Where reading is a way of life

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Falls the Shadow by Stephanie Gaither

352 pages, YA Sci-Fi
Falls the Shadow #1
My Rating: 5 stars


When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement. Like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same smile. The same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.

She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.

In a thrilling debut, Stefanie Gaither takes readers on a nail-biting ride through a future that looks frighteningly similar to our own time and asks: how far are you willing to go to keep your family together?

My 2 cents:

Wow, this story had me hooked!

The basic premise: In a futuristic world, they have figured out a technology to create perfect clones. Parents can elect to have this procedure done to their children, and then the "clones" are stored in a facility, and regularly updated (their brains are like computers) with all the memories of the original. The idea being, that if a child dies, you can have them "replaced." 

The MC, Catelyn's older sister, Violet dies of a disease. Their parents are rich (her dad's the mayor) and they have cloned their kids, so Violet is replaced. Catelyn is 12 at the time, and tries to go along with it, but she knows it not really her sister. Everything goes on as normal.

4 years later, and Violet's best friend, Samantha Voss is found dead in the woods and Violet's the prime suspect. The clones have their critics in society, and this proves that the cloning process isn't perfect. Catelyn gets in the middle of a conspiracy with a government agency, and has to find her sister before they do and terminate Violet.

The story was quick moving, I couldn't put it down. What I really appreciated was that it didn't get too in depth with the technology and world building, it was easy to understand. This world was much like our own, except greater tech. The characters were good, although not too well developed, except the two sisters.

The thing I liked best was their relationship, it was so well done. Because in both their heads, they recognized that this new Violet was not really Violet, but an imitation, but they had to both pretend otherwise. So lots of complexity there, plus things get pretty crazy, making them both have to make hard choices.

The next best thing was the conspiracy and all the twists that happened throughout. It wasn't really clear who was the "bad guy" until the end, and even then, it was really the lesser of two evils. Loved that aspect.

Overall, I LOVED this, so my type of book, 5 stars!

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Reread Challenge 2015

This year I've decided not to sign up for many challenges. I'm just doing a few personal ones and a few on Goodreads. But I saw this one, and knew I had to do it!

This is the first Reread Challenge! Hosted by Belle of the Literati and So Obsessed With.  

The Re-Read Challenge Details
  1. This challenge will run from January 1, 2015 - December 31, 2015. The sign-up linky will remain open until the end of January, but join at any time by adding your intro post to any monthly re-read recap linky.
  2. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it's a re-read.
  3. We will have two giveaways - one at the six-month point and one at the end of the year. Giveaway details posted closer to the halfway point!
  4. You don't have to follow our blogs to participate or be entered in the giveaways.
How You Sign Up
  1. Write a post about joining The 2015 Re-Read Challenge on your blog. In the post, include the banner, a link back to our sign-up page, the number of books you'd like to re-read and list some books you're hoping to re-read for the challenge.
  2. Add the direct link to your sign-up post in the linky below.
  3. Optional: Put the challenge button in your sidebar (grab link available at the bottom of the post).
  4. DONE. It's as easy as that to get started.
How You Participate
  1. Re-read some books!
  2. In the first week of each month, we will post a re-read recap on Belle of the Literati and So Obsessed With that includes a linky that will be open all month. Write a post detailing what you re-read the last month, and add the direct link to our linky to be entered in our giveaways.
  3. If you write any re-read reviews (it's totally optional!), add those to the monthly linky for additional entries (one per post) in our giveways.
  4. If you miss a monthly post, just link up your reviews and/or recap in the linky during the next month.

Why am I signing up? First of all, I LOVE rereading my favorite books. I always reread books. In 2014 I reread 22 books. They are great when you are in a reading slump and can't figure out what to read--just pick a favorite book you love!  Also, sometimes when the last book comes out in a trilogy or series, I like to read the whole series at once. Its so fun!

Most of my rereads I have planned have that purpose in mind--I need to get caught up on or finish a series, and I need a refresher.

Here's some of the books I'm hoping to reread:

My Goal is to reread 20 books this year.


1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

4 Year Blogoversary Interview!

Here it is! My 4 year Blogoversary Interview, where I answer the questions you all asked me! This was really fun to do! Enjoy :)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What Are You Reading Monday 12/22

Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a meme done by Book Journey.  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

What I've Read the Last 2 Weeks

Lips Touch by Laini Taylor--4 stars
The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey--5 stars
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski--5 stars
Let's Get Lost by Ali Alsaid--4 stars
Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday--3 stars
Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts--4 stars
Jackaby by William Ritter--5 stars

Some great reads this last week! 

What I Am Reading Next Week

I have a huge December TBR pile I'm working on at the moment!

Currently Reading

I am super excited to read this book! I loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds, and I've been anticipating this one for awhile!

 Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

What Are You Reading Monday 12/8

Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a meme done by Book Journey.  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

What I've Read the Last 2 Weeks

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier--4 stars
After the End by Amy Plum--3.5 stars
In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken-- 5 stars
Fractured by Sarah Fine--4 stars
Timestorm by Julie Cross--4 stars
The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder--3 stars
Four by Veronica Roth--4 stars
The Cabinet of Curiosities--4 stars
My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins--4.5 stars
This Night so Dark by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner--5 stars
Captive by Leigh Talbert Moore--4 stars
Learning to Spy by Leigh Talbert Moore--4 stars

What I Am Reading Next Week

I have a huge December TBR pile I'm working on at the moment!

Currently Reading

 Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Grip by David Estes + Giveaway!

slip banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Slip (Slip #1) and Grip (Slip #2) by David Estes. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 1 till 5 December, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.


By David Estes                              
Genre: Dystopia
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 1 December, 2014

In a tumultuous world of population control, one illegal child has slipped through the cracks. Now, as a teenager, Benson Kelly has escaped certain deaths at the hands of the Department of Population Control, only to find himself the symbol of a rebellion, something he never intended.

While trying to survive one day at a time, Benson seeks to unravel the tangled knot of secrets left behind when his father died, the key to which has something to do with his mother, Janice Kelly, recently escaped from the insane asylum.

As the rebel group known as the Lifers continue to use brute force to send a message to the government, Benson's twin, Harrison Kelly, seeks to exploit a loophole that could be the key to freedom for his brother. All that's required is a simple act of murder.

Meanwhile, Population Control's attack dog, a sadistic cyborg known as The Destroyer, closes in on Benson and his family. His directive: Kill them all.

Faith, family and love will be pushed to the limits in the GRIPping sequel to Slip.

You can find Grip on Goodreads

You can buy Grip here:
- Amazon


My Rating:  5 EPIC stars!
My Review:
Holy Guacamole Batman! 

Grip is the gripping (pardon the pun) sequel to Slip, my former favorite book by David Estes. Grip has now taken that honor! This book just STUNNED me! Sequels in general have a top job living up to their predecessors, but Grip achieved this with flying colors!

**I should mention at this point that there will be spoilers for Slip in this review, but none for Grip.**

I was so looking forward to this book! I actually read Slip for the first time as an ARC last June, so I couldn't wait to see Benson and Harrison together in action! What I love so much about this book is it didn't play out like I thought it would have at all. Grip, if possible, is even darker than Slip, with higher stakes and even more twists! It completely exceeded my expectations!

Things I loved about Grip:

Harrison In Slip, Harrison really came across as a brat to me, but in this one, he really steps up to the plate. I didn't agree with all his decisions and choices, but I am loving his evolution. He does remind me a lot of his father, Michael Kelly, but so much smarter in so many ways.

A Family Back Together I really loved seeing Harrison and Benson together for the first time. I myself have identical twin boys that are teens, and the bond between them is so strong. Even though Harrison and Benson have been apart their whole lives, they still have this bond. The scenes with them together were my favorites! Then there's Janice--she has her boys back again. She actually shines in parts of this book, and the scenes with this broken family were done so very well. It was easy to relate to Janice in these! I really got the mom factor here. And her craziness is starting to make more and more sense to me. 

Destiny We get a new character in this one, a Slip the same age as our heroes who is also a Slip herself. Destiny takes the cake for creativity and survival technique. One of my favorite characters ever!

The Ads and Articles Throughout the Book As in Slip, Grip is filled with these, and they really help the reader gauge the reaction of the public. There's a lot of brainwashing going on here, and its interesting to me to see the people who get sucked in, and then the ones who don't, whose comments have been deleted. This was my favorite example in this book:

"Do you love dogs but not all the responsibility?
BotPetsTM new line of BotDogs 6.0 is more advanced than ever!
Programmed to perform more than thirty tricks, your pet will keep you
entertained for hours, without ever requiring feeding or exercise.
And like all of our species of BotDogs, there‟s no waste pickup required!
BotPets, we take the poo out of poodle.
Important Disclosures: BotDogs 6.0 were modified from the original design of AttackDogs 6.0
used by Crows in law enforcement endeavors. The “bite” and “attack” commands have been
removed, however, in less than one percent of cases, larger models have been found to be defective. It’s advised that children be supervised around BotDogs 6.0 at all times. BotPets is not
liable for any injury or death resulting from defective products."

The World Building Its again excellent in this book, and we get a much broader scope as well. We learn more about the government, the resistance, and the general public.

The Writing Itself Again, beautiful writing done here! I love seeing a writer grow. One of my favorite quotes:

"Happy moments are like stars. They seem so close you think you can
touch them, but really they’re fleeting and a million miles away. Enjoy them from afar and don’t come to expect them. In your life there will be more cloudy nights than clear ones."

The Twists In Slip, there was one big twist at the end that was MIND BLOWING. In Grip, there are several twists that will blow your mind to a far off galaxy on the other side of the universe! 

The Feels Of course. And the best thing about a David Estes book! You will feel EVERYTHING. The anger, the sadness, the despair, the love, the fear, the hope...everything.

Final verdict for this book: 5 very EPIC stars! This sequel is a stunner. If you're going to take the ride that is this series, make sure you hold on tight, don't lose your grip! (I'm sorry, couldn't help it)

**I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an HONEST review**

Author Photo - David EstesAbout the Author:
Author of popular YA dystopian series, the Dwellers Saga and the Country Saga. Voted books to read if you enjoyed the Hunger Games on Buzzfeed and Listopia.

Join 2,400+ David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite in David Estes' official fan group at:

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. They now live together in their dream location, Hawaii. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

You can find and contact David here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Slip. These are the prizes you can win:
- Winners choice of book to the value of $15.00 U.S. from The Book Depository
- A signed copy of SLIP plus bonus swag- U.S. entrants only
- A signed copy of BREW plus bonus swag- U.S. entrants only
- 3 ebook packs with three David Estes ebooks of your choice
- 4 signed packs of bookmarks

You can enter the blitz wide giveaway here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway