Friday, February 28, 2014

The Place Where There Is No Darkness by K.M. Douglas

The Place Where There Is No Darkness

By K.M. Douglas

Blurb: The year is 2019. The Watchers maintain a state of constant surveillance: guns are outlawed, media is censored, and unmanned drones patrol the skies. Derrion Parsing is a high school senior and the son of an ex-Army Ranger. Unlike his classmates, he has access to information from the time before the Invisible War, when the government shut down the Internet, reformatting into a propaganda tool. When Derrion attempts to use this information as part of a school project, he awakens to his worst nightmare.

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian

Publication Date: November 13,2013
  
Series: N/A

Pages: 98

My Rating: 3 stars


I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book was good, but it wasn't my kind of Dystopian. So before you read my review, make sure you have this in mind.

Reasons this didn't work for me as much as I wanted include:

-The fact that it takes place five years in the future. (I read the blurb wrong, so it was kind of a surprise. Totally my fault.) Do I think that the US could get to this state in five years? Yes. Do I think it will happen in five years? No. That kind of took away my ability to suspend disbelief while reading.

-The 9/11 conspiracy theory as the plot. It's not that it was bad to read about, it's just that because of it I couldn't see it as a 'true' Dystopian novel because the plot had to do with something that actually happened, not a made up oppressive government.

-The fact that I was never able to connect with the characters. The book is short, and because of this I didn't get to know the characters as much as I like to.

Would I recommend this? Yes, to the right person. I may not have loved this, but I am sure there are others that could consider this book fantastic! I will say it's not like any other Dystopian I've ever read before, and I appreciate that a lot.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to Be A Perfect Girl by Mary Williams


How To Be A Perfect Girl

By Mary Williams

Blurb: Valentina Hunter's parents think they've just hit the jackpot; when her mother invents a product that makes her family millionaires overnight, they buy a new house and new cars, and enroll their daughter in the ultra-exclusive Palm Lake private school. The school comes with an excellent resume; more Palm Lake graduates go on to the Ivy League than any other private school in the area, ninety percent of them start college with at least a year’s worth of Advanced Placement credits, and they earn more perfect ACT scores per capita than the students at any other high school. Valentina’s mother and father are ecstatic, but Val doesn’t share the sentiment; she would rather go to the local public school with all her middle school friends. Events only increase her desire, as Valentina quickly finds herself embroiled in bitter social battles and hostile vendettas, leaving her to question whether she’ll even be able to survive the first month.

Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Publication Date: December 18, 2013

Series: N/A

Pages: 274

My Rating: 1 star

A free copy was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I had a major problem with this book, sadly, and that was the MC.

Val, the aforementioned MC, may be one of the most unlikeable character I have ever come across. The worst part is, she never ever truly realizes it. She thinks she's nice and blames other people for being mean to her, when it is obviously her fault. For example, she calls her 'friend' Jenny ugly and says no guy will ever like her except a 'nerd' named Noah. (At this point, I should mention that someday these 'nerds' will be running the country. Noah would have probably been a better boyfriend than any of the other guys in this book. But I will get back to that later.) Jenny slaps her and gets suspended, while the only thing Val has to do is apologize for provoking her, something I found extremely unfair, mostly because she tells the principal she 'felt so bad afterwards.' But then when she is explaining the fight to her parents, she takes basically NO responsibility, and when her mom tells her she said some awful things that could seriously screw Jenny up, Val responds with, "But what I said was true!" Okay, Val, I think you have proven that you don't feel that bad.

She claims that she wishes that she could live in a world where there was "no drama or mood swings or emotional outbursts". However, since she is the one who is the cause of 90% of the drama in this book, I found that claim extremely hard to believe. Basically, she is the girl always complaining about drama in their lives while simulaneously causing it.

Her class president speech, and I am not joking, as that everyone should vote for her because she is nice and pretty. And they do. She wins. Mind you, this is AFTER she got in the fight with Jenny and called her ugly to her face.

Every single guy in this book was either a jerk or a perv. And they almost all tell Val that she is 'perfect','beautiful', or both. There is basically one guy who doesn't do that, but instead just teases Val about her nose, which is apparently 'too long'. All of these were quite one dimensional. The one guy I didn't mind as much as the other ones, Keenan (and trust me, he still had some issues) she ends up cheating on...with his brother...whose girlfriend broke up with him because of Val.

Val does start to realize she is getting mean, but instead of taking responsibility for her actions, she blames it on the school. Believe me, it is NOT the school's fault, Val.

The ending is...I don't know if it was supposed to be a cliffhanger or something, but it was not very good. Basically, (SPOILER) karma caught up with Val and everyone hates her now. She is now dating Keenan's brother Porter, because she cheated on Keenan with Porter and Keenan caught them.

So, that was what I didn't like about this book. I am afraid I could not recommend it.

Book Blitz: After the Curtain Falls by Ainsley Shay

 

After the Curtain Falls 

by Ainsley Shay

Publication date: January 31st 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Erik never had to be anything other than a freak…until now.

Two hundred fifty-three days is a long time to fake being normal when night after night you perform miraculous feats on stage in a freak show. Thousands have paid to witness the miracle, suspecting nothing more than a hoax. But it is very real and it is slowly destroying him. Erik is weakened to the point where he’ll stop performing and start going to school for the first time ever—in his senior year. His only goal is to rebuild his strength so he can return to the stage and perform doing what he loves most in this world. What he didn’t plan for was the appearances of beautiful Addison and mysterious Naya. Now, unfamiliar feelings and bizarre new friendships threaten to unbalance Erik’s future as a miracle-performing freak.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20617601-after-the-curtain-falls?ac=1

Purchase (book is on sale for 0.99c during the blitz!):

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/after-the-curtain-falls-ainsley-shay/1118400664?ean=9781939588029

http://www.amazon.com/After-Curtain-Falls-Ainsley-Shay-ebook/dp/B00I4HE1L0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1392927507

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AUTHOR BIO
Ainsley Shay avoids insanity by living mostly in the fiction world. She believes surrounding herself with positive people, and strives for balance in everything. She owns more jeans with rips and holes than without; and has recently found the magic of patches. For her, reading or writing the perfect sentence is better than the smoothest piece of dark chocolate melting in her mouth. She is a deltiologist for pure enjoyment, not for the study of. She longs to move north one day, even though she hates the cold. (Go figure!) So, for now, she continues to live in warm south Florida with her incredible husband, three beautiful daughters, and two lazy cats. (We won't mention the dog.)

Author Links:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7789269.Ainsley_Shay
http://ainsleyshay.blogspot.ca/
https://www.facebook.com/ainsley.shay
https://twitter.com/ainsleyshay

Sneak Peak:



  The moment is perfect to lean in and kiss her. And I badly want to put my hand on her cheek and bring my lips to hers.
     Addison looks at her wrist, my fingers still there. “I should go,” she says shattering my thoughts.
     I slide my hand from her wrist, along her palm, lingering on her fingertips with my own. Looking up into her eyes, I ask, Are you sure you want to?”
     She meets my eyes. “No.” Her voice whispers the simple word I was hoping she would say. “But they’re expecting me down there.” My stomach aches when she starts to get up. “Thanks for catching me when I fell.” She brushes the sand off her dress and walks through the wheat grass toward the shore.

~~~

     “You’re a freak like me,” Naya says, no doubt present in her tone.
     Shaken by her word choice, but intrigued to know why she’s chosen it, I ask, “Am I? And how do you know that?” I swallow nothing, feeling my throat constrict as I wait for her answer.
     With concern on her face, her lips purse, and she shrugs one shoulder. “I just know.” She touches my arm, leans into me and whispers, “As a friend, just be careful. The people here,” she looks to her left and then to her right, “well…they aren’t very nice to our kind."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Royally Lost by Angie Stanton



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I am spotlighting a certain book I found on Edelweiss last month: 
 

Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't have...is freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?


----------

I think this sounds good, but it has a pretty low rating on Goodreads, which makes me nervous. I'll still probably get it from my library, though, since sometimes my views on books are drastically different than other people's! (Though I'll admit, usually it's that I hate something everyone else loved....)

Book Blitz+GIVEAWAY: Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison



Of Sea and Stone

 by Kate Avery Ellison

Publication date: February 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Blurb: All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20456671-of-sea-and-stone

Purchase:
http://www.amazon.com/Of-Sea-Stone-Secrets-Itlantis-ebook/dp/B00I7LZV12/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392928501&sr=8-1&keywords=Of+Sea+and+Stone+by+Kate+Avery+Ellison

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/of-sea-and-stone-kate-avery-ellison/1118470817?ean=2940148284543

----

AUTHOR BIO
I live in Georgia with my wonderful husband and two spoiled cats. When I'm not writing, I'm usually catching up on my extensive Netflix queue, reading a book, giggling at something funny online, or trying to convince my husband to give me just ONE bite of whatever he's eating.

Learn more about my writing and books at my blog (http://thesouthernscrawl.blogspot.com/), find teasers for upcoming works on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kateaveryellison), and subscribe to my new releases newsletter to be notified of new novels as soon as they hit stores (https://tinyletter.com/kateaveryellison)!



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Friday, February 21, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Polaris Uprising by Jennifer Ibarra


 

The Polaris Uprising

by Jennifer Ibarra 

Blurb: In less than seven years, eighteen-year-old Ryla Jensen will succeed her father as the president of Neress, a nation where all citizens are cared for from the moment they’re born. Fed, sheltered, even educated—every need of theirs is met.

The only price they pay is their free will.

Groomed since childhood to take on a role she’s not even sure she wants, Ryla’s only escape from the pressures of duty is her sister, Alanna. But when her eyes are opened to the oppressive regime her father built, she begins to question everything she’s set to inherit—and finds herself at odds with her sister’s blind allegiance to their father.

Torn between loyalty to her family and the fight for freedom, Ryla must decide just how far she’s willing to go to make a stand and risk losing the person she loves most in the world: Alanna.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18046385-the-polaris-uprising?ac=1

Purchase:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Polaris-Uprising-Jennifer-Ibarra/dp/0989499200/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1383081661&sr=8-1

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-polaris-uprising-jennifer-ibarra/1117138587?ean=2940045324403
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Publication date: October 30th 2013

Series: Polaris (book 1)

Pages: 328

My Rating: 4.5 stars

This book was stunning. So stunning that I stayed up till almost midnight finishing it, even though my original intent was to just start reading the book. Obviously, that plan didn't go very well, and I ended up reading this in one sitting.

I didn't start off loving it, no. The first twelve percent of the book, I was just trying to figure out which POV I was reading; whenever a book doesn't specifically say at the beginning of the chapter, I kind of muddle through the first two or three chapters because I don't know enough about the character's voice. This one was a bit harder to get used to since the main characters are sisters. But once I got over that difficulty, it was nearly impossible for me to stop reading. Here's why:

Alanna and Ryla are sisters, and I have recently discovered something--I really like 'sister stories.' The fact that Alanna and Ryla are sisters--and sisters that get along well, not ones that never really liked each other--gives the story so much more depth, in my opinion.

And even if Alanna and Ryla weren't sisters, I still would have really loved their characters--especially Ryla. I loved that Ryla was willing to question what she had grown up believing; and the fact that she is going to be queen made that so much more interesting.

I originally thought the plot was a bit stereotypical, but as I read along I realized that it has its own unique flair. The society itself is a bit formulaic If I am being completely honest, I'd read a lot of the basic parts of it in other dystopians, but after a while I can see how it would be hard to get a completely unique dystopian society; there's so many books in this genre now! However, I didn't see a lot of the plot twists, and I absolutely love when an author catches me off guard.

Plus, and this is kind of a spoiler so beware, the author was willing to kill off characters.  Not everyone likes when this happens, but I don't know...I like books that kind of break your heart, and I have no idea why. This just made the book more of a gem for me. I won't tell you who it is though, you'll have to read to see.....

Lastly...I am sure I am not the first to note this, but I really got a 'Frozen meets Hunger Games' vibe from this book. And that's like saying, "Awesomeness and Awesomeness combine to make some more Awesomeness" coming from me. So, on that note, I totally recommend Polaris Uprising. I will definitely be on the lookout for the sequel, because for goodness' sake, what is it with great books and some really horrible (well, not 'horrible' per se, just 'how can you end the book like that, NOOOOOOO') cliffhangers?


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AUTHOR BIO
Jennifer Ibarra grew up on a steady diet of books, Star Wars, and other fantastic feats of the imagination. Her debut novel, The Polaris Uprising, is the first book in a trilogy and mixes dystopia with family drama, romance, and political intrigue.

She lives in Silicon Valley, where she does marketing for a tech company and spends her time running, cooking, baking, and keeping up with celebrity gossip.


Author Links:
Website: http://www.jenniferibarra.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/writejenwrite
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialjenniferibarra
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7124832.Jennifer_Ibarra

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Starstruck by Brenda Hiatt

 

Starstruck

By Brenda Hiatt

Blurb:  Nerdy astronomy geek Marsha, M to her few friends, has never been anybody special. Orphaned as an infant and reluctantly raised by an overly-strict “aunt,” she’s not even sure who she is. M’s dream of someday escaping tiny Jewel, Indiana and making her mark in the world seems impossibly distant until hot new quarterback Rigel inexplicably befriends her. As Rigel turns his back on fawning cheerleaders to spend time with M, strange things start to happen: her acne clears up, her eyesight improves to the point she can ditch her thick glasses, and when they touch, sparks fly—literally! When M digs for a reason, she discovers deep secrets that will change her formerly humdrum life forever . . . and expose her to perils she never dreamed of. Yes, the middle of nowhere just got a lot more interesting!

Genres:  YA, Romance, Paranormal

Publication Date: August 2013

Series: Starstruck (book 1)

Pages: 328

My Rating: 3 stars

A free copy of this book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book had an interesting and original plot. I enjoyed it, but I didn't like that it had some YA genre cliches.

You see, the plot is really cool. I can't give it away, but it isn't something that's overdone in teen lit, which I liked. It really kept me interested in the book. Also, the writing was good, which was another thing that held my attention.

I also liked the relationship between M and her aunt and uncle. It's a detail that added to the characters.

What I didn't like is, as stated before, was there were some elements of this book that I feel are overused in books for teens, which sometimes took away from the originality of the plot as a whole. It was only in the romance, though. Insta-love was one of the problems, for example. However, people may be excited to know that there wasn't a love triangle. (Well, I suppose there kind of was,since Trina and M both like Rigel, but it was more about their rivalry then a love triangle, and it wasn't a huge part of the main plot.)

It's the kind of book that could have a sequel, but could also be a standalone. Starstruck is a good book for teens, and I for the most part, I enjoyed it!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

30 Days of No Gossip by Stephanie Faris

30 Days of No Gossip

By Stephanie Faris

Blurb: Can a middle school gossip queen change her ways, or will she lose her BFF for good? Find out in this M!X original novel.

Maddie Evans prides herself on being the gossip queen of Troy Middle School. She is the first person her classmates go to when they need the latest news on the ins-and-outs of TMS; and Maddie never disappoints.

Her best friend since birth, Vi, isn';t crazy about Maddie's penchant for passing on rumors, but it's never been an issue in their friendship. Until the day Maddie lets slip who Vi is crushing on-in front of her crush.

Vi is furious, and she confronts Maddie with an ultimatum: no gossip for 30 days, or twelve years of sisterhood goes down the drain.

Maddie agrees, but only a week into the challenge, she gets one of the juiciest pieces of gossip EVER-- something that could affect the future of the school. Will she be able to keep her mouth shut and tame her ways? Or will she be left standing alone with no one to hear her stories?

Genres: Juvenile, Realistic Fiction, Chick Lit

Publication Date: March 18, 2014

Series: N/A

Pages: 208

My Rating: 4 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I've loved the M!X Books for a long time. I know I'm probably not the intended age for any of them, but I have never rated any of them under three stars. So, I was expecting this book to be good, but 30 Days of No Gossip totally blew all my expectations away!

It's light, but not fluffy. I love a fluffy book as much as the next person, but those definitely aren't the kind of books I want to read constantly. I love when there's a message in a book. This book has a great message about friendship and how gossip can hurt others, and it doesn't take a long time to read at all.
 I could relate to the characters. Who hasn't gossiped or been gossiped about? Basically no one. The book is about a real life situation, and a common situation at that. Girls will be able to relate to either Vi, Maddie, or possibly both. And personally, I find being able to relate characters always makes the book more enjoyable.

There was one thing I was wary about when starting this book, and that is the fact that the title is...well, it's not too original. The book is about a girl who tries to go 30 days without gossiping. But I bet you could guess that based on the title, huh? I usually don't read books that have unoriginal titles, and I am sure that I am not the only reader that does this. (Please tell me I'm not!) But with this situation, I would plead readers to not judge a book by it's cover..er, title, and give it a try. You won't be disappointed!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Wacko Academy by Faith Wilkins

Wacko Academy

By Faith Wilkins

Blurb: Winner of the Bronze Medal, Moonbeam award for authors under 18.  You think your school is bad?  Eighth grader Lily Mason has enough hassles dealing with siblings, cranky teachers and the cute new guy in school.  But when she's kidnapped and brought to the elite Wackerson (Wacko) Academy, it will take all of her smarts and courage to outwit the school's treacherous owner - even if it means teaming up with his infuriating and unnecessarily handsome son.  At once funny, harrowing and romantic, Wacko Academy is a book that will enthrall and entertain adult and young adult readers alike!

Genres: Young Adult, Adventure  

Publication Date: April 2, 2012

Series: Wacko Academy (book 1) 

Pages: 198

Rating: 2 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Arundel Publishing and Edelweiss.

This book started out great. For around the first half of the book, I was sure this book would be getting a four star review AT LEAST from me. And all of the sudden, the book became kind of strange.

But before I get to that, I will talk about what I liked. First, Lily. I loved her character! She was spunky, fun, and just someone you want to root for in general.

The plot...the thing is, I loved the plot at first. I was really engrossed; the plot was a bit similar to Variant, one of my favorite books, something I liked, because I can never find anything similar to that book. And then it got really bizarre. SPOILER! Lily being "The Girl"? I was just not buying it. That sounds like something out of a fantasy novel, not a suspense-thriller type of book. There were mad scientists...and experiments...and it never really was explained well. END OF SPOILER

Secondly, I did not like how instead of the characters actually talking, the book would just give a synopsis of what they talked about. Like (and this is straight from the book):

He explained that his brother had taught them. That's how they made money.

Instead of something like:

"My brother taught me," he explained. "That's how we made money."

Once or twice, I am fine with this, but it happened more than once or twice. Also, it would be in the middle of a conversation between two characters, and right after it happened, the characters would normally talk again.

Lastly, I never really got the answers I wanted. The ending, quite honestly, seemed abrupt and rushed. Wacko Academy could have went on much longer than it did.

While I think it is really awesome that the author was only fourteen when she wrote this, the book didn't work for me.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

 My pick this week is a book I actually saw on someone else's WoW last week: 




 Natalya knows a secret.
A magical Faberge egg glows within the walls of Russia's Winter Palace.
It holds a power rooted in the land and stolen from the mystics.
A power that promises a life of love for her and Alexei Romanov.
Power, that, in the right hands, can save her way of life.
But it's not in the right hands.

------

I can't wait! I love the fact that this is about the Romanovs. I have been obsessed with their tragic history since I watched the movie Anastasia, which I know wasn't exactly 'historically accurate," but it really piqued my interest. I will definitely be waiting for this one!

Mind Readers by Lori Brighton

The Mind Readers

By Lori Brighton

Blurb: Cameron Winters is a freak. Fortunately, no one but her family knows the truth... that Cameron can read minds. For years Cameron has hidden behind a facade of normalcy, warned that there are those who would do her harm. When gorgeous and mysterious Lewis Douglas arrives he destroys everything Cameron has ever believed and tempts her with possibilities of freedom. Determined to embrace her hidden talents, Cameron heads to a secret haven with Lewis; a place where she meets others like her, Mind Readers.

But as Cameron soon finds out some things are too good to be true. When the Mind Readers realize the extent of Cameron’s abilities, they want to use her powers for their own needs. Cameron suddenly finds herself involved in a war in which her idea of what is right and wrong is greatly tested. In the end she’ll be forced to make a choice that will not only threaten her relationship with Lewis, but her very life.

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Mystery

Publication Date: December 7, 2010

Series: Mind Readers (book 1)

Pages: 170

My Rating: 4 stars

AHH. This was so good. It reminded me why I used to love free Amazon e-books. (Not enough to start downloading them again, but still.)

The characters, the plot, the writing...I don't think I have a bad thing to say about it. All I can do is gush. And gush I will, starting with the AMAZING plot this book contained. (Are you ready....okay, here I go.) FANTASTIC! Paranormal Romances are usually so romance orientated that I just want to bang my head against a desk. I don't have anything against romance...but Pararomances are so CHEESY and predictable. This one really wasn't. I will now list reasons the Mind Readers romance didn't irk me.

1.) Lewis isn't 'the perfect boyfriend.' He is flawed, though he may not seem that way. 
2.) I didn't have to suffer through endless dialogue of Cam and Lewis confessing their feelings for each other.
3.) The plot wasn't overly dependent on the romance. I sometimes love a Romance heavy plot, but like I said before, if it becomes cheesy, that book has a good chance of being chucked across the room (though since I started reading e-books, those chances have gone down.) Mind Readers was one of the least throw-worthy Paranormals I've read in a loooooooooong time. I appreciate that, Ms. Brighton. I really do.

I've been so focused on saying what the plot wasn't that I have forgotten to praise what it was. I would just say awesome, but that would hardly be descriptive. Anyway, I loved that it was a mystery. Who should Cam trust? Was there something more behind the murder of her friend? I eat this kind of stuff up, people.

Cam...I love that she wasn't a Mary Sue. No, she had her fair share of flaws. Like being overly trusting. And the fact that she struggles with how to use her powers; should she use them for good and possibly be caught, or ignore them and let innocent people possibly get hurt?

Lewis. My gosh, I've never loved and then hated a character so quickly. Lewis ends up being an...interesting character to say the least. Let's just say I am pretty sure there will be a love triangle next book, and I will NOT be Team Lewis. 

This is a great book! You have got to read it.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Emma Tupper's Diary by Peter Dickinson

Emma Tupper's Diary

By Peter Dickinson

Blurb: Emma is spending the summer with her Scottish cousins--who are wonderful material for her attempt to win the School Prize for most interesting holiday diary. The cousins, lofty Andy, reserved Fiona, and fierce Roddy, are experimenting with their grandfather's dilapidated old mini-submarine to see if they can find a monster in the family loch.
"Emma Tupper's Diary" is a sometimes terrifying, sometimes broadly hilarious adventure novel in the spirit of "From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" and "I Capture the Castle."
Praise for "Emma Tupper's Diary"
"Fish out of water Emma must spend the summer in Scotland with cousins she's never met. They're somewhat older and get along fine with minimal adult supervision. Even when they plot to take an old submarine out on the nearby loch for a spin, adding a Nessy-like monster head to the top for fun, there's no one around to urge caution. It's the sort of family where everyone is whip-smart, conversations are fast and fascinating, and statements of fact are rarely truthful. All of which makes for one extremely suspenseful and surprisingly thought-provoking adventure."--Gwenyth Swain (author of "Chig and the Second Spread")
"One of my favorite childhood books. . . . Its themes and plot have come around again, and a smart production company should scoop it up for a film adaptation."--Atomic Librarian
"An enthralling book, with fascinating characters, told with humor and wit, and with a story that just might, barely, be possible."--Book Loons
"Comedy of manners? Ecological allegory? Adventure? Farce?"--"Kirkus Reviews"
Praise for Peter Dickinson's children's books:
"One of the real masters of children's literature."--Philip Pullman
"Peter Dickinson is a national treasure."--"The Guardian"
"Magnificent. Peter Dickinson is the past-master story-teller of our day."--"The Times Literary Supplement"
Peter Dickinson is the author of over fifty books including "Eva," "Earth and Air," "The Dancing Bear, " and the Michael L. Printz honor book "The Ropemaker." He has twice received the Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger as well as the Guardian Award and Whitbread Prize. He lives in England and is married to the novelist Robin McKinley.


Genres: Juvenile, Fantasy, Adventure

Publication Date: February 4, 2014

Series: N/A

Pages: 212

My Rating: 3 stars

 I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Emma Tupper's Diary was a fun read, mostly because of the cast of characters we meet in the book. It is one of those stories that won't really stick with me, but is still entertaining.

I loved the McAndrews, so much so that my favorite character was Roddy rather than Emma. They are quite the quirky family and each McAndrew sibling has a very distinct personality.

The whole plot was really like nothing I've ever encountered; not unexpected, but I could see someone younger than me just eating it up. Emma's thesis on how the 'plot twist' came to be was actually well thought out and sounded possible.

The con of this book? I just know it won't be memorable for me. It was a quick read, it helped me relax, and it kept me interested, but I was never completely 'wowed.' There's no other way to put it. This is without a personal dislike for me; I am sure that someone will read this book and fall in love with it. That person just happened to not be me.

It's more of 'It's not you, it's me,' than any real dislikes. Therefore, I would recommend it to others.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Book Blitz+GIVEAWAY: Immagica by K.A. Last


Immagica

by K.A. Last

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Published:  January 31st 2014
Blurb: Immagica…
Where anything is possible.
Enter at your own risk.

The night before her fifteenth birthday, Rosaline Clayton uncovers a deep family secret. She receives an amulet from her deranged father, and he tells her she must find the book in order to save him. Rosaline is used to her dad not making any sense, so she dismisses their conversation as another of his crazy rants.

When Rosaline’s brother, Elliot, drags her to their nana’s attic to explore, they find the old leather-bound book tucked away in a chest. It sucks them into its pages, transporting them to a magical world. Along the way, Rosaline and Elliot are separated, and the only thing she wants is to find her brother and go home.

The creatures of Immagica have other ideas. After years of war, their land lies in ruin. Using the amulet’s power, they want Rosaline to defeat the dragon and restore Immagica to its former glory. But Rosaline is bound to Immagica in ways she doesn’t understand, and when she discovers the truth about her family, she must follow her heart to save them all.



Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19281638-immagica

Purchase:
Amazon eBook: http://amzn.to/1aDeheQ
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/1et2kn9
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1n8OLkd
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/x/id797107664
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1fs4Zj9


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AUTHOR BIO
K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with
an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. K. A. Last is currently studying her Bachelor of Arts at Charles Sturt University, with a major in
English, and minors in Children’s Literature, Art History, and Visual Culture. She resides in a peaceful, leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, a rabbit named Twitch, and a guinea pig called Squeak.


Author Links:
Website: www.kalastbooks.com.au
Twitter: www.twitter.com/KALastBooks
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KALastBooks
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/KALast
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kalast



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