Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: Marked by Sarah Fine

Title: Marked
Author: Sarah Fine
Series: Book One in the Servants of Fate Series
Published By: 47North (January 1, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Fantasy w/Dystopian Elements
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don’t know—including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis—is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife. Once humans are “Marked” by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.
Unaware of Cacy’s other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon—who happens to be Cacy’s father. Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past. But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time. Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of Fate, only to discover that Eli has a devastating secret of his own. Not knowing whom to trust, what will Cacy have to sacrifice to protect Eli—and to make sure humanity’s future is secure?

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, let me count the ways I love thee....

I fell in love with Sarah's writing after reading her Guards of the Shadowland series and that love has been fueled and grown with each new book she writes. 

Time and time again she proves just how well she can write, in any genre she chooses next.

Her latest release Marked, is no different.

I loved this book. This story. And all the characters so very much, and even though I was expecting greatness from this read, I was still blown away by it. 

The twist between dystopian, mythology, and an almost sci fi feel was a heedy combination and one that had me eagerly turning the pages wanting more. 

Sarah has always had the ability to write a well thought out, swoon worthy male leading role but she truly made a stand out hero in Eli. He was everything I like in a male lead, heck, everything I like in a man period. Hard working, loyal, loving, protective, sweet, romantic...really should I go on because I probably could be here all day. 

Truly I loved every single minute of this story, the sexual tension, the family relationships, and of course the dark desolate world that Sarah created, not to mention the mythology behind it all.

Book two can not get here fast enough!

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: Love & Other Theories by Alexis Bass

Title: Love & Other Theories
Author: Alexis Bass
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Harper Teen (December 31, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
If you want more, you have to give less.

That’s the secret to dating in high school. By giving as little as they expect to get in return, seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her three best friends have made it to the second semester of their senior year heartbreak-free. And it’s all thanks to a few simple rules: don’t commit, don’t be needy, and don’t give away your heart.

So when smoking-hot Nathan Diggs transfers to Lincoln High, it shouldn’t be a big deal. At least that’s what Aubrey tells herself. But Nathan’s new-boy charm, his kindness, and his disarming honesty throw Aubrey off her game and put her in danger of breaking the most important rule of all: Don’t fall in love.

Love and Other Theories was one of my most anticipated YA contemporary reads for December and because of that I feel I need to be completely honest with this review.

While I enjoyed this read, it left me feeling sad and a little bit angry. Sad for girls who feel they need to play games and have a misconstrued idea about what love means and sad for those boys that give them those ideas and thoughts.

To be honest, I am still not exactly sure if I loved Aubrey and her friends but I do know that I loved Nathan and my heart broke for him numerous times throughout the story.

I don't think I quite have all my thoughts and feelings together over whether I liked this story or hated it.

Like I said earlier, there were parts that made me angry and parts that made me sad and very little left me smiling.

The writing was fabulous but the messages weren't always great and the girl's attitude and ideas (their theories) about dating, boys, and falling in love were worse. I wanted to shake some of them and help open their eyes to the boys that weren't worth the time and especially, to the boys that were. 

I didn't like that Brey went along with things that she shouldn't have. That she should have followed her heart so many times and didn't and because of it, hurt a lot of others along the way. 

I didn't like that this didn't end on an upbeat and happy note and...well. I really don't even now how to express how much it is possible to love a book and hate it at the same time, but there you have it. I loved this and I hated it but because of that, I still have no idea how to rate it.

How do you rate something that you both loved because of the wonderful writing and because Brey did grow up and she did change, but hated because it was so awful seeing what these girls were doing to themselves and others around them?

I honestly still don't know but I will say this, the writing was fabulous and the messages while sometimes sad, weren't all bad, they were and are a very realistic part of what it is like growing up,  a huge part of how you find out what you want, what you need,  in life, so for that this deserves four stars. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WoW Pick of the Week

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is a chance to share those new releases were are super anxious to get our hands on and read.

Like Sarah J. Maas is in my top 5 for YA Fantasy, Kasie West is in my top 5 for, well, anything YA. I just love ALL of her writing and I am super excited about her next book that comes out in, *gasp* 6 months!

Release Date: May 5, 2015

Book Description:

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Princess
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: Book Three in the Infernal Devices Trilogy
Published By: Walker Books (September 5, 2013)
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
Tessa Gray should be happy—aren't all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her. 

Being brutally honest I didn't expect to get swept away and into this series as much as I ended up being. 

I didn't love Will in book one and barely tolerated him by the ending. It wasn't until book two that things really started to grow and change and I finally saw what all the hype was about. I didn't doubt Clare's writing ability or even her talent but rather just how involved I would get in a love triangle that I never expected to be torn in part about. 

Once upon a time I liked a good love triangle, it kept things interested and even fun, until that is, they were so overly used and expected that they stopped being fun and I dreaded reading about them. It seemed very rarely did anyone win and more often than not I wanted to smack the girl caught up in the middle of it. 

I didn't feel that way about Tessa though, not once and Will and Jem, while both with faults (okay maybe Jem is perfect and had no fault), they were both equally lovable and worthy of her and I could truly see how she loved them both and was torn between them. She was never wish washy though, she was strong in her choices and that made it all believable and most of all, bearable. 

Add in the mystery of Tessa's origin, a mad man on the loose, and the appeal that is the world of Shadowhunters, all set in the late 1800's London, and you seriously have one heck of a read that constantly kept me on my toes. 

Even though numerous times my heart was torn in two over the love triangle and the betrayals, I loved every single minute of this series.

The ending, while convenient, did hold true to the rest of the series and it was, in short, wonderful and very realistic to the characters, their love, their sacrifice, and their friendship. 

This was so beautiful written. I think I loved it even more than I did the original series and that is saying something and something I never thought would happen. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: Nocte by Courtney Cole

Title: Nocte
Author: Courtney Cole
Series: Book One in the Nocte Trilogy
Published By: Lakewood Press (November 3, 2014)
Source: Purchased
Genre: NA Thriller
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Save me and I'll save you...

My name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole.
My other half-- my twin brother, my Finn-- is crazy. 

I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me.

I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline. 

Dare DuBray. 

He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me. 

He has the power to destroy me. 

Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt. 

Why? Because of a secret. 

A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming. 

You won’t either. 

Wow, just, wow.

I have always loved Cole's work but this, this was undeniably her best novel yet.

This truly blew me away. It messed with my head and my heart and everything in between.

I can't even go into any detail but this was an amazing read and I want book two now, like now now, more so than I think I have ever wanted a second book to be here.

Calla, Finn, Dare, I love them all. This is one of those stories that makes it impossible to pick anything else up afterward because you need time to process and because most of all, whatever you pick up next won't even come close to comparing to it.

This was quite the roller coaster, twisty, turning, stomach heaving, ride and I soaked it up, threw my hands in the air, let go and enjoyed the rush. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~
It’s a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

I don't know about you guys but it has been one busy week! 

I have made a little progress with my reading list from last week so far, which is always a nice, you can't go wrong with putting a dent in the TBR pile no matter how small it is. 

While going through my ever growing list of books I want to read before the year is over, I of course, couldn't help thinking about those books that are releasing in the next few months that I am dying to get my hands on. Because of course I have a book buying problem and being the hoarder that I am, I am already salivating over those gorgeous cover, sequels, stand alone books, and new series I already want to add to my shelves. 

I thought it would be fun to put together a top ten list of my most anticipated reads for winter 2015.

I love all of her books but it has been way too long since I read one so I am dying to get my hands on this and dive right in.

How can I resist not one but two of my most favorite authors? Well I can't of course which is why Never Never makes my top ten must have books for winter 2015.

I have loved this trilogy from the beginning and I can't wait for the conclusion. I was lucky enough to read the first two chapters of Ensnared and loved it! January 6th can't get here soon enough!

My love for Red Rising took me by surprise so I am on edge to see what Brown will come up with next in this much anticipated sequel. 

Ally Carter is by far one of my most favorite YA authors. All her books are just so much fun and I love LOVE that I can share them with my girls. I am so excited she has a new series coming out!

I absolutely loved her Study Series so when I saw a new book set in the same world with the same characters (although this is labeled as a new series) I was super excited!

I love this author's work and I decided long ago that I would read anything and everything she writes. 

This is another one of those sequels that I just can't wait to read. I am seriously hoping I like it every bit as much as the first.

Freaking loved the first book but it ended on a cliffhanger and totally messed with me so I already have this one preordered and have a feeling I will be reading it the day it releases.

Loved Boomerang so this is a must as well. 

So there you have it, my top ten winter reads.

What books are you most looking forward to releasing in the next few months?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: Under Different Stars by Amy Bartol

Title: Under Different Stars
Author: Amy Bartol

Series: Book One in the Kricket Series
Published By: Amazon (December 17, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy/Sci Fi
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
All she wants is a home, but can she find one...UNDER DIFFERENT STARS 

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home. 

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go. 

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket's gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own. 

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars? 

This genre is not something I read a lot of which is bizarre because I love watching movies and shows with a sci fi theme but throw a book into the mix and more often than not, I won't even give it a second glance. 

But when this showed up on my doorstep and I saw the gorgeous cover and the blurb, I knew I was making one of my rare exceptions and giving it a chance. Yes I can be petty and shallow like that.

But oh goodness how this story completely captured my attention and held it. I was completely under the author's spell and fascinated with the world and people she had created.

I loved feisty headstrong Kricket from the word hello and that love just grew as her character and story evolved. 

Trey was just as fabulous, and Jax and Wayra stole the show. There is something to be said about secondary characters that you want to know and love every bit as much as the main characters.

I seriously went into this expecting nothing and getting so very much in return. I loved it and can't wait for book two to be out. I know there are so many more adventured for Trey, Kricket, Jax, and Wayra and I can't wait to take the journey with them.