Where reading is a way of life

Friday, May 31, 2013

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

260 pages, YA Contemporary Romance
My rating: 4 stars


“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors ofNick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

My 2 cents

Dash & Lily is a cute story about two teenagers who suck at love, and are spending a very lonely Christmas by themselves. Lily is sad and dismayed by this, while Dash is thrilled for some alone time. Lily's brother, Langston, finds a way to keep Lily occupied--he creates a dare game using a red moleskin journal and Lily's love for books. She writes a message in it with a bunch of clues for whomever finds the book to follow. If he is the boy of her dreams, the book will lead them to each other--or so the theory goes!

Of course, none of this is realistic, but I was able to suspend reality for a little time and go on this journey with Lily and Dash. This is a dual POV book between our two MCs, so we get to know them quite well. They were both great characters, as were all the supporting characters. The character development was definitely the best part of the story!

Also the comedy! This is a laugh-out-loud funny type of book. Lots of things can happen to a teenager running around New York City during the Christmas holidays, or so it did to Dash and Lily! If you are looking for a light, funny, romantic read, pick up Dash & Lily!

Icons by Margaret Stohl

428 pages, YA Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Icons #1
My rating: 4 stars


Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.

She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts -- in order to save the future.

My 2 cents

When I heard that Margaret Stohl had written a new YA dystopian novel, I had to get it right away and read it! I did have high expectations because I love the Beautiful Creatures series so much, and this book didn't quite meet my expectations. It was a good read, but I didn't love it.

Dol (Doloria) and Ro (Furo) have been raised outside of conventional society their whole lives. 16 years ago, "The Day" happened. Aliens took over our planet with high tech. They implanted 13 "Icons" all over the planet that shut down our whole system--it can even stop our hearts from beating. Millions were killed, including Dol's and Ro's parents. The House of Lords (the aliens) are now in control of our planet, and the Embassy (human government that works with the aliens) oversee the cities. 

We learn pretty quickly that Dol and Ro are very different from everyone else. They have these colored dots on their wrists that they keep wrapped up from prying eyes. These dots allow them to feel emotions very strongly. Dol is called "The Weeper" because she feels mostly sorrow, and Ro is "The Rager" because he feels anger. 

They are captured by the Embassy, and there they meet two more "Icon Children" as they are called, Tima and Lucas. Lucas is the son of the head of the Embassy, she's called The Ambassador. Tima is his best friend, but she's essentially a prisoner.

Phew. Now that I've got that all set up for you, I'll talk about the book! 

The writing style in this story is very different, and it took awhile for me to get into. I enjoyed the second half of the story a lot more than the first, mainly because not a lot was explained until halfway in. A lot of it was guesswork, which definitely kept up the suspense, but left me a little confused. 

The characters took a little while to develop as well. I didn't really connect with Dol until the very end of the story. Lucas's character was the most in depth of the four kids. I actually liked his computer "friend", Doc the best of the book! The humorous digital bodyguard was cleverly written. 

The ending was very well done, and was my favorite part of the story. I'm hoping now that we have the story set up, the next book in the series will be even better!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

479 pages, YA Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Unraveling #1
My rating: 5 stars


Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?(

My 2 cents

This was an amazing sequel to Unraveling. I loved the first book, and I am thrilled to say this book might be even better than the first! Elizabeth Norris, please keep writing about Janelle and Ben!

While Unraveling had more of a dystopian vibe to it, Unbreakable is more of a sci-fi adventure. Ben is wanted for a conspiracy with a human trafficking ring. The conspiracy goes up into the IA headquarters, and possible the governement. Barclay is the only one who knows the Ben may be innocent, but Ben has disappeared. Janelle joins Barclay in an almost suicide mission to clear Ben's name. 

The first half of the novel is mostly just Barclay and Janelle jumping from universe to universe and doing some investigative work. The second half of the book is crazy, and involves things like escaping and rescuing witnesses from a maxiumum security prison, jumping in front of trains, scaling down buildings, and getting shot at constantly. Ben and Elijah join in the action about halfway through, and that's when the story really takes off.

I could not put this book down. Even with all this action, there are some very emotional moments for Janelle, as she copes with the fact that Ben may have moved on without her, and the fact she may lose everything in this conspiracy. The ending was amazing, and the action really doesn't stop until the very end. Things are pretty much tied up by the end, and I was happy with the ending. (view spoiler)

This is a great YA Sci-Fi action adventure, and I really hope I get to read more from Elizabeth Norris!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

454 pages, YA Paranormal (Werewolves)
Nightshade #1
My rating: 4 stars


Calla is the alpha female of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She is destined to marry Ren Laroche, the pack's alpha male. Together, they would rule their pack together, guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But then, Calla saves a beautiful human boy, who captures her heart. Calla begins to question everything - her fate, her existence, and her world and the orders the Keepers have asked her to follow. She will have to make a choice. But will she follow her heart if it means losing everything, including her own life?

My 2 cents

This is the first full fledged "werewolf" book that I have read. I've read other paranormal books that had werewolves in them, but not as the whole subject. I wasn't sure if it would be my thing, but I ending up really liking it! And it really had nothing to do with the werewolves, it was more about the characters for me!

Some of the ideas and traditions in this werewolf society were quite strange, and made me cringe at times. The story had almost a dystopian theme at times, as Calla starts to figure out that her pack has no freedom. Calla was an amazing MC, tough and strong. When other alpha males were threatening her and she couldn't do a lot about it, that is when it hit me the hardest.

I also loved Shay, the human boy that starts to tear her world apart. He sees her life as the reader does, and makes her question things. She also feels an instant attraction with him, and he gets her into trouble numerous times. There is also the question the entire story--who is this guy, and why is he running around with werewolf packs?

The rest of the characters were not quite as developed, with exception to some of the Bane tyrants. But they were all interesting, and I loved the scenes were we got to see the pack intermingle, and its dynamic. 

I had pretty much guessed the big twist by the end, but there are still a lot of questions left for the next book!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Fox Inheritance by Mary E Pearson

304 pages, YA Dystopian & Sci-Fi
The Jenna Fox Chronicles #2
My rating: 3.5 stars


Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries.
Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead.
Everyone except Jenna Fox.
My 2 cents
This book takes place 260 years in the future from the first book in the series. Locke and Kara's minds have been in storage this entire time, and a crazy scientist/doctor has finally created bodies for them. They figure out pretty quickly that this "Doctor" is doing very illegal things, so they plan an escape to find their friend, Jenna Fox.

The story is told from the POV of Locke, and I do think he's my favorite character in the series to date. He just wants to find his old friend, Jenna--he has missed her for a long time. Kara, however, seems to be losing it, and blames their entire existence in a box on Jenna.

I didn't like this story as much as the first one. It still had a suspenseful vibe to it, but it did lose a lot of that mystery element like the first one. This story also had more of a dystopian vibe, since it takes place so far in the future, and the country has divided into two. 

I did like the ending much better in this one, and it looks like we will be following Locke in the third book as well. I'm kind of hooked on this series because even though I thought I knew exactly what was going on, there still seem to be some questions. I have no idea what will happen in the third book, but I hope it continues the dystopian vibe!

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

320 pages, YA Contemporary
My rating: 4 stars


She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

My 2 cents

First of all, this book was not was I was expecting at all. I was expecting more of a contemporary feel, with maybe a little romance and self discovery. I got all those things, plus more! This had a good mystery at the center of it, and I can't resist a good mystery!

"Sissy" and her family have been in hiding with the Witness Protection Program for over a year. Its Sissy (real name Anna) and her little sister "Teeny", her strong and capable dad, and her recent alcoholic mother. They have moved around way more than is normal, and the book starts with them at small new town in Louisana. Her given identity in this town is "Meg" and her sister is "Mary."

Meg has no idea why they are in Witness Protection. Her parents won't tell her anything, so she assumes her dad got mixed up in something bad. She's tired of getting yanked from town to town just when she is making friends, so she's decided this time she is not making any friends, and she is going to find out the truth about her dad.

Things don't go well from the start--Meg meets Ethan, who sees right through her. Even though she vows she's not going to fall for him, he pretty much calls her bluff. I loved Ethan, and he was definitely the bright spots in the story for me. The dynamic between him and Meg was perfect.

The mystery element of it had me turning the pages (or "flipping" the pages on my Nook) without stopping. The suspense is really well done, with the author giving us just enough to have us worried, but not enough to know what's really going on. Loved that!

I loved reading this story, but after I finished, and started to really think on it, I realized how unrealistic a lot of things were in the book. I left my rating at 4 stars, though, because I really enjoyed the read!

The Bane by Keary Taylor

352 pages, YA Dystopian
The Eden Trilogy #1
My rating: 4 stars


Before the Evolution there was TorBane: technology that infused human DNA with cybernetic matter. It had the ability to grow new organs and limbs, to heal the world. Until it evolved out of control and spread like the common cold. The machine took over, the soul vanished, and the Bane were born. The Bane won't stop until every last person has been infected. With less than two percent of the human population left, mankind is on the brink of extinction.

Eve knows the stories of the Evolution, the time before she wandered into the colony of Eden, unable to recall anything but her name. But she doesn't need memories to know this world is her reality. This is a world that is quickly losing its humanity, one Bane at a time.

Fighting to keep one of the last remaining human colonies alive, Eve finds herself torn between her dedication to the colony, and the discovery of love. There is Avian and West – one a soldier, one a keeper of secrets. And in the end, Eve will make a choice that will change the future of mankind.

The Bane is The Terminator meets The Walking Dead with a heart-twisting romance.

Previously published as Eden, due to reader demand it has been revamped and rereleased as The Bane: book one in The Eden Trilogy.

My 2 cents

I really enjoyed this dystopian read! Its has a sci-fi theme to it, and it made me think a little of Partials by Dan Wells or The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa just in some of the world building parallels. 

The Bane are part machine, part human. The way the book describes the cyborgs, it almost made me think of The Terminator. Humanity is almost beat at the time the novel opens. Eve is part of "Eden", a settlement of about 35 humans that have banded together over the last 4 years for survival. She has no memory before the end of the world. Avian and Gabriel, the village leaders, found her at age 14 naked and bloody, and adopted her. All she could remember was her name.

She has proven her worth, being one of the strongest and quickest members of the group. Avian and his sister Sarah are her best friends. Things go on, as normal as possible, until the Bane start getting more ruthless on their attacks. And then West and few others stumble into their camp and join their group.

Eve doesn't trust West at all, but she is drawn to him. He claims to know her from before the apocalypse. But is seems he might be hiding some pretty big secrets of his own. 

There is a love triangle in the story between Eve, West, and Avian, but it actually in a strange way makes sense, just because of who Eve really is. So it worked for me, and I was pleased that the triangle was wrapped up before the end of the story, and doesn't seem like its going to drag on through the whole trilogy.

The concept on this one isn't all that original, but the world building is still really well done. The characters were also well done, and I got to know each one of them well. There are a few unbelievable moments, especially in the beginning. There were a few times where I was confused, but I plowed through and I eventually got up to speed. This is the first in a trilogy, and I can't wait for "Human" which will be released this summer!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

451 pages, YA Paranormal (Magic)
The Castor Chronicles #4
My rating: 5 stars


Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?

Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.

Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan's return, vowing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect.

Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series.(

My 2 cents

It took me awhile to get up the courage to read the final installment in this series. I loved the first two books, but was a little disappointed in the third, "Beautiful Chaos," so I was a little nervous that I wouldn't like the final book.

I shouldn't have worried. I loved the final installment! It was completely different from the rest of the series, but I was totally engaged with the story, the characters, and one of the most beautiful endings I've read in a series!

This time, Lena and Ethan are separated on different planes of existence. Ethan is trying to find his way back to the living--he's dead, but not really--he hasn't moved on yet, a lot like his mom. He is now with her, which makes him happy, but he knows he has to get back to Lena. The first third of the book is in his POV, as he struggles to let Lena know he's still around...and he needs her help. He needs "The Book of Moons" to barter his way back to the living.

The middle part of the book is then from Lena's POV as she tries to get him the book. The adventure really takes off here, with all the Casters joining forces. I loved this part of the book, because it was awesome to see Lena's family from her eyes. 

The last part of the book we are back to Ethan as he tries to complete his final tests, and these are not easy as he is going against strong Casters to win. I was happy we got to finish the story with his POV, because I just love Ethan. 

The ending, like I said, is beautiful. Its a very bittersweet ending, and not your typical HEA, but I loved how it tied everything up in a way that makes sense. The last page of the book is an actual "The End" type of page, which gave me goosebumps. I was sad to see this series end, but happy with the journey!

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

320 pages, YA Contemporary
My rating: 4 stars


Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything --who he is, where he came from, why he's running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or "Hank" and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of--Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead's remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.

My 2 cents

I absolutely love it when an current author uses inspiration from the classics. Armistead uses "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau in this coming of age story about a boy who has went through tragedy and is trying to find his way back.

So "Hank", as he calls himself, wakes up at Penn Station with no idea who he is. All he has in his possession is $10 and a tattered copy of "Walden". He goes through all types of adventures, a lot of them scary, before he decides to head to Walden Pond. He feels almost a call to the area.

This was a very suspenseful read, because I really wanted to find out what exactly had happened to Hank. There isn't a dull moment, as Hank tries to be inconspicuous and trying to survive in this small town of Concord, MA. The pacing was great, and my heart was pounding at several different moments in the story!

The assortment of characters also helped make the story. There isn't a lot of character development on our MC until really the end, being as he doesn't know anything about himself. We do get to know his friend, Thomas, fairly well. Thomas is really Hank's angel in this case, he takes him in and helps him try to find his identity. The rest of the characters are pretty flat, but they serve their purpose for Hank.

My favorite part of this book was all the "Walden" quotes and references. This totally made the book for me, and it was a constant presence from beginning to end of the story. The ending was beautiful, and had me tearing up. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

304 pages, YA Paranormal (witches & magic)
School Spirits #1
My rating: 4 stars


Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt? 

Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as theNew York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!

My 2 cents

When I found out that there was a spin off series from Hex Hall, I was jumping up and down excited! I was so happy to read this book. To me its the sort of book that makes reading FUN! I didn't enjoy it as much as Hex Hall, but it still really good! Reading the Hex Hall series is not required reading before reading this one, but you will enjoy it more.

The story follows Izzy Brannick and her mom. If you remember from Hex Hall, the Brannicks find and kill monsters. Izzy's older sister, Finley, just recently disappeared, and Izzy has been trying to fill her shoes. She hasn't been doing a very good job, so her mom gives her and easy job exorcising a ghost in a high school.

Izzy is mortified with this assignment. Not only is it beneath her, she has to go to HIGH SCHOOL. The first half of the book was just hilarious, with this tiny little girl getting herself into more and more scrapes. When she dislocates the head jock's shoulder in Dodgeball, I fell off my bed laughing!

But as she learns more and more about this ghost, she realizes its not such an easy case...and she senses magic in one of her new friends, Dex, but she can't figure him out. So the second half gets more and more intense. This was a great read, and I can't wait for the next one!

In My Mailbox #31

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.  Us bloggers feature any new books we've received in the past week, either bought, borrowed, or received for review.

Books mentioned in this vlog

Touching Melody
Secret for a Song
Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend
Taking Back Forever
A Clockwork Heart
The Runaway King
School Spirits
Beautiful Disaster
Life After Theft
Taking Chances
Eleanor & Park

Hope you all have a good holiday weekend!

BZRK by Michael Grant

416 pages, YA Dystopian
My rating: 3 stars


Set in the near future, BZRK is the story of a war for control of the human mind.  Charles and Benjamin Armstrong, conjoined twins and owners of the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation, have a goal:  to turn the world into their vision of utopia.  No wars, no conflict, no hunger.  And no free will.  Opposing them is a guerrilla group of teens, code name BZRK, who are fighting to protect the right to be messed up, to be human.  This is no ordinary war, though.  Weapons are deployed on the nano-level. The battleground is the human brain.  And there are no stalemates here:  It’s victory . . . or madness.
BZRK unfolds with hurricane force around core themes of conspiracy and mystery, insanity and changing realities, engagement and empowerment, and the larger impact of personal choice. Which side would you choose?  How far would you go to win?

My 2 cents

I was really excited to read this one, because I seem to be on a Michael Grant kick lately. Unfortunately, this one did not live up to my expectations. It was just an okay read for me, and I'm not sure if I'll read the next one that comes out in the fall.

The biggest problem I had was that I just really didn't "get" the concept. Maybe it was too science geekie for me, but a lot of the "biots" and "nanobots" was just over my head. So I was confused for a lot of the story, and I felt I could have used another book, maybe a prequel just to explain all of it better.

The characters and the basic plot were actually pretty good. I was bored at times, but for the most part, it was a pretty quick read. The moments between Noah and Sadie were definitely my favorite parts of the story. Their characters were really well done, as was all the crazy bad guys!

If you are more of a techie, and really get into science, you would probably love this book. I gave it three stars mostly for the characters and originality.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Neferet's Curse by P.C. Cast & Kristen Cast

146 pages, YA Paranormal (Vampires)
House of Night Novellas #3
My rating: 4 stars


The White City, 1893: In turn-of-the-century Chicago, with the World’s Fair bringing bustle and excitement to her home city, sixteen-year-old Emily Wheiler should be reveling in her youthful beauty and the excitement around her. But her whole life changed when her mother died, leaving her to be the Lady of Wheiler House. Her father, a powerful bank president, is at the center of an important social hub for the booming young city, and he needs Emily to do everything her mother would have – to be a good hostess and make sure the mansion runs smoothly.

As Emily uneasily tries to replace her mother, she also longs for more… for love and a life of her own. When a handsome young man notices her at one of her father’s parties, it seems that her hopes may finally be coming true. Until her father forbids her to see him – or any other man – and starts revealing a darkly violent side that even he can’t understand.

At last, afraid for her life and with nowhere to turn, Emily is Marked by a vampyre and brought to the Chicago House of Night, where she begins a magickal new life that should allow the wounds from her past to heal. But as she gains strength, and a powerful new name, she carries a dark need to wreak vengeance on the man she trusted most.

My 2 cents

Even though I'm starting to get tired of the House of Night series, I do love these novellas. I love learning the back story on some of the adult characters. I didn't like Neferet's story as much as Lenobia's, but this was still worth the read if you are a fan of House of Night. I know now a lot more on what makes Neferet tick, even if she did make all the wrong choices!

Requiem For Blood Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Requiem for Blood by Alexandra Hope
Publication: February 7th 2013
Genre: Upper YA Paranormal/Dark Fantasy

Marrying East Asian mythology with Western folklore, this novel has a surprising twist for fans of the paranormal genre!
Seventeen year old Olivia Cohen has also had an appetite for blood and an aversion to the sun as a human and when she is killed by a mysterious young woman, she finds her appetite has heightened and her skin is now burned by the sun. Living her life in a colony with other people who live a "vampire-like" lifestyle, she has grown up hunting humans and believing there is a blood so powerful it will turn them from vampire-like into true vampires. On one of Olivia's final nights as a human she meets eighteen year old Troy Evans and is immediately drawn to the unique scent of his blood. Now as an actual vampire, she must learn how to suppress her need to hunt and kill for his sake and decide if his unique blood is worth saving from those who seek it.

16+ for dark themes.



AUTHOR BIO (no author picture)
Alexandra Hope was born in New York, raised in Atlanta and has lived in Germany for the past three years. She writes pretty much whatever she feels like and for her debut novel she chose ninja-like vampires. She's a (Linguistic) Anthropology major, language lover, vocalist in a Japanese band and part-time bad fanfic writer.

Author Links:

My 2 cents
My rating: 3 stars

This was an intriguing vampire novel with an entirely new kind of premise.  I had trouble understanding the whole idea behind the "colony", and I think a little more back story would have been good, especially on Noah and Olivia's relationship. 

Other than that, I really enjoyed this book.  It was uber creepy, just what I love in a vampire book!  Olivia was a great MC, and I loved watching her journey as she tried to decide who she really is and what she wants to be.  This is a dark book with lots of blood and violence, so it is recommended for ages 16 and up for a reason!

And now for the giveaway!
Enter on the Raffelcopter below, and Good Luck!

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

400 pages, YA Dystopian
Article 5 #2
My Rating: 5 stars


The second installment in Kristen Simmons's fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series.

After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed.

Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….

Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself.

Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways.

With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?

My 2 cents

If its possible, I loved this sequel even more than the first book, Article 5. This was another heart-pounding, raw, and nail-biting adventure for Ember and Chase. The action just really didn't stop, except for a few emotional scenes between Ember and Chase here and there. 

*There will possibly be spoilers from the first book in this review*

Things pick up right where we left off in Article 5, but things have gotten even more dangerous for Ember. There is a sniper out there that has been picking off officers. The government's top suspect is Ember herself. They have issued a Code 1 on her--which means they can shoot and kill at will, they don't have to bring her in for questioning. Of course, Ember is not the sniper, as she's been hiding out in the resistance headquarters. I have a few guesses on who the sniper is, but we'll get to that in a minute.

I don't want to give away too many spoilers, but things get blown to hell really quickly, so once again, Ember, Chase, Sean, and other friends are running for their lives again. Rumors are flying...and Tucker has joined the cause? I know, right? But he claims to know where Becca is...so against Ember's better judgement, he joins their group.

We do get to know Tucker and Sean a little better in this story. Ember and Chase's relationship makes huge leaps and bounds, but that's about it for character development. This is really a more action packed book. I did suggest I might know who the sniper is. FYI, we never find this out before the end of the book, although Ember thinks she's figured it out. Her prime suspect is mine: Cara. She's always hiding something, and she disappears for hours at a time. I also suspect it could be Tucker, since he was dishonorably discharged a month before the events in the story. He definitely has the capability, and is pretty crazy! I guess we'll find out!

The focus of the story is really finding out what Tucker knows, and for Ember, Chase, and Sean trying to find Becca. Things get complicated though..especially when they hear a rumor that Ember's mother might be alive and in charge of a safe house in Ember's old home! I can't really think of anything I didn't like in the book, and I'm super excited for the release of the final book!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Star Dwellers by David Estes

YA Dystopian
The Dwellers #2
My rating: 5 stars


After rescuing her father and younger sister, Adele is forced to leave her family and Tristan behind to find her mother in the cruel and dangerous realm of the star dwellers. 

Amidst blossoming feelings for Adele, Tristan must cast his feelings aside and let her find her own way amongst the star dwellers, while he accompanies Adele's father to meet with the leaders of the moon dwellers and decide the fate of the Tri-Realms.

Will Adele be able to rescue her mother and make it back to the Moon Realm before the President and the sun dweller soldiers destroy her family?

Can Tristan convince the moon dweller puppets of the error of their ways?

Was Adele's lost kiss with Tristan her one and only chance at love?

In her world there's only one rule: Someone must die.

My 2 cents

I'm a huge David Estes fan, so this may be biased...but I LOVED this book! This is the second book in the Dwellers series, a dystopian series where humanity has retreated underground for survival. We left off in Moon Dwellers with the Star Dwellers invading and bombing the Moon Dwellers, Adele heading off to try and rescue her mom, and Tristan teaming up with Adele's dad, Ben, to try and unite the Moon and Star Dwellers against their common enemy, Tristan's dad.

Things pick up right where we left off, with everyone still running and trying to survive. Now everyone has a purpose, which makes things all the more fun! The world building continues to amaze me. Everything is so descriptive. Its almost like watching a movie in my head!

I never knew what was going to happen next. Between things like "Bat Flu" (Yuck!)and trains running behind hidden caves, there was always something new coming at us. There were also a couple of surprising twists that I didn't see coming, and it makes me wonder what else the author has in store for us later!

The highlight of the book for me was Tristan and Roc's "Bromance." I just love the banter between these two, and it really helps lighten things up sometimes. I got to know Roc a lot better in this story, and I can't wait to see him become more of a hero. Adele and Tristan also had some more time together towards the end, which was great. I love the two of them together!

Adele also learns a lot about her own family, and their part in the Resistance. Her dad, Ben, is just an amazing man. He and Tristan spend a lot of time together in the beginning of the story, and Tristan sees in him the father he never had. Its amazing how much the theme of family is carried throughout the book, and I loved it!

You might be tired of hearing me say that, but I honestly can't think of anything in this story I didn't like. This is an amazing thing, because usually the second books in a series are my least favorite of the series. This girl can't wait to see what happens next in Sun Dwellers!