Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stargazer (Evernight #2) by Claudia Gray

Title: Stargazer (Evernight #2)
Author: Claudia Gray
Published By: Harper Teen (May 24, 2009)
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
The vampire in me was closer to the surface...

Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all—vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them.

But Bianca fell in love with Lucas—a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school.

Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross—or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca's secrets will force her to live a life of lies.

Yet Bianca isn't the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning....

My Review:
I will admit that it has been awhile since I first picked up the first book Evernight in this series. So long in fact that I wasn't sure I would quite remember everything that happened in it, thankfully I found that wasn't the case.
The second book flowed so nicely that it was like seeing a friend you haven't seen in forever and picking right up where you last talked/left off.
This went right in where Evernight left off, with Bianca returning to another year at Evernight Academy only this time without Lucas by her side and with new knowledge about the world and people around her.
There is still a mystery to solve at the school, people on the run, love blooming, questions unanswered and even more conflict than before as Bianca learns more and more about not only Evernight Academy but about herself and the strange circumstances with her birth and heritage.
I really loved reading this book and think that it was a great sequel to the first book in the series and can't wait to read more.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK by Betsy St. Amant

Title: Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK
Author: Betsy St. Amant
Published By: Barbour Publishing Inc. (Jan. 1, 2012)
Source: ARC Copy e-galley
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 3.5-4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Sixteen-year-old Addison Blakely has tireless played the role of PK—preacher’s kid—her entire life. But after Wes Keegan revs his motorcycle into town and into her heart, Addison begins to wonder how much of her faith is her own and how much has been handed to her. She isn’t so sure she wants to be the good girl anymore. Join Addison Blakely as she attempts to separate love from lust, facts from faith, and keep her head above water in her murky, fishbowl existence.

My Review:
This is one of those books that I really don't quite know how to rate.
The main character Addison was a pretty confused girl trying to live up to the stigma of being a preacher's daughter while also trying to find her wants and beliefs along the way without disappointing anyone during her journey to self discovery.
I liked that she was a strong character and that she stood up for herself and stuck with what she felt was right even though she had some pretty serious pressure and temptations along the way.
I think it is easy to forget sometimes who you are and what you believe in and it is easy to let someone else sway you. I like that Addison didn't sway. That she discovered what she wanted and she stuck with it even though it may have hurt some others along the way and that her choices weren't always easy.
I think the characters, Addison, her dad, Wes, Luke, and even Claire were all pretty realistic flawed characters.
It was nice to read something that felt real.
I can't say I was completely happy with the way everything turned out and the book kind of ended without any real conclusion to the story (maybe a sequel?) but it was definitely a good read and worth the time it took to read it.

Fall For Me (High School Love) by Melanie Marks

Title: Fall For Me (High School Love)
Author: Melanie Marks
Published By: Thunderstruck Publishing (Aug. 11. 2011)
Genre: YA
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
When Zoey’s long-time boyfriend, Finn, cheats on her—kissing a girl he “just can’t resist”—he gives Zoey a “Free Pass,” telling her she can kiss any guy she wants. Finn is so cocky and sure of their relationship that the arrangement seems perfect. He’s not worried Zoey will fall for another guy, and he’s itching to get rid of his feelings of guilt.

But the thing is, Zoey knows exactly who she wants to kiss—longs to kiss— Finn’s best friend, Riley. But, she wants the kiss too much. She knows that. So, she resists the “Free Pass.” Still, she’s pushed into it when Finn loses a bet to Riley, and Riley wants his payment—a kiss from Zoey.

My Review:
This was a super short story (a novella) and I knew that going into the story but I still found myself disappointed that it was so short. It was such a good fun read that I wanted more and was sad when it ended.
This was my first read by Marks and I really truly loved it. The characters were great and the story line was something different and fun. I found myself holding my breath wondering if Zoey and Riley would ever get together and hoping that they would take that leap of faith and just do what I knew both of their hearts were telling them to do.
I will definitely be picking up more of Marks stories and look forward to reading more from her in the future.
If you want a quick romantic, feel good read, then definitely give this book a try. It was definitely worth the price and the time.

Fire Study (Study #3) by Maria V. Synder

Title: Fire Study (Study #3)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Published By: Mira (March 1, 2008)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun.

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before....

Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.

My Review:
This was such a great series and the last book was no exception. My only regret is that Valek didn't really show up in the book until almost half way through. I really love seeing how he and Yelena interact together.
I loved that we got a lot of Ari and Janco in this book, I really love these side characters. They provided a lot of comic relief throughout the series and gave Yelena something she truly needed, friends and a sense of family.
I love that her and Leif made amends and seem to be on the road to true recovery and forgiveness and that they both have accepted past wrongs and are willing to move on together and be a true family.
I am super sad to see this series end. I am quite surprised by how attached I got to all the characters through the books. 
I am so glad there is a spin off series and  can't wait to read and learn more about Opal and her glassblowing abilities and am truly hoping that we get glimpses of Yelena and Valek, Leif, Ari and Janco as well. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Indie Author of the Week....Abbi Glines

Title: Breathe
Author: Abbi Glines
Published By: Self Published; Wild Child Publishing (May 16th, 2011)
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Sadie White's summer job isn't going to be on the beach life-guarding or working at rental booths like most kids her age. With her single mother's increasing pregnancy and refusal to work, Sadie has to take over her mother's job as a domestic servant for one of the wealthy summer families on a nearby island.

When the family arrives at their summer getaway, Sadie is surprised to learn that the owner of the house is Jax Stone, one of the hottest teen rockers in the world. If Sadie hadn't spent her life raising her mother and taking care of the house she might have been normal enough to be excited about working for a rock star.

Even though Sadie isn't impressed by Jax's fame, he is drawn to her. Everything about Sadie fascinates Jax but he fights his attraction. Relationship's never work in his world and as badly as he wants Sadie, he believes she deserves more. By the end of the summer, Jax discovers he can't breathe without Sadie.

But can their love overcome the disparity in their lifestyles? Or will they have to learn how to without each other breathe again?

My Review:
So I really enjoyed this book. I have heard quite a few people say that the romance happened too soon and it didn't feel real and that they couldn't connect to the story because things happened so fast and that the underdog in the story (Marcus) was better than the hero.

And you know what?
I didn't feel that way at all. Okay, Marcus is pretty great and I would have loved to have seen Sadie end up with him as much as I loved seeing her with Jax but, in the end, I think Sadie was with who she needed to be with.
We can't always help who we fall in love with. We can't make a spark be there when one just isn't no matter how wonderful or sweet the person is. Yeah, it sucks but, love it what it is.

And okay, they did sort of fall in love quickly, but when you are young, isn't that how it always is? Don't we sometimes jump into situations and relationships head first without thoughts of the consequences?

Was this book completely realistic? A rock star falling in love with a beautiful girl who also happens to be completely innocent and naive?
Well no, probably not but then again, that is why I love reading. I love going places I will probably never go and seeing things I will probably never see and feeling things that I might not have otherwise.
Overall, this is a great story and I loved it, I really did.
I would love to have another story about Marcus and to see him have his happily ever after, because truly, he was an amazing character and he deserves that.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Magic Study (Study #2) by Maria V. Synder

Title: Magic Study (Study #2)
Author: Maria V. Synder
Published By: Mira (Dec. 1, 2008)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
So far, I've managed to survive. You would think after being kidnapped as a child, imprisoned in my teens and released to become a poison taster, I would have endured enough. But no. The discovery of my magical abilities—powers forbidden in Ixia—has resulted in an execution order. My only chance is to flee to Sitia, my long-lost birthplace.
But Sitia is unfamiliar. I'm treated like an enemy—even by my own brother. Plus I can't control my powers. I want to learn about my magic, but there isn't time. A rogue magician has emerged and I'm targeted as his next victim.
Will my magical abilities save me…or be my downfall?

My Review:
This is such a great unique series. I reviewed the first book in the series last week and I knew as soon as I finished the first book I would have to read the others as well.
Something about this series just seems to grab and hold of you and reel you in until you have consumed the whole book and are left looking for more.
The characters are just fabulous and so loveable.
I like how strong and fearless Yelena is in discovering where she came from and in who she is and trying to deal with magic that she never knew she had.
She is a seriously strong kick butt female character.
I loved watching her grow from this meek person who took everyone's crap to this strang capable and even fierce woman.
I loved her and Valek's romance, her family, her friends, her new friends and it was hard not to even like some of the bad guys.
I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series and to see what is in store for Yelena and her powers.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fateful by Claudia Gray

Title: Fateful
Author: Claudia Gray
Published By: Harper Teen (Sept. 13. 2011)
Genre: YA/Historical Paranormal
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
It's about a servant girl named Tess in 1912, who wants to escape from the house where she works, and most particularly the lecherous young lord of the manor. But that's not her biggest problem. While on a voyage to America, where she plans to escape and start a new life, she meets Alec, who's ruggedly handsome, fabulously wealthy, intelligent and yet so clearly troubled that she'd rather not fall for him, but she does. That also is not her biggest problem. Alec, it turns out, is a werewolf ... one cursed to change every night, unless and until he surrenders his independence and joins the Brotherhood, a pack of violently misogynistic werewolves who have been tracking him for months. You'd think that would be their biggest problem, wouldn't you?

But no. Their biggest problem -- though they don't know it yet -- is that they're aboard the RMS Titanic.

My Review:
Stunning and beautiful are two words that I think would accurately describe this book.
I knew from the moment I read the synopsis I would want to read this book and that it was going to be great. Okay, maybe I didn't know it was going to be great but I knew that Claudia Gray was an amazing writer so why would this one be any different?
I have a secret passion for historical fiction and I love paranormal so knowing that this book was going to be combining the two...*swoon*
This book was fabulous! I truly loved every single thing about it.
I couldn't help picturing the movie Titanic (yes you know the one I am talking about) while reading it though, which, believe it or not, didn't detour from the greatness of this book at all.
Of course there are going to be similarities between the two but this book was even better because of the (dare I say it?) werewolves.

This was such an imaginative and yet factual book. It was truly the best of both worlds.
Gray is an amazing writer (hey, didn't I already say that once in this review?) so I knew if anyone would pull this off she could.
All I have to say is that you really need to get this book and read it, like, soon, like today.
The cover is gorgeous, the writing is brilliant, the storyline is imaginative, the historical aspect is breathtaking and heartbreaking since we all know how the story of the Titanic and its maiden voyage ended, but, what you won't know is how this story ends for both Alec and Tess. It is great down to the last sentence and keeps you wondering until the very last chapter.

Bitter Frost by Kailin Gow

Title: Bitter Frost (Frost #1)
Author: Kailin Gow
Published By: The EDGE (June 1, 2010)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
All her life, Breena had always dreamed about fairies as though she lived among them...beautiful fairies living among mortals and living in Feyland.

In her dreams, he was always there the breathtakingly handsome but dangerous Winter Prince, Kian, who is her intended. When Breena turns sixteen, she begins seeing fairies and other creatures mortals don't see. Her best friend Logan suddenly acts very protective.

Then she sees Kian, who seems intent on finding her and carrying her off to Feyland. That's fine and all, but for the fact that humans rarely survive a trip to Feyland, a kiss from a fairy generally means death to the human unless that human has fairy blood in them or is very strong, and although Kian seemed to be her intended, he seems to hate her and wants her dead.

My Review:
First off, I want to say that I really did like this book. In fact I think it will be a great series but yet, I couldn't help thinking that it was a little too much like Julie Kagawa and Carrie Jones's series combined.
Fairies, werewolves, pixies a girl who didn't know she was a fairy princess to the Summer King.
A handsome prince of the Winter Court. One hunky best friend who is in love with her, a pixie king that wants her for his bride...See what I mean?
At any rate, it won't keep me from reading the rest of the series and Gow is still a fantastic writer and the book still had enough differences to (hopefully) make it its own story and not a repeat or knockoff of ones already out there.

Poison Study by Maria V. Synder

Title: Poison Study (Study #1)
Author: Maria V. Synder
Published By: Mira (March 1, 2007)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear…

My Review:
This is one of those books that every so often you hear someone mention it, they say it was really good and that you should try it and then that is kind of that. You think to yourself, "Okay, yeah, that sounds good. I will check it out."
So you do and you add it to your TBR pile and then promptly forget about it until someone brings it up again and you finally decide that you really should try it.

So, okay, maybe that doesn't happen to everyone but that is what happened to me. In fact, I think it took me until someone mentioned this series about 5 times before I finally decided I would try it out and see what all the fuss was about.

This isn't (at least for me) one of those books that you absolutely love from the first sentence or page or even paragraph but it does however, hold your attention after the first few pages and leave you wondering what happened, what is going on and leaving you wanting to find out and the fact that it is very well written, unusual and okay, really really interesting doesn't help either. ;)

This story really was a good one. It has a little bit of everything. In fact, I am having a really hard time trying to think of anyone this book wouldn't appeal to.
Their is fighting, romance (but not too much at all, just enough to keep it interesting), betrayal, magic, mischief, mayhem, backstabbing, evilness, mystery and well, you get the idea.

This was a pretty captivating read and it went by pretty quickly. I started this pretty late in the day yesterday and before I knew it I was done with it and wanted to download the next book in the series, it is just that well written.

So to all those that have heard of this series and have put it in yout TBR pile and then have forgotten about it, pull it out and try it. You won't be disappointed!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Indie Author of the Week..Jason Letts and his new book, Suspense!

So it is that time again, the day of the week where I post one of my favorite indie reads and authors and this week is dedicated to author Jason Letts and his new YA dystopian Suspense.

Jason was kind enough to let me read an advanced copy of his book and I am so glad that he did.
Suspense really was a fun read. The heroine of the book, Spencer (love LOVE that name for a girl!) was a kick butt heroine! She was fierce and feisty and a little bit sassy but she still had compassion and knew how to take care of those she loved.
This book has a little bit of a sci fi edge to it with the world being set in the future with technology that only a genius could think of (yes Jason, I am referring to you. :P  ), so I wasn't too sure how much I would love this book, because sci fi just isn't my thing but....well, I guess I will have to now amend that statement and say, I now actually do like sci fi, thanks in part to this book.
I don't want to give anything away about the story but I will tell you that this book is full of twists and turns and has plenty of action. I think any sci fi lover or anyone just looking of a good fast paced read will love this series.

Thank you Jason for letting me have the opportunity to read your book. You truly are a talented writer and I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

For all of you reading this review and wanting to read the book, for the next two days you can get an ebook copy of this book free from Jason by following the instructions in this blog post of mine.  

And please do, you won't be disappointed with this read, plus as an added bonus if you read the book and go to Jason's FB page and answer some questions you can be entered to win one of three amazing prizes, one of which is either a brand new Kindle Wifi or Nook Touch. Awesome prizes!! 

So don't wait! Read this amazing book today! 

The Lost Hero by RIck Riordan

Title: The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Published By: Hyperion Books (Oct. 12, 2010)
Genre: YA
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.

My Review:
This book took me forever to read, not because of the length or because it didn't hold my interest but for the sheer fact that I had so many other books to review that it was shoved to the back burner for awhile, which was a shame because this was a fabulous read.
Classic Riordan all the way.
The Percy Jackson series was one of the first series I ever read on my Kindle when I bought it almost 2 years ago and I LOVED it. It was so much fun to read. I loved the humor in it, I literally laughed out loud with every single book multiple times and I have always loved learning about the Greek gods so it was a perfect match for me.
I will admit, I was super sad when it ended so when I saw this new series by Riordan I just knew I needed to read it but I was apprehensice because I didn't want it to ruin the original and sometimes that happens even from really amazing authors.
Dear Rick, I am so sorry I doubted your greatness. This series was just as good as the first.

Once again we are taken back to Camp Half Blood and see some very familiar faces there. We learn even more about the gods (and hey we finally here about Romans) and of course we see some new faces, mainly the three new main characters, who are every bit as funny and loveable as our dear Percy Jackson, Grover and Annabeth.
I really really liked how this book went back and forth between the three main characters voices, something I wasn't sure I would like but it was pulled off beautifully.
Riordan is a very talented author and unlike any others out there. His work is just pure magical in every sense of the word.
I love that not only can I read his books as an adult and still feel the magic of them but that my kids can as well.
I most definitley will be reading the second book in the series.
If you haven't tried the Percy Jackson series or this one, don't wait. Go try them TODAY. Don't miss out, it would be a tragedy worthy of any Greek legend.

Pink Snowbunnies In Hell: A Flash Fiction Anthology

Title: Pink Snowbunnies in Hell: A Flash Fiction Anthology
Authors: Barbra Annino, Nichole Chase, T.L. Haddox, Debora Geary, Camille LaGuire, Julie Christensen, Nathan Lowell.....
Published By: Fireweed Publishing (Aug. 31, 2011)
Genre: Fiction
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
A sleep-deprived author mixes up her metaphors.

A graphic designer has too much time on his hands.

Twenty writers, fueled by copious amounts of chocolate, dream up quirky, funny, and occasionally creepy stories.

And the Pink Snowbunnies in Hell Flash-Fiction Anthology was born.

These are very short stories, under a thousand words each. Some have actual bunnies. Some take rather offbeat trips through the underworld. And some just have a character that shares the sleep-deprived author’s mixed metaphors.

All proceeds from this anthology are going to local animal shelters. Pink snowbunnies can take care of themselves, but thank you for helping us support those animals who do need a little assistance.

Stories included in the anthology:

Domestic Disturbance, by T.L. Haddix
Wedding Heaven, Ltd, by A.J. Braithwaite
When, by Robin Reed
Where’s JoJo? A Bunny’s Guide to Family Dysfunction, by Julie Christensen
Wingman, by Nathan Lowell
It Finally Happens…, by Heather Marie Adkins
Careful What You Wish For, by Barbra Annino
Of Demons and Bunnies, by Nichole Chase
Pink Snowbunnies are the New Pink Ribbon, by Jimi Ripley
One Wrong Turn Deserves Another, by Asher MacDonald
Marissa’s Tattoo, by Steve Silkin
Eulogy, by Suzanne Tyrpak
The Taste of Pink Snow, by Susan Helene Gottfried
Revenge of the Peeps, by Camille LaGuire
Love in a Time of Bunnies, by Coral Moore
The Bunni and the Bird, by Penny Cunningham
The Recession is Hell, by Randi Rogue
Pink Snowbunnies Acrostic, by Molly Black
Don’t Mess with the Meadow, by Rex Jameson
A Gift for a Very Special Girl, by Debora Geary

My Review:
Okay, I know what you are thinking because I was thinking the same thing when I first saw this book and its title. I was thinking, What.The.Heck.
But, let me tell you, this anthology was great, it really was. Yes every story really did have a pink snowbunny references and usually something to do with hell, but you know what? the stories were hilarious and super short. They were the perfect length to read while you are waiting in line or at a doctor's office or just whenever you want to read something that will only take a few minutes and you know it is going to be funny or bizarre or just plain unique.
While I didn't love every story, I did really like a lot of them and I definitely think it is worth the read.
Some of my favorites were by authors that I hadn't even heard of but will now be checking out their other books.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Luxe (Luxe #1) by Anna Godbersen

Title: The Luxe (Luxe #1)
Author: Anna Godbersen
Published By: Harper Collins (Nov. 20, 2007)
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
In the self-contained world of young Gilded Age Manhattan socialites, Elizabeth and Diana Holland reign supreme. Or so it seems. Scratch the surface, though, and you can detect festering jealousies that threaten to topple them. Elizabeth suffers a more literal fall when her carriage overturns and she is carried away by the swift East River current. That's only the beginning of the action and suspense in The Luxe, the launch volume in a teen series by Anna Godbersen.

My Review:
It has been awhile since I have read a Historical Fiction book and when I saw this one I knew I needed to give it a chance.
Can I just say first off that I love the cover of this book? The dress is just gorgeous!
The book started off with the setting of a funeral, which was just brilliant. From there we get into the story of Elizabeth, her family, her friends, her enemies, her life and her sacrifices.
It was great to read something set in New York around 1899 and read about all life of some of the  elite socialites in that time and place. I have always been fascinated with this era so it was so much fun to read about the social classes and how things were for woman as well as for some of the men and even the servants/hired help.
However, I seem to be on a role lately because once again I just didn't find myself connecting at all to any of the characters. That isn't to say that the characters weren't great because they were, I just didn't find myself caring too much about them and what happened to them. 
Although I will say this, Godbersen can definitely write an evil character. Penelope was just...well evil. ;)
Overall I think this book was a good read, just maybe not the series for me. Or maybe I just didn't read it at a great time.
I do think anyone that is curious about it should give it a chance, just because I didn't love it doesn't mean that you won't.

Magic Hands by Jennifer Laurens

Title: Magic Hands
Author: Jennifer Laurens
Published By: Grove Creek Publishing (Feb. 1. 2007)
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 3 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Cort, the high school senior jock seems to have it all -- except a summer job. When he lands one doing women's nails, his eyes are opened to the catty, back-stabbing world of females. Girls he thought he knew and trusted turn out to shock and use him. He gets to know Rachel, an elusive girl the others gossip about, a girl with secrets. From her he learns there is more to life than weekend partying and social status, and one of the secrets she shares with him will change his life forever.

My Review:
This was a cute story and an easy fast read, however I thought the ending felt a little unfinished. Like the author just wasn't sure where to go from there so she just ended it.
I think I would have liked to see a little more. I don't want to give anything away but it would have been nice to know some more about them like, what happened at prom? Where they officially a couple after? I guess part of me just didn't feel any connection to the characters whatsoever.
I am all for making your own ending and guessing what happens to them after but...I don't know, this ending just didn't sit well with me.
Overall though it was a nice read and it certainly won't detour me from reading more by Laurens. It was nice to read a YA book that was clean with little to no swearing, drinking or sex involved.

Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

Title: Sometimes It Happens
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Published By: Simon and Schuster (July 12, 2011)
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer. Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction—and one night, into a passionate kiss. The novel opens on the first day of senior year; the day Hannah is going to see Ava, Sebastian, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, everyone is paired up once again, but not the way you might think...

My Review:
This was my first book by Barnholdt. I had heard a lot about her books and how so many people have loved them so even though I wanted to give one a try I was a little apprehensive about it, just because I didn't want to have too high of hopes and then be disappointed afterwards.
Thankfully, this wasn't one of those times I was disappointed.
I really enjoyed this story.
I usually loathe books about cheating because I just don't condone cheating but this was a sweet story with very loveable characters.
I really liked how it flashed back and forth from summer to the first day of school. It was never confusing or off putting.
And I really liked the romance that built between Hannah and Noah and I loved the suspense of not knowing if, at the end of the day, they were going to end up together, who were still going to be friends and who were going to be enemies.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Get a Free e-book copy of Jason Letts' new book Suspense and enter to win a free Kindle Wifi or Nook Touch!!

Want a chance to get a free e-book copy of Jason Letts' new dystopian book Suspense?

What about a chance to win a a signed copy of his book or a Suspense Gelskin?

Still not good enough?

Then what about a chance to win either a Kindle with Wifi or a Nook Touch?

Do I have your attention now?

I had the great pleasure of receiving a copy of Jason's new book Suspense and let me tell you, it was A-Maz-ing.
I wasn't sure what to expect because lets face it, some dystopian novels aren't great, are far fetched or too cliched. 
Not this one. 
It was action packed and new and unique and just a lot of fun to read. Did I mention that is was incredibly well written? Because it was! It had a little of everything in it. A little mystery, a little sci-fi, a little romance and lots and lots of kick butt action.

This truly was a great start to what promises to be a great new series. I can't wait to see where it will go from here.
So, if you want to read this amazing book for yourself, free, here is what you need to do.

First, become a follower of this blog.

Second, post a comment here with your contact info and which method you prefer your ebook to be sent to you (i.e. PDF, EPub, Mobi).
You have one week from this post date to post a comment here under this post to receive your free e-book from Jason.

Third, read the book and then go to Jason's FB page ( ) and answer 4 questions he has posted about his novel to enter into a chance to win one of three amazing prizes.

Grand Prize: Your choice of either a Kindle Wifi with Special Offers + a custom Suspense Gelaskin OR a Nook Touch + a custom Suspense Gelaskin
First Prize: A custom Suspense Gelaskin + a signed paperback copy of Suspense
Second Prize: A signed paperback copy of Suspense

It is that simple and that easy.

Those are some pretty amazing prizes right? Right?

So what are you waiting for? Hurry, sign up, get your free copy of this great book, read it and then answer the 4 question's on Jason's FaceBook page to enter into a chance to win!

Good luck to everyone who enters and thank you to Jason for giving me the opportunity to read his new book and to host this contest!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Indie Author of the Week...Maria E. Schneider!

This week I had the great pleasure of reading Under Witch Moon (Moon Shadows #1) by Maria Schneider and I loved it so much that I just had to make it my choice for this weeks indie author.

This is actually the second book by Maria that I have read and if there is one thing I can count on from her work is that no matter which book I am reading by her I know the writing will be beautiful and the story will be well written.

Truly both books I have read by her have been fabulous but this last one I read was truly wonderful. 
In fact I got completely wrapped up in the story. It was so good. It was suspenseful and super creepy and the writing flowed so nicely that I found myself devouring the story. Before I knew it I had read over 100 pages and it felt like no time at all had gone by. I love books like that. The ones that draw you in and refuse to let you go. They keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next and you just can't put it down until you know.

I loved the slight romance angle this book had as well, although I will admit I wish there had been a little more romance between the main characters it was still an outstanding start to what looks to be a very promising series.

I highly recommend you give Maria's books a chance if you are looking for something fun to read that is new and different, her books are well worth the read and the amazing price. You get so much more than what you pay for. 

I rate this latest read of hers 5 out of 5 stars! I can't wait to read the next book in this series!! 

And of course, a huge THANK YOU to Maria for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book (which in no way impacted my review at all). 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Title: The Book of Blood and Shadow
Author: Robin Wasserman
Published By: Random House (Jan. 10, 2012)
Source: ARC Copy, e-galley
Genre: YA
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description: 

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.
But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.
Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

My Review:
I am not sure where it even begin with this book. I guess I should start off by saying that it had be hooked from the very first page, it drew me in and refused to let go. In fact, I think I only set it down a few times throughout the day and only when it was necessary.
This was was full of mystery and so many twists and turns it kept you constantly on the edge of your seat wondering what was going to happen next. 
This book was just amazing, very unlike anything else that I have read this year.
Wasserman is an amazing writer. This book was full of what ifs and unimaginable possibilities. It reminded me a lot of The Da Vinci Code. 
I really didn't want it to end yet I couldn't wait to get to the end to find out what happened. It was a weird internal struggle for me, do I savor it and stretch the awesomeness out or do I rush to the end because I have to know everything?
This was a great read and I will be picking up all of Wasserman's books and reading them. She is a very talented author and I can't wait to see what she comes out with next.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wayfinder (Worldwalker Duology #2) by C.E. Murphy

Title: Wayfinder (Worldwalker Duology #2)
Author: C.E. Murphy
Published By: Random House (Sept. 6, 2011)
Source: ARC e-galley
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:

Lara Jansen is a truthseeker, gifted—or cursed—with the magical ability to tell honesty from lies. Once she was a tailor in Boston, but now she has crossed from Earth to the Barrow-lands, a Faerie world embroiled in a bloody civil war between Seelie and Unseelie. Armed with an enchanted and malevolent staff which seeks to bend her to its dark will, and thrust into a deadly realm where it’s hard to distinguish friend from foe, Lara is sure of one thing: her love for Dafydd ap Caerwyn, the Faerie prince who sought her help in solving a royal murder and dousing the flames of war before they consumed the Barrow-lands.

But now Dafydd is missing, perhaps dead, and the Barrow-lands are closer than ever to a final conflagration. Lara has no other choice: she must harness the potent but perilous magic of the staff and her own truthseeking talents, blazing a path to a long-forgotten truth—a truth with the power to save the Barrow-lands or destroy them.

My Review:
C.E. Murphy created a beautiful world full of intrigue and mystery and the music of truth. This book really was beautifully written and I found myself drawn into the story more and more with each page that I turned.
I won't lie, I had a little trouble with the first book, I found myself wanting to skim ahead to see what would happen about half way through the book and I didn't find myself wanting to do that with this one. 
It was packed full of adventure and mystery from the get go.
I found myself invested in what would happen with Lara and the Barrow Lands.
I loved watching not only Lara's powers grow but Lara growing from a meek mouse of a girl to a strong confident person as she learned more about herself, her powers and what she stood for.
Even though there was a lot going on through this book it was all handled beautifully and everything was tied together neat and tidy by the end. It didn't leave questions unanswered or you wondering what in the world would happen next.
I actually found myself wanting more at the end and was a little disappointed that the end had come.
I think this was a fun series and anyone who enjoys fantasy would really like this series.

The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris

Title: The Sookie Stackhouse Companion
Author: Charlaine Harris
Published By: Ace Hardcover (Aug. 30, 2011)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Charlaine Harris has topped the bestseller charts and has become a nationwide phenomenon, thanks to the unconventional-and otherworldly- life of Sookie Stackhouse. Now, in her own words, Sookie gives readers a look at her family, friends, enemies, adventures, and-of course-the lovers who set her world on fire...

Readers will:

• Tour Bon Temps, the small Louisiana town that Sookie calls home, and visit the houses of her Gran and her sometime vampire lover, Bill
• Prowl around the werewolf and were-panther communities
• Browse through her best friend Tara's dress shop
• Belly up to the bar in Merlotte's, where Sookie works
• Get must-have Bon Temps recipes-including Caroline Bellfleur's famous chocolate cheesecake
• Test themselves with trivia questions from the series

My Review:
You just never know what you are going to get when you open up a Companion Novel so I didn't' have very high expectations for this one.
I am always so glad when I am pleasantly surprised by something.
The novella is this book Small-Town Wedding was fabulous! Sam takes Sookie back home to meet his family and to attend his brother's wedding with him. This novella takes place somewhere between the last two books.
It was so nice to see Sam and Sookie together in a setting other than work. It was nice to see how they interacted and got along and dealt with the issues that came up with the wedding of Sam's younger brother. 
It was also nice to see some familiar faces (Quinn!) and to meet some new ones. 
The novella was probably the  best part of this book but it was also nice to get glimpses into conversations between Eric and Bill that happened at the end of each summary of the books and took place during the stories.
Sadly, they didn't change my opinion of Eric but they did change my opinion  a little about Bill. I actually think I liked Bill more after reading this book than I had before.
And of course there was some great reference guides in here to the people, places and the town which was awesome. I also really enjoyed reading some of the recipes and plan on trying a few of them out.
I can't tell where this series will end or who Sookie will end up with but, it will be nice to read the next book in the series and see where Harris takes this series.