Monday, September 17, 2012

Review : The Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle

The Mighty StormThe Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's been twelve years since Tru Bennett last saw Jake Wethers, her former best friend and boy she once loved. 
Jake Wethers, sexy, tattooed and deliciously bad lead singer, and brains behind The Mighty Storm, one of biggest bands in the world, left Tru with a broken heart when he moved from England to America with his family when they were both fourteenSent to interview Jake for her music column by the magazine she works for, they are both unprepared for the sparks that fly the instant they reconnect.
Only, there’s a complication to their instant feelings for one another – Will, Tru’s boyfriend of two years. 
Then Jake makes Tru a job offer she can't refuse - travelling the world with him and his band. But taking the job means leaving Will behind, and being on the road with the band means spending an inordinate amount of time with Jake. 
Is Tru strong enough to resist the delectable bad boy who once held her heart so completely, or will she willingly risk it all for one night with the worlds most notorious womanizer?
I need more. I need to know what happens next in their lives! This is a perfect set up for a sequel! Yes, it also works as a stand alone but I need to know more. I may be slightly addicted to Jake. Maybe. Okay, I am. The first step is admitting it, right?

I was so close to not even getting this book. I don't like love triangles. Actually, that is putting it way too mildly. I HATE love triangles. However, Will was a perfect catalyst for the first conflict in the book. He was actually so nice that I disliked him for being so nice. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a bad boy. Especially a bad boy rocker. Put a nice guy in front of me and then put a rocker next to him and you best believe I'll be summoning my inner White Snake groupie.

I really thought this was going to be one of those books that let me down in the middle. I thought that the big conflict would be resolved and then I would get bored. Wow, was I ever wrong on that one! If anything, I enjoyed the second half of the book even more than the first. I loved seeing that raw, aching emotion that just made you want to cry on behalf of everyone involved. That kind that makes your heart squeeze in your chest until you feel like taking a deep breath would just be too difficult. That was the second half of the book for me.

That being said, all gushing aside, I did have some moments of annoyance but I can't recall (at this moment, I am sure if I searched I might find one) any book that I didn't have those. My main issue was Tru's stubbornness. I could almost understand it though after things were explained a bit more thoroughly. My advice? Get annoyed with her, get aggravated with the situation...

and then keep on lovin' Jake.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday

Here we are again! I hate when I miss Shelf Candy Saturday so I decided to do it tonight before I go to bed. Yeah, I'm a bit of a night owl.

Let's get down to the details, shall we? Shelf Candy Saturday is a meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at Five Alarm Book Reviews. It's purpose is to showcase cover art that we find beautiful/interesting/unique/intriguing, etc.

This weeks book is Possess by Gretchen McNeil!

Rule #1: Do not show fear. 
Rule #2: Do not show pity. 
Rule #3: Do not engage.
Rule #4: Do not let your guard down.
Rule #5: They lie.
Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. 
Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.
I have to admit I have never read this book. I have not even actually heard of this book until about ten minutes ago. If I don't have a book off the top of my head that I want to feature, I generally go on goodreads and just start flipping through book covers. I've actually discovered some really great books this way. This one definitely sounds pretty interesting. Even more intriguing than the summery, of course, is the cover!  (That is what caught my eye, after all!)

Is this one of the creepiest, most eerie covers you have seen?! I don't know how I missed this one up until now. I love how everything around the girl is blurred. It leaves me wondering if the trees are a part of her or if she is translucent? It looks like the trees disappear beneath her shirt in the lower left hand corner and beneath her hair that is laying over her shoulder. I want to know what those trees represent. Are they the demons? A manifestation of the voices? The colors featured on the cover are perfect to give off that creepy sort of feeling that should come along with a book about demons and demonic possession.

Since I haven't read the book, I can't tell you if it is an out of the ball park sort of 'wow' book but I can say, I definitely the cover is and I am adding this book to my TBR pile for when I feel the need for a piece of nice, creepy, YA fiction!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this book when I first started it. The format of the book is a diary. Each day (sometimes skipping some days between) Miranda will write about what happened that day, what she is feeling that day, what the others in her family or town were doing or even what the cat did.

It might not sound that interesting to begin with but then take into the fact that life as they knew it (hey, I see where the title came from!) is over and it gets a lot more intriguing. I really liked the idea of this apocalypse. Well, as much as anyone can like any idea of an apocalypse. I wouldn't say that it is my preferred method of the end of the world or anything but I like how it is explained. Keep in mind, I am not a scientist. I don't know if this is even possible to have happen but it sounded good when I read it. Basically, a massive asteroid collided with the moon and knocked it all off kilter. We all know how important the moon is. It controls the tides and.......all sorts of things (again, quite obviously not a scientist). So, needless to say, the moon got all jacked up and thus, the world got all sorts of jacked up.

So that's what sets the story but what really makes the story is Miranda and her reactions. I warmed up to the diary format because it really showed the way Miranda was dealing with everything. She dealt with it all very much in the way a teenage girl would, in my opinion. At times she was a horrible, selfish brat and other times she was responsible and caring. One day the entry would be about how much she loved her mama and the next day was all "I HATE THEM ALL!". I would say that is normal for any girl, especially one who is starving, dirty and feeling pretty hopeless.

It's not the best post-apocalyptic book but it is a really good one, in my opinion. ((If I wasn't such an Ashfall groupie, I would maybe have given this 4.5 or 5 stars. Maybe!))

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Anathema by K.A. Tucker

Anathema (Causal Enchantment, #1)Anathema by K.A. Tucker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Evangeline has spent her teenage years in obscurity. Her foster parents have the emotional aptitude of robots and her classmates barely acknowledge her existence. About to turn eighteen and feeling like a social pariah, she is desperate to connect with someone. Anyone.
When Evangeline meets Sophie after literally stumbling upon her café, she believes she’s found that connection. Willing to do anything to keep it, she accepts a job as Sofie’s assistant and drops everything to fly to Manhattan, where she is thrust into a luxurious world of Prada, diamonds, and limitless cash. With such generosity and kindness, it’s easy for Evangeline to dismiss certain oddities... like Sofie’s erratic and sometimes violent behavior, and the monstrous guard dogs. She’s even willing to dismiss her vivid dreams of mob-style murders, beautiful homeless people living in caves, and white-eyed demons that haunt her each night as figments of her imagination—especially when one of those figments is the gorgeous Caden. 
When she wakes up with bite marks on her neck, the fairy tale quickly turns into a nightmare. She slowly unravels the mystery surrounding Sofie and friends, and the reality of the bites and the “dreams.” What she discovers is far more mysterious and terrible than anything she could have imagined. In a world where everyone has motive to lie for personal gain, Evangeline must decide which deception is least likely to get her killed.
"Hello, my name is Jamie and I am free kindle book hoarder."

I literally download every single kindle book I see that is free and I might, maybe, someday read. Does this mean I read them all? No. Absolutely not. Most of the time I just sit there and look at them and then go and buy a book for 2.99 that I really wanted to read or that got rave reviews somewhere.

Anathema was a book I got for free and it sat on my kindle for awhile. I was flipping through my books and saw it and thought hey, that is kind of a cool cover and then I also thought what the heck does Anathema mean? So I decided to sit down and read it.

Thank goodness I did! Anathema really is a hidden gem! This is saying quite a bit because I haven't read a vampire book that didn't seem trite and boring for me in ages! I didn't even know it was a vampire book going into it. I was just intrigued by the cover and the title. The characters are amazing. K.A. Tucker has a way of giving details of the characters in a way where it seems natural, not a run down of their history that is out of place and bogs down the story.

Caden is a great romantic interest. I can't wait to see how he adapts in the later books. He was mysterious, strong, intriguing and just sweet enough to make you want to hug him. Rachel was a heinous, evil wench and the best kind of villain - the one you love to hate. I seriously had the urge to scratch her eyes out myself. Evangeline for me, flip flopped from being a great lead to someone I wanted to shake. She is extremely naive and very gullible. The thing that kept me liking her though was that she knew she was naive and gullible. It wasn't just a plot device. It was an acknowledged fault and downfall of the lead character. Because of that, I was okay with it even though at times I wanted to yell at her to stop being so darn trusting!

Anathema really left you wanting more from beginning to end. It beautifully entwined two separate story lines and brought them together in the last quarter of the book. There was so many loose ends tied up and it was like the light bulb moment - everything suddenly started to make sense. It was a great book and I will definitely be being the second one. I can't wait to see how things turn out!

Oh! Side note, I am not quite sure why this book is titled Anathema. The definition of Anathema...

a·nath·e·ma/əˈnaTHəmə/ Noun: Something or someone that one vehemently dislikes. A formal curse by a pope or a council of the Church, excommunicating a person or denouncing a doctrine.

Did I just miss the part of the book where it explained this? Is it implied because she is hated by...well, I don't want to give anything away. That was the only part I was confused about! 

Go get Anathema for FREE for your kindle!
**Anathema is free as of the time of this posting.**

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday! (More like May!)

Can we just change name of this meme for today? Because I would love to change to Waiting on MAY. So many books on my "need-this-now" shelf are coming out in May! I am just going to highlight a couple of them so you can see what I am waiting on!

As always, this lovely meme is hosted by those over Breaking the Spine.

Barely Breathing by Rebecca Donovan
Expected publication date: May 1st, 2012
Emma’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart pounding conclusion in the final chapters of Reason to Breathe. Now everyone in Weslyn knows Emma’s secret, but Carol can’t hurt Emma anymore. Some are still haunted by the horror of that night, and some must face the repercussions of their choices. Fans of Rebecca Donovan’s debut novel will discover there’s still much to learn about Emma’s life.
If you have read the first book, you will understand why I need this book right now. If you haven't read the first book...well, I can't even say you should. It is a great book, in my opinion but it is also a very tough read. If you are feeling like a heavy book that might leave you heartbroken pick up Remember to Breathe however, I HIGHLY suggest you don't do it until after May 1st. You are going to need the sequel as soon as you are done with the last word of the first book. I am so anxious to read this book. It is going to be one I either absolutely love or absolutely hate, I know it!

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Expected publication date: May 1st, 2012
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
So, I know a lot of people are waiting on this book. It's not shocking to see it on any list. I am really hoping this book is amazing and not a let down like a certain other popular dystopian whose sequel came out this year. I really like divergent and I am crossing my fingers that this series doesn't have that "sophomore slump" that so many series (and even trilogies!) fall prey too! I am also wondering if there is going to be a big love triangle...ugh. So over love triangles! 
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Expected publication date: May 22nd, 2012
Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .
I am so excited for this book. I've never read any mermaid type books and this book just sounds so unique. I am definitely ready for something unique! The same old, same old stuff is great because believe me, I LOVE it. I read enough of it that I must love it but something new and entertaining sounds great too. This is one that I definitely will pick up on release day!

There are more books I am looking forward to in May, like, of course Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore and In Honor by Jessi Kirby. May is going to be a super busy reading month! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Booking through Thursday

Today was a rough day. Remember that cute little pup in my last post? She's currently in training to become a service animal. She's supposed to be well trained. She's gone to enough classes and seminars to be a freaking expert on being a model of good canine conduct. Well, this afternoon, she tried to jump through a window.

Don't worry, she is fine. However, my window is not. It is broken. So, I pack up Roxie, put her fancy back pack on and march her to Lowe's to figure out how much her little hissy fit (she was mad because one of the other dogs and myself were outside and she was not) was going to cost me. While we were checking out, out of no where, she breaks out with WOOF WOOF WOOF in her big girl bark at some random guy. Poor dude jumped like three feet in the air, she scared the jeepers out of him! Yeah, so not pleased with my little prodigy today. Oh, and Lowe's, after telling me it was no problem to replace my window, blah blah was out of glass. So, I have a garbage bag taped to my broken window. Very classy.

That being said, I desperately need to just sit and chill, participate in some fun memes and then retire to my bed with my kindle and a (hopefully) good book! So, without further ado, Booking through Thursday!

Booking through Thursday is a meme hosted over at Every Thursday they pose a question about (mostly) books and reading for us to ponder and answer! 

This weeks question is....

If someone asked you for a book recommendation, what is the FIRST book you’d think to recommend (without extra thought)?

That is a VERY tough question! There are so many good books out there and I know at least five off of the top of my head that I would recommend. Of course, this imaginary person would have to enjoy the type of books I enjoy. Either way, the very first book that came to mind was...

  When thirty-year-old English tacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day. T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends.  
 Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.
This book is just amazing. I wasn't planning on loving it, I actually just picked it up because I needed a contemporary book for a reading challenge. Then I started reading it and I could not put it down. The details are perfect, absolutely perfect. They aren't overwhelming to the point where it gets boring but just descriptive enough to really draw you into the story. You feel like you are there on the island with T.J and Anna. The way that T.J grows and matures is addicting to read about. The way Anna deals with the emotions of being stranded with this young man pulls at your heart. The epilogue is the most perfect wrapping up to any story I have ever read. The writing is smooth and easy to read and consistently engaging! I really can't recommend this book enough, the plot is amazing, the writing is outstanding and I am more than happy to recommend this book to anyone!

((Edited to add in that I mistakenly answered LAST weeks BTT. Whoops!))

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Yep, here I am, piping in on a random meme that I don't always participate in. I thought it sounded fun though and there are quite a few books that I am really looking forward to come late spring and early summer. That being said, the purpose of the meme is to highlight books that we are waiting to be published! So here we go!

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti 
Expected publication: April 24th, 2012
by Simon Pulse
Cricket’s on a self-imposed break from her longtime boyfriend—but she’s picked a bad week to sort out her love life. For one thing, her mother’s romance is taking center stage: After jilting two previous fiancés, her mom is finally marrying Dan Jax, whom Cricket loves. But as wedding attendees arrive for a week of festivities at a guesthouse whose hippie owners have a sweet, sexy son—Ash—complications arise.

Okay, So, I am looking forward to this book why? Well, for one, I have heard a lot about Deb Caletti and I have never read any of her books. I figured I would hold out and let this be my first one. Another reason I am looking forward to it? I absolutely LOVE the cover. It is just beautiful to me. It makes me want to read the book and find out more about it. I am already rooting for the girl in the book and I know pretty much nothing about her. I am so intrigued that not even the threat of a love triangle is making me want to miss this release. I am over the top, out of my mind sick of love triangles so that is saying quite a lot.

So that, my lovely book friends, is what I am waiting for! What upcoming release are you excited about?!

Oh, and as a random of my dogs...sitting on a rock. At the park. Yeah, I am that dog person who takes pictures of their dogs in random places.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday

I have missed a couple of Shelf Candy Saturday and that makes me sad because we all know how much I love them! Let's get down to the details, shall we? Shelf Candy Saturday is a meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at Five Alarm Book Reviews. It's purpose is to showcase cover art that we find beautiful/interesting/unique/intriguing, etc.

This week, I am showing some more cover love for Miss Amelie. She revealed this cover over on her blog and if you want to find out more about Thomas & January (which I am so ridiculously excited about!!) head on over to her blog where you can read the first chapter! Also, if you haven't read Callum & Harper yet, you should go do that immediately. Shoo! It's on Amazon and B&N and it will be the best $2.99 you have ever spent!

So, on to this cover. If you read my previous shelf candy's you will know that I LOVE the cover to Callum & Harper and I might love this cover even more if that is possible. I am so intrigued! We'll start with the top half. I absolutely love the delicate pattern in the background. It looks like maybe a mix of leaves and ferns. It is subtle and classy looking, almost giving the background a texture of its own. It reminds me of really old wall paper and I think it is the perfect backdrop for the photo and the heart with the initials. I love the photo. It looks young and innocent and the scotch tape is a perfect addition to make it look even more real and authentic. The heart is so very young love, it just screams it. 

The colors and patterns inside the letters of the title complete grab your attention, as does the dark purple background color. You can still see the faint etching of the leaves and ferns but they seem a bit more hidden. It's an awesome contrast and really makes the title pop off of the cover. 

The bottom, to me, is the most intriguing of all! A suitcase? Briefcase? Lock box? It looks like a really old style suitcase to me. There's a lot going on there. The planets, Earth and Mars? I want to know what they symbolize within the story. The American flag combined with the suitcase makes me think of travelling..or new could mean so much! It really keeps you guessing about what exactly could go on within the pages of this book. It's intriguing and curious. The tree is beautiful with all the colors, so vibrant against the otherwise somewhat muted colors of the bottom half of the cover. Why is it so colorful? Why is there a tree planted in a suitcase of soil? What is that crumbled up piece of paper in front of the case? So many questions! Yet again, this cover does exactly what it should. It catches the eye of the reader, draws them in and makes them want to know more about the book. 

Also, as a side note, I love how she has continued with the same sort of theme for the cover that Callum & Harper had. I think the two books would look beautiful side by side on a book shelf! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Slammed by Colleen Hoover

SlammedSlammed by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After the unexpected death of her father forces eighteen year old Layken and her family to move across the country, away from everyone and everything she knows, her outlook on life is anything but hopeful. 
 Enter Will Cooper: the attractive twenty-one year old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry. After a night together that turns out to be everything but the expected, both Layken and Will are left with feelings they never knew they could have. Unfortunately in Layken's life, things are never what they seem. Just as quickly as it develops, their relationship is derailed by a shocking revelation, sparking a tumultuous battle between their hearts and their ethics. 
 As if the dramatic turn of events in her life isn't enough, Layken is slammed again when her mother reveals a secret of her own. A secret so intense, all of Layken's current problems pale in comparison to her seemingly insurmountable future. Unable to confront the changes that lie ahead of her, Layken ignores her conscience as she turns to Will for solace. Struggles ensue as both Layken and Will search for a balance between that which keeps them apart and the feelings that pull them together. 

"Hey. You. You who is supposed to be a responsible adult, doing responsible adult things like cleaning your house, feeding your family, walking your dogs, studying...what did you to today?"

Well, to be honest with you, completely honest with you, I sat on my porch for hours. I probably freaked out the old lady who speaks Spanish across the street because I did not move for hours other than to go get another drink and occasionally pee. She may have asked me if I was crazy or possibly maybe asked me if I was planning on robbing her house, I am not sure. I don't speak Spanish. I don't think she understood me either, when I held up my kindle and bounced liked a giddy little chubby girl who just learned she won a lifetime supply of Little Debbie oatmeal pies.

You see, what I did today was sit on my porch in the beautiful Texas sunlight (and p.s Julia is right, Texas does indeed have a shit-ton of bugs) and read from cover to cover Slammed and then immediately purchased Point of Retreat and proceeded to read that from cover to cover. That, my wonderful reading friends, was my day. It was my sweet. Possibly my sweet of the year.

I can't gush enough about this book. I mean, I literally want to gush. I want to jump up and down and proclaim my undying never ending love for Will. I think he has won my heart from all my other book boyfriends (Sorry, Kellan. I told you a long time ago you should have walked away from that bitch.) and I could possibly just live happily ever after with him alone. You KNOW this has to be an amazing book boy if I am willing to give up my life of polygamy with fictional characters.

I don't even know where to start with all the reasons I love this book. The drama! Oh sweet baby Jesus, how I adore the drama. The aching, the need, the desperation, the heartbreak, the laughter, the tears...there is just too much to get into in just one review. My mind is still trying to take it all in. As I mentioned, Will is amazing. Lake is a beautiful, wonderful leading female character. I only had the urge to punch her like...once...maybe. Which is saying a lot because I have some issues with wanting to punch people. It's an addiction or a bad habit, you might say. I loved Kel and Caulder, again, this just shows how amazing of a writer Colleen Hoover is because I have a general distaste for anyone under the age of fifteen. Julia is probably my favorite book mom of all time. Eddie is awesome, Gavin is adorable...

You know, anything else I say will just be gushing. More gushing. Lots of gushing. Just go read the book. If you love YA romance, a good bit of a drama and the most awesome leading man ever, I am pretty sure you will love this book!!

Oh and P.S. Slam poetry is a new fascination of mine!!

View all my reviews

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

ForbiddenForbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I need to read some fluff. Immediately. I need a book that has puppies and flowers and rich preppy kids who drive Mercedes and their biggest problem is the fact that they didn't finish their English essays. Shoot, I need to go play with real puppies and eat candy and watch a comedy.

“At what point does a fly give up trying to escape through a closed window – does its survival instincts keep it going until it is physically capable of no more,or does it eventually learn after one crash too many that there is no way out? At what point do you decide that enough is enough?”

Just by reading the blurb, you know this book isn't going to have a happy ending. I mean, how could it? However, by half way through the book you are trying to convince yourself that something is going to happen to make these two kids lives okay or even just a little bit better. Forbidden is a book that evokes emotions. Really strong emotions at that. Sadly, they aren't happy emotions. Confusion, horror, heart break, desperation, hope...there are so many things that this book brought out in me.

I love Lochlan. (Side note, I HATE the nickname 'Lochie') He's vulnerable and raw. A shell of a broken boy who just wants to feel like he is doing the right thing for someone. Being everything to everyone and never being enough has to be exhausting. I just wanted to hug him throughout the entire book. He broke my heart time and time again. I don't think a fictional character in any books has ever affected me the way that this boy did. Even now thinking about him I just want to cry and that does not happen very often for me. I can read some really sad books and not even get misty but damn, Lochlan makes me want to sob like a baby.

I also just want to say, as a disclaimer sort of deal, that this book doesn't make incest seem like the cool thing to do. It's not telling anyone to go out and get freaky with their sister. This book is about two people who felt like there was no one else in the world who could understand and relate to them except for each other. It's about, at its core, dysfunction and the way that affects a family unit. While there were 'romantic' moments between them, it was almost always a sense of desperation that surrounded them. The inner turmoil that both of them went through showed that they knew this wasn't normal behavior, heck, they told each other it wasn't. Their love wasn't beautiful, it was heartbreaking and frantic.

“At what point do you give up - decide enough is enough? There is only one answer really. Never.”

Oh and P.S...I literally wanted to choke Kit myself.

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan

Reason to Breathe (The Breathing Series, #1)Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank God that the sequel is coming out in May. I got to the last page of this book and absolutely freaked out. The ending is raw and real and absolutely emotional to the extreme. It is hard when you become emotionally invested in a character and you read them going through something like what Emily went through can make you forget that you loved the rest of the book. That is just a risk an author goes outside the box of what readers generally expect to happen. Had I not gone online immediately after reading the last page and checking to see if there was a sequel or anything that would give me any sort of closure, I probably would have been writing a completely different review. Without hope that things were going to get better, I might have just chucked my kindle across the room.

The story is about Emily, a high school girl who lives with her Aunt and Uncle. Her Aunt is abusive, both physically and verbally and her Uncle turns a blind eye, choosing to pretend he doesn't know what is going on in his own house. She has two younger cousins and to the majority of the outside world, the family looks like a perfect one. The younger kids are happy, well adjusted, involved in different activities and adored by their parents. Emily goes through life just trying to stay in the background, do what she has to do to stay under the radar to avoid the wrath of her aunt and trying to keep coping until she can leave for college.

She has one great friend named Sara who knows what is going on but hasn't gotten Emily to come out and actually admit it yet. Sara pretty much keeps her sane throughout the story. She is an awesome character. She provides some levity, laugh out loud moments and a voice of reason throughout the whole story. Oh, yeah and it is a long story, just to let you know. I loved the length of it though some parts I thought were not completely necessary. *coughDrewcough* There are also some deleted scenes on the authors website that are pretty stinking awesome. I loved the New York scene!

So Emily is going through life in the shadows, just kind of going through the motions when along comes Evan. Even just moved to the town and is immediately interested in Emily. What an awesome character. He's the perfect mix of caring, cocky, funny, sweet and yet still real. He gets pissed when Emily won't trust him, he is hurt when she won't see him...he's just an all around awesome character. The way that Evan and Sara both love Emily is perfect. They both care so much and yet are still teenagers who want to help their friend but are unsure how to go about it. Emily has told them repeatedly that she is alright, that she doesn't need help and that they can't tell anyone about what happens at her house. It's heartbreaking, it really is.

Obviously, there is a lot about the book I like. I was reading some other reviews and noticed that one of the huge things that people didn't like is that Emily didn't just leave. I thought like that for awhile but the more I read, the more I understood her viewpoint. Her cousins were happy, their parents were good to them even if they weren't good to Emily. She didn't want to disrupt their entire childhood, cause a big scene and scandal when she felt like she could handle everything going on for 500 and some days she had left until she could leave for college. What I didn't understand was the animosity towards Emily from Carol. I don't get why she hated her so much. I don't think it was ever fully explained and I am hoping maybe it is brought up more in the second book.

It's not a book for the faint-hearted, that is for sure but I really enjoyed it. I loved seeing Emily open up to Evan as the book progressed, I loved the true friendship between Emily and Sara. The extent that Evan was willing to go to in order to keep Emily safe was touching and admirable. I am soooo glad I only have to wait a little under a month for the sequel!

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Interrupted by Rachel Coker

Interrupted: Life Beyond WordsInterrupted: Life Beyond Words by Rachel Coker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I went into this book being completely unaware that it was Christian historical fiction so I was a little surprised when I started reading but that was my own fault for not researching more. Sometimes I like to start a book and just be surprised though and this book didn't disappoint!

Allie's mom drove me a little crazy. It was sad when she died but I definitely wasn't shedding any tears. Allie herself had her moments where I had to grit my teeth because she had a way of coming off as abrasive and overly proud but because of her past, I could see (mostly) where she was coming from.

My biggest issue was how long this bitterness and anger clung to Allie. Despite other people offering love and support, she repeatedly turned it down. She was mean, hurtful and just over all unpleasant. I understand the purpose of it but for me, personally, it made it hard to identify and sympathize with her as a character.

The biggest highlight of the book for me was Sam! I am a sucker for a sweet guy. His patience and forgiveness was something to be admired and I enjoyed him thoroughly. I see the parallels between Sam and how a christian person should behave. It did have a happy ending and I felt like there was a moral lesson to be found in the book as well.

As far as the writing style went, the book was easy to read but had some rough spots where the sentance didn't flow in quite the right sort of rythem. I am not usually a fan of the Christian genre anymore (I got burnt out on Janet Oake and the like!) but I am really excited to see how this author grows. I have a feeling the more she writes, the more things will smooth out and she really has the potential to be amazing. I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for more from Rachel Coker!

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Where has A Book Club of One Gone?!

I know it is has been a week since I posted but whew, has it been a crazy week! For those of you who don't know, I have four dogs. My dogs are pretty much my life, other than my family and husband. I am working on becoming a professional dog trainer and behaviorist, I worked at a doggy daycare, I spend more time researching dog food than I do researching my own food...the list goes on. I am currently in school, working on an externship with a private trainer and I also volunteer at a local shelter two or three days out of the week. So that keeps me busy on its own but then add in my four pups and it gets a bit crazy. Just to fill ya'll in I have a 5 year old chihuahua named Lucy, a 9 year old pit bull named Banjo, a 2 year old lab/pointer/pit mutt named Roxie and a 1 year old pit bull named Jasmine.

This picture does not do any of them justice it was after about 45 minutes
of trying to get a decent picture of all four of them. 
As an example, cute picture of Jasmine down below. 

My dogs are all rescues and each one came with their own set of issues. Lucy I got first and she had been thrown over a rescue's fence. She was beat up, had crate sores everywhere and the vet's opinion was that she had probably not been let out of her crate other than to be bred, possibly. She's people shy and can be snappy with other dogs. Next came Roxie, we got when she was 7 weeks old from the pound. She came with mange, a hernia and she has pretty intense food allergies. About a year and a half after we got her, we fostered a pit bull named Jasmine for what was supposed to be about a month. Her owner never came back for her. She's the sweetest girl ever but she has hip dysplasia in both hips and her shoulder and needs a very expensive surgery along with different vitamins and supplements to keep her mobile. Lastly came Banjo, who, again, we were supposed to be watching until she could be given to her original owner. When we took her to the vet, we found out she was heart worm positive, not to mention she was severely over weight. We treated the heart worms and she is down probably twelve pounds now.

So, to the topic of this post, I have been MIA because we had a crazy dog week. Banjo tore her ACL, Jasmine had a skin cancer scare (benign thank goodness!) and Roxie's allergies flared up out of control and we could NOT figure out why. So, I spent the majority of the week at the vet office and the time I wasn't there, I was trying to figure out how the heck I was going to pay for all these vet visits. So, needless to say, I was a little stressed out this week. Luckily, Jasmine is okay, we figured out what caused Roxie's allergic reaction (Husband had taken her to the store with him and the people there had fed her half a bag of treats with the best of intentions. Husband should have been paying attention and realized those were a type of treat that she can not have) and Banjo..well, she is still gimpin' around but we are hopeful. So, maybe things will calm down and I can get back to my NORMAL crazy life, lol. Crazy is normal. This crazy? Not so much.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

The Way We Fall (Fallen World, #1)The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back. Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest 
Because how will she go on if there isn’t?
Why do I do this to myself?! Why don't I check publication dates so that when I finish a book and find myself screaming "What?! No! It can't be over!" I can just go to the sequel that is already published?!

There is an epidemic that had broken out on an island. This by itself captured my attention. I have read a LOT of dystopian/post apocalyptic/people are dying EVERYWHERE/I am hungry books this month. Like...twenty plus of them. This was the first one where the disease was limited to an island. Well, kind of limited. It almost made it more hopeless to me because food was out there, supplies were out there, medicine and help in general was out there, they just couldn't get to anything they needed.

Another aspect that made this book different was that the book was written in a journal style. It focused less on the fact that the electricity was out, that food supplies were low, that sort of thing and focused more on the relationships between the people in the book. I loved the relationship between Kaelyn and Meredith, the way a friendship developed between her and Tessa and I absolutely adored Gav.

It also showed how talents that people have, something that may even just be a hobby, can be cultivated and used in a time of crisis. Tessa liked to grow things, was intrigued by gardening and that became useful during the epidemic. Gav was used to organizing and doing things for himself and that became a leadership type role for him using skills he had picked up through life. It showed how traits that were just a side note in the past come to full light in dark times. Quentin was a bully to begin with and it only escalated as he started to feel the panic setting in because of the situation.

The disease itself, when I really thought about it, was pretty horrifying. It started out as a rash, a cold and then developed into a full blown virus that affected peoples minds. It was described as lower their social inhibitions I think is how they said it in the book. Imagine your loved one getting ill but then acting happier, freer, more honest and outspoken as they got closer and closer to dying. Pretty crazy to think about.

Some people might feel like the book moved a little slowly but for me, it was a refreshing change. However, I am aware that my opinion is most likely biased seeing as how I have been on disaster overload recently. I just really enjoyed the relationship building, the emotions behind every thought that Kae had.

The ending pissed me off though. Won't lie. The ever mysterious Leo, not knowing if a main character was going to make it, not knowing if another main character is getting sick, not knowing what happened to just ended so abruptly that I wanted to scream! I really enjoyed the authors writing style, I NEED the sequel but until then, I am off to see if Miss Crewe has any other books out.

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Top Ten Tuesday!

Good very early morning or very late night depending on how you look at it! It's a blustery, stormy, rainy sort of night here in Texas, USA and I thought it was a perfect time to settle down on the couch and figure out my top ten Tuesday for this week. Not to mention, I thought I should probably get it done before the power goes out. It is a flickering! I think this will keep me busy until the kindle is fully charged, I am trying to be prepared to battle my insomnia with something other than staring into the darkness and freaking out my dogs. 

Anyways, back to the original topic! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and Bookish and this weeks theme is..... **drum roll**

Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR list! 
((otherwise known as books released in spring that I want to read!)) 

1.) Predestined by Abby Glines
Expected publication: April 4th, 2012
You would think after helping save her boyfriend from an eternity in Hell that things would go back to normal. Well, as normal as life can be when you can see souls and your boyfriend is Death. But for Pagan Moore, things are just getting weirder.  

2.) Toxic by Jus Accardo
Expected publication: May 1st, 2012
When a Six saved Kale’s life the night of Sumrun, she warned there would be consequences. A trade-off. Something taken for the life they gained. But Dez never imagined she’d lose the one thing she’d give anything to keep… And as if it’s not enough Dez finds her immunity to Kale fading, the Six brought in to help Kale learn to control his killer touch starts drooling on him the moment they meet. Worse than that? Jade can touch Kale. But bimbo Barbie is the least of Dez's problems. 

3.) Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
Expected publication: May 29, 2012
As the only Scion that can enter Hades at will, Helen descends to the Underworld in search of a way to overcome the Furies and end the cycle of revenge that has cursed the Scions. But she’s running out of time. Each descent weakens her both in mind and spirit. A mysterious stranger might be her only salvation, but the price may be her love for Lucas Delos.

4.) The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
Expected publication: April 24th, 2012
**I kinda just love this cover**
Cricket’s on a self-imposed break from her longtime boyfriend—but she’s picked a bad week to sort out her love life. For one thing, her mother’s romance is taking center stage: After jilting two previous fiancés, her mom is finally marrying Dan Jax, whom Cricket loves. But as wedding attendees arrive for a week of festivities at a guesthouse whose hippie owners have a sweet, sexy son—Ash—complications arise.

5.) Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Expected publication: April 24th, 2012
**Yet another BEAUTIFUL cover**
Everything is in ruins. A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them. So what does Araby Worth have to live for? Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all. But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does. And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her. 

6.) Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Expected publication: May 1st, 2012
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

7.) Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Expected publication: May 22nd, 2012
Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .

8.) In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Expected Publication: May 8th, 2012
Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.     Honor gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences? 

9.) Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt
Expected publication: April 10th, 2012
Sixteen-year-old Tess lives in a compound in what was once the Western United States, now decimated after a devastating fourth World War. But long before that, life as we knew it had been irrevocably changed, as women mysteriously lost the ability to bring forth life. Faced with the extinction of the human race, the government began the Council of Creators, meant to search out alternative methods of creating life. The resulting artificial human beings, or Chosen Ones, were extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly. 

10.) Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Expected publication: May 1st, 2012
Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. 

And that is my list! Some of them I actually just found while looking around for books to go on this list. Some of them I fell in love with the covers, others, the synopsis pulled me in. Either way, April and May are going to be busy months for reading!

What books are YOU looking forward to the most?!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Robots scare me. Almost as much as birds scare me but not quite. So when I opened this book and saw the word Cyborg I nearly just closed it back up and moved on to the next book. However, I have been doing that a lot lately and promised myself I would not do it again so I plowed on through the androids and cyborgs. I am so glad I did! I loved this book! Yet another author whose writing style I fully appreciated. It was easy to read without making me feel like the story was being dumbed down for me. It was amazing. The story flowed so easily and kept me engaged throughout the whole thing.

The story is a futuristic adaption of the Cinderalla story. There were parts of it that were very much reminiscent of the fairy tale. There's a ball, evil stepmothers, sister and queens and a handsome prince. Other parts of the story were so far from the fairy tale though that you wouldn't even know it was an adaption.

Our heroine, Cinder, was a wonderful character. Her emotions were conveyed in a way that had me feeling what she was feeling. That was what won me over to the whole cyborg thing. She had machine and metal as parts but at her core she was very much human with human emotions. Her love for her sister, her compassion for other people, it was all very touching. She felt shame for who she was, embarrassment for what she had been made into and still managed to express confidence and strength throughout the story as well. I adored her little android friend too and that was surprising to me!

Prince Kai (I love that name!) was an awesome prince. He was compassionate, a strong leader willing to make difficult choices but still showed that hint of vulnerability that makes a great leading character. I wanted to know more about him, about his past and what made him into the person he was so I am hoping there is more of his back story in the next installment of the series. The interaction between Kai and Cinder was adorable! I was rooting for them through the whole story and will continue doing so while I anxiously await the next book which is WAY too far away!

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Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a little shocked at how much I loved this book! I started it at oh...midnight or maybe eleven or so and now it is four in the morning. That tells you how much I loved this book. I'll start with what is one of my personal pet peeves and that is writing style. Some times I absolutely adore the plot of a book, I even like the characters but I just can't get over the writing style. I will admit that I can be picky and critical. I will read a book even if I don't love the writing style but if I do love it, it just makes the book that much better. I hate when the sentences are short and choppy but I also dislike when I am reading one long run on sentence. (I use run-on sentences all the time. Thank goodness I am not an author!)  With all that said, I loved Veronica Rossi's writing style! It was easy to ready but not overly simplified and it kept me engaged with every word. It wasn't too descriptive but the world was painted perfectly for our imaginations to build. The formatting was great, the chapters were well laid out and the story was told extremely well through the two POV's.

What POV's am I talking about, you ask? Well, the two main characters, of course! Aria is girl who was raised in a pod type dwelling in which the people there live in a state of virtual reality. Due to a rather dramatic set of circumstances, she is cast out into the outside world. Aria starts off as a little bit vulnerable, she's in a new world and it is huge and scary. The way that her character develops throughout the book is an amazing journey that completely draws you in and leaves you invested in not only the story but also Aria herself.

Our other point of view comes from Peregrine, otherwise known as Perry. Side note, I hate the name Perry. It reminds of that cartoon platypus so I slightly cringed every time I saw the name but that is just a personal hang up. Not a big deal. Perry (twitch!) has lived on the outside his whole life. His character was so very well written for me. At times I adored him, at times my heart ached for him and other times he was just undeniably sexy. We got to see his history, the way he developed as well, gaining confidence in himself and his abilities and it was just awesome to read.

Their relationship developed in a way that I thoroughly enjoyed and the devotion just made me 'awww!' more than once. It began with them hating each other and it has actually been awhile since I read a book that had that sort of theme in the beginning so I enjoyed it. The way things were described was discreet and yet sensual at the same time. I don't think I will ever see or smell violets and not think about this book. I just loved the way they loved each other, as cliche as that sounds. I'm a sucker for romance, that is all there is to it and this book had it in spades.

The side characters were amazing. Despite being 'side' characters, they were were explained and I felt almost as connected to them as I did to the main characters. I can't wait to find out more about them and I am already anxiously awaiting the sequel which doesn't come out - of course! - until 2013! This is for sure going to remain one of my favorite YA dystopians that I've read. Have I mentioned how much I hate waiting?!

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday

I am running a little behind on everything this month it seems. I started volunteering at a local animal shelter two or three days a week plus I started my internship two weeks ago so I have been trying to rearrange my schedule to make everything fit all nicely together once more! I hate feeling all unorganized and out of whack. I am thinking by next week I'll have a system going on that works in working, studying, volunteering, reading, blogging, working my own four dogs, cleaning and making dinner for the family. (I only make one meal a day. The rest is a free for all. Don't worry, it is just the husband that I starve - no kids!) So I sincerely apologize for being MIA for the past week but hopefully everything will settle down starting this week so I can keep up with everything easily once again. New schedules suck!

Anyways, on to Shelf Candy Saturday! Shelf Candy Saturday is a meme hosted by The purpose of the meme is to highlight book covers that we find interesting/beautiful/unique!

This week I chose 2 books, actually. I haven't read either one of the books and know very little about them. Actually today will be the first time that I have even read the blurbs so the stories themselves in no way influenced my choices.

The first book I chose is Touch by Jennifer Snyder.

Seventeen-year-old Rowan Harper knows her life is forever changed the moment her schizophrenic mother commits suicide. What Rowan doesn’t realize is how much her mother’s choice altered her own fate. It’s not until after meeting Jet, a sapphire-eyed dead boy, Rowan begins to learn of her new destiny as becoming her mother’s replacement for something she never knew existed. 
First of all, the font seems very plain to me and way too big. Maybe a different color would have worked better. The white stands out but I am not so sure that it is in a good way. I do like that it is kind of faded though, it is a cool addition. 

The picture itself is beautiful, the muted colors really speak of a desolation and loneliness. The field she is standing in is empty, isolated and very much emphasizes the 'alone' theme. The birds circling around seem ominous to me, like the carrion birds just looking for their next meal. They might be crows which are a symbol of death in some cultures...I don't know. To be honest though, I hate birds. One of my big phobias and I know nothing about them. They frighten me. It could be a parakeet and it would still terrify me. Birds are scary. 

The other obvious thing on this is the way the girl is dressed. If I had not just read the blurb, I would think maybe this is a steampunk novel of some sort. I want to know why this girl is dressed like this! She's so skinny and her clothing is so out of date. I don't know how this relates to the story at all. I don't get it. Is it because there is a dead boy involved in the story? Is he from this era? No clue. What it all comes down to though is that the cover is strikingly, hauntingly beautiful and I like it a lot. 

The next book I chose is Betrayal by Mayandree Michel. 

Where there is love and power, there is always... betrayal. 
 At seventeen, Cordelia is an ordinary teen with an extraordinary and frightening secret. A secret that induces vivid dreams which she not only experiences true love, but crippling fear while barely escaping with her life each night. After a life altering event, Cordelia has an unexpected encounter with Evan, the mysterious boy from her dreams, who reveals who and what she is, a descendant of the Greek gods. At that moment everything she knows of her world is a lie, and she must leave the present and go into the past to assume the role she was put on this earth for, safeguarding her ancient empire amidst evil forces that toil hastily to destroy it. In a race against time, Cordelia must decide if she is truly a part of this dangerous world, or risk defying the gods, and ultimately lose the boy who has put a claim on her heart.
So the thing that drew me in about this cover was the color palette. All the muted golds, yellows and creams just blend so well together. They are close in color but different and it makes the electricity that is coming out of her hands really pop out. I like the little bit of light filtering in from between the trees, the different shades of the leaves that are littering the ground. 

The clouds are beautiful, fluffy and covering the sky and making the building in the upper left stand out. It looks like the building is elevated, hanging out in the clouds like it is a magical, sort of hidden place. It's intriguing to me and it makes me want to know how the Greek gods entwine in the story. I want to know what kind of powers she has and how she got them, why they suddenly appeared. and how she will deal with them. 

Now, the things I don't like? I think the title and authors name blend too much into the background. Where as I thought the previous book's font and color were too stand out, this one kind of just gets lost in the gold tones of the cover. 

Both of these books I received for free from which was kind of exciting because sometimes the lower priced E-books don't have the most beautiful covers. Some of them, though, are extremely well done! I look forward to reading both of these!  

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It could happen tomorrow . . . 
An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.  
For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human. 
 Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.
I know I have said that I have been torn about my opinion on books before but this time, I am for real. Not that I wasn't for real before but...this book was just so strange to me. The basic plot line goes that this girl, Alex, is out in the woods trying to get some things straight in her head when she meets an older man and his granddaughter, along with their dog, Mina. Something crazy happens, their heads all start hurting and from there the world goes to hell in a hand basket. The book explains that it was a major electromagnetic pulse that is not only killing people but also making young people go crazy or "change". Basically they become psychotic zombies. Alex ends up meeting a soldier who is on leave from Afghanistan (he might have been a marine, I don't remember. He's an EOD tech though. Does the army have EOD's or is that a navy/marine thing? My husband is in the navy, I should know these things but I do not. I failed military wife 101.) and they band together.

Of course, sparks start to fly and I LOVED the interaction between Tom, Alex, Ellie (the granddaughter) and Mina. The are trying to make their way to safety, civilization, anything that will explain what is going. I liked the relationship building between Alex and Tom, I like all the crazy theories and the adventure of it all. I do have to warn that this book can be extremely gory in parts. For example, there was one mention of someone popping out another persons eyeball and eating it like a gumdrop or something to that affect. Yeah. It was nasty. It really just added to the atmosphere and circumstance of what they were going through but it is not for the squeamish.

That being said, the beginning 60% or so of this book was a 5 star book easily. I loved it, I couldn't put it down and I flew through it like it was black tar heroine and I knew I was about to be on an episode of intervention.

So why, you ask, did I make this a four star book?

EVERYTHING changed! Suddenly, it is like a different story and I just got completely confused, overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time and I missed the first 60% so much! Suddenly there are crazy reverends and just so much stuff going on that I was completely lost. I don't want to go into detail and give anything away but I will just that the entire last 40% of the book was a giant sort of "wth?!" for me. It was still a good book, I definitely recommend it. Maybe someone else will get the last part of the book more clearly than I did. Maybe it will be your favorite part of the book! For me, it just didn't do it and I was disappointed. I will be reading the sequel when it comes it out to see if maybe it goes back to the way it was. I am holding onto hope!

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Shelf Candy Saturday!

It's that time again! Shelf Candy Saturday is hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews. If you haven't yet, make sure you check out their blog because it is amazing! The new layout is beautiful as well! The purpose of Shelf Candy Saturday is to display a book cover that you find unique/interesting/beautiful and tell why you like it! So without further ado....

This week I chose Watched by Sharde Richardson. Side note - how cool of a name is Sharde? Anyways, I haven't read this book so I can't give my opinion on the story but the cover makes me want to read it! Here is the goodreads blurb!

Mikayla doesn't want much: just to rock out to her favorite band, become the next Kwiki Stop video gaming champion, and keep her Q-tip habit under control. What she does want is the sight of the sudden inexplicable dark auras around everyone to stop. Problem is, those auras are demons and Mikayla is the last trait holder with the power to ban them. Which is a total buzz kill.
 To make matters worse, the town folk of Sulphur Springs don't look the same, and her classmates are a little dark in the eyes. There are murders, suicides, reckless skinny-dipping, gratuitous use of Q-tips, and new found powers that Mikayla must learn to control.  Her past becomes present when a shape-shifter tells her what her true identity is, and how to keep the demons of Hell from nipping at her Converse. Through him she'll discover who to trust, who to kiss, and how valuable her abilities are to the right beings. Because the evils of Hell aren't staying down without a fight...
 Or without her soul.
So, that is that. I am not sure how I feel about the synopsis. A q-tip habit? Strange.  It sounds like a big old pile of supernatural creatures and that could be either a disaster or a really good read. Luckily, we aren't here to review the story! We are here to look at the cover which is beautiful so let's get to it! 

The first thing I notice is the red. The red in the title, the red in the girl's definitely stands out. It reminds me little red riding hood and I wonder if she is afraid of something. Her head is ducked down and her eyes on the ground with her hood pulled up, it's as if she is hiding from something. Either that or she is thinking heavily on something, pondering some sort of circumstance. Maybe it is q-tips, who knows? That is the fun though, it keeps you guessing. 

The girl, on her own, is gorgeous. She looks young but I can't decide if she looks innocent or a little dangerous which is interesting in its own. She has a mix of both of aspects, a hint of nervous uncertainty and a hint of innocence. The red makes you think danger though, along with her dark hair and the make up and all. It makes me want to know more about her character, if she will fit the image of the girl on the cover. There are trees in the background, if you look closely you can see the leaves. I am not sure if it is raining or those are little sun spots but either way, it is beautiful. I think I would like to believe it is raining but with the sun shining through at the top. It gives the feel of a storm but the hope of it clearing up and the light shining through again. 

My absolute favor part of the cover there is the title. The font is beautiful and if you look closely, you can see that it is shadowed so the word is actually on there twice. Like the title in the front is being watched by the hints of the title behind it. I am not sure that even makes sense but it's the way I see it. Not only that but right at the top, in the middle of the "W" is a little red bird. He's just hanging out there in a sort of an ominous fashion, watching everything that is going on. Is there a bird in the story or is he just there to add to the cover? 

And that is my Shelf Candy Saturday! Looking forward to seeing all the other beautiful covers that will be posted!! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Booking Through Thursday

Booking through Thursday is a lovely meme hosted by BBT2. Every Thursday they pose a question for us to answer! Let's jump right into this weeks question!

Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character? Who and what about them did you love?

Well, that is just a loaded question. Who haven't I loved?! I tend to fall in love with characters pretty easily. Some I love more than others but probably 7 out of 10 male leads in books I read, I fall in love with. Maybe 8 of 10 even. I don't even know where to start but I will give it a shot! 

Ren from Tiger's Curse
Ren started out being a little unsure and even a little shy. I loved the way his character developed through out the series. By the last book that was published, he had turned confident, adamant, had a bit of an attitude and a biting sense of humor. I am a sucker for a biting sense of humor. Smart ass boys do something crazy to me that probably isn't healthy. Plus, he isn't your standard American boy next door which was intriguing to me and he speaks a different language! That's sexy. 

Travis from Beautiful Disaster
Oh, Travis. You are a hot dysfunctional mess.  I don't know how else to explain him. He is the boy that your mother would have a heart attack over and your daddy (if you are from the south like me) might shoot on the front porch and not feel badly about it in the least. He has a temper, he says horrible things when he is drinking, he doesn't think out his actions before he performs them...he yells, he curses, he's a sinner  but he's also this amazing, passionate, intense, emotional man. I fell in love with Travis because he is the bad boy that all girls dream about but most girls know better than to fall in love with. 

Beau from The Vincent Boys
Beau is a Southern Rock Bad Ass. Yes, that did need to be all capitalized because it is a title that isn't easy to earn. He had swagger and sexiness just oozed off of him.  He's a country boy at heart, a bit of a drinker but with an emotional, tender side and a sense of honor to boot. He's got this vulnerability about him that is hard to resist. 

Po from Graceling
“I know you don't want this, Katsa. But I can't help myself. The moment you came barreling into my life I was lost. I'm afraid to tell you what I wish for, for fear you'll... oh, I don't know, throw me into the fire. Or more likely, refuse me. Or worst of all, despise me," he said, his voice breaking and his eyes dropping from her face. His face dropping into his hands. "I love you," he said. "You're more dear to my heart than I ever knew anyone could be. And I've made you cry; and there I'll stop.” 
That is why I love Po. Po is amazing. Absolutely amazing. He is completely okay with Katsa  being able to kick his ass, he encourages her to be as good as she can be. He accepts who she is and what she wants out of life and yet he pushes her to challenge herself constantly. He's attentive and yet doesn't lose himself in loving her which drives me nuts in some books. He is not ashamed to show his vulnerability or his feelings and he has a beautiful way of
speaking. He's always mischievous, a smart ass,  and definitely bad ass in his own way.

T.J from On the Island
One of the main reasons I fell in love with T.J was because of the way he grew throughout the book. If you haven't read On the Island yet, I highly recommend it. It's different and the characters do have a rather intimidating age difference but because of the circumstances in the book, I barely even noticed the age thing. T.J goes from a teenager to a man in this book and the way he copes with the situation, matures and grows up to be an incredible, responsible, amazing person just blew me away. He was so real. He wasn't a super hero or this sexy bad ass (as much as I love them!) he was a person with feelings and concerns and insecurities and we get to see them all and how he overcomes and deals with everything life tosses at him. The epilogue in this book, centering around T.J. only clinched me being in love with him and was probably the best epilogue I have ever read.