Review for Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer

TITLE: Cress
SERIES: The Lunar Chronicles #3
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
NARRATOR: Rebecca Soler
PUBLICATION DATE: February 4, 2014 / February 4, 2014
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan Audio
PAGES: 550 pages / 15 hours 40 minutes
FORMAT: Hardback / Audio
SOURCE: Gift from my husband / borrowed
RATING: 5 bows


Cress has spent most of her life orbited Earth in a satellite. She has been alone with only netscreens for company and has become a rather talented hacker. She has mastered anything with net access. She dreams of being rescued and going to Earth. Seeing the beautiful world and all it’s treasures up close. But when Cinder’s band of misfits tries to rescue her, things go horribly wrong and the group gets separated. Now, in addition to trying to save 2 worlds, they must also find their way back to each other. Plus, each character has their own troubles and turmoil to deal with. One thing is certain, they will stop Levana or die trying.

What can I say about Cress? It might possibly be my favorite of the series yet. I loved Cinder and I really enjoyed Scarlet, but Cress may just have topped both of them. It was excited and intense. It was that book that you ignored the world for just one more chapter because you had to know what happened next. Does Cress get Thorne to like her? Can Cinder stop Kai’s impending nuptials? Will she ever tell him that she is Princess Selene? Can they rescue Scarlet? And, most importantly of all, does Iko ever get a real android body?!?!?

Cinder, Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne are all present and accounted for, with the new additions of Cress and Jacin. Cress, I must say, is a character I immediately adored. She reminded me a bit of Iko because of her enthusiasm for certain things. She’s smart and sweet and completely obsessed with Thorn in the most adorable way. Thorn, by the way, really shows his swoon-worthy side here. I already loved Thorne he’s smart and cocky and sarcastic, but he’s even better here. We really get to see him fight to protect Cress and that was a sight to behold.

I’m still unsure about Jacin. On one hand, I like him and I know we are setting up to give Winter a love interest for the final book, but I’m not sure I trust him. Though he is loyal to his Princess, that doesn’t necessarily mean he is loyal to Cinder and her cause. I feel like he might just throw a wrench in things and fuck the plans up if it suits his needs or desires. I guess only time will tell. I’m pretty anxious to get my hands on Winter. Why does it have to be so much longer until it releases?

Levana just needs to die. That bitch needs to die bloody and she needs to die now. I’m a little apprehensive to read Fairest because I know it’s going to try to shed a sympathetic light on Levana and I don’t want to have any sympathy for her. I want to continue hating her as I do now. I don’t think Fairest will truly change my opinion of her, but I think it will try.

If I could only use one word to describe this novel, it would be intense. This thing is jam packed with action and adventure and danger and tension. From the moment you start this and get inside Cress’ mind, you just want to continue. As with the rest of this series, I have listened to it with my husband, which means that we have only listened when we were together and neither one of us had anything pressing that needed to be done. We would use any excuse to get into his car and go on a trip, driving slow and going to long way around just to get in a few extra minutes. We would get home and sit in the car trying to find just a minute more time to get more of this compelling story. Because once we go into the house, real life kicks in and I have reviews to write and he has work to do and we can’t just sit and listen anymore. Anyone who has enjoyed the series thus far will fall in love with Cress. Anyone who read Cinder and loved it, but didn’t love Scarlet the same way, will fall back in love with the series here. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Audio Notes:
In Cinder, I was okay with Rebecca Soler. In Scarlet, I liked her a bit more. Here, I almost loved her. The more I listen, the more I like her. She does an excellent job of differentiating voices here, which is quite a feat considering that there are six characters I would describe as main characters and a handful more that are a bit more than minor. Her pacing is just a touch fast at moments. There was more than one time I had to skip 30 seconds back and relisten to discover what I had missed. And she still says Nancy weird. I can’t help but snicker every time she says it. Still, I enjoyed her narration and will be looking to sample more of her work.

5 bows
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Review for White Space (Dark Passages #1) by Isla J Bick

White Space by Ilsa J Bick

TITLE: White Space
SERIES: Dark Passages #1
AUTHOR: Ilsa J Bick
NARRATOR: Kathleen McInerney
PUBLICATION DATE: February 11, 2014 (book) / February 11, 2014 (audio)
PUBLISHER: Egmont USA (book) / Audible Studios (audio)
PAGES: 560 pages / 15 hours 51 minutes
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss / Purchased
RATING: 2 bows

Summary from GoodReads:

In the tradition of Memento and Inception comes a thrilling and scary young adult novel about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.

Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it’s as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she’s real.

Then she writes “White Space,” a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.

Unfortunately, “White Space” turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she’s never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she’s dropped into the very story she thought she’d written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they–and Emma–may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.

Now what they must uncover is why they’ve been brought to this place–a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written–before someone pens their end.

Okay, I know I never rarely ever just pull a summary straight from GoodReads. I cannot summarize this novel. I cannot do it. There is too much that goes on between it’s plethora of pages to pick just a few parts to give you. The GoodReads description is pretty adequate anyway. Also, WARNING! WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!

So, character-wise, I’m not sure what to say. I liked all of them, but I wasn’t head over heels for anyone. Plus, they start killing them off pretty early on, so I didn’t want to get overly attached to anyone who bites the dust. Hint, that’s everyone but Emma. They all die. They all die bloody, gory, terrible deaths. This, obviously, irked me. I like my characters to ride off into the sunset happily ever after style and that is NOT what happened here. Each character brings their own set of qualities and skills to the table, allowing the ever-shrinking group to survive as long as they do, but it’s not enough in the end. So, you know, don’t get attached.

My main problem with this was it took too long to explain itself. It keeps talking about nows and bookworlds and panops (I don’t know the proper spelling, I listened to the entire thing on audio) and even halfway through the book, you still aren’t sure what it all means. You don’t get an explanation until the last quarter of the book and even then, I’m still not sure. What I do know for sure is that there had to be a better way to do that. I don’t know what because I a shitty story teller, but there had to be a better alternative.

I also think this is a case of reading the wrong genre. I’m not really a horror fan. I like some gore in movies and shows, but it doesn’t come across well for me in writing. That coupled with the tendency to murder all the characters and you can see why this would not be the novel for me. I honestly think I only downloaded it because I was still in the early stages of reviewing and wanted to read anything and everything I could for review. This gem was up for immediate download, no annoying wait for approval or denial. Just click here and it’s yours! I don’t know if I even read the summary. I should have.

I really think that if you like gore and death and mystery, this novel is one you’ll enjoy. But it wasn’t for me! It also ends on a mind-breaking cliffhanger, but I can’t say I’ll be picking up book 2!

Audio Notes:
Despite the fact that I didn’t enjoy this novel overall, I loved the narrator! Kathleen does an amazing job, creating voices and characters and sound effects. She even does fantastic accents and I was enthralled despite my less than enthused reaction to the story and the plot. I honestly don’t think I would have finished this had I been reading a physical book, but Kathleen is awesome. I will definitely be checking out more of her work in the future!

****Thank you to Egmont USA for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

2 bows
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Blog Tour for After Us (Before & After #2) by Amber Hart (& Giveaway)

After Us by Amber Hart Blog Tour Banner

After us by Amber Hart
TITLE: After Us
SERIES: Before & After #2
AUTHOR: Amber Hart
PUBLICATION DATE: December 30, 2014
PAGES: 368 pages
SOURCE: Blog Tour via NetGalley
RATING: 4 bows
BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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“Beautiful, lyrical writing and a dangerously suspenseful plot. . .an unforgettable novel that readers will love.” –Lucy Connors, author of The Lonesome Young

Sometimes secrets kill. Maybe slowly, maybe painfully. Maybe all at once.

Melissa smiles. She flirts. She jokes. But she never shows her scars. Eight months after tragedy ripped her from her closest friend, Melissa is broken. Inside her grows a tumor, fed by grief, rage, and the painful memory of a single forbidden kiss.

Javier has scars of his own: a bullet wound, and the memory of a cousin shot in the heart. Life in the States was supposed to be a new beginning, but a boy obsessed by vengeance has no time for the American dream. To honor his familia, Javier joins the gang who set up his cousin’s murder. The entrance price is blood. Death is the only escape.

These two broken souls could make each other whole again–or be shattered forever.

Our time will come. And we’ll be ready.


Amber Hart grew up in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. She now resides on the Florida coastline with family. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She’s the author of BEFORE YOU, AFTER US, UNTIL YOU FIND ME, and sequel to UNTIL YOU FIND ME (untitled as of yet). Represented by Beth Miller of Writers House.

Contact Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | GoodReads

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Melissa is a flirt. The entire world is aware of this. What the entire world is not aware of is what she hides behind that flirty persona. They don’t know how broken and scarred she is. They don’t know the pain she’s suffered and what it’ll take to recover from the blow the world has dealt her. Javier is also scarred. He escaped from a life in Cuba without being forced into a gang, but that is exactly what he’ll do now. It’s been 8 months since MS-13 ratted Diego out and got him killed. In that time, Javier has made a decision. He’ll do whatever is necessary to find Wink, the asshole who is responsible for Diego’s death and take him out. Nothing else matters. To do this, he’ll need to talk to Diego’s girl, Faith, who witnessed his death. To get to Faith, he’ll need to befriend Melissa. What he doesn’t expect is his attraction to flair up so quickly and with such force. Can they make it work?

Melissa was a character I loved in Before You. She was always watching out for Faith and supporting her when she needed it. That made this so much harder because Faith has ran off. She left because she couldn’t take Diego’s death and now she’s not answering Melissa’s calls. Right when Melissa needs her, Faith has shut her off. Leaving Melissa to deal with her problems alone. It’s not that she blames Faith, but she needs her best friend. Those of us who read Before You, we know why Faith is avoiding Melissa. We know the truth Faith is hiding, but that doesn’t make this any less heartbreaking. Melissa is hard not to sympathize with. What she is going through is traumatizing and she just carries on like nothing is wrong. She gets up and goes to work and tries to take care of her debts.

Javier was a character I was on the fence about. On one hand, he has lost his best friend and that is hard to take. On the other, he is a damned moron. How is taking out Wink going to solve anything? Diego will still be dead. It won’t bring him back and it won’t bring you closure. It’ll just get you enlisted in a gang with the naive assumption you can get out with no consequences. His one shining point is his loyalty to his family.

His family, by the way, astounded me. The idea that any one woman would willing submit herself to the trauma of giving birth to 12 children is just crazy. Not to mention how much it costs to raise that many children. 12 mouths to feed plus Mom and Dad? How do you do that? The thought of the extra expense of a single child sends me into a mini-panic attack, much less 12. Beyond that, the pure racism and sexist nature of the household infuriated me. Javier’s mom flat out refuses to allow any of her children to date anyone who is not Latina. She will not accept a white girl or a black girl or a Native American or anyone but a Hispanic girl for her sons. Period. That is appalling. People have the right to love who they love, period. Love doesn’t know age (though relationships with a big age gap do kinda weird me out) or race or gender. The other thing is the fact that the girls are all pushed into the role of care-giver. It is the daughters responsibility to take care of the boys. Excuse me? Do we not live in the 21st century? Javier’s mom needs a serious reality check. Though the girls don’t seem to complain, I was floored by the role they were pushed into. What if the girls don’t want to cook and clean and serve the food? What if the girls want to play soccer instead? What if one of the boys wants to learn to cook? What is wrong with that?!?!?

This novel a great sequel to the first, though it doesn’t quite live up to the awesomeness that was Faith and Diego. I think that may have been because I wasn’t as big of a Javier fan as I was a Diego fan. It might also be because I know that everything Javier was doing was in vain. There is no reason to do these things. Plus, I think it’s incredibly stupid to believe there will be no consequences for joining a gang. To truly believe that you can join a gang and expect to get out without putting your family and friends at risk is fucking idiotic.

Besides being appalled with his family and not loving Javier quiet as much as I did Diego, this was a wonderful novel. Melissa and Javier have just enough tension to keep you begging for more. It’s a novel that is hard to put down, even when you are disagreeing with what the characters are doing. I recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary YA or fans of Simon Elkekes Perfect Chemistry series.

****Thank you to K Teen for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows

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Review for White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L Armentrout

TITLE: White Hot Kiss
SERIES: The Dark Elements #1
AUTHOR: Jennifer L Armentrout
PUBLICATION DATE: February 25, 2014
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
PAGES: 304 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 5 bows

Layla will never be normal, no matter how much she wishes she was. She’s half gargoyle, half demon, an unheard of combination considering it’s the Gargoyle’s duty to destroy demons on-sight. But that doesn’t make her existence any less real. All she wants is to be normal and to be with Zayne, the insanely hot Warden (aka Gargoyle) who she’s had a crush on since he walked into her life at 7. But there’s one problem, besides her despicable demon blood, and that’s she will take his soul if they kiss. She’s can’t kiss anyone with a soul without relieving them of that particular asset. But then she meets Roth, the gorgeous tattooed demon who keeps saving her ass. Trusting him could mean the end of life as she knows it and would be seen as betrayal by her Warden family. But there is something about Roth that she can’t resist. Would she happily follow him to her doom or will he be the savoir no one expects?

One day, I will read a JLA book and not be surprised by how awesome it is. That day is not today. I know I spend a portion of any review of her book raving about how epic she is, but really, I’ve yet to read something written by her that wasn’t awesome and this is no exception. Armentrout tackles this particular brand of supernatural creature as beautiful as she does everything else. This is everything I expect it to be and more, just as addictive as the Lux series.

Layla (love her name, by the way) is that misfit I think we can all relate to, taken to a whole new level. Not only is she the odd man out at school, but her very DNA prevents her from fitting in even among her adoptive family. Though she has forged a close bond with a few members of the Warden family, she’s still dislike by many and downright hated by some. She copes with it all rather well, all things considered, and is content (sorta) to spend her days in school, her afternoons tagging demons, and her nights lost in conversation with Zayne. Zayne, the ultimate crush she can never have. Even if it was possible to have a physical relationship with him, her demon blood would taint the Warden line, something the other Warden’s wouldn’t stand for. So when Roth enters the picture, she knows she should walk away and report the activity, but she can’t make herself do it. Roth is intriguing and doesn’t look down on her “bad” blood…and he’s gloriously soulless, meaning she doesn’t have to deal with that pesky soul-eating temptation she has to fight around everyone else.

Roth, oh dear Roth. You’d think that I’d get tired of JLA strolling out cocky bad-boy types by now, but it’s just not the case. What’s that phrase Katy uses, holy alien babies? That sounds about right. Roth is a self-serving demon with a sinfully hot body, a smart mouth, and several powerful abilities. He’s just…::drools:: He’s awesomesauce, k? He’s so damned confident that it’s impossible to even think he’ll fail at whatever he puts his mind to. And when he puts his mind to convincing Layla to trust him….damn. He succeeds with flying colors. I’m definitely team Roth, just so we’re clear.

Then there is Zayne, the other corner of this infuriating love triangle. Zayne is Roth’s polar opposite. He’s good and righteous and caring and equally as hot. The fact that a love affair would be impossible between him and Layla, along with the clairvoyant knowledge that he’ll end up with Danika, makes it impossible for me to root for him. I know Layla’s had it bad for him forever, but it’s just not meant to happen. Not to mention the major letdowns here. In many ways he fails Layla in this novel, forgetting her or downright ignoring her when she needs him. She does some bad things too, but never anything to deliberately hurt him.

Can I comment on JLA’s genius-ness again? This woman is quickly becoming my favorite author, with her ability to wow me in everything she writes. Here she shines with the Gargoyle lure, the badass demon, and the plot twists that I didn’t anticipate. She shines because I love this book in spite of the love triangle and the awful, horrid cliffhanger. That end and Roth and the revelations about her parentage and holy fucking cow, I feel traumatized. I can’t even….

So yeah, if you aren’t overly fond of cliffhangers or not knowing if a particular character is dead for good (AND THAT CHARACTER BETTER NOT BE! I’m just sayin’, putting that out there because that will make me angry and you won’t like me when I’m angry), then you might wanna wait until book 2 (and probably 3, because let’s face it, 2 will probably have a cliffhanger too) is out because the ending it’s the rainbows and sunshine I’d been dreaming of.

This novel is everything you’d expect from JLA, with cocky male leads, a sassy heroine, and enough romance and turmoil to keep you enraptured. The romance between the characters ranges from hot to sweet, managing to give you just the right amount of smut for a YA novel without going overboard. Even those who prefer smut-free novels should be fine with this. I keep trying to figure out the best way to summarize this review, but it really comes down to a simple statement: It’s JLA. I absolutely loved it and I cannot wait for the next one. Seriously, I may sell my first born child to get my hands on it if I can get any takers for that offer. Oh, and before I forget, there is an exclusive excerpt at the end of the novel from Roth’s point of view that will only be available in the print version, so if you’re planning on buying it, there’s a little extra incentive to get it in print. Trust me, it’s totally worth it. It makes you love Roth even more, if such a thing were possible.

****A huge thank you Lisa Wray and all the people Harlequin Teen for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

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Review for Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood #1) by Victoria Scott

Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

TITLE: Fire & Flood
SERIES: Fire & Flood #1
AUTHOR: Victoria Scott
PUBLICATION DATE: February 25, 2014
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
PAGES: 320 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 5 bows

Tella Holloway’s brother is sick. He’s deathly ill and the docs say they don’t know what’s wrong or how to fix. Despite their rather smack-talk filled relationship, she loves him to death and can’t imagine life without him, so when a mysterious blue box appears offering her a chance to compete in a competition for the ultimate cure, she doesn’t hesitate. The Brimstone Bleed is a treacherous competition where competitors must fight their way to survive over four different equally deadly planes and every single competitor is out for someone they love. With little to no survival skills, Tella knows her chances of winning aren’t likely, but she has to try. Can she overcome the odds?

I was excited and terrified to start this. Scott claims it’s wildly different than The Collector and I wasn’t sure how accurate that was. I enjoyed The Collector, but it wasn’t my favorite thing in the world and I was expecting this to be about on the same level, great, but not stay-up-all-night-reading amazing. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This is the adventure I was desperately needing without actively seeking it out. On VC’s website she has a blurb by Kendare Blake (If you don’t know who that is, we’ve got problems, k?) that says ““If The Hunger Games and X-Men and some Pokemon had a baby, it might turn out almost as awesome as this. But probably not. Read this book!” and that’s so accurate that it renders me nearly speechless. POKEMON! Perfect, just fucking perfect. I really can’t say anything that lives up to that succinct description, but I’ll do my best to provide something entertaining anyway.

Tella is the best kind of heroine. Initially I sympathized with her while finding her a tad bit annoying. Her parents literally drag her away from her life and then ban any form of electronics…cell phones, tablets, laptops, the works. Being a reviewer and a blogger and active aficiando of wasting hours on the interwebs, I can understand the massive frustration that would entail. I’ll be the first to admit that it would be heaven at first, having an inordinate amount of free time to spend entangled in the magical world that is fiction, but at some point your going to need something else, anything else. Any task gets monotonous after months of doing it repeatedly. But her fashionista-ness was out of my league of interest. After the games start, though, she’s my kind of heroine. Any chick who can manage to maintain her snark even in deadly situations will win my heart. She reminds me a bit of Sophie from Tellulah Darling’s Blooming Goddess Trilogy and that’s a high compliment indeed. Her ability to roll with the punches and still be so fiercely protective of her new adopted family was beyond endearing. Her defense of the Pandoras was another thing that had me loving her to bits. Animal cruelty and abuse is something I cannot tolerate and her determination to protect these creatures and me cheering her on like nobodies business.

Speaking of Pandoras…..

They are like Pokemon, but possibly cooler. They all have different abilities and are fiercely protective of their owner, well as long as their owner isn’t a psychotic abusive asshat. Tella’s fox, Madox is probably the most powerful of the bunch and DAMN. Can I have him? I can’t even come up with adequate adjectives to describe their awesomeness.

The other characters are all equally interesting, especially Guy (though he could probably use a better name), who gets to have that whole strong silent type thing going on. Harper had the whole big sister vibe down, and then there was Caroline who I won’t even really comment on because I can’t decide how I feel about her. The later addition of Jaxon provided a great amount of comic relief. He’s quirky and amusing and adorable, following Harper like a lost puppy.

Something else I liked (and maybe disliked, depending on when you ask me) is the brutality of this race. Scott doesn’t shy away from the violent edge a competition like this would inspire. Some contenders are down-right evil, twisted in ways that are shocking and grotesque. Death is also something that has to be dealt with here because conditions like the jungle and desert are difficult to traverse if you don’t know what you are doing. Even if you do, the elements and predators still may catch you off guard. Scott does a great job of straddling the line of cruelty without going so far as to make us feel overwhelmed. Or maybe she makes use feel just the right level of overwhelmed because there is a particular scene where extreme measures must be taken to combat a snake bite and that was overwhelming but somehow it worked well in the setting.

Scott manages to make me adore this even though it has quite a few character deaths. If you follow my reviews at all, you know I hate character death, so that’s quite the accomplishment. She really pushes the questions of how far you would go to save your loved ones. That is the best motivation that you could give and she really pushes the envelope a bit here with just the right level of savagery. This novel has something for everyone, for anyone brave enough to give it a try. It’s got snarky comments galore, a quiet romance, adventure aplenty, and a plot that will surprise most. As with Scott’s The Collector, it’s gloriously free of love triangles and cliffhangers, which would make me love it even if it wasn’t as awesome. But it is! And if you aren’t afraid to get your proverbial hands dirty, definitely give this a read!

****Thank you to Scholastic Press for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

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Review for Faking Normal by Courtney S Stevens

Faking Normal by Courtney S Stevens

TITLE: Faking Normal
AUTHOR: Courtney S Stevens
PUBLICATION DATE: February 25, 2014
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 336 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 5 bows

Alexi’s life changed over the summer, but she can’t manage to tell anyone about it. She goes through the motions of daily life, but spends her nights hiding in a closet, shredding baseball cards and scratching her neck trying to focus on the outer pain over the inner pain. Then Bodee, the weirdo boy next door, ends up moving in with them and she finds an unlikely friend in this quiet boy. This boy who manages to see beyond the facade she shows the world and lets her see the secrets he hides. The two grow closer and closer, helping Alexi face her past while she helps him grieve his mothers death.

Alexi is a character that is way too easy for me to identify with. She’s smart and quiet, with a close circle of friends that she can depend on for everything, except that she can’t seem to tell them the truth. She’s been hiding her pain and taking it out on nightly counting compulsions and pain. Her need to hide the truth because she doesn’t want to fuck up the offending party’s life is both enraging and endearing. I can completely see where she was coming from on both sides of her argument. It’s heartbreaking to watch her come to grips with what happened while Bodee does his best to comfort her.

Bodee is not your typical YA male. Sure, he’s tall and attractive, but it’s not immediately visible. Bodee is a social outcast. He’s an awkward boy who slouches (therefore appears shorter) and literally dyes his hair every morning with Kool-Aid so it’s never a normal color. But once you get him to open up, he’s one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever encountered. Yes, I’m a sucker for the JLA type of cocky guys who have dickish tendencies in literature, but in real life, I’m all about the sweet guy next door type. Underneath that mop of rainbow colored hair, he’s actually pretty adorable, and it’s a winning combination. Watching him try to protect Alexi while simultaneously trying to get her to tell someone about whatever happened to her was completely addictive. This guy has won my heart over and over again.

This novel completely floored me. I knew when I requested this that it would be reminiscent of Pushing The Limits, but I wasn’t expecting to live up to that level of awesome. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but this was much more. Alexi’s journey to even use the term “rape” mentally is…I want to say something better than heart-breaking but it’s the only thing that seems to fit. The plot seems so open and honest, but I never saw that ending coming. And I loved the response of the other female involved. Without getting spoilery, I was really worried that the girl dating the offending male would blame Alexi and take said male’s side, but she doesn’t. She stands with Alexi to take the repercussions.

This novel was everything I was looking for and more. I only had a few minor issues because I didn’t particularly like any of the names, but what the hell kind of name is Bodee? And it also has minor twinges of religion that I could have done without, but the good far overshadows the trivial bad. I absolutely adored it and recommend to anyone who a fan of Katie McGarry or Stephanie Perkins or contemporary YA in general!

****Thank you to HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

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Review for All That Glows by Ryan Graudin

All That Glows by Ryan Graudin

TITLE: All That Glows
AUTHOR: Ryan Graudin
PUBLICATION DATE: February 11, 2014
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen, an imprint of of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 480 pages
SOURCE: Edelweiss
RATING: 4 bows

Emrys has always reveled in her life as a Fae, enjoying the forests and generally avoiding cities, where the technology causes a sickness that’s hard to fight…until she angers Queen Mab and is assigned to guard Prince Richard. Richard’s the heir to the English thrown and not a bad guy, just a boy drowning his insecurities in booze and general bad boy behavior. Dark things are starting though, and something old and dark is out to get the royal family. While Emrys is trying to protect the pampered prince, she is also having a hard time veiling herself from him…and once she drops the veil, things really get interesting. Together, they’ll fight the evil lurking in the dark and do their best to save the kingdom, if they can.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t read many Fae novels. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that I the lure behind them is so complex and I’m not well versed in it, so I’m left confused too much. So while I was excited to get approved for this and have the opportunity to read and review it, I was also quite a bit weary. What if I hate it? What if it’s too confusing for my poor befuddled brain to grasp? So many worries about it swirling around my head, all for naught really. Though this isn’t straight forward, it’s pretty easy to come to terms with the rules these Fae live by. Protecting the crown and obeying Mab are the biggest rules to live by…and always veil yourself from the humans.

Emrys obviously breaks that rule. For whatever reason, she has a difficult time keeping her veiling spell up around Richard and finally just gives in. She’s a unique character, not really falling under any particular personality type to me. Her sweet romance with Richard had me begging for them to end up together, for her to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Richard was also an interesting character, so weighed down by the path in front of him and the crown that will be his sooner than anyone realizes. I cannot imagine living with that level of responsibility, so it’s understandable that this seventeen year old boy would feel like drinking away his problems…at least until Emrys appears out of nowhere (literally) and pushes him in the right direction. I think I would really have liked a chapter or two to see what’s going on in his mind, but it’s all from Emrys’ perspective. Watching Richard grow from a over-stressed teenager to a man fit to rule the kingdom was quite a treat.

My only real issue with this story is the idea that Fae don’t care for love. Maybe I read or comprehended incorrectly, but the way it came off to me is that Fae more or less don’t believe in love. They realize it exists, but have absolutely no use for it. Love between a Fae and a human is taboo (and dangerous) and romantic love between Fae doesn’t exist at all. Also, we never see a male fairy. Every single one of them is female. Which, I supposed, makes the idea of romantic love difficult for an author of the christian persuasion, but I find it difficult to believe that no form of romantic love seems important to them. Running while and free for a time is all good, but you live hundreds of years and never once long for something more intimate that companionship? I’m not sure I buy that.

Beyond that particular hole in the Fae lure, this is a very entertaining novel. There are slow moments, but it keeps you pretty enthralled for most of the story. Amrys and Richard’s romance is light and sweet, while still holding deep enough meaning for them to be willing to fight for each other. It’s a bit insta-lovey with the way they are attracted to each other, but the L word isn’t mentioned until closer to the end than the beginning, so I’m rather satisfied with it.

Even if you aren’t a big fan of this particular subset of mythical creatures, this is a read that’s pretty easy to enjoy. It has almost everything I need in a novel, with great writing, a good plot, and enough of a light romance to keep me cheering the main duo on and on. It’s hard not to root for that whole love against the odds scenario. I think this is a YA most will enjoy, as long as you can get over the notion that love is taboo.

****Thank you to HarperTeen, an imprint of of HarperCollins Publishers, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

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Release Day Blitz: Saving Quinton by Jessica Sorensen (with review & giveaway)

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Saving Quinton by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: Saving Quinton
SERIES: Nova #2
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLICATION DATE: February 4, 2014
PUBLISHER: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
PAGES: 262 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 5 bows
BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
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Nova Reed can’t forget him-Quinton Carter, the boy with the honey-brown eyes who made her realize she deserved more than an empty life. His pain was so similar to her own. But Nova has been coming to terms with her past and healing, while Quinton is out there somewhere, sinking deeper. She’s determined to find him and help him . . . before it’s too late.

Nova has haunted his dreams for nearly a year-but Quinton never thought a sweet, kind person like her would care enough about a person like him. To Quinton, a dark, dangerous life is exactly what he deserves. And Nova has no place in it. But Nova has followed him to Las Vegas, and now he must do whatever it takes to keep her away, to maintain his self-imposed punishment for the unforgivable things he’s done. But there’s one flaw in his plan: Nova isn’t going anywhere . . .


I suddenly realize that I’m in my room. Awake. And Nova’s here. With me. My thoughts start racing as I try to recollect what happened. I was planning on those guys beating me to death. Why didn’t that happen? Because it was too easy? Do I deserve not to be let off so easy—do I deserve worse than death? But if that’s true then why’s Nova here?

“What are you doing here?” It’s painful to talk, but I force the words to leave my mouth. “Or am I dreaming?”

She repositions her hand on my cheek, but doesn’t pull away, the startled look in her eyes diminishing. “You’re not dreaming…you were unconscious but…are you okay?” She seems nervous and it reminds me of how innocent and good she is, and how she shouldn’t be here in the crack house that I call home.

“Why are you here?” I ask, my voice feeble as I try to sit up, but my arms aren’t working and I fall right back down on the mattress.

“I came here to see you,” she replies, absent-mindedly touching her lips, and I wonder if I really kissed her or if I was imagining it.

She stares at me with her fingers on her lips and it’s uncomfortable because she’s really looking at me. I’ve been so used to people looking through me, as if I were a ghost, seeing the drugs, the person that I am now, the worthlessness all over me, instead of who I used to be. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be really looked at and for a split second I enjoy it. Then she looks away and I feel like I’m dying, my brain registering the pain in my legs, arms, chest—everywhere. And I’m crashing. Badly. My hands start to shake, my heart rate picking up as soon as I realize this.

“Go put some ice in a plastic bag,” she says, snapping her fingers at someone.

I hear a mutter and then Tristan steps into my view. He glances down at me and the haziness in his eyes lets me know he’s high on something, but I’m glad he’s at least here and it doesn’t look like he’s been beaten up. “Dude, you look like shit,” he tells me with a dopey-ass grin.

“I feel like shit,” I mutter, managing to get my hand up to my face to rub my eyes. “You look like you got away.”

“I did, and you should have run with me, you dumbass…I thought you were for a while until I realized I was alone.” Tristan chuckles under his breath. “Wait until you see yourself in a mirror.”

His amusement seems to piss Nova off and she gets to her feet, tugging the bottoms of her shorts down, fury burning in her eyes. “Go get a fucking bag to put the ice in,” she says, not yelling, but her tone is cold, abrupt, harsh, and she sort of shoves him. This isn’t the Nova I remember at all and she kind of scares me.

She seems to scare Tristan, too, who surrenders with his hands in front of him and backs toward the doorway. “Fine. Jesus, Nova. You don’t have to get crazy about it.”

“You haven’t even begun to see me get crazy,” she snaps, pointing at the door. “Now go get a damn bag.”

After Tristan leaves, she turns to the doorway and says, “What am I going to do?”

I can’t see who she’s talking to and it makes me wonder who the hell is in here. Delilah? I doubt it, since I don’t think she’d be asking Delilah that question.

“I don’t know,” someone replies. I still can’t see who it is, but I can tell the voice belongs to a female and I hate how excited I get over the fact that Nova’s not here with a guy.

Suddenly a girl with black hair and big blue eyes steps in. “He looks…” She assesses me, then looks at Nova. “He looks like he needs to go to a hospital.”

“No hospitals,” I croak. “I don’t have the cash to pay for that.” And I don’t deserve to heal so easily. I should suffer for getting up and running away from my death.

Nova stares down at me with reluctance. “Quinton, I really think you need to go to a hospital.” She kneels back down on the mattress, sweeping her long brown hair to the side as she leans over me. Her fingers gently enfold my wrist and, moving slowly, she bends my arm so I can get a good view of my hand. It’s twice the size it normally is and my skin is purple and blue. Even where her fingers are, the skin is swollen and raw, and it seems like her touch should hurt, but all I can feel is heat—her heat. God, I’ve missed her heat. I’ve spent the last year wrapped up in coldness, feeling the numbness of drugs and sex with random women and now she’s here and I feel like I’m burning up.

“It’s just a bruise,” I say, not looking at my hand, but at her. I want to hold her, hug her, kiss her, touch her, but I also want her to go away. Stay. Leave. Right. Wrong. Lexi. Nova. Guilt.




It was all your fault.


Jessica Sorensen

Jessica Sorensen is a #1 New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author who lives with her husband and three kids in Idaho. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Nova is finally managing a bit of normalcy, attending college, dealing with her grief, and fighting the need to obsessively count things when her life gets too stressful. Summer break is upon her, and even though it’s been almost a year, she still can’t keep Quinton off her mind. How is he? Is he still on drugs? Does he still carry around that sadness that was always hiding in his eyes. She learns he’s in Vegas and is hellbound to pull him out of the drug-addled world he is ensnared in. Quinton has moved on to harder drugs chasing that calming silence the high brings. He knows things are getting bad for him and those around him, but he’s unworthy of anything better. He deserves to rot him and kill himself one hit at a time. When Nova shows back up, he knows he should stay away from her. He knows that it’d be better for everyone all around if he just refused to see her and let her move on, but he is just too selfish to deny himself this small bit of happiness. Can she convince him to give up the drugs or will his habit get the better of him?

Quinton and Nova are the same characters they were before, just a little more extreme and a little more normal, respectively. They have changed quite a bite since Breaking Nova, but not in unexpected ways, with Quinton becoming more of a junkie than we could have imagined and Nova healing enough to be able to discuss Landon’s suicide without breaking down. Beyond that, though, their basic characteristics are the same, with Nova’s sweet nature and determination to help those she cares for and Quinton’s good guy lurking unwantedly around his head.

We get a great deal more from Quinton here because it’s told in alternating perspectives and it makes me sympathize with him even more. Even though I think he’s an idiot because that crash was a fucking accident and blaming himself helps no one, but I get the devastation that is associated with being involved in the death of your girlfriend and cousin. The fact that his whole family blames him as well (except Tristan) doesn’t help matters. I wanted to fucking punch Tristan’s parents for being such assholes. Speaking of Tristan, we get quite a bit more of him. He’s a jackass, but it’s kinda obvious that it’s mostly the drugs. I wanted him to get help as much as I wanted help for Quinton. Does he gets his own story? Please?
Begging gif
I’d really like to see him get a happily ever after.

The thing that really stands out about this particular novel, is that it’s not really a romance. I mean, yes, Nova has feelings for Quinton and vice versa, but this is much more about Quinton’s struggle with drugs and Nova’s struggle to pull him out of it. This novel goes darker than any other, in the sense that we get right in the middle of the bad shit. Quinton’s situation is wretched, and knowing that he put himself here makes it that much worse. That this intelligent, caring boy allowed himself to sink so low is so depressing. This novel IS depressing. Nova and Quinton’s journey is difficult and terrifying and endlessly saddening. Nova is trying so hard to help him even though he doesn’t want it. What makes me love it even more is the realistic ending. I won’t give any spoilers, but I felt the ending was very fitting for the story. Things end on a hopeful note, but things don’t just magically fix themselves with hugs and love. Drug addiction is a serious problem and kicking that habit is far from easy or simple.

I think this may be Sorensen’s greatest achievement yet. Ella & Micha are still my favorite of her couples, but Nova and Quinton’s journey is touching on a whole different level. Their story couldn’t have been easy to tell and it’s obvious a lot of research was put into the subject of drugs and addiction and so on. It’s a little off from what I was expecting from her and what is better than being surprised in a positive way? If you are a fan of her previous new adult novels or just want to read something that will make you connect with the character on such a level that their pain is yours and their depression leaves you so sad you don’t see how you are going to recover, much less the characters. I highly recommend it to any new adult readers out there.

****Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

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Review for Be With Me (Wait For You #2) by J Lynn

Be With Me by J Lynn

TITLE: Be With Me
SERIES: Wait For You #2
AUTHOR: J Lynn (AKA Jennifer L Armentrout
PUBLICATION DATE: February 4, 2014
PUBLISHER: William Morrow Paperbacks
PAGES: 299 pages
SOURCE: Edelweiss
RATING: 4 bows

Teresa Hamilton has had a crush on Jase Winstead from the moment he stepped through her front door to check on her brother. There is just something about him that draws her and she can’t shake the attraction, especially after a mind-blowing kiss. But after said kiss, Jase avoids her like the plague and an injury to her knee could be the end of her dance career if she isn’t careful. A semester off from dancing at the college her brother (and Jase, his BFF) attends may just the thing to get Jase to give them a chance. Jase is trying his damnedest to ignore his feelings for Tess. Besides the fact that she is his best friend’s baby sister, he has other responsibilities that take precedence and doesn’t really need to be involved in any kind of serious relationship. But he can’t seem to avoid her now that she’s on campus and the attraction is getting harder to fight. Can the two work it out or is their quasi-relationship doomed to fail?

Tess is just as I remember her from Wait For You, beautiful and determined and smart. She’s a bit down on herself because of the knee injury and the possibility of never dancing again, but you can still see the fiery personality underneath. I can’t say I would be any different if my lifelong passion had nearly been ripped from my grasp. Her love of dancing is something I thought would bring her closer to Avery, but the two don’t become as close as I was expecting. Maybe they are saving that for later. I hope so.

Jase is a even more guarded here than the glimpses of him we catch in Trust In Me. He obviously plays things close to the chest and has a difficult time letting anyone get close to him. Watching him try to be all noble and stay away from Tess when it’s obvious the two are meant for each other was both comical and heartbreaking. It causes so much heartache for Tess that it is hard to get behind the idea of these two being together. Will Jase ever get over the need to push her away to “protect” her as well as himself? I hate that, so much.

I was pretty excited when I got approved for this because it gave me a legitimate excuse to read Wait For You & Trust In Me which I had been dying to read. After all, I have to read them to understand this, right? So I dived in and LOVED them both. Seriously, Cam Hamilton is awesome and I love him to bits. I was then excited to see him placed in the brotherly role instead of the love interest. Anything offering me even the tinsiest new slice of Cam was exactly what I was looking for. While I truly enjoyed this, it doesn’t quite live up to it’s predecessors. Jase doesn’t even come close to comparing to Cam’s level of awesome, so while I liked the idea of him and Tess, I wasn’t swooning over him. And every damn time he pushed Tess away, I was torn between wanting to punch him and wanting her to move on so we could truly see him suffer. She doesn’t, though, because this wouldn’t be much of a romance novel if she had, but I was almost wishing she would.

Another issue was it was predictable. I know we don’t read romance for jaw-dropping originality, but I saw every single twist come. Every. Single. One. ****SPOILER****The minute you see Jace with Jack, it’s obvious it’s his kid not his brother. The minute you see Debbie with Erik, you know he’s abusing her. As soon as Tess hits the floor, you know she’s fucked up her knee for good. When Tess finds Debbie dead, it’s so fucking obvious that Erik killed her, and it wasn’t a suicide. ****END SPOILER****All of it was just so glaringly obvious.

From the review, you’d think I didn’t really enjoy this novel, but I did. Despite the hangups, this is written in addictive way we’ve come to expect from JLA. She’s a master at making you desperate to keep going and then utterly depressed when you realize you’ve finished the novel. What the fuck am I supposed to do now? Move on to the next novel? I’m too emotional involved with the characters to do anything else but crave more! It has everything necessary to make a great New Adult romance, with steamy love scenes, witty dialogue, and characters you can’t help but care about, in spite of their idiotic actions. If you liked the previous novels, you’ll definitely enjoy this one. If you haven’t read the previous novels…what the hell are you waiting for?

****Thank you to William Morrow Paperbacks for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

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