man just trying to understand himself and his feelings when he doesn’t know which way is up.

For readers who like brutally honest stories and don’t shy away from something that may be awkward to read about.
I’m so glad that more LGBT stories are getting noticed. The reading world needs diversity!

Carrie Mesrobian tells a story that will stay with you long after the last page.. and will seriously leave you wanting to know more!

Keep an eye out. Cut Both Ways is available September 1st 2015 !

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