Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: Nomad by J.L. Bryan

  • Publisher: JLBryanbooks.com
  • Publication date: 7/22/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the author for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

A new dystopian novel from the author of Jenny Pox - coming July 26.

They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.

By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.

My Thoughts

As burned out from dystopians I am, I am a fan of this author and of course wanted to read his latest book. Also, add in the time travel which always intrigues me and I was excited! This was really great. I loved the time travel aspect of it and how even though it's set in 2013 mostly, that is the past for Raven. It was also easy to follow and not confusing at all. Raven was a very strong MC, but more than that, I loved her values and what was really important to her in the end, no matter what has happened. This story was engaging in every way. The characters, the settings, and the plot were all done very well. Oh, and the opening chapter is just awesome and sucks you in immediately.

Raven is all of the sudden in 2013 and doesn't remember how or why she is there. She doesn't really remember anything in fact except for her name. She discovers her history pretty quickly though, and then things get even more interesting. She is there to kill the future dictator who is currently just a young guy at college. He isn't corrupt yet. At first, she is going to just do the job and be done with it, but then she thinks maybe she can change things, save him, save the future. She gets close, much closer than she initially meant to get. She keeps telling herself it's for the mission and she will do what she has to, but you can see that she is slowly starting to really care for him.

Logan was someone who I pretty much liked almost instantly. He isn't an evil dictator yet when we meet him in the book. In fact, he is a really nice guy, he does a lot of clubs and sports, and he is very social. He treats Raven so great, and I really liked them together. So I don't risk giving away any of the book, let me just say that Logan was just an awesome guy overall, and he had a good head on his shoulders. He doesn't want to be told how to live his life, and he refuses to let Raven go.

I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, entertaining, and easy to follow. The characters were awesome to me and I loved the futuristic and time travel elements. My only issue was that at times I felt it was a bit slow, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment at all. There was plenty of action that the slower parts were good for a bit of a breather. I would have liked a little more character development during the slower parts too, but overall I really did love the characters. With so many dystopians out there, it's hard to stand out, but this one does.




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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Audiobook Review: Tidal by Emily Snow

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuser Audio
  • Publication date: 6/4/2013
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Read by: Elizabeth Louise
  • Length: 7 hours 23 minutes
  • Source: Digital audiobook provided by the publisher for review.
 Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N | Simon & Schuster 

From New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Emily Snow: Hollywood starlet Willow Avery is out of rehab, with only one chance left to redeem herself before she’s officially on every director’s blacklist……At least, that’s what her parents and her agent are claiming. She doesn’t really give a damn if she never makes another movie—she just wants to get on with her life, get back to her friends, and find her next escape. But Willow is broke. And whether she likes it or not, acting is the only job she knows how to do.



When she accepts the lead in a beach drama, set in Hawaii, Willow meets Cooper, the gorgeous Australian surfer who’s been hired to train her for her new role. With the bluest eyes she’s ever seen and the sexiest accent she’s ever heard, Cooper’s different from the men she’s used to. He doesn’t want to use her. And he refuses to let her fail.



But when an old friend re-enters Willow’s life—a friend whose toxic presence reminds her of the painful memories and deadly habits she’s tried so hard to suppress—Willow will have to choose between the girl she was and the person she’s becoming…or she may lose the man she’s starting to love
 

My Thoughts

Going into this, I was pretty confident I would like it. It sounded like a great story. A bit typical to New Adult, but still interesting. It was very raw and emotional and I really loved that aspect of it. Yes, it has the Hot guy, insecure girl thing going on to an extent, but they are both much more damaged than you would think upon first meeting them. I loved how it wasn't like an instant romance either. The characters got to know each other, they were well developed, and they were good for each other. I did guess the secret that Willow was hiding pretty early on, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story. I wanted to know how it would come out. That along with some other big secrets that both of them were keeping made for an amazing story about learning to heal yourself.

Willow was not a very easy character to connect to, but I was able to really feel for her. She's lived a pretty messed up life being an actress from an early age. Every mistake she's made has been right out there for the media to see. All the partying, the drugs, the rehab. Basically everything that has destroyed her. What hasn't been in the public is the one major secret she is hiding that makes her want to lose herself in the oblivion that drugs bring. She is an extremely broken person. Yes, she's been to rehab and back, she's still working in Hollywood, but the lack of her parents respect and affection, plus every aspect of her life being controlled for her isn't helping her to get better. That's where Cooper comes in. She really does struggle, but I like that it wasn't simple. She does have set backs, but she learns and grows from them.

Cooper is just awesome!! He makes it clear that she is what he wants, but only when she is ready. He doesn't want to screw things up with her. He has his own secrets too. He's broken, but in a different way. He really does care about her, and she isn't just some fling to him. He wants to help her get where she needs to be mentally. He won't push her or force her to tell her about her past. He wants her to open up willingly and trust him. The secrets he has aren't anything that he thinks really would affect her, and some of it is stuff that he doesn't intentionally hide, but he doesn't come right out and tell her. Even when she messes up, he doesn't turn on her like everyone else in her life has, but he is there more. He stands by her through everything that she is struggling with, even when it directly affects him in a negative way. He feels like as long as they care for each other, they can get through whatever life throws at them, whether it's their broken pasts, or what the future might hold. I absolutely loved Cooper!!

The romance was done really well. It progressed slowly and seemed very real to me. It wasn't easy, and that's why it worked. They were fighting a constant battle with themselves and outside influences. Willow is scared to be hurt again like she has been in the past, and Cooper doesn't want her to think that he is just using her. They need to learn to trust each other and to not be afraid.

The narrator for the audio captured Willows voice very well. I could really feel the emotion of the things she was going through. I wanted to comfort her, I wanted to help her not fall again. She also did Cooper very well too. The accent came through great. It was easy to tell the character's dialogue from one another. I have listened to books done by this narrator before and I really like her.

Overall, the story, the characters, and the audio were fantastic. Not only are Willow and Cooper well developed, but the other characters as well. You really get a feel for them and how they affect both Willow and Coopers lives. I thought that how all the secrets came out was done really well too. It was an emotional, gradual work up to everything. By the time some things are discovered by the other, they already are falling for each other. Even when things seem really bad, they communicate. Everything isn't all tidy and that was what was enjoyable about it. I also thought that the sexy times were really great too. Not too drawn out or too often like some other books tend to do. The author had a great balance and it was a wonderful book!!


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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (64)

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews
Hi everyone!! Hope you all had a great week. It's been a busy week for me with the new puppy and all. He's really good, but he does take up a lot of time. And also, I had recorded a vlog, but it was so freaking out of sync that I couldn't even try to post it. I re-recorded it so hopefully this time it worked. 


Books Mentioned

Review
  • The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
  • White Space by Ilsa J. Bick
  • Pinkalicious Picture Book Audio Collection by Victoria Kann
  • Fancy Nancy 6 Stories (audio) by Jane O' Connor
(couldn't find the links to Pinkalicious or Fancy Nancy on Goodreads)

Won
 Bought
Thank you to Egmont, Edelweiss, Harper Audio, Rockstar Book Tours, and Mary Lindsey!

I didn't have time to do the weekly recap and search terms because my mom and sister came up to visit. (They brought Lobster and cookies though, so it's all good) Also, with the puppy I am still having trouble getting a lot of reading and blogging time in. I will have a full post next week. Promise!! Leave me a link and I will visit back.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry - Random Things About Me!!


Hello!! So after seeing posts about random facts from authors and stuff, we thought it would be fun for us to do some fun facts! I am kind of weird, so you have been warned. On second thought, I forgot all the odd things that I was going to list. Oh well.


  • I am extremely claustrophobic. Like really, really. I even freak out if I am in the shower for more than 5 minutes. I take baths most of the time to shave and whatever, then shower to wash my hair and body. Okay, perhaps TMI. 
  • I have a huge fear of bridges. Any bridge. It can be over water, land, railroad tracks, anything. Doesn't matter. I don't like them, and I will actually go out of my way to avoid them if I can. 
  • Tunnels terrify me. That probably goes with my claustrophobia. The most terrifying bridge tunnel ever is The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. My parents used to drive that way every time we went down the east coast and I would be in the back seat freaking out and having a full blown anxiety attack.
  • I love to sing. I used to do karaoke every Friday night. 
  • I love country music. I like mostly all music, but country is one of my favorites. Not that pop country shit though. (I do like some of it, but not much.)
  • I used to be a gymnast and can still do some things. 
  • I was a cheerleader, but hated cheering for games. I did it for the competitions. Those are intense and awesome!
  • My hubs asked me to marry him on a whim, and I didn't believe him so I went and bought a cheap ring and told him if he was serious to put it on my finger. He did, and also got me a different ring since he didn't want me wearing a cheap ring I bought myself. 
  • I am really lactose intolerant. Even the pills do nothing for me. I actually think I might be allergic to dairy and not just intolerant. I can't use lactaid milk. I can only use coconut milk, or almond milk.
  • I almost drown when I was a kid when someone threw me into a pool. I still don't really like pools that much, or any deep water for that matter. I get all panicky if I can't see the bottom or touch. 
  • I can say the alphabet backwards as easily as I can say it forward. 
  • I am afraid of the dark. Especially windows at night with no curtains. I will avoid a room if there is an open window. 
  • I also have a fear of basements. Even finished ones. I just don't like them. I don't like being underground. 
  • I am ambidextrous, and while I usually write with my right hand, I do almost everything else left handed. (Golf, drink coffee, use a hair straightener...you get the point.
I suppose I should stop since these things aren't really that interesting anyways. Hope you all learned something new about me. 
  Don't forget to leave topic suggestions for us!! :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Audiobook Review: Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 7/12/13 (audio) 6/18/2013 (ebook)
  • Series: Bane Chronicles Series  
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Read by: Andrew Scott
  • Length: 1 hour and 24 minutes
  • Source: Digital audiobook provided by the publisher for review.
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&NSimon & Schuster

Magnus Bane leverages his alliances with Downworlders and Shadowhunters on a venture to Victorian London. One of ten adventures in The Bane Chronicles.

When immortal warlock Magnus Bane attends preliminary peace talks between the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders in Victorian London, he is charmed by two very different people: the vampire Camille Belcourt and the young Shadowhunter, Edmund Herondale. Will winning hearts mean choosing sides?

This standalone e-only short story illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality populates the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series. This story in The Bane Chronicles, Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale, is written by Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare.

My Thoughts

I am really enjoying all of these stories about Magnus and learning more about his history. This one might have been my favorite story wise, but the audio didn't quite work for me like the previous two did. I just didn't feel like the reader did well distinguishing between some of the voices, but he did have a good reading voice that was clear and easy to listen to. If you have read The Infernal Devices, this book is where we get to know some of the characters that we have met, or been mentioned in that series.

Magnus meets not only Camille, in this, but Edmund Herondale. (Will's father) I loved getting to know the background story to how Magnus and Camille came to know each other. They don't jump into a relationship right away like is typical Magnus fashion though. I also loved getting to know Edmund before he left the Shadowhunters. Not that we really knew him after, we have only heard things of him. We even get a sneak peak at a very young Charlotte Branwell!! This is where we see some of the other parts of Magnus. Especially towards the end of this installment.

We are now into a time period where we are seeing many more familiar characters, so we are not only getting to know of the adventures of Magnus better, but we are getting to know some characters that I know I have been interested in knowing more about. The only reason why this lost a star from me, is that I found that this reader sounded a lot different trying to do Magnus than the previous ones. Perhaps he isn't as good at adapting from one accent to another. He also did not do well at the female voices. It was still an enjoyable listening experience though. I loved this particular story and it gave more insight into things.






*An audiobook copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review. I did not receive any compensation.



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell

  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication date: 7/23/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N

In this suspenseful teen thriller with a touch of the otherworldly, perfect for fans of Neal Shusterman, a boy goes over a waterfall and wakes up to find himself in a twisted version of the life he knew.

A shadowy figure. An intense roar. The sensation of falling—fast.

That’s all Callum Harris remembers from his tumble over the waterfall. But when he wakes up in a hospital bed and finds his best friend trying to kill him, Callum knows something is seriously wrong. Unfortunately for him, the mysteries are just getting started.

Why are his parents acting like he’s some big sports star all of a sudden? And why are all the buildings in town more run-down than Callum remembers? Worst of all...what happened to Callum’s brother? Either Callum has gone seriously crazy or something happened when he went over the falls. Something impossible. Callum needs answers, and now. Because in this twisted new version of the life Callum knew, his former best friend isn’t the only one who wants to see him dead.

Filled with mind-bending suspense and unsettling thrills, Undercurrent is a grippingly paced teen debut that will pull you under and never let go.

My Thoughts

I love YA books told from a male POV. I really think there need to be more of them. Especially ones that the voice is so well done like this one was.I'm also really enjoying reading alternate reality/alternate universe books. This one was really great in that it was an alternate reality, but it was really focused on the one that Callum is in, and doesn't switch back and forth between them. I do tend to get a little confused trying to keep things straight so this was very refreshing for me. I also loved the mystery element of it all, even though I figured out what was happening pretty early.

The main character is Callum, and I really liked getting to know the real him (at least the one that we are currently in the head of). I also thought it was neat to get to know the alternate him who is totally different from who he is in his original reality. He is totally confused though. He wakes up in the hospital and soon discovers that things are very, very wrong. He has no clue what is going on, and slowly needs to figure things out. I thought that he made some really stupid decisions, but he managed. I liked that because he seemed very realistic to me. He messes up, he's insecure about things, he's scared. It makes me believe it more.

There's not really much more I can say about the story, but it was really great. There was a good mystery and thriller element to it, and even though it was alternate reality, it wasn't really focused on that except when it was important and necessary to the story. I also liked how it ended, and I hope that a sequel is made for it because I would love the story to continue. I thought that how we get Callum's memories from his other reality and then it goes into his current reality was done really well.It gives a well rounded story of how different Callum is in each one, and the reasons why he is. This was great!!


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

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 7-24-13

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine  to share what book you are highly anticipating the release of.

Hello loves!! OMG it's been forever since I have done one of these! There are ton of books that I am really looking forward to, but I just haven't felt like doing a WoW post. So this week my pick is The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain.

  • Publisher: Egmont
  • Publish Date: 03/11/14
Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

Okay, I know that it seems kind of like the cliche rich person school, new student whatever, but I am still interested. I seem to flock to books with this storyline and sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Really, the cover is just really awesome!

What are you waiting on? Leave me a link. :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Blog Tour: Pretty When She Destroys (Pretty When She Dies #3) by Rhiannon Frater - Review & Giveaway!


I am so excited to be kicking off the Pretty When She Destroys blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! I loved the first two books, and the novella, so it was only natural that I would have to read this one!


  • Publisher: Self Published
  • Publish Date: July 23rd, 2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the tour host for review/tour

Amaliya Vezorak always believed she was destined to live a failed life in obscurity until she was brutally murdered by an ancient vampire named The Summoner and reborn as a powerful vampire necromancer. Now it is up to her to save the world…


My Thoughts

Wow guys!! Talk about freaking intensely awesome!! Rhiannon Frater just has a way with her books. Through the story I have come to love the characters and the relationships they have with each other. This was full of twists, action, some good creepiness, and of course some humor. It had everything to keep me engaged and wanting to know how it all ended up. I also loved how Frater was able to factor in the Mayan Calendar/End of the World thing into the story too. I thought that was pretty fun and worked so well with the things going on.

Amaliya is in for the fight of her life in this. Except that the stakes are high and the world is in danger. She may very well be the only way to save it. Talk about high expectations right. The good thing is, she is out for revenge on The Summoner and is determined to not let anyone else die for her in this battle. She will do whatever she can to take him down for good. She has found happiness in her life and she will not let the summoner take that from her, and she won't let him take over the world. Amaliya has always been really tough, but in this she totally ups her bad a$$ factor. She's scary on a good day, but piss her off and she is terrifying!! My love for her really grew in this.

All of the rest of the characters were great too. I have loved Cian since the beginning and he has only gotten better for me. Also, I loved the relationship between Sam and Amaliya. Though they started off on a bad foot, they really came to care for and appreciate each other. I loved their very humorous affection toward one another too. I loved getting to know Cassandra and Aimee better too. They were some of my favorite characters to read about. The way that they all worked together and had different relationships with each other was fantastic. It was so real with how they would bicker, but still have that friendly affection. Even characters who don't get along knew that they needed to work together for the sake of humanity.

This series as a whole has been so amazing, and this last installment was a really great conclusion. Things were really messed up in this one, and we were thrown for quite a few loops. It was thrilling, creepy, gory, and fantastic!! Things were go, go, go in this. Just the way I like it. I was on the edge of the seat and holding my breath for the majority of this book. Since I was emotionally invested in the characters, everything that happened had such an impact on me. This is one author who is auto buy for me! Her characters and stories never fail to draw me in! Though I am sad to see this story come to an end, I will be looking forward to all of her other books!!



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

Other books in the series
Click on the covers to be taken to their Goodreads page.


About the author

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to rhiannonfrater@gmail.com.

Author Links: Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter


Giveaway for my tour stop

The complete Pretty When She Dies series (books 1,2, and 3) in Ebook (INT)

Just leave a comment and let me know you want to be entered. Leave a way for me to contact you. (email, or twitter)

Ends 7/29/13 11:59pm

Grand prize giveaway 

All 3 books in the series + vampire jewelery  - US/Canada only.


 a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours

Entangled Publishing Brazen Imprint One Year Anniversary!!



Brazen Books, who brought us Wrong Bed Right Guy, Officer Off Limits, Seducing Cinderella, and Tempting the Player - to name just a few - is turning 1 this month, and they’re celebrating in a big way. They’ve got a ton of great things going on this week, including Twitter parties, FB events, and even a huge sale!  Full deets below:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (63) With My New Puppy!!

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Hello everyone!! I'm so excited about my haul this week! The best thing of the whole bunch isn't even bookish, but totally epic.



Isn't he the cutest little guys ever?! His name is Lou and he's a 13 week old Pitbull puppy! He's the sweetest and is so snuggly. He thinks he's a lapdog actually, which is super cute now, but not so much when he gets bigger lol!! He's in my lap as I type this. :)




Books Mentioned

Review
  • Blackout by Robison Wells (Gifted by the Epic Reads Fairies)
  • Crush (Crash #3) by Nicole Williams (Gifted by the Epic Reads Fairies)
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (Audiobook)
  • Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth (Audiobook)
  • Perfect Lies (Mind Games #2) by Kiersten White (Edelweiss) 
  • The Liberator (#2) by Victoria Scott
  • The Lure by Lynne Ewing (Edelweiss)
Won/Gifted
Bought
Swag
  • This Song Will Save Your Life playlist (From Macmillan)
  • Shot Glass, Bottle Opener, Blow Pop, and Signed Book Plate (From Laurelin Paige)
Thanks so much to Epic Reads, Harper Audio, HarperTeen, Edelweiss,YA Bound Book Tours, Emily, Macmillan, and Laurelin Page!!

Weekly Recap:
Search Terms:
  • the collector playlist - Yes, I did do a playlist for the blog tour!!
  • origin by jennifer l armentrout - Eeep!! It's coming out soon!!
  • the collector book playlist - See first search term.
  • the dollhouse asylum - I am really looking forward to this book!!
  • jennifer l. armentrout orgin - See 2nd search term.
  • "amy reed" - I read Over You recently.
  • abandon by elana johnson reviews - I did review this! I liked it a lot.
  • abandon elana johnson free - It's called the library. Ugh!! These types of search terms make me angry.
That's my awesome week!! What did you get? Leave me your link and I will visit back!! Love ya!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry - My Non-Shelf Book Organization.


Hello everyone!!Welcome to another week of Book Girls!! This weeks our topic was how we organize shelves or reading piles. Something like that. This is a pretty fun topic, and I was actually going to do a vlog, but hubs was home because he just couldn't take working long days in the ridiculous heat we've been having. Seriously, the heat index has been over 100 the past few days!

Other Book Girls Posts

Giselle

So, I didn't do a vlog, but I did take a few pics. I admit, I do not have a bookshelf. Our living room is pretty small and my computer desk already takes up a bunch of space, so I store most of my books upstairs in a spare room... in plastic bins. I know!! I wish I could have all my pretties out on display, but hubs also thinks once you've read a book there's no use for it besides taking up space. He doesn't get it. He's not a reader. I do have the books I need to read (and want to read) stacked in a somewhat organized manner on my computer desk though.


These are books that I want to get to soon, ones I just read, unsolicited books that I want to try to get to, or ones that I just got in the mail that week that I need to put in my StS. This is the bottom of my computer desk. I'm sure that you can see all the wires lol! The ones I just read I need to put upstairs, and the ones I need to put in my StS will be organized accordingly after I do my vlog, but I like to have them easy to access.


These are my physical ARCs organized by date on my computer desk. Also random swag tucked in there and in front.


This is my computer desk.


 Now onto my bins that are upstairs. This one is finished copies that I still haven't read.


 This is signed books, whether ARC or finished copies.


 This is mostly collectables or whatever lol! I have all sorts of stuff in this bin. Mostly Harry Potter stuff.


 This is another bin of books. It was mostly all books I have read, but it's starting to get ones that I need to read still too.


I have a few other bins too, and books piled on top of bins, but this has been embarrassing enough, so I will wrap it up. Oh, I forgot to take a pic of my kindle, but I organize all my books in there by shelf. I have Blog Tour/Review, ARCs from Netgalley/Edelweiss, To Read Soon, Unread, and Read.

How do you organize your shelves and books you need to read? What do you think about my ridiculous set up? Let me know in the comments. Also, feel free to leave topic suggestions on the form in the Book Girls tab!

Love ya!!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Blog Tour: Enemy Within by Angeline Kace - Review, Character Interview, and Tour Giveaway!


Hello loves!! Today is my stop on the Enemy Within Blog Tour. I have an interview with Jaren and Mirko and my review along with a tour giveaway. I will have my review first, followed by my interview with the boys.

  • Publisher: Accendo Press LLC
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Series: Vampire Born , #2 
  • Source: eARC provided by the author for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Two guys who’ve stolen her heart.
Three races and only one of them worthy.
Countless enemies with insatiable bloodlust for power.
Will one girl's curse ultimately save her?


Half-vampire Brooke Keller barely survived the slaying of her worst enemy, only to learn that Zladislov—the world's most powerful vampire, leader of the vampire world, and her father—wants her dead. However, this time, she's not only fighting vampires but a raging monster within her that endangers what's left of her humanity. And when a deadly disease threatens to take her best friend's life, Brooke tries to convince Kaitlynn to accept a monster of her own: becoming a Zao Duh.

As a former slave to the Pijawikas, Mirko is driven to protect the innocent at all costs, but he has never faced a foe more formidable than Zladislov. And when the Commission bears down on Brooke, Mirko finds the stream of enemies runs deeper than he ever imagined.

My Thoughts

Well I thought I loved the first one, but wow, this was awesome!! With the way the last book ended I had been dying for this book. I easily fell right back into the world. I thought the first book was full of surprises and action, but this one steps it up. The stakes are higher, and things are very personal. It makes for a really great journey and I was sucked right in.

Brooke has to really discover herself in this. She has to decide between two boys who both have her heart, protect herself, try to figure out who to trust, and deal with her best friends illness. She goes through a lot in this book, but she really deals with it quite well. I always liked Brooke, but she really does grow a lot in this one. She starts to think more about the people around her and what they are all risking too. She had been so caught up in her little bubble, that it was refreshing to see her realize there is so much more going on than just her issues.

Oh the boys!! Okay, so I am going to be vague here, but there was a love triangle in the first book. If you've read it you already know that, but if you haven't, rest assured that it's not a love triangle just for the sake of having one. It does make sense and I loved where it went in this. Yes, she does choose between them and I think that she did well at making the decision that was best for her. I love how protective both of them are for her, and she does care about them both, but she can only be with one.

So, I know that this is a really short review, but I want to keep this spoiler free. Just know that this was amazing and it really continued the story well. There was a lot of tension, and things get pretty tough. There are a few twists and trust is tested as well as relationships between Brooke and the others. I have a lot of love for this series and I thought this sequel was really great! I love it when I love a second book better than the first and this sure did that. I will read anything that Angeline Kace writes. She is fantastic at sucking into the story and holding you there.



Interview

What do you think is Brooke's best quality?

Jaren: She’s always so thoughtful.

Mirko: Her loyalty.

Why do you think she should be with you? What do you have to offer her?

Jaren: I still have a hard time believing Brooke is in love with Mirko. I mean, she hasn’t known him that long before she started to get confused.

Mirko: Really, Jaren? I don’t think it’s that hard to believe it all. I think you’re in denial.

Jaren: Whatever.*casts eyes back to amy*

Okay boys, behave! I think you are both awesome!

Mirko: To answer your question, Brooke should be with me because I can protect her, challenge her, and support her in ways Jaren never could.

It's obvious there's a lot of tension between you two. Really though, beside the fact you both love Brooke, what do you have against each other? You are both great guys!

Jaren: He’s just so cocky. He thinks he’s the greatest thing ever. It’s annoying.

Mirko: I don’t have anything against him. I get irked whenever he tries to one up because it feels like an open challenge, but other than that, I think he’s a good kid.

This is for Jaren. I know that it was shocking to discover what Brooke was, but it seems like you were a bit unfair in how you handled things. What made you change your mind? If Mirko wasn't in the picture do you think it would have been different? Not dismissing your feelings, really.

Jaren: Yeah, I was unfair. But I handle things in the best way I knew how. I mean, it’s not everyday you find out your girlfriend’s a vampire. And it’s not like I was just told and was able to ease into the thought either. No, we were attached, so I was a little freaked out. My mind changed because I had time to see that it didn’t make Brooke a different person, at least at the time it didn’t. She cares about the same things as she did before I found out.

If Mirko wasn’t in the picture, I’m sure Brooke would have forgiven me and we would have had the time to heal. All we needed was time, but Mirko made sure we didn’t get that. *glares at Mirko*

Mirko: *shrugs* Not my fault you messed up.

Now for you Mirko. When did you know that you were in love with Brooke, and she was more than just someone you were trying to save? I know the answer, but my readers might not. ;)

Mirko: It was a combination of moments and realizations. Seeing her loyalty, her strength in the face of fear, all of her little movements and faces. She’s just so unlike anyone I’ve ever come across before. And our chemistry is pretty amazing, you’d have to agree. But I think the moment I really knew there was no turning back for me, was in the cave.

Now back to both of you. What do you think of the situation with Kaitlynn?

Jaren: *looks over at Mirko* I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

Mirko: We’d rather not openly discuss that. The risk is too high for both Kaitlynn and Brooke. Well, all of us actually.

What's one thing about you that people don't know that you would like them to?

Jaren: I don’t think people really believe my feelings for Brooke are genuine, and I just want them to know how sincere I am when it comes to her. She means more to me than anything else does.

Mirko: Yes, I don’t have to worry about that because people know where I stand. Brooke knows and that’s what’s most important. But one thing…I think Pig Latin is hilarious. It has the easiest language mechanics, but it’s sometimes so difficult to keep up with.

If you could tell Brooke anything right now, what would it be?

Jaren: That I’m sorry.

Mirko: That she looks amazing today. I don’t think I told her that this morning before we left. Everything else, she knows.

Random

Mountains or Ocean?

Jaren: All I’ve ever known is the mountains.

Mirko: The ocean. It has almost a cleansing effect on the soul.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Jaren: Chocolate.

Mirko: Chocolate.

Hot or Cold?

Jaren: Cold because you can always put on more layers.

Mirko: Hot. *grins* I do well managing the heat.

Cats or Dogs?

Jaren: I’ve always wanted a dog, but my dad would never let me have one.

Mirko: I appreciate the independence of cats, but I’d have to go with the devotion of dogs as my preference.

Favorite color?

Jaren: Blue. Same as Brooke’s.

Mirko: Red. It’s passion, heat, and fire.

Favorite season?

Jaren: Summer. Schools out and on days I don’t train, I get to sleep in.

Mirko: The spring. It’s not too hot yet, but it still rains often.

That's all I have. Thank you guys for taking the time to chat. It means a lot to me, I know you are busy and all. ;)

Jaren: Thank you.

Mirko: Anything for you, Amy.

 
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: Destruction (IDWMA #7) by Rhiannon Frater

  • Publisher: Self Published
  • Publish Date: July 2, 2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the author for review
 Purchase: Amazon

Episode 7:

Despite the terrors of her past, Vanora has managed live a normal life in Austin with her roommate Rhonda and her boyfriend Dan. When it all falls apart and Armando comes back into her life, she realizes that she can't escape her destiny. Evil threatens her family, and Vanora must venture into the darkness to save everyone she cares about.

Serial Synopsis:

In Darkness We Must Abide is the epic saga of one young woman caught in the dangerous world of the creatures of the night.

Already living in the shadows due to her albinism, Vanora is just a little girl when her older brother inadvertently unleashes a terrible evil from the family crypt that changes their lives forever.

As she grows up in a world where beautiful deadly beings hunt by night, one captures her eye and her heart. Yet, can she trust the mysterious Armando? For there is a powerful entity plotting to claim her when she reaches adulthood in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy, and her enemy has enveloped her in a web of deceit, casting doubt on all she believes to be true. Soon, she will have to fight not only to save those she loves, but also for her very soul.

Rhiannon Frater delivers a chilling adventure once again with this multi-part epic serial with a dynamic cast, old school vampires, bloody action, a smoldering forbidden love, and a terrifying villain set against the backdrop of a modern day vampire war.

My Thoughts

Dude!! This serial is seriously freaking epic. As you get further into the story, you become more and more invested so it really hits you hard when things get intense. Now being quite far into this, I am having a hard time knowing what to say in my reviews!! Things are really getting intense now, and it's getting super scary. Aeron is not someone to be messed with and he is terrifying!!

Vanora is still away at school, she has an apartment with Rhonda, and is dating Dave who is a nice guy. She finally is having a somewhat normal life. The only thing is her dreams are getting worse and she is in constant fear. She is afraid for everyone around her and also her family back home. When Armando comes back into the picture, I really love how strong she is. She really keeps a pretty clear head about things. When something really tragic happens though, she has no choice but to listen to what Armando is telling her.

I can't really go into much more about this except to tell you that I did have tears in this one. The story is really taking it's toll on me at this point. Each episode is totally addictive and I need the next one the secon I read the last sentence! Rhiannon Frater is a master at investing you into a story and making you really feel the whole atmosphere along with all the emotions! I need to know where this is going, but am also afraid of what will happen next. The suspense is killing me, but in a really good way!! I need more now!!



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

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Tour: Perfection by J.L. Spelbring - Review

  • Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
  • Publication date: 7/16/2013
  • Series: Perfection , #1 
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

The personification of Aryan purity, Ellyssa's spent her whole life under her creator's strict training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic.
Only Ellyssa isn't perfect.
Ellyssa feels emotions--a fact she's spent her life concealing. Until she encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of such a substandard person having psychic abilities.
But he does.
His unspoken words and visions of a place she's never visited make Ellyssa question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered, Ellyssa runs away, embarking on a journey where she discovers there is more to her than perfection.

My Thoughts

This was quite an interesting story for me. Ellyssa's creator being so set on completing what Hitler wanted and the fact that he was so smart and had genetically engineered people to make the perfect race was creepy. Platinum blonde, perfect creamy complexion, blue eyes, and extra powers such as telepathy, telekenis, and other "powers", as well as being trained as soldiers with no emotions. The Renegades are hidden away, and Ellyssa discovers what her father's real goal is, and since she still has her emotions, she knows it's wrong. It was a very high intensity story that kept me turning pages. My only real issue was how it's told. There are so many different POV's that I felt really disconnected a lot of the time. I never really felt like I could get into the characters heads very well to be emotionally invested.

Ellyssa has escaped from The Center after someone gets into her head and tells her that she needs to go to Kansas City. She ends up being captured by the Renegades, and becomes part of their community and family. It does take a little bit before she is able to trust them and be able to somewhat fit in, but I loved watching her emotions start to come out as she discovered them. It's completely different from anything she's ever known. She has hidden her emotions her whole life so it's hard for her to let her guard down and just be. I love who she became throughout the story. She learns what different feeling are new to her, including love and compassion. She grew so much and I really enjoyed seeing her change.

There is a romance too. I thought it was done really well. Rein is very suspicious of Ellyssa and doubts her for a long time, and slowly warms up to her. Even though he doesn't know if he can trust her, there's something about her that he just can't let go. Even though he hasn't been raised without emotions like Ellyssa, a lot of the emotions are new to him too. He was really great, and probably my favorite character in the whole book.

The story was very intense and kept me on the edge of my seat. I thought that the creation of a superior race was really cool, and the Doctor was a great villain. It was a hard book for me to get into since there are so many different characters and POV's to follow, but how it all came together was really great. I really didn't know which way the story was going to go in the end, but I loved how it ended up. There was never a dull moment in this book and I enjoyed it. There wasn't a super cliffhanger ending, but it was left making me want more. I loved the creativeness of this and that is also uses a bit of history. I thought it was a great book.


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

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Release Day Launch: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

 Hey everyone!! Today I am taking part in the release day launch for Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas!!

DANGEROUS GIRLS Synopsis:

It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love. As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...



DANGEROUS GIRLS EXCERPT:

The photo clicks up on the display projector overhead. Although everyone must have seen it a dozen times over, I still hear the gasp of shock ripple through the courtroom.
“Miss Chevalier, if you could look at the first photo…” He clicks again, making it larger this time. “Can you tell us, when was this taken?”
“Halloween,” I reply reluctantly. “Last year.”
“And that’s you in the photograph?”
“Yes.”
“With who?”
 “Tate,” I say quietly, picking at the skin around my left thumbnail. I’m supposed to keep my hands folded, unmoving, but I can’t help it. Every nail is bloodied by now, scabbed and torn.
He’s still waiting, so I take a breath. “And Elise.”
“The victim.” He announces, as if they didn’t know. “And what are your costumes, here?”
“Vampire cheerleaders.”
It sounds so stupid, out loud in court, but that’s what Halloween is for, right? Slutty nurses, and zombie cats; guys with fake limbs, and girls in trashy fairytale costumes. It doesn’t mean anything, it’s all just a game. It’s not supposed to be blown up as evidence on a display screen one day, like you planned it out from the start.
 “And these photographs were taken at… the Newport residence?”
I nod. “I mean, yes. We were going to a party, but we all met at Max and Chelsea’s, to get dressed, and take photos and stuff.”
We must have taken hundreds of photos that night—dressing up, and posing, and later at the party—but of course, nobody wants the rest of them. Not when they have the ones they need right there: four pictures, saying everything they want to see.
“And the blood—“
“Fake blood,” I interrupt.
“Yes.” He gives me a patronizing smile.“Whose idea was that?”
“I don’t know. We found it, online,” I explain, “The same place we got the costumes.”
“We. That’s you and Miss Warren.”
“Yes.”
She had been so excited, showing me the website. Proper horror costumes, like the kind they use for movies and music videos. Blood, and scars, and fake wounds oozing puss. We’d scrolled through the options, laughing and crying out with disgust. Alien baby.Zombie spinster. Not that we picked any of them in the end. We wanted to look hot, too. Hot, with an edge.
“And the knife, whose idea was that?”
            I feel my cheeks flush. “I don’t know.”
            “You don’t know? But that’s you holding it, isn’t it?” He clicks the photo even bigger.
“Yes. I mean, I don’t remember. There was a lot going on. It’s not mine,” I add, remembering my lawyer’s instructions not to seem sullen or withdrawn. I force a polite smile. “Someone got it from the kitchen, for the photos.”
“Somebody.” He drags the word out, sounding skeptical. “But you don’t remember who?”
“No.” My voice is small.
“And you were drinking that night.” It doesn’t sound like a question, so I don’t reply. “You drank often?”
 “We all drank.” I protest. “Just some wine, or vodka, with mixers, you know? The guys had beer. AK always smoked—“
“That’s not relevant.” He interrupts me quickly. “You and Miss Warren, and Mr Dempsey. You drank together.” He clicks to the next photo, to answer his own question, and there we are: Tate pouring vodka into both our mouths.
“Yes,” I admit. I know what comes next, my lawyer’s warned me well enough. He’ll ask about the weed, and the pills. About my Mom’s Xanax, and the times Elise tried her Dad’s Percocet. About the cocaine Melanie saw Elise try over Christmas break, and the liquid X Niklas tried to feed her in the club that night. It sounds so bad, all run together like that, but there’s no way around it, save lying, and too many people saw too many things to get away with that.
I take a breath, bracing myself, but instead, the lawyer clicks again, to the next photo. “Can you tell me about the necklaces?”
I stop. “What?”
“A necklace was ripped from the victim’s neck that night, and there’s a possibility it was the one she’s wearing here, in the photograph. You have a matching item. Where did they come from?”
“I… me. I got them.” I look over at my lawyer, but he looks just as confused as I am.
“With the costumes?”
“No, this was before then.”
“When?”
“Uh, over summer, I think. Yes, summer. We were up in Northampton, there’s this jewelry store there…” I wait, still lost.
“Why did you buy them?”
“I… don’t know.” It’s a trap, I know, it has to be, but I can’t figure out why, or what for. “It was just, a gift.” I explain, “We would do that: buy two of something, so the other has one. So we matched.”
“Why this necklace in particular?”
“They were pretty.” I shrug. “They looked cute.”
“And can you describe to me the shape of these necklaces?”
My lawyer’s face changes to something like panic, but I still don’t know why, so I shrug again and answer. “It’s geometric. You know, like a—“
I stop. I can see it now. This was his plan all along, and it’s worse than we ever thought, but the word is hanging in the air waiting to be spoken.
“Like what, Miss Chevalier?” His voice gets louder, booming in the courtroom.“What was the necklace you bought for Elise?”
I close my eyes a moment.
“A pentagram.” I whisper.
“Speak clearly, Miss Chevalier.”
I say it again. Another murmur ripples through the courtroom: shock, speculation.
“Wait,” I add quickly, “It’s not like that. I didn’t mean—“
“That’s enough.” He cuts me off. “No further questions.”
“But you can’t!” I leap up. “It wasn’t like that!”
“Miss Chevalier,” the judge interrupts me. “That’s enough! Do I need to return you to custody?”
I sink back into the witness chair. He’s left the photos up on display. Elise and Tate and I, covered in fake blood. Me holding the knife to her throat. Tate’s shirt open, his arms draped around us both. Elise and me licking strawberry syrup off the blade. The close up of the pentagram necklaces.
            They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but these only have one:
Guilty.

About ABIGAIL HAAS:

Abigail Haas has written two adult novels and four young adult contemporary novels under the name Abby McDonald. Dangerous Girls is her first young adult thriller. She grew up in Sussex, England, and studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University. She lives in Los Angeles.



 


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