Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram

Title: The Avery Shaw Experiment
Author: Kelly Oram
Series: Stand Alone
Published: May 2, 2013
Source: Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:

When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically. 

The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart.

Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.

My Thoughts and Review:

Can I just say for the record that I love all of Kelly's books but this one truly was just what I needed when I needed it. I have been reading way too many dystopians lately and this truly was like a breath of fresh air.

I was completely sucked in after the first (yes I said first) prologue. And can I again, for the record just flat out state that I love and adore Grayson? He is awesomesauce personified. Truly one of my favorite male characters to date. I loved absolutely everything about him. 

He was sweet, funny, kind, a complete horn dog, and incredibly patient with Avery and really helped her through a whole lot of @#$%. I couldn't help but love him. 

Not only did I love Grayson but this book was full of fabulous secondary characters. The feisty Libby, Chloe, Pam and Owen. Oh Owen. He and Libby, were hilarious. I loved how terrified Owen was of her and their dynamic was so well done. I think I laughed the most when those two got together. 

And even though this book had a lighter tone to it (lots of funny and swoon worthy moments) there were messages behind it as well. This wasn't just a fluff read and I love that about Kelly's books. Not only can I count on something completely entertaining but I can count on something heartfelt and even just a bit emotional.

This was so well done and once again showed me why I love this author's work so much. 

*All Opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for my review*

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Title: The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Series: Book One in the Testing Series
Published By: Houghton Mifflin Books For Children (June 4, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Dystopian
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same? 

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career. 

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one. 

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.

My Thoughts and Review:

I honestly wasn't prepared for how much I was going to enjoy this story. It felt very reminiscent of the Hunger Games at first and that made me a little sad to be honest. I love the Hunger Games but I didn't want a copy of it, I wanted something more original than that.

Thankfully, I got just what I wanted. Yes there are similarities between this and The Hunger Games, but only similarities, nothing stolen, nothing copy catted. In fact, once you got down to the nitty gritty of it all there was a pretty original story line there. You just had to dig a little deep to find it but once there, it was quite the view.

I have been reading a lot of dystopians lately, maybe too many, so I wasn't exactly in the best frame of mind when I started this one. I was feeling a little burnt out on the genre and really not looking forward to reading another one. I know, I know, so not cool of me but, there you have it.

So of course you can imagine my surprise when not only did this one capture my attention, but it also managed to completely pull me out of my funk and give me something to look forward to every time I opened it up. I became pretty engrossed with the story and really  warmed up to Cia. She is pretty determined, helluva smart, feisty and she questions everything, something that kept her alive throughout the Testing, and she manages to do it all without coming across as a know it all or being so obnoxious I wanted to smack her.

I have to give the author some props, this was a dang good story with an intriguing action packed plot line and some engaging characters. I never knew whom to trust and it was never clear who the good guys were and who the bad guys were, even up until the ending. I felt like the author would just bring us to the brink of figuring it all out and then pull us back with another unexpected twist or change in the storyline and once again we would have to work our way to the edge.

I love it when an author can take me by surprise and make me sad when the story is over and leave me wanting more and that is exactly what Charbonneau did and I can't wait for the next book so I can do it all over again.

*All Opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for my review*

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: Rush by Eve Silver

Title: Rush

Author: Eve Silver
Series: Book One of the Game Series
Published By: Katherine Tegen (June 11, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Dystopian
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:

So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

My Thoughts and Review:

Wow, just wow. This book blew me away with its originality and creativeness. Honestly, I am not a gamer by any means and while I didn't want to be in the game because, yeah, who would? I did want to be in the world that Silver created because lets face it, it was pretty darn cool. Okay, maybe not the alien fighting for your life bit, but the other parts to it? The friendship, the exploring the world and getting to kick some serious alien butt and show off your super ninja skills? Yeah that was pretty awesome.

I don't even know where to begin to describe the awesomeness that is this book. I really really loved it, in fact I would go so far as to say that it enthralled me, from start to finish. Is it perfect? Not by a long shot but it was so entertaining that nothing else mattered. And okay, the cover whore in me has to say, the cover on this kicks some serious booty.

Miki was completely kick butt (like a girl should be). Luka and Jackson, so so swoon worthy, each in there own way and guess what? NO love triangle, you heard that right, nada, zip, zilch, nothing. Okay, there is potential for one all throughout the story, there really is but it never escalates and I really hope it stays that way.

Silver created such a great storyline and characters that it really grabbed my attention and held it the whole way through and to be honest I wasn't expecting to love this. I thought I would like it or I never would have picked it up, but love? Never saw it coming. 

And can I talk about that ending? I truly shouted out “Nooooo!!!” when I came to the last page. How could she do that to us. How could she give us so much and then just rip it away and leave us hanging like she did? Silver, that really wasn't nice!

This is the year for outstanding debut authors, series, stand alones, you name it and this is one of them. Okay, I might say that every year but the fact is, Silver is an author to watch because if her other books are anything like her first, she will so be on my auto-buy list before too long. 

*All Opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for my review*

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guest Post and Review: Perpetual by Michaela Debelius

Today I have author Michaela Debelius here to share a little bit about her book Perpetual and a special guest post by her about the age old (okay not that old) debate of hardbacks, paperbacks or e-books?

But first a little bit about her novel.

Title: Perpetual
Author: Michaela Debelius
Published: January 7, 2013
Series: Book One in the Revoker Series
Source: Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)


“Some people say they don’t care. I actually mean it.”

Mercy Green didn’t become this way overnight. Centuries of monotonous life have left her jaded and detached. Humans weren’t meant to live forever. But then again, she isn’t human. Adam is though, and his purity baffles her. How can he remain unpolluted in a world tarnished by corruption? It doesn’t matter. Her time in Birchwood Creek is coming to an end and she must prepare to relocate. That is, until she inexplicably wakes up in a pool of her own blood. The answer seems simple enough: leave immediately. But when an attempt is made on Adam’s life, a failed murder she inadvertently caused, she feels obligated to stay and protect him. 

But then she’s attacked again. 

And Adam begins to ask questions.

Victim to an unseen stalker, Mercy’s forced to seek help from Nick, an immortal teenager whose sudden appearance suspiciously coincides with her plunge into chaos. With her structured life unraveling and revelation of her immortality looming, Mercy must accept the truth: she’s being hunted. But why?

…And she thought immortality was boring.

About the Author:
Author Bio: Michaela Debelius is a fiction writer whose work incorporates elements of science fiction, romance, and suspense. Originally from New England, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and two furry children. Her second novel, Perpetual¸ is available now. Please visit for more information.

Guest Post:
E-readers, Paperbacks, and Tinfoil Hats

(AKA You Can Pry This Paperback Out of My Cold Dead Hands)

Fun fact: The majority of my sales are e-books. I’m not talking an 80/20 split. I’m talking 99/1, and I’m certain my paperback sales are all family members who think it’s neat to see my name in print (appreciate the support immensely, fam!). It’s not a startling discovery. We live in a technologically-driven world where most people own e-readers. I love e-readers. I love my own e-reader. I love that I can sell books because people own e-readers. E-readers are the reason we have a huge wave of indie authors. Without them, we’d be back to the days of allowing publishers to decide what will and will not make it to you, the reader. The power is in the readers’ hands. It’s all so wonderful and exciting and exhilarating.

Until the power goes out.

I grew up in New England. In case you didn’t know this, and if you live in America you really should, New England is old. I’m pretty sure Thomas Edison himself installed the light bulbs in my childhood home. Older wiring and above-ground electricity poles meant we’d lose power at least once a year, sometimes more depending on the frequency of storms. Usually it was only a few minutes, occasionally it was the better part of a day. Always the exception and never the rule, I was probably the only person I knew who looked forward to a day without electricity. Admittedly, that strange desire is gone now that I live in the desert and require air conditioning seven months out of the year. Sure, I can sprawl across a tile floor in the buff and pray for salvation, but my animals cannot.

I digress.

My point is, as a child during those times of no TV, and in my teen years no computers, there were only two options for entertainment: play a board game by candlelight or read a book.

Man, do I love an excuse to spend hours reading a book.

But it’s kind of hard to read a Kindle once the battery dies. You know what never needs a solid three hours of charging? My hardcopy of Catcher in the Rye. So while I love my Nook, while I adore the ability to download books without ever leaving the house, I’m aware there will always be a need for paper. It will dwindle, of course. Brick and mortar bookstores may become antiquated, probably sooner rather than later. But books themselves will always exist. People who think books will disappear are as mislead as those who thought the internet would kill newspapers. Yet every day I still find myself stepping over plastic-covered rolls of newsfeed as I walk my dog through the neighborhood. The reminder that some forms of media will never die is even more prominent on Sundays, when the papers are thicker and the quantity of recipients is

higher. You have to watch out for those extreme-couponing homes. Their driveways are a death trap.

So dare I say it, I love my e-reader but I will never fully turn my back on books. “Fun reads” will always be purchased in e-format. But certain books, books that have changed me, novels I’ve read over and over and can still get lost in the words, those are purchased in tangible form. Therefore, there will always be a need for bookcases in my house as well as power cords and USB ports.

And air conditioning…

My Thoughts and Review:
I wasn't sure what to expect after reading only the first few chapters of this book. I knew that I had found something completely original but I had my doubts I was going to fall in love with it or with the characters. While well written and full of detail, it moved a little slow and honestly, while the premise was something different it seemed to lack something I couldn't quite put my finger on. Excitement or adventure maybe? Or maybe just the fast pace of most YA novels these days, either way, I had a hard time connecting with anyone and even with the story line itself.

I didn't want to give it up on it because even if it wasn't completely engaging it still did have enough umph to it that I wanted to see where the story would go and I am glad that I did because as the pages flew by the story and the writing started to get better and before I knew it I was completely engaged in the storyline. 

The author really did create something extraordinary which, can be hard to do in this genre. It is hard to find something not only unique but fun and entertaining as well and while this may have had a slow start it did pick up and start to really flow. As more and more information about who and what Mercy was and the mysterious people out to get her kind evolved I became pretty engrossed in the story and I couldn't read it fast enough.

Mercy, Adam, Ben, Emily and Nick (I think I loved him most!) were all great characters. It was nice to see Mercy's character learn and grow. She may have been a couple of centuries old but when it came to loving and trusting others she had so much to learn and I loved watching her character grow as she learned to let people in and form deep bonds of friendship with them. 

I will definitely be picking up the second book in this truly stand out series.

*All Opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for my review*

Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Title: Another Little Piece
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn'
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: HarperTeen (June 11, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Thriller/Horror
My Rating: 4 Stars!!

Book Description:

The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn's haunting debut.

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese's fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

My Thoughts and Review:

The premises of this one drew me right in, with the unique storyline and the slight mysterious feel to it I couldn't help but pick this one up and dive right in.

What I wasn't expecting was the simple fact that this wasn't just a mystery. Oh no, this was a whole heck of a lot more than that. This was down right creepy at times and had me guessing from the very first chapter. I knew after those first few pages that I was going to be in for quite the thrill fest. 

The cover on this one is quite deceiving, it is downright innocent really, something this story is not.
The description isn't lying when it says that fans on the master of horror himself, (King), would appreciate this one. 

It has been awhile since I have read a good horror and this one eased me right into the story. To say this was dark and twisted would be perfect. In fact I could probably leave you with those three words alone and be done with this review. But where would the fun be in that?

Annaliese's past was a mystery and one I loved discovering along the way. Her memories came to her in horrible visions of her past and the past lives of girls very much like her. I can't really say too much but how it all unfolded was pure genius. It was creepy and edgy and truly had me wanting to know more. I didn't realize how much I missed stories like this one until after starting this read. I missed the strange and dark feel or a good horror. The twisted mind of a mad man and the terrifying feeling of the unknown, lurking just around the next corner ready to strike when you are least expecting it. I loved cringing at certain parts and feeling my stomach roll and then laughing out loud at others. The blending of these two genre (YA and horror) was seamlessly done. This is one heck of a debut novel from a talented author. I will definitely be keeping my eye on her and picking up whatever she happens to write in the future. 

*All Opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for my review*

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Indie Book of the Week: The Vampire Code by E.C. Adams

It seems lately I have been super busy, so busy that I haven't made time for one of my favorite memes, okay, really the only meme I do anymore. Either way I have missed doing it and so this week, I am starting the week off right and bringing you my Indie Book of the Week with author E.C. Adams and her novel, The Vampire Code!

Title: The Vampire Code
Author: E.C. Adams
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)

Book Description:

An Urban Fantasy Romance set in a United States where vampires are another oppressed minority in search of cultural acceptance, and featuring a ruling family that wants to change that - the Fiscards. As part of their plan to connect with mainstream mortal America, when one of their own is unjustly accused of murdering a human, the Fiscards hire one of New York's hottest young attorneys — a young woman by the name Aurora Lake — to stand by them in Vampire Court. But not every vampire wants to be assimilated, and not everybody approves of the obvious attraction between Aurora Lake and the vampire Sebastian Fiscard. As they struggle with their own feelings and with unseen, ancient forces trying to put a stop to their work — and to Aurora — will Aurora and Sebastian overcome The Resistance? And what about their resistance to what their own hearts, mortal and immortal, know to be true?

Author Bio:

A lawyer by profession, E.C. Adams started writing when she decided to take a break from her profession and focus more on her expanding family. Born in Malta, a tiny island bang in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, she now lives there, but over the years, she's lived in Italy (Rome), England (London) and Cyprus (Paphos). She loves Greek and Italian food, and throwing lavish parties at home, where all guests are expected to bring a +1 or more. "The Vampire Code" is her debut novel and the first book in a Series by the name “The Fiscard Vampires”.

Book Two will be published in 2013.

Where to connect with E.C. – 
Blog Site: 
FB Page:!/pages/EC-Adams/351173074991874?fref=ts 
FB (don’t be shy – send her a request):!/e.c.adams.mail 


Sebastian Fiscard couldn’t have been older than thirty-five when he died. He sat across from me, wearing a crisp white shirt over dark blue pants and an air of barely contained impatience.

“Help me understand, Mr. Fiscard,” I said. “You want me, a human, to represent your brother, a vampire, in front of a jury of over four hundred vampires, in a murder trial in which the victim was human?”

The vampire sat absolutely still—not breathing, not doing anything, allowing me time to process the information—before he said, “Yes, Ms. Lake. That’s just about it.”

My Thoughts and Review:
It is so  hard to find anything new and let's face it, even exciting when it comes to vampires. It seems for the most part, it has all been done before. From the scary take to the, well, not so scary sparkly variety, either way, it seems it has all been seen. 

And while I wouldn’t say this was something completely new or truly unique, it was something a little different and definitely something fun and something that I enjoyed.

It did take me awhile to warm up to all the characters and really get a feel for them and while I never connected to them like I wanted to, I did like them and the story was compelling enough that I wanted to get to the end to find out how it all worked out.

It will be very interesting to see where the author takes the story from here. The epilogue jumped about two years ahead so it does make me wonder how the next two books will play out It was definitely a good set up for the next book and one that I will look forward to reading.

*I was in no way compensated for this review, all opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher*

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: XII Genesis by Brian Palmer and Jason Rowe

Title: XII Genesis
Author(s): Brian Palmer and Jason Rowe
Series: Book One in the XII Saga
Published: December 12, 2012
Source: Copy Provided by the Authors (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 to 4 Stars!

Books Description:

A century after the world was predicted to end, it was indeed reborn. Under the leadership of the Overseer of New Earth, minds were united, diseases were cured, and the Earth was healed when population centers minimized mankind’s footprint, and the remainder of the planet was turned over to the will of nature. War was eradicated, the world embraced one religion, and the New Era began.

But darkness rises now, mistaken for a mere shadow cast by the bright light of human progress. It is the time of which the ancients foretold. It is the time when all things must end. It is the time of The Twelve. 

Six men and six women representing all creeds and colors are supernaturally gifted, but the unlikeliest of heroes. They are barely adults by the world’s standards, but still they are called.

Only they can stand against the growing darkness – but will they stand together?

XII: Genesis is the first installment of an eight-book series in the Young Adult / New Adult genres. If action excites you, if the supernatural intrigues you, and if love compels you - then you are invited to join The Twelve in their fight against the growing darkness that threatens New Earth!


My Thoughts and Review:

Right from the beginning I could tell this was going to be a truly unique look into a world very well created. The writing was smooth and drew you right into the story. 

I do need to say, right off the bat, that high fantasy really isn't my thing and I honestly had no idea going into this one that it would have as much fantasy as it did, maybe stupid on my part but, there you have it either way.

Having said that though, even though this wasn't really my thing per se, I still could tell this story really was very well done. The authors have to be commended for that and I truly think those that love fantasy and want something completely different and original, will really love this read.

There were quite a few twists in this one I didn't see coming and parts were a little, creepy if not horrific. The darkness was truly something to be feared and to fight against and I can't even begin to think how creative the authors must be to even dream up some of the things that they did. 

And although this was fantasy there are other elements that I think would appeal to other readers as well, a little mystery, a little romance and some pretty dang tough supernatural kids as well. Really there is a whole cast of fun characters (and some slightly disturbed ones as well) in this that I think will appeal to a lot of people, both male and female, fantasy lovers or not. 

This is only part one of an eight part series and I can't even fathom where the authors will take this from here. I am sure whatever it may be, it will be quite the adventure.

*All Opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for my review*

Friday, May 24, 2013

Review: You Look Different In Real Life by Jennifer Castle

Title: You Look Different In Real Life
Author: Jennifer Castle
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: HarperTeen (June 4, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:

For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life.

The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There'd be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.

Now sixteen, Justine doesn't feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.

But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what's on film. They've all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else's eyes.

Smart, fresh, and frequently funny, You Look Different in Real Life is a piercing novel about life in an age where the lines between what's personal and what's public aren't always clear.

My Thoughts and Review:

This book had such a great premises that I knew as soon as I saw it (and the great cover!) I wanted to read it.

This book is narrated by Justine, the star of the show at both six years old and then again at eleven. She and four other classmates were picked to be documented every five years until the age of twenty one. 

Justine has been the favorite, the sweetheart in each episode,  only this time at sixteen, she isn't so sure she will be that person anymore.  So much has changed for her and her friends over the course of five years. She feels like a completely different person, inside and out and she isn't happy with the realization that this time, she will hardly be the star. Her friends have changed, her family has changed, even her once trim and slim body has changed. She doesn't feel like she has accomplished anything she wanted to be or do at age eleven and she isn't really ready for the world to know it.

Even though Justine narrates this story, it really is a story about all five of them. Nate, Felix, Rory and Keira. All of them have changed and they all have their secrets and they all need each other, whether they realize it or not.

I so loved this. It was such a great way to show the characters growth throughout the years and throughout this final documentary of their life. I love how it all played out. The secrets, the heart break, the lessons, the friendship and the love. I don't know what I was expecting from this read but it wasn't the emotional one that I got. I didn't know I would become so invested in their lives and how attached I would be to Justine by the time the story was over.

She is a typical teen that isn't perfect, has made some mistakes, is a little self centered and has a whole lot of growing to do, something she does throughout the story. It was nice to see her change. Not on the outside, but on the inside as she discovers who is really is and what she wants out of life. As she learns that the movies and consequent fame, have not made her who she is but that she and her decisions, good or bad, has made her who she is and will continue to do so. 

This was a great story about a difficult time in any youths life, that time when you are on the fringe of adulthood and still trying to find your place in the world. 

*All Opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for my review*

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Spirit
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Book Three in the Elemental Series
Published By: Kennsington Teen (May 28, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:

With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

My Thoughts and Review:

Oh how I love this series. Hunter and the Merrick boys are completely wonderful. Kemmerer has managed to create a really fun, action packed series with all male characters that really is exceptional in the YA genre. It is hard to come by a female author that seems to be able to get inside a male's head and create characters that are so realistic it is hard to believe they aren't real people instead of creations from her own imagination.

After reading Breathless and being completely blown away not to mention completely taken by surprise with the turn of events that took place, I was so very eager to start this book. Even though I knew it wasn't going to be about Nick, I knew it was going to have Hunter and the Merrick boys in it and I couldn't wait to delve back into their world. 

Oh Hunter how my heart went out to thee. I think for the first half of this book I wanted to grab Hunter and wrap him up in a great big hug and not let go. He probably would have kicked my butt for doing it but hey, it would have been worth it.

I already knew I liked Hunter, heck I like all the characters in this series male and female alike but once again Hunter stole the show in this book and Michael, yeah, Michael too. I already had a soft spot for him after reading his novella (the prequel to this series) but I like him even more now. It can't be easy raising three Merrick boys and Elementals to boot! He deserves some serious props for that.

Once again I love Gabriel and hit smart ass comments and witty sense of humor. His personality is so much fun and he really gives this book those lighter moments it needs with his witty one liners and quick retorts. I know under all that sarcasm and wit is a big ole fluffy marshmallow.

Poor Hunter. He is so lost and confused in this read. I truly felt for him. He doesn't always make the right decisions but he is good. He wants to be good, he just isn't sure how to be that way. What that even means exactly when he is torn between the illusion of the world he grew up in and the reality of the world he is now living. 

Kate isn't much better. She is a lot like Hunter. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not sure which way is the right way. What is right and what is wrong. She is feisty and strong and really, a perfect match for Hunter. They push each other to go past what they are familiar with and comfortable with. To learn to love and trust and so much more. I couldn't help but like her. Kemmerer may know how to write a great male protagonist but she is equally talented in writing a female one. 

Once again I am blown away with how much I love this series. Every time I think I have a handle on things Kemmerer will throw in another curve ball and leave me breathless again. 

This was such an emotional read for me. The whole thing really, from start to finish.  And the ending? Well not really the ending ending, but the last 30% of the book  tore my heart out and stomped on it! I am still sitting here in shock, not really sure what to think about all of it. 

All I can really say is, well done Kemmerer, well done. I am once again in awe of your writing talent and ability to throw a curve ball like no other. I once again, didn't see any of that coming. 

*All Opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for my review*

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: Of Triton by Anna Banks

Title: Of Triton
Author: Anna Banks
Series: Book Two in the Of Poseidon Series
Published By: Feiwel and Friends (May 28, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.
As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?

My Thoughts and Review:

I would be lying if I didn't say that I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this book. Ever since reading Of Poseidon and falling in love with it (much to my surprise) I have been dying to know what happens next.

I fell in love with stubborn Emma, feisty Rayna, the sweet and funny Toraf and the adorable swoony worth Galen. And of course I have been dying to read more about Nahlia and Grom. Their love story seemed pretty epic and I wanted more. I wasn't ready for it to be over.

I didn't plan on reading this one as soon as I got it since I literally had a huge stack of other books (ARCs included) sitting in my TBR pile waiting for me to read but I couldn't help it. As soon as I saw the cover I knew I was going to have to read it. The cover is gorgeous!!

I loved this. I really did. In fact, I think I just love Galen. He is just made of awesome and I love how protective he is of Emma without being overbearing and controlling. Toraf was amazing as always although, for a minute there I almost had to smack him. Rayna is as feisty as ever and I even saw a side of Grom that we haven't seen before and he grew on me as well.

So much comes about in this. So many of my unanswered questions from the first book are answered and it was nice to see how all the characters interacted and got along. There were a lot of challenges in this one, not just for Emma ( who I am happy to say grew up quite a but in this and I loved her humor, she had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion) and Galen but for Nahlia and Grom that I didn't see coming. I really liked the direction that Banks took this and how she worked it all out. It was in a very believable way. There weren't any super easy answers to all their troubles.

We get a few new characters ( loved Poseidon!) and had to say goodbye to a few old ones but, we got an ending that was satisfying yet left it wide open for another book, which I really hope we get.

I really couldn't of asked for a better sequel.  

*All Opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for my review*

Blog Tour Guest Post: The Sentinels of New Orleans by Suzanne Johnson

Title: Royal Street
Author: Suzanne Johnson
Series: Book One in the Sentinels of New Orleans Series
Published: April 10, 2010 by Tor Books

Book Description:

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.

While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.

About the Author:

Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance from Auburn, Alabama, after a career in educational publishing that has spanned five states and six universities. She grew up halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis' birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football and fried gator on a stick.






Publisher Page:

River Road

Sentinels of New Orleans, Book 2 Suzanne Johnson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Tor Books

Cover Artist: Cliff Neilson

Book Description:

Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but the preternatural storm rages on in New Orleans. New species from the Beyond moved into Louisiana after the hurricane destroyed the borders between worlds, and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the preternaturals peaceful and the humans unaware. But a war is brewing between two clans of Cajun merpeople in Plaquemines Parish, and down in the swamp, DJ learns, there’s more stirring than angry mermen and the threat of a were-gator.

Wizards are dying, and something—or someone—from the Beyond is poisoning the waters of the mighty Mississippi, threatening the humans who live and work along the river. DJ and Alex must figure out what unearthly source is contaminating the water and who—or what—is killing the wizards. Is it a malcontented merman, the naughty nymph, or some other critter altogether? After all, DJ’s undead suitor, the pirate Jean Lafitte, knows his way around a body or two.

It’s anything but smooth sailing on the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues.

Guest Post:

The Mating Game: DJ Rates the Guys of the Sentinels of New Orleans

Sorry, author Suzanne Johnson didn’t show up today. She sent me instead.

My name is DJ Jaco. Only my annoying neighbor calls me “Dru,” short for Drusilla, and I’m going to whack him one if he doesn’t stop it. I’m a wizard—not the most powerful one on the block, but I’m improving. Until a few years ago, when Hurricane Katrina sent my world into freefall, I’d led a sheltered life. I was home-schooled in wizardry and my odd skills from having elves somewhere back in the gene pool. I didn’t have much of a social life since wizards are, in general, jerks, and humans don’t know we exist. Then, when the hurricane tore down the borders between the modern city and the preternatural world beyond, everything changed.

Imagine this: a grumpy shapeshifter, a merman, a rogue werewolf with control issues, an undead 200-year-old French pirate, and a pretty guy of some mysterious (and non-human) origin walk into a bar. Sounds like the start of a bad joke, right?

Welcome to my life. For a girl who didn’t have any dating prospects a few years ago, I have a wealth of options these days. If only one of them, just one, was kind of…you know…normal. Here’s how I see it.

Alexander Warin, aka Alex, is a hulking brute of a shifter. Six-three of muscles with long lashes framing eyes the color of Hershey’s finest, he’s a chick magnet and he knows it. He’s also prone to be monosyllabic when he’s focused or annoyed (often), stubborn when he thinks he’s right (more often), and bossy (always). He sees the world in black and white, and the shades of gray that surround my life drive him nuts. Oh, and did I mention he’s my partner in monitoring the borders between New Orleans and the Beyond? Even I know smart women don’t bonk their business partners. But did I mention those eyes? And that beneath all the macho crap he’s really a more-than-decent guy? On the desirability scale, Alex gets a 9 out of 10, hindered only by his utter obsession with weaponry. (Just wait and see what he does with a nail gun in Elysian Fields. OMG.)

Jacob Warin, aka Jake, is Alex’s cousin. Jake and I have had a flirtation going since Katrina, but things have changed a lot since then. Both of us have changed a lot since then. Jake was a laid-back Marine Corps vet with a sweetness about him that drew me to him immediately. He has sun-streaked blond hair, amber eyes, dimples to drown in, and a soft, sexy Mississippi drawl. Well, okay he also has a dark side, and it has been coming out more often and he seems to be less in control of it. Jake owns the Green Gator, a French Quarter bar, but has recently been working with Alex on preternatural investigations. On the desirability scale, Jake got a 9 before Katrina, with a slight deduction for being human and not knowing anything about the paranormal world. Now, he’s dropped to a seven because, well, I’m a little afraid of that dark side of him. I don’t want to be. I’m working on it. But there it is.

Jean Lafitte. Ah, the pirate (he might call himself a privateer, but to me, the man was a pirate). Jean is the bad boy we all want. He’s six-foot-two inches of sexy, with cobalt-blue eyes and

shaggy dark hair. Did I mention the French accent? Ooh-la-la. He’s also about 230 years old and a member of the Historical Undead, famous people given immortality through the magic of human memory. As long as people remember them, they live on. And as Jean will be quick to tell you, he is quite unforgettable. He’s also ruthless, too smart for his own good, and cunning—he’s always looking for the angle or advantage in a situation. On a desirability scale, Jean gets an 7. He’s sexy as sin and he knows I think he’s hot, but I don’t quite trust him and, mostly, I can’t quite get past that “technically dead” thing. But the pirate is persistent…

Rene Delachaise is a Cajun merman. He’s blunt-spoken, adventurous, can be a tad on the cranky side, and won’t back down in a fight. He makes a great backup, and we’re becoming good friends. Rene’s got his own sex appeal—like most mers, he’s not too tall, about 5-9, but he has dark, liquid eyes you could drown in and enough body art to keep you busy looking for a long time. (Ask him about his bottle-nosed dolphin tattoo, but be prepared for him to show it to you, which might involve pants removal.) On the desirability scale, I’ll give Rene a 6. He’s becoming a good friend and, like Alex, I don’t have so many friends that I’ll screw one up by a romantic entanglement.

Quince Randolph is only in this list because, technically, he’s male and he doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, despite my best attempts to get rid of him. He recently opened a nursery and landscaping business, Plantasy Island, across the street from me in New Orleans. My best friend Eugenie is dating Rand, and thinks he is something else. I know he’s something else, as in not human; I just can’t figure out what. And talk about Mr. Creepy-pants. Oh, don’t get me wrong. He’s pretty—talk and built like a swimmer, with broad shoulders and narrow hips. Shoulder-length blond hair. Eyes a rich, vibrant blue-green. On the desirability scale, I’d give Rand a 9 if he were walking down the street and I’d never met him. Once Mr. Creepy came out to play, that number dives to about a negative four. And why-oh-why if he’s dating Eugenie does he seem obsessed with me? Finding the answer to that is next on my to-do list.

So, what do you think? Who’s the keeper out of the lot? Or am I better off staying home with my surly Siamese named Sebastian?

Cast a vote for DJ’s best potential suitor to win a copy of Royal Street or River Road, or an author swag bag! International entries welcome.