Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog Tour - The Bodies We Wear by Review and Giveaway

  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/23/2014
  • Source: Copy provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

A streetwise girl trains to take on a gang of drug dealers and avenge her best friend’s death in this thriller for fans of Scott Westerfeld and Robin Wasserman.

People say when you take Heam, your body momentarily dies and you catch a glimpse of heaven. Faye was only eleven when dealers forced Heam on her and her best friend, Christian. But Faye didn’t glimpse heaven—she saw hell. And Christian died.

Now Faye spends her days hiding her secret from the kids at school, and her nights training to take revenge on the men who destroyed her life and murdered her best friend. But life never goes the way we think it will. When a mysterious young man named Chael appears, Faye's plan suddenly gets a lot more complicated. Chael seems to know everything about her, including her past. But too many secrets start tearing her world apart: trouble at school, with the police, and with the people she thought might be her friends. Even Gazer, her guardian, fears she's become too obsessed with vengeance. Love and death. Will Faye overcome her desires, or will her quest for revenge consume her?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20342549-the-bodies-we-wear?ac=1

My Thoughts

This book was quite a surprise with it's depth and subject matter. Yes, from the blurb it is obvious that it is about addiction, but this was so much more than that. This was a great story with a touch of paranormal that was gritty and dark. The main character was a bit difficult to like, but impossible not to. She has had a crap hand in life and is still living the nightmare. What she doesn't realize is that she doesn't have to. She struggles with hate and revenge, but also fights off her will to live a life that she can be happy in. All of it due to one horrible night when she was still just a child. The secondary characters add so much to this book as well.

I will start with Faye since she is the MC. She is so consumed with getting revenge on the people who forced Heam on her and killed her best friend that that is the only thing she really lives for. She trains hard and is set on destroying those who destroyed her. She lives in a time where Heam addicts are the scum of the earth. Once an addict, always an addict right? No matter how hard she tries to prove herself, she thinks that this will be her life until she dies. No future to look forward to. All she wants is to be normal, but she thinks with her scars and history there is no way that is possible. It hurt to see her with such a grim outlook, but it was easy to understand why. I felt bad for her and I wanted her to see what she was worth.

Then we have Chael. He is mysterious and a it creepy. I mean like stalker creepy. Also the fact that he knows everything about Faye. It didn't take long to figure out his secret, but once it's actually revealed, I loved how he helped Faye learn to let go a little bit. He irritated me at times, but his intentions were always good, so I can let it slide. He was a major factor in the story in how things end up in the end and I loved the story arc between him and Faye.

This book was fantastic at giving a good background on things without it being a total info dump. We learn things in pieces woven into the storyline. I loved how at the end of the book it's not just an easy finish either. Things aren't rushed and the outcome isn't completely resolved, but it's satisfying. There was plenty of action, some humor, and underlying emotion to keep me interested from start to finish. The character development was fantastic and the story itself is deep. This book may have a touch of romance, but it's very somber for the most part. The subject matter is serious so the tone was perfect for this. I really enjoyed this book and hope that many people pick this up.


*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

JEYN ROBERTS is the author of Dark Inside and Rage Within. Her first story was published in a middle-grade anthology called Let Me Tell You when she was sixteen. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in writing and psychology and received her MA from the prestigious creative-writing graduate course at Bath Spa University. Jeyn is a former singer, songwriter, actress, bicycle courier, and tree planter. Her favorite authors include Betty Smith, J. K. Rowling, Ernest Hemingway, Douglas Coupland, and Jonathan Stroud, and her five favorite books of all time are A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Girlfriend in a Coma, Memoirs of a Geisha, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and Harry Potter. Jeyn lives in Canada. Visit her at www.jeynroberts.com or follow her on twitter at @JeynRoberts.  

Giveaway

2 copies of The Bodies We Wear
US/Canada only
These books will be sent to you by the publisher. I will only use your information to pass onto them and will then delete it.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Review: Bleed Like Me by C. Desir

  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 10/7/2014
  • Source: eArc provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

From the author of Fault Line comes an edgy and heartbreaking novel about two self-destructive teens in a Sid and Nancy-like romance full of passion, chaos, and dyed hair.

Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon (just "Gannon" to her friends) is invisible to almost everyone in her life. To her parents, to her teachers-even her best friend, who is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding. Some days the only way Gannon knows she is real is by carving bloody lines into the flesh of her stomach.

Then she meets Michael Brooks, and for the first time, she feels like she is being seen to the core of her being. Obnoxious, controlling, damaged, and addictive, he inserts himself into her life until all her scars are exposed. Each moment together is a passionate, painful relief.

But as the relationship deepens, Gannon starts to feel as if she's standing at the foot of a dam about to burst. She's given up everything and everyone in her life for him, but somehow nothing is enough for Brooks-until he poses the ultimate test.

Bleed Like Me is a piercing, intimate portrayal of the danger of a love so obsessive it becomes its own biggest threat.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17335930-bleed-like-me?ac=1

My Thoughts

I will start off by saying that this book was a bit disturbing. In a sad way. It's obvious that this book is about self destructive behavior, but it run deep. I found myself so angry with Gannon's parents because honestly, to me, most of the fault of the things that happen fall on them. I hurt for Gannon. I really did feel bad for Gannon, but I couldn't make myself like him. He was totally creepy no matter how sweet he could be at times. I will get back to that when I talk about their relationship though. I despised her parents because they really pretty much failed at being good parents. Harsh I know, but if you read it I think you will agree.  

Gannon is a very hurt girl. She lives in chaos and tries to be invisible. Her parents are to frazzled and busy with her three adopted brothers so she gets ignored or is expected to do more than she should have to. To escape the pain of not feeling loved, and the pressures of her family, she cuts to feel something. Relief or a release of stress. She knows it's wrong, but it's one of the only things that makes her feel better. When she meets Brooks, she quickly becomes obsessed with how she feels with him. It's sad that she is down such a destructive path, but there is nobody there to help her, to hear her, to treat her the way she deserves. Not that Brooks doesn't care, but he is even worse off than she is. Okay, so she does have a few people who care, but they want what is best for her and she doesn't see that. She feels like they are intruding and have no right to.

The relationship between her and Brooks is like nails on a chalkboard. Right away before they even know each other he acts possessive of her. Then when they do actually become an item, it's even worse. He is sweet to her, but in a creepy and controlling way. He is just as obsessed with her as she is with him,  probably more. He makes her feel bad if he doesn't come first to her at all times, but then will apologize and say he gets like that because he loves her and needs her. It's a very unhealthy relationship. They both know that they can't continue the way things are, but keep holding on to the thought that all they need is each other.

This book is tragic in so many ways. The lack of parenting, the downward spiral the characters are on, and the way things end up. This is not a story with a happily ever after. It's a realistic story about issues that many people go through. The ending shows that there is still a long road ahead. This was hard to read at times because of the situations that happen. I never felt a character connection, but I was still able to get the emotional impact from the story. If you like gritty issue books, this is definitely one to read.


* An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: The Mesmerized by Rhiannon Frater

  • Publisher: Permuted Platinum
  • Publication date: 9/30/2014
  • Source: eARC provided by the author for Beta read/review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

It is silence, not screams of terror, which proclaims the end of the world…

Minji Nordim is vacationing in Las Vegas with her small family when she witnesses the beginning of a terrifying apocalypse. When humanity is transformed into mindless drones by a terrifying supernatural event only Minji appears to be immune.

Thousands die instantly, but the other affected people are drawn to the Nevada desert. Nothing stands in the way of the mesmerized. Not fire, not heights, not rubble. As the bodies pile in the streets and the relentless wave of the mesmerized plods into the deadly desert, Minji is trapped in a burning city attempting to rescue her affected family.
Can one woman save her family and the world?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20348749-the-mesmerized?from_search=true

My Thoughts

This book was unique and amazing!! Rhiannon Frater never fails to give me the chills and an engaging story that is impossible to put down. When I first started the book, I was so confused at what was going on, but in a good way. Was it zombies? Aliens? Government conspiracy? All of those things? Seriously, I was totally intrigued from the first few pages and it was an exciting and at times terrifying adventure through to the last page. I admit, I read this a while back so I don't remember a lot of the details, but it is a story that will stick with you and I remember all of the important things that make this book super awesome!

Minji is on a family vacation in Vegas when this crazy apocalypse hits. Her husband and child are all of the sudden in some sort of trance and she doesn't know what to do or how to save them. She just knows that she has to do something. But first, she needs to keep herself alive. It's terrifying seeing hordes of people just mindlessly walking towards something, not caring about balconies or walls, or anything that is in their path. She comes across a few other immune people, but most are scared and unhelpful. She is tough and strong and goes through way more than most people could handle. I really loved her character.

This is full of suspense and tension that keeps you needing to read on to see what is going to happen next. The whole atmosphere is so creepy and chilling. Especially The Mesmerized as they are called. The behaviors of them, as well as the immune people sent shivers up my spine. You could feel the desperation of everyone and everything. As things unfold it just makes it more intense. I can't really say much more without spoiling anything. This was such an amazing read that I recommend to everyone! It is not a YA, but I believe people of all ages will really enjoy this book. Of course, beware of language and violence. It is a horror novel.  Books like this cement my love for Rhiannon Frater and are the reason I keep coming back for more and more.



*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 10/7/2014
  • Pages: 240
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

In her most powerful novel yet, Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin tells the story of girl with mental/emotional challenges and the dog she loves.

Rose Howard has OCD, Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter.
Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.

Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20575434-rain-reign?ac=1




My Thoughts

This book was so sad, but very touching at the same time. I loved Rose, Rain, and her Uncle. I wanted to hug Rose and let her know how special and wonderful she was. I wanted to tell her Uncle that he was the best. I loved how Rain was such a positive part of her life that was so lonely and hard. This book explores how misunderstood Autism is, and how children in general are misunderstood. This is an eye opening, heartbreaking story about a little girl who has a huge heart, and a large amount of courage.

Rose has Asperger's which makes her different from the other kids in her class. She has always had trouble in school because of her outbursts and behavioral issues. She is very smart, and has a big heart, but she always feels alone. The kids in her class don't really talk to her, but she doesn't really talk to them either. She struggles with basic conversation. At home, her father is either working or at the bar. She does all of the cooking and cleaning, and she takes super good care of Rain, the dog her dad brought home for her one night. When Rain goes missing, the only thing that kept her happy and occupied is gone. While trying to find her dearest friend, she discovers that Rain actually belongs to someone else.

This was such an uplifting story, even while being heart breaking. It was focused on Rose and Rain, but it also dives into her everyday life, living with mental disorders, and what caring and family really is all about. This young girl, who is not normal or average, confronts things that most people would have a hard time with head on. She is brave, thoughtful, and very special. She may get easily overwhelmed, or have meltdowns, but she is just the same as every person inside. Actually, better than most. She will do what is right, even if it seems like it's horrible or hurts at the moment. This book shows that just because you are different, doesn't make you any less of a person. This story really touched me, and I think it's a must read for all young people, and older people too. 


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Pages: 432
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

A powerful story of a girl who is afraid to touch another person’s skin, until the boy auditioning for Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.

Caddie can’t stop thinking that if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, her parents might get back together... which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin.

It seems harmless at first, but Caddie’s obsession soon threatens her ambitions as an actress. She desperately wants to play Ophelia in her school’s production of Hamlet. But that would mean touching Peter, who’s auditioning for the title role—and kissing him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn't sure she's brave enough to let herself fall.

Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, this debut novel from Rachel M. Wilson is a moving story of a talented girl who's fighting an increasingly severe anxiety disorder, and the friends and family who stand by her.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22605745-don-t-touch

My Thoughts

This book!! I loved it. There are a lot of books out there that tackle different types of mental illness, but the way this one was done was so incredible. It's actually a bit scary to think about, but I saw myself in a lot of the things that Caddie would think or do. I am such a germaphobe that I sometimes realize that it really affects things that I should be able to enjoy. I get a little too overprotective with my daughter with things she touches, and with sanitizing and washing her hands. Unlike Caddie though, I can stop it... for the most part. Caddie isn't afraid of touch because of a germ phobia like me though. She has made up this thing in her head that her dad will come back if she doesn't touch, or let herself be touched. She even adds to the "rules" she has made for herself so she won't fail. It was really heartbreaking to read how her whole entire life has been affected by this.

Caddie, like you read above can't let herself be touched or touch anyone else. She thinks that if she lets someone touch her skin, her father will never come back. Her own rules she has made up in her mind are like superstitions times a million. She has been accepted into this great school for the arts, and she is making friends and fitting in pretty well. She thinks that she is hiding her phobia okay, but it's obvious that people around her notice it. There is also the fact that she has gotten the leading role in the school play and she is supposed to kiss Peter, who is playing Hamlet. She goes out of her way to find a way to alter the play so they will not have to touch, but she secretly wishes that it would just happen. She doesn't want it to be her fault if her dad doesn't come back, but then she won't have to worry about the no touching thing anymore. 

The romance was really great in this. Since Caddie is so has her no touching thing, it makes it interesting. Her and Peter and so great, and he is just awesome with her. He may not understand things at first, but he knows something is off. He is willing to give her the time that she needs. He is a bit hot and cold, but that's understandable. The vibes she throws off are quite confusing. I really loved how it all comes together though, and I thought the chemistry between them was amazing.

This book was hard to read at times. Not because it was slow or bad, but because of the torment that Caddie is going through. Yes, it's self inflicted, but mentally she can't help it. It made me feel so awful that it was so hard for her, and that she was afraid to get help. Afraid to let anyone in or get too close. She has a lot of fear swimming around in her brain and it was sad at times. I really felt for her. I do think that the ending came a little too easily, but it wasn't a bad thing. I felt like after everything that it was just a bit too simple is all. Not that it was a tidy package tied up with a bow either. I really enjoyed this book, and I love that more and more books are tackling different types of mental illnesses and issues. These are the types of books that are great for kids in school to be reading. And of course any other book lover. I am eager to read more of this authors work in the future.


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blog Tour: Made for You by Melissa Marr - Review and Tour Giveaway

http://xpressobooktours.com/2014/07/14/tour-sign-up-made-for-you-by-melissa-marr/

Hello!! Welcome to my stop on the Made for You Blog Tour! I have my review and tour giveaway for you. This tour was organized by the awesome Xpresso Book Tours. For the full tour schedule, click on the banner above to be taken to the tour page. 

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/16/2014
  • Source: eARC provided by Xpresso Book Tours via publisher for review/tour
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | The Book Depository

Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20419003-made-for-you?ac=1

My Thoughts

This book was a mix of obsession, mystery, and romance, as the book description states. What you don't get from the synopsis is, it's rooted in mental illness. It never actually talks about that, but really, there is something majorly wrong with the killers mind, and that is what causes all of the killings and crazy antics in this book. This is definitely a thriller novel, but I didn't find the mystery too hard to figure out. It's revealed quite early anyways, but it didn't take much sleuthing to discover it first on my own. Even with knowing, it was still an enjoyable story.

Eva lives in a small town where social status and family pedigree still means pretty much everything. If you are from a well known, well off family, you should only associate with people of the same status. When it comes to dating, it's pretty much almost like going back to the days of arranged marriages. Of course, with all of that, there is also the way the town is. People don't get murdered. It's a safe and quiet town where mannerisms are one of the most important things.

Eva is one of the Elite crowd. One of the important people of the town by her heritage. She is dating one of the acceptable guys and things are pretty good. That is until she almost gets killed when she's hit by a car. Now she is a broken mangled mess, and on top of that, it's no accident that she was hit.Oh, and the fact that she can see people's deaths before they happen. Now, there is someone after her friends too and she needs to find out who. I really liked Eva because even though she is one of the top families in town, she's not stuck up or thinks she's better than anyone. Sadly, I don't think that she would have actually done some of the things she did if she hadn't had her accident, but we'll ignore that fact. She is a good person, and really cares about others. She will do anything she can to make sure nobody else gets hurt or killed. Even at risk to herself.

There is romance in this, but I did like it. I thought that it was sweet and fit into the story perfectly. It also gives more to the storyline of the crazy person who is taking people out trying to send Eva a message. I thought that Eva and Nate were a great couple, and even though they had their issues in the past, I was glad to see them move past it. In fact, Nate was one of my favorite parts of this book.

There is a lot of religion in this, but not in a preachy way. The murderer thinks that God is the one showing them the way. To them, it's what God wants, and everything that he does is teaching a lesson to Eva so that she can see the truth. It was all very creepy and gave me chills at how deep the obsession and delusions were. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was a great story and it was paced perfectly. It didn't rush through things, but it was fast enough to keep my wandering mind interested. I wouldn't call it southern gothic as the synopsis suggests, but it was a great thriller with a dose of sweet romance and creep factor. I have not read any of Marr's other books, but after reading this, I really want to check out more of her books.


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.



AUTHOR BIO

Hmm, I’m never good at the bio bit. I used to teach college & bartend, now I write novels. I love to meet new people, to hear their stories, to walk through new streets and see new vistas. I enjoy art in all its guises–graffiti, surrealist paintings, classic sculptures, tattoos, interesting buildings, Renoir, photography . . . Art & nature, they feed my soul & thus my muse.

Author links:

Tour Giveaway

  • All 5 of Melissa's Wicked Lovely books (paperback), 
  • The Desert Tale - Wicked Lovely companion book (paperback),  
  • A hardcover copy of Made For You

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This post is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours
 
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman

  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • Publication date: 9/9/2014
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.

When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20702025-winterkill?ac=1

My Thoughts

This book reminds me a lot of the movie The Village. A group of people living inside a settlement, fearing the creature outside the walls that killed half of them off generations ago.They must all follow the rules of The Settlement or they will face punishment. Emmeline comes from a family that has a history of Waywardness and she is known as Stained. She is now of age so she is eligible for Binding. She has a history of Waywardness herself, and she can't seem to stop herself from breaking the rules. She knows that there is something else going on and is determined to find out what, but she fears the only way to do that is to accept marriage to the leader. She is in love with another, but her plan is too important, and she knows that it's her only chance.

Emmaline is a tough and smart girl. She loves exploring and collecting items that were left behind by The Lost Ones. She doesn't try to break the rules of the settlement, but her curiosity gets the best of her. She wants to know what is beyond, and what secrets are being kept. She helps the village healer with collecting herbs and other needed supplies, and that gives her a good opportunity to explore. When she catches the eye of Kane, things get more complicated. She is falling for him, but has agreed to Bind with the settlement leader. I wouldn't really call it a love triangle, since she is obviously not interested in the leader. I thought that she made some really bad choices, but her heart was in the right place with discovering what was really going on.

This was a pretty slow moving story, and it really focused on the feel of the story. We get to see the way they are used to living, and how tight the rules are to "keep everyone safe". It's all an elaborate hoax to keep those living there in fear of leaving and trying to see if there is anything else out there. Anyone who gets too close to finding the truth is in danger from within, not from any outside source.  I would have liked a bit more history about how the village came to be, but that's okay.

I enjoyed this book overall, but I thought that there was too much focus on the romance and it took away from the story a bit. I understand that it tied certain things together, but I don't think we needed so much time with it. I also wish we had gotten to know the society as a whole a little bit better than we did. We get the general idea, but it's more just snippets. I think that a little more focus on that, and on interactions between people would have rounded out the story much better. The idea of this was not original, but I thought that it was a good book, and executed pretty well. I think it's a book that many will enjoy.  


*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.