Where reading is a way of life

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

462 pages, YA Contemporary Romance
Pushing the Limits #2
My rating: 4 stars


Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

My 2 cents

First off, I have to say that I LOVED Pushing the Limits. I was excited to read this one, but I was expecting that it probably wouldn't be as good for me, as I just loved Noah and Echo! I was right, it wasn't as good, but it was still awesome, and I loved the read!

This is a dual POV story between Ryan and Beth. Beth was Noah's good friend in Pushing the Limits. Ryan is a whole new character. Beth tries to help her mom and ends up with a baseball bat trying to hit the disgusting boyfriend, Trent. She covers for her mom, and her mom officially loses custody, and Beth's long lost uncle, Scott, takes her to his mansion in another town. Scott is a very famous and rich retired pro baseball player for the Yankees.

As you would imagine, Beth hates this whole thing, but Scott threatens Beth if she doesn't change her ways he will send her mom to jail. He has a ton of rules, and poor Beth ends up at a surburban school, the same one she went to when she was little. There she meets Ryan, star baseball player. He has been given a dare to get Beth's phone number and take her out on a date. And Ryan doesn't like losing!

Since this story has a character driven plot, let's look at the characters in the book.

The Characters


Positives: She is very feisty, spunky and spontaneous, and really knows how to stick up for herself. A true individual.

Negatives: She can be a real biotch, and she has misguided loyalties to her druggie mother. She also has major trust issues, and doesn't want to make new friends.


Positives: Hot, built, athletic, a real gentleman to the ladies, and a sense of loyalty to his family and friends.

Negatives: Needs to stand up to his parents, and cut Beth some slack.

Lacy One of the best characters in the story. One of Ryan's true friends, she's as perfect as it gets.

Chris Ryan's best friend, and he annoyed me constantly. He can't understand why Ryan is into Beth, and he only seems to care about baseball. Luckily, Lacy straightens him out a lot.

Isaiah Oh, poor Isaiah. He is still desperately in love with Beth, but it ain't happening. Their friendship gets really rocky in this story. I can't wait for his HEA!

Scott Scott was a jerk a lot, until the very end when he actually starts trying to listen to Beth. I get that he's trying to straighten her out, but asking her to cut off all her style and friends is really harsh. 

Gwen The true evil girl in this story. I wanted to pull all her hair out! 

Noah Not in this story as much, and same with Echo. But he does help Beth several times, and is the same gorgeous guy as always!

This one was full of drama, just like Pushing the Limits, and lots of angst ridden romance as well! I loved the ending, and was so proud of all the characters growth by the end! This one is a great contemporary romance! FYI, there is not any graphic sex, but there is a lot of foul langauage.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

In My Mailbox #33

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

Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend
Viral Nation
Water & Storm Country
Night School
Alice in Zombieland
Flesh & Bone
Ashen Winter
For Darkness Shows the Stars
The Moon and More

So that's it for me this week!  Thank you, David Estes, for my copy of Water & Storm Country!!!
Don't forget to enter my giveaways, if you haven't already!  They are up on the top right sidebar!
Have a great week!

Ask the Passengers by A. S. King

296 pages, YA Contemporary
My rating: 3.5 stars


Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl.

As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even know she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives--and her own--for the better.

In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.

My 2 cents

Astrid is pretty sure she is gay. But not a 100% sure, although she knows her best friend, Kristin is gay. Kristin hides it by having a "boyfriend" named Justin (who is also gay) and they double date all the time with another couple, that are there actual partners. Astrid is misunderstood by a very dominating mother, a father who spends most of his time smoking pot in secret, and a younger sister that hates her.

Her favorite thing to do is to lay on her picnic table and watch the planes go by, and then send up her love to them because she doesn't want to really love anyone in her life. And this is where the story got kind of weird for me. She's sending out her love, and then we jump to a passenger in an actual plane and what their thoughts are. It was a little all over the place,and I just couldn't figure out how it relates to Astrid.

The parts of the story where we get to see her in her own life are the most interesting. Astrid goes to a high school EXACTLY like mine was, so even though I'm not gay myself, I could really relate to her. The high school scenes were actually the most in depth in the book. If the author has just omitted those strange scenes with the passengers, I would have enjoyed the story even more!

Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry

519 pages, YA Zombies, Dystopian
Benny Imara #2
My Rating: 4.5 stars


Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them. Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.

My 2 cents

I am so happy to tell you that I love the sequel better than the first book! Dust and Decay is all about Tom taking Benny, Nix, Lilah, and Chong out to the Ruin to find out what the jet was they find in the first book.

But Tom hasn't been outside of town for months now, and things have changed for the worse in the Ruin. The group is separated and each battling their own demons. Gameland is still alive and well, and there's word that White Bear has taken over, and become more ruthless. 

The book is full of action. A lot of it is pretty gory, like the first book. What I loved was we actually learn a lot more about the characters, and get to see them at their best and worst. What annoyed me was how DUMB the boys were in this story! Morgie, Chong, and Benny all do stupid boy things, and I just wanted to smack them in the heads!

Tom is amazing as ever, from beginning to end. We also get to meet a whole new cast of bounty hunters, most of them friends of Tom. The ending was amazing, with some really good kick butt moments, but also very, very sad. Things are set up nicely for the third book!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

404 pages, YA Fantasy
Throne of Glass #1
My Rating: 5 stars


After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. 

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

My 2 cents

I love a good fantasy read, and Throne of Glass did not disappoint! This series also has 4 short story eBook prequels. I did read the first one, and I also really liked it. They give a lot background information on Celaena, and I really need to read the other three. I would recommend reading them before you read this book.

Calaena is the best assassin in the land. She has found herself in the hands of the Crown Prince Adarlan, Dorian, and the Captain of the Royal Guard, Chaol. She is competing with 23 other men for the title of King's Champion. If she wins this competition, she will be the King's hired assassin for 4 years, and then she will earn her freedom. 

The best thing about the story was Calaena herself. Calaena has had a rough life, and she is one tough cookie. She's afraid of almost nothing, and is as beautiful as she is deadly. It doesn't take long before she's attracted the attentions of the Prince. Chaol doesn't trust her at all, and thinks she is very manipulative, but even he starts to develop feelings for her. Calaena is pretty clueless to all this. She is focused only on winning.

The story has everything I'd want in a fantasy. A warring world, an evil king, swords and ancient magic, conspiracies, and plenty of duel and battles. The cast of characters are fabulous, and I think were the best part. Besides our top three players, we have the evil king before mentioned, an evil Duke, a strange princess the befriends Calaena, and 23 other champions that range between cunning and sadistic. There is so much depth to everything in this story, and I was easily able to lose myself in it while reading. I can't wait to read the sequel!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

458 pages, YA Paranormal (zombies), Dystopian
Benny Imara #1
My rating: 4 stars


In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

My 2 cents

Rot and Ruin is a completely fresh new zombie series. It takes zombies in a post apocalyptic setting and creates a smart new dystopian novel. The world building in this book is incredible, and I was sucked in immediately.

The main focus of the story is Benny and his older brother Tom's relationship. Tom saved Benny from "First Night" when he was just a baby and has cared for him ever since. Benny thinks his brother is a coward since he ran away with Benny and left their parents to die. He doesn't believe his brother could be a good "Bounty Hunter."

But Benny must find a job and after several miserable attempts, his only choice is to train with his brother. Tom takes Benny out to the Ruin, and from there, Benny's life is never the same. 

This book is not for the faint of heart. Its extremely violent and gory, as you would expect any zombie book to be. But what I really loved was how real it all felt, and how human the author made the zombies feel. The characters were also really well done. I'm so excited to read the rest of the series!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mind Games by Kiersten White

237 pages, YA Sci-Fi, Suspense
Mind Games #1
My rating: 4 stars


Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

My 2 cents

This was a pretty quick, intense read! I really loved the mystery and intrigue of it. The story goes back and forth between what is happening in the present day, and flashbacks of how the girls got to where they are now. The POV switches between Fia, the talented girl who has perfect instincts, and Annie, her blind older sister who sees visions.

They are wrapped up in the clutches of a school that trains girls with paranormal abilities. Fia is their most talented student, and they use her for all kinds of shady deeds. She must comply for Annie's sake. They keep Annie locked up and threaten her life if Fia does not cooperate.

It takes awhile to make sense of everything, but it really keeps the suspense of the story going. The title is perfect for this book, because that's what the story is--one big mind game! I had no idea how things would play out, and who the bad guys and good guys really were!

My favorite part of the story was Fia. She was a very intense, complex, and smart girl! Her sister, Annie, really annoyed me. I couldn't believe how stupid she was. And why the heck she just didn't trust Fia in the first place?

The ending was a shocker, and again, more mind games were involved! There will be a sequel to this story, and I can't wait to find out what Fia does next!

Dragonfly by Leigh T. Moore

265 pages, YA Contemporary Romance
Dragonfly #1
My rating: 4 stars


Three bad things I learned this year:
-People you trust lie, even parents.
-That hot guy, the one who’s totally into you, he might not be the one.
-Things are not always how they appear.

Three good things I learned this year:
-Best friends are always there for you, even when they’re far away.
-That other hot guy, the one who remembers your birthday, he just might be the one.
-Oh, and things are not always how they appear.

Anna Sanders expected an anonymous (and uneventful) senior year until she crossed paths with rich-and-sexy Jack Kyser and his twin sister Lucy.

Pulling Anna into their extravagant lifestyle on the Gulf Coast, Lucy pushed Anna outside her comfort zone, and Jack showed her feelings she’d never experienced... Until he mysteriously withdrew.

Anna turned to her internship at the city paper and to her old attraction for Julian, a handsome local artist and rising star, for distraction. But both led to her discovery of a decades-old secret closely guarded by the twins’ distant, single father. 

A secret that could permanently change all their lives.

My 2 cents

This is a story of a girl, Anna, who has been sort of a recluse in high school, and has now decided she will be different for her senior year. In response to this, she attracts two very hot guys--Julian, the hottest boy in school and her friend, and Jack, the new rich guy in school. 

Anna can't believe that Julian is all of the sudden interested in her and asking her out. She thinks he's just being his goofy self. No way would the most popular guy in school want her! And Jack....he makes her feel all gooey, and she practically throws herself at him--many times I might add--and he seems okay on taking her up on her offers!

What I loved about this book was Anna's self discovery on figuring out what she really wanted. She makes several mistakes, and it takes her awhile to get her head on straight, mainly because of lust. Its pretty clear that Jack is lust, and Julian is love--the kind of love that gives you a best friend, too. And I really loved how the book highlights this. I think our society gets way to caught up in the lust, but lust doesn't last forever!

In the middle of all this, Anna discovers a shocking town secret while interning at the town's newspaper. This really made the story for me, I love a good mystery! There is a big of a cliffhanger ending, but the next book comes out in July, so thanks to the author for not making me wait very long!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Favorite eBooks Giveaway!

So, its time for another eBook Giveaway!  I get a lot of eBook copies of books to read and review, and I'm always amazed at some of the talent!  The following are books that I don't think enough people know about, but are highly recommended reading by me!  There are actually 5 different giveaways--you can put your name in the pot for as many as you'd like!  The winner may choose from either Amazon or B&N, all except Ixeos--B&N doesn't carry it as an eBook.
Good luck!

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 Review

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.

My Review

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 Review

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: This one is only available through Amazon

The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren't the only problem on Ixeos -- the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There's no way home.

My Review

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ashley Lockett has always followed the rules. She's always done the right thing and played it safe until her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly.

Fueled by anger and grief, she vows to do everything opposite of how she lived before. Then she meets Jordan. He has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, and he's a great kisser. But he's also safe. 

Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley fulfill her vow.

My Review

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

273 pages, YA Paranormal (Magic)
Mine #1
My rating: 4 stars


Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn't follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.

My 2 cents

This is a brand new debut book from author Janeal Falor. I never really know what to expect from a debut, but I am happy to say that I loved this book! 

I wasn't sure if I was going to like the material. The society is very backwards, and treats women like animals. In fact, I think the animals may be treated better than the women! It was distasteful, and the beginning of the book makes you just hate the whole thing, but it definitely makes you root for the MC! 

By the middle of the book, though, things start to get better and we get a little hope, and it changes the whole tone of things. Things get very suspenseful for awhile, and then we get the best ending we could have hoped for. In fact, I honestly think the ending was the best part of the book, which is always good news!

The story has great, strong characters, a fantastic moving plot, suspense, and even a little romance. Even though I would classify this as paranormal romance, it was the good old fashioned kind, so it really wasn't at the forefront. The theme was actually survival, which at times, made this story feel like a dystopian with a paranormal element.

I did find out there will be a sequel for this one, and it will be from Selena's sister, Cynthia's, POV. I can't wait to read it!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lies by Michael Grant

447 pages, YA Dystopian
Gone #3
My rating: 4.5 stars


It's been seven months since all the adults disappeared. Gone.

It happens in one night. A girl who died now walks among the living; Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach; and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most: Drake. But Drake is dead. Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness—or so they thought.

As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake, who is back from the dead and ready to finish where he and Sam left off. And all the while deadly rumors are raging like the fire itself, spread by the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza. They say that death is a way to escape the FAYZ. Conditions are worse than ever and kids are desperate to get out. But are they desperate enough to believe that death will set them free?

My 2 cents

Lies is the third book in the Gone series. What I love so much about this series is really the characters, and the insane situations that Michael Grant comes up with. Everything is so original and intense, and that's always good in a dystopian! I'm going to take a minute and give a play by play on some of the characters in the story.

Sam Sam is probably my favorite character of the series. He is really the main MC, but he was missing for a lot of this book. Just like in the last story, he is still dealing with his powers, and now he's feeling very stifled by Astrid. But what I love about Sam is really the "Hero" factor he has going on.

Astrid Astrid has never been my favorite character, but she was useful to the FAYZ. Not in this story! She infuriated me with her big ideals. She just wasn't being very practical, and seemed to think that she was always right. I really hope her character improves in the next book!

Little Pete He, again, seems like such a bit character until the very end and you realize just how much power he has. I think if anything will get the kids out of FAYZ, it will be Pete!

Caine Caine is also mostly a bit part for this story, but we get a whole new set of characters and location out of it. Caine is still his big, bad self, although he is now starving and makes some big mistakes in this story.

Diana I have always really liked Diana. She's smart and savvy, and knows exactly how to ride on Caine's coattails. I had a lot of respect for her by the end of this story. 

Quinn Its taken three books, but I think Quinn is finally growing up! This is the character that has always driven me nuts, in just how stupid he can be at times! But not in this story! You know its bad when Quinn is the one to bring about order!

Edilio Edilio is one of the best characters in the FAYZ. He steps up again and again, and for a kid with no powers, I think that's huge! I think he gets taken for granted a lot because of it.

Lana Lana is another one of my favorites, but she is absent from a good chunk of the story. She's always waiting in the wings to heal people, but I think she's having a breakdown even worse than Sam's! 

Albert Albert hasn't changed at all, and he is starting to come across as a little greedy in this book. I think its his way of dealing with chaos, in trying to make order out of it. He actually is a lot like Astrid, except much less emotional, and therefore, I think he's more effective.

Zil I was really hoping Sam would kill him in this story. He is such a waste of space! I don't want to give away any spoilers of what happens with him, but I was very pleased with it!

Mary Poor, poor Mary. I always feel so bad for her...she was kind of a wreck even before the FAYZ, and she flies under the radar a lot. She does so much for all those little kids, and she's falling apart at the same time! Astrid does something to her in this story that I think is unforgivable!

Orsay Orsay puzzled me the most in this story. I didn't really know what she was all about, and if her prophecies were real, or some trick of the Darkness (we know the Darkness can't really be gone, right?).

Nezerrah Again, she just kind of appeared, but I sensed she had an ulterior motive for everything she did.

Howard I think Howard finally shows his true colors in this story. He's always been Orc's sidekick, but he is finally getting a taste of power. I didn't really disagree with him, but he could have gone about things better.

Dekka Dekka is another favorite character of mine, and she is so kick ass by the end of this story!

Pepper I don't really remember Pepper much in the earlier books, but she comes into this story like a bull! I think she is going to have some major power plays coming up! 

Brittany Brittany comes up out of the ground, and a few of the powerful characters know she's around, but they are afraid to tell the kids. They fear her immensely, so she spends a lot of time alone, seeing her dead brother and talking to him. She's really pretty creepy in this book!

Brianna and Computer Jack make a few appearances, but they are suffering from some sort of flu, so they are bed ridden for a good chunk of the book. Orc is also around some, but only mentioned a few times. Same goes with Taylor. And what about Drake? Is he really dead? 

Lots of things go down in this book, like the previous books, and the ending sets thing up nicely for the next book. We still have a lot of questions to be answered!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross

416 pages, YA Steampunk
Steampunk Chronicles #2
My Rating: 4 stars


In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling-or dangerous Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper from the clutches of a devious criminal demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves. One false move from Jasper, and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens and tightens. From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens follows Jasper's elusive trail. And they're about to discover how far they'll go for friendship. More than ever, Finley must rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley...and will risk his life and reputation to save her. Now, to help those she's come to care for so deeply, Finley must infiltrate the criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much....

My 2 cents

*There are spoilers in this review from the first book

I was really excited to read the sequel to the Girl in the Steel Corset. It really left things hanging between Finley and Griffin, and also with Jasper's situation. This was another good adventure for Griffin and his friends, and even gave us a new setting and villains to enjoy!

Griffin, Finley, Sam and Emily head to New York to rescue Jasper from the law. He's been taken in for murder, and his friends just don't believe he's a cold blooded killer. They soon find out that Jasper hasn't been arrested, he's been taken by a ruthless man named Dalton, and appears to be working with him. Finley goes undercover to join Dalton's gang, and hopefully rescue Jasper.

I was hoping we would learn more about Jasper, and thank goodness, we did! I ended up liking Jasper even more in this story, though at times he was pretty stupid! I think he's a lot better for Emily than Sam, but Sam and Emily grew very close in this book.

Meanwhile, Griffin and Finley spent most of the book fighting like cats and dogs. They are so much alike, so full of pride, and unable to admit when they are wrong! I just wanted to smack their heads together at times, but it made for interesting reading!

The story is full of action and drama, and quite a bit more romance than we got in the first book. There wasn't a huge cliffhanger ending in this one, but I still can't wait to read The Girl With the Iron Touch!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Water & Storm Country by David Estes Book Blast + Giveaway!

"Water & Storm Country" (Country Saga #3)
by David Estes.

Quick Facts                                        
Release DateJune 6th 2013.                               
Genre: YA Dystopian.                                                
Formats:   Paperback (only at Amazon), Kindle, Nook, Smashwords         

The book is suitable for all audiences.

Book Synopsis
Huck Jones, the son of the admiral of the Soaker fleet, has a legacy to live up to. Haunted by the distorted memories of his mother's untimely death, he must face his demons and the man who raised him as he strives to take the courageous step forward into manhood. When he's transferred to the worst-performing ship in the fleet, everything he believes is called into question when he meets a lowly brown-skinned bilge rat girl. Huck walks a deadly rope...
Meanwhile, Sadie, destined to be a Rider in the Stormer army, seeks to avenge her brother's death at the hands of the Soakers. Trained hard by her mother, an experienced Rider, Sadie knows strength and determination more than most. Her father, a Man of Wisdom, has shown his cowardice more times than she can count. As her world and family fall apart, she must cast aside her anger and focus on the wisdom she's always brushed off as foolishness.
Amidst everything, a Plague ravages all, discriminating against no one.
When four worlds collide, lines will be drawn, sides will be chosen, victory will be sought. Death will be wrought. The mysteries of the Cure for the deadly Plague will be uncovered. Who will survive? And what will those who do learn about themselves and the ones they love?


When the weight of Gard’s heavy hands lifts from the crown of my head, I look up and the war leader nods. I stand to cheers and thunder from stomping feet, stride toward the stables, invincible, where a horse is being led toward me.

With a sleek, black hide, long, black mane, and fierce brown eyes, she’s everything I always imagined she would be. Stamping her feet, pulling at the ropes, snorting heavy plumes of breath out of her flaring nostrils, she’s unbroken.

It takes four strong men, Riders, to control her, and even then, she’s uncontrollable. Wild. Hungry. Mine.

As I approach, I notice a mar on the complete darkness of her coloring: A single patch of white sits high on her nose, almost between her ears, shaped like a butterfly. White wings.

Can she fly?

I’m still admiring her wild and untamed perfection, wondering where she was found, how hard it was for the Horse Whisperers to lure her close enough to capture her, whether she put up a fight, when one of the ropes are thrust into my hands.

Thankfully, I have enough sense to grab it firmly, to hold on, to remember the words my mother taught me, let them flow freely through my mind. I am yours, you are mine, we are one. A warrior and a steed become a Rider. Fight with me even as I fight with you. Separate, our strength is breakable, matched by many; combined, our power is above all, unstoppable.

The words roll over and over in my mind as I take the second rope, walking my hands up the thick strands, feeling them burn my palms as the horse bucks and strains against the bonds that are so foreign to a creature that has known only complete freedom while roaming wild on the plains.

Freedom is an illusion. I’m surprised to hear my father’s words in my head while I’m so focused on approaching my horse. I shake my head and resume my chant, this time out loud, first as a whisper and then louder and louder as I get closer and closer. The horse isn’t calmed by my words, but I know she hears them, because she’s completely focused on me now, and I’m oblivious to the ceremony that continues behind me.

Passion. The name occurs to me just like my mother said it would, right when one of the Riders are thrown down when the horse charges sharply to one side.
“Passion,” I say, and she stands perfectly still, matching the intensity of my gaze. “Sadie.” She snorts, as if my name is but a cricket under the stomp of her grand feet. And so it is.

I shouldn’t be this close, not at the first meeting. My mother told me, but it takes Passion to teach me.

She seems calm since I spoke her name. Her head even bows a little, and my mother said a wild horse will never do that. Already, our bond is special.
I reach forward to rub the white butterfly on her nose.

Her drooping eyes suddenly flash with anger and her head bucks as she leaps forward, butting me, throwing me backward, nearly stomping on my leg as I skid across the grass.


The Author

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife and soul mate, Adele, who he’s now been happily married to for more than two years.
A reader all his life, David began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and has completed 14 novels, 12 of which have been published. In June of 2012, David became a fulltime writer and is now travelling the world with Adele while he writes books, and she writes and takes photographs.
David gleans inspiration from all sorts of crazy places, like watching random people do entertaining things, dreams (which he jots copious notes about immediately after waking up), and even from thin air sometimes!
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, an obsessive Goodreads group member, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table. He loves responding to e-mails, Facebook messages, Tweets, blog comments, and Goodreads comments from his readers, all of whom he considers to be his friends.

Learn more about the author: 


My 2 cents: I haven't read this far into the series yet, I'm still on the first series, The Dwellers Series.  Based on the two books I've read, though, I would buy and read anything from David Estes!  David is a brilliant author, and I hope he keeps writing for a long time yet to come!  I also LOVE this cover, its gorgeous!
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