Friday, November 29, 2013

Almost Girl by Amalie Howard

Almost Girl by Amalie Howard - 5 STARS

The Almost Girl
Synopsis-  Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. Coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.  Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Riven isn’t prepared for the beauty of a world that is unlike her own in so many ways. Nor is she prepared to feel something more than indifference for the very target she seeks. Caden is nothing like Cale, but he makes something in her come alive, igniting a spark deep down that goes against every cell in her body. For the first time in her life, Riven isn’t sure about her purpose, about her calling. Torn between duty and desire, she must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more. Faced with hideous reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. But things aren’t always as they seem, and Riven will have to search for truth. Family betrayals and royal coups are only the tip of the iceberg. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?
*Received an ARC From Netgalley in exchange for honest review. 

Overall- This is by far one of my favorite books of the year! I was completely surprised with how much I loved this book. I wasn't quite sure based on the synopsis whether I would like this one, but from the moment I started until I finished I was mesmerized completely. I was fully enthralled into this world and the characters within. It reminded me of other books that I've read, but combined a lot of different characteristics to form one amazing book. I will say I could have done without a sequel, but I am sure it ail be amazing!! LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! 
couple kissing on bed - Google Search I love the action-adventure-mystery-sci fi and romance. Everything is kind of thrown into the mix and Howard somehow pulled it all off and did so with great imagination, creativity and ease! She made writing look easy. I was blown away by this book. What sets this book apart from the others, is that you never once feel like you're missing something. A lot of times when reading these types of books its so obvious that the author is hiding information from the reader to continue the plot, but instead, I don't feel like Im missing anything I feel like Im figuring it all out along with Riven. Although, to be honest, in the beginning it was a little confusing, but I think it gets cleared up pretty quickly, and its mainly to draw the reader in initially. By the end of the book, I found myself disappointed that it had to end. This is definitely a book I recommend to anyone that likes dystopia/science fiction books. I also think it would make an awesome TV show or movie. 
Suit concept by Bro-Bot

Cover- Mesmerizing! 
Rating: PG-13
Characters:  Riven; Cale; Caden; Shea
Page Turner: YES
Series Cont.? Yes (2) 
Recommend if You Like...Tandem; Unraveling; when the world was flat (and we were in love) moon dwellers; dissever; Forsaken; Daynight; partials
Book Boyfriend: Caden
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Science Fiction 
Sex Scenes: No
Setting - Colorado High-school; alternate universe Neospes
Underground tunnels

Plot--The plot seems confusing, and it kind of is, because it has a lot of pieces, and points, but as the reader, I didn't feel confused and the book flowed flawlessly. Each word, sentence, scene had such a special purpose in moving the characters or the plot forward. Howards writing abilities amaze me. I was completely transfixed on this world and felt as though I were emerged and living in it with the characters. Her world building and pacing seemed completely on point. The only time I grew annoyed was when Riven took clothes from a nearby house and then met Caden back at school. That scene felt awkward and misplaced, even though it had a purpose, that purpose could have been met in a different way. Overall I really liked the different twists and turns that took place, there was plenty of action and adventure throughout the book (more so than many in this like genre) and I was completely shocked by the way everything turned out.  I really recommend this book to all those who like the dystopian/young adult/science fiction category. 
almost girl


Matt Lanter♥ - matt-lanter Photo
Matt Lanter as Caden/Cale 
Caden-  Aw. I love him! I loved seeing his growth. (Although, in hindsight, I admit that his characters development was not seen as strongly as the others, which was disappointing, I would have loved to have been inside his brain at certain times!) I liked Caden from the beginning, where he started off so juvenile and naive, completely thrown off by the strange events and people. He never once though let his guard down, he was strong and caring, and that never changed. I think over the course of the book, the reader can tell that his feelings for Riven have become stronger, and that he himself, as he understands his surroundings has become more of a man. He impressed me. I also liked that he never really appeared weak, or dumb. I think the author did a great job of creating her characters and providing what felt like genuine and sincere feelings and interactions. 
Marie Avgeropoulos - Google Search
Marie Avgeropoulos as Riven

Riven- A soldier first and foremost. But I loved Riven. I found her voice extremely interesting and her development and change over the course of the book was truly amazing. Not because of the changes exactly, but because the author managed to write her story and her character so beautifully. Riven was strong, but didn't trust anyone. She wouldn't let anyone into her heart, or her head because where she was from that was the norm. Thats all she knew, yet somehow Caden managed to weasel his way in without even trying (not really, but still!) I loved seeing her slowly change, and become such a courageous and strong woman, between fighting and love she managed to also find herself and accept herself. She was quite the warrior and quite the friend. I look forward to her next adventure in Book 2! 
Abbie Cornish The Almost Girl
Shae- Abbie Cornish

Shea- I liked Shea. I really wished we could have gotten to know her better, but I found her character interesting. I wanted more background on her, her past, where she came from etc. even though some of those things came with time, and throughout the course of the book, I still wanted more. She was strong willed and passionate, a fighter and a lover at heart, never giving up on the cause or those she cares about. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pawn By Aimée Carter

Pawn (Blackcoat Rebellion 1) by Aimée Carter 3 STARS

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)Synopsis
For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. 
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. 
There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Check out these snippets from the trailer!!  PAWN by Aimee Carter #HarlequinTEEN #dystopianCover- attractive 
Rating: PG-13
Overall: Interesting...
Characters:  Kitty/Lila, Knox, Celia, Benjy
Page Turner: At times
Series Cont.? Yes
Recommend if You LikeTandem, Perception, Fast Tracked
Book Boyfriend: None
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian 
Sex Scenes: No 

pawn aimee carter - Google Search
Overall- In general, I enjoyed reading this book while I was reading it, but I didn't LOVE it. I think the world building was really good, but this plot reminded me a lot of other books I've been reading lately. Specifically, the idea of a test being the means of assigning a class and the underground rebellion. The idea here becomes different when a girl is given the opportunity to have a higher class assigned if she is willing to be "masked", take over the identity of an important person in the governmental hierarchy. Admittedly there are plenty of twists and turns in this book which kept me interested, but I felt that the romance and character interactions did not feel real. While the romance is not the center point of the book, it is a plot point and was under developed; I couldn't figure out if there was a love triangle or not. At the end of the book I felt like I was in the dark about things I shouldn't have been in the dark about. Im interested in seeing where the next book goes but a little concerned that its going to become another one of those books where the author forces a plot to continue a book. I hope Im proven wrong. 

Plot- The plot moved all over the place!! And by the end of the book I was hanging on to every word and moment! I loved the twists and turns. There was plenty of action and mystery through out the book which really had me motivated to keep reading. I loved that the unexpected continued to happen. I give the author credit for the creativeness and intriguing twists that she continued to come up with, even though the characters were not as well built. Not to mention, these moves make up for the lack of character development. I really look forward to seeing where these points all go in the next book(s). And that ending, wow, that was unexpected!! I can't wait! 



Kitty/Lila -- I liked Kitty, I feel like she was the most developed character out of all of them, which makes sense considering she's the narrator. Nonetheless, I found her interesting. I think the drawback for her was that growing up on the "streets" she should have been less trusting and more concerned with the people she was surrounded by, but it seemed as though in many instances she simply took the information as presented, no questions asked. Her love story also didn't seem that believable, the Benjy romance felt awkward at times. I frequently felt like she had more of a connection with Knox than Benjy. But I look forward to seeing where it all goes in the next book(s).

Lila--I hated Lila. She was exactly like the princess in Tandem. Selfish. Annoying. Baby. Everything about her bothered me. Which is fine. Thats her purpose in the story. 

Knox--I really liked Knox. I felt that he was the best character in the book. He seemed like a stand up guy, with a good heart and willing to fight for whats right. I wanted more of him.

Celia--I couldn't figure Celia out, but in the end, I felt like she got what was coming, and that everything worked out for the best where she was concerned. I liked that the author in this instance kept me (the reader) at bay with the development, because each moment was all the more surprising that way. 

Benjy--I don't really like Benjy. I feel bad saying that because he is the love interest of the main girl. But I just don't understand what she sees in him. The author did not develop Benjy well at all, because I know nothing about, I don't understand why Kitty loves him, and I don't see his overall purpose of being in the book whatsoever. I actually think I could have done without 99% of the book (the beginning may have needed him but once she was masked…I could have done without) personally, I found him to be annoying, and useless. But perhaps in the future books I will understand his role. 

The Prime Minister- Hm. He was an interesting one. I was intrigued and disgusted (both intentional I think) and I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book! 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Crash into You by Katie McGarry

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry- 5 STARS

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)Synopsis--The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind. 
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look. 
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley

Kissing in the backseat
Overall- I absolutely loved this book. I could not put it down. This was much like the first book in this "series" with plenty of raw emotional moments, suspense and just enough action to really grab my interest. This was a gripping novel, from the first word to the last word in this book. I hung on to every emotion, every scene, every word, slowing down at the end to really take it all in.Though I was crying, and trying to figure out at the end why the author did this to me....I recognized the emotional involvement and attachment I had to these characters and their story. I could re read this book over and over again. What makes this book so awesome? The fact that the author is able to capture her characters emotional state in words that connect so intensely with the readers that I feel invested in the outcome of their story. Another great thing about CIY? The author did an amazing job of taking real life issues, normal issues and making an intense and gripping storyline out of it. The issues that Isiah and Rachel faced seemed to me, to be somewhat typical of life, dealing with the cards that you got dealt, trying to figure out how to make yourself happy without ruining the world around you and hurting those you care about. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
Rachels House

Rating: PG- 13  
Overall: AMAZING
Characters:  Isaiah, Abby, Logan, West, Rachel 
Page Turner: YES
Series Cont.? Kind of. 
Recommend if You Like...
Book Boyfriend: Isaiah 
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Sex Scenes: Kind of 
The Auto Repair Shop

Plot- Holy crap! This one threw me for a curve ball. I knew I would like this one because I loved the first book with Echo and Noah, but this one was not nearly as dark and serious. Don't get me wrong, there were serious issues throughout the book, but none quite as deep and dark as Noah and Echo's store (at least in my opinion). Regardless I thought this book was excellent. The point of views were so perfectly written, and flawlessly integrated. I loved that each character really had their own voice and personality no matter how small. Isaiah is trying to get his life together and move forward, while Rachel is trying to move forward with the life put together for her that she doesn't want, all while trying to figure out what she wants and how to make those two things co-exist, that is until Isaiah enters the picture. I loved everything about this book. The pace. The characters. The scenes and craziness. As an adult, I read it at times and think "why didn't she just do X" and then I recall as a teenager, I would have done exactly the same thing, and it certainly wasn't "X" the author here, had me completely emerged into the story the characters and the plot. I was so enveloped by the story, I could not put it down until tears were streaming down my face and I couldn't see anymore! This is a story that will stay with you, its true to the heart and will shred you to pieces with all the precious moments. Love it.

Cam Gigandet as Isaiah 
Isaiah -- LOVE him. He is the sexy bad boy. But instead of the typical bad boy. He s earnest and has such a big and loving heart. While he may not wear his heart of his sleeve, and he has a few trust issues…he always has the backs of those he loves and cares about. I like that over the course of the novel the reader gets more than a glimpse of who Isaiah is and his background. His life story, the hard times he's been through and life in the system is explained in a way that feels genuine and honest. The author did a brilliant job of making Isaiah feel both strong and intimidating, but also loving and sweet.
Allie Gonino as Rachel 

Rachel- I like Rachel. She may come from wealth and have the big family where everything appears to be perfect, but the truth is, life for Rachel and her family is not as perfect as it seems. What makes Rachel a great character is that her issues didn't feel awkward, or too far fetched. Instead the emotional break downs that she would have felt raw, genuine, sincere, which is important in a story like this. While Rachel and Isaiah seemed to have nothing in common except their love of cars, in reality it was that passion that simply brought them together and the relationship went far deeper. The author did amazing in transforming their story from common ground to epic love and strength.
Abby - Phoebe Tonkin

Abby-- I can't decide if I like Abby or not most of the time. But in the end I think I like her, and frankly I want more of her. I would love to see her story one day! I wish for her to have her happy ending!!
Nick Stabile - Google Search

Logan--Logan is another great background character, he has a purpose in the story, but its also to help move things along and to provide a way for certain pieces to fall in line with the plot point. Which is okay. There are always characters like that. I wish I could have gotten to know him better, but in the end he was a likable guy.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor 3.5 STARS

What I Didn't SaySynopsis: Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat. His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again. When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn't the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.

Overall- I really enjoyed reading this book. As a huge fan of Keary Taylor, I was not let down by this young adult romance with an emotional story surrounding all the characters. The great thing about this book, is that the emotional aspect of the book didnt bring the characters down like it could have, yet those thoughts and feelings were expressed and shown throughout. Every character was given a voice, and background, and I never once thought there was a pointless moment or scene. Every moment was given a purpose by the author and thats always appreciated. This story isnt one many think they will ever have to experience on their own, I was able to relate,  though I admit, I cant quite imagine what the true emotions one would go through to never be able to speak again, and to lose someone at such a young age. I truly loved the love story between Sam and Jake and found that their story was genuine, and beautiful. This was a great read! 

Cover: Pretty 
Rating: PG
Overall: Wonderfully written and beautifully inspiring
Characters: Jake, Sam, Rain, Jordan, Carter
Page Turner:  Not really
Series Cont.? No
Recommend: YES
Book Boyfriend: Jake
Genre: Young Adult 
Sex Scenes: No
Setting: Orcas Island in WA 

Matt Grevers (team usa swimmer) His eyes!
Plot--The plot was so interesting. Not a book I typically would have picked up, but because I like Keary Taylor I gave it a chance, and I was not let down. The pace of the story was perfect. There wasnt a moment where it "dragged" or should have slowed down. The style of writing was beautiful as usual, and is what draws the reader in, I was really intrigued into the characters and where they were going with the hands they were dealt and thats what kept me reading. I was invested in their emotional rollercoaster and that style is hard to do in a book like this, where the plot isnt action packed, but instead emotionally driven with a lot of difficult situations. What really struck me though is that these characters all persevered through so much, it would have been easy to give up and each one continued to make the best of their situation. It was beautiful too how a community can come together so nicely I can only hope to have such a great family and community in my future 

Jake- what a sweetheart. Jake is such a wonderful guy, he is far more a man than many at his age, he was able to take the high road and he learned many of lessons at a young age, but never gave up. I think what helped him the most was his family, though I do wonder what would have happened if he hadnt had such a strong familial backing, but he is a such an amazing character, a lover, a dreamer, a survivor, a fighter, hes the kind of guy every girl dreams of finding. 
What I didnt Say Sam?
Sara Paxton as Sam

Sam- She is such an interesting vharacter, talk about never giving up on your dreams. Her strength was undeniable and so impressive. I do not know many people who could have done what she did, if any. She was undeniably brilliant and beautiful, she was charming and an amazing fighter. I really enjoyed getting to know her and her character throughout the book. I loved seeing her relationship with Jake grow over time, the way real relationships should, and that even when she was kicked she didnt let it keep her down. She is a character to look up to and I wish she were real, because I would definitely want to be her friend!

Everyone Else- I feel like I should mention that all the characters in the book were quite impressive. I loved this small town, and now I want to live there. The family is amazing, they are strong and willing to do whatever they can to make their family survive the issues that are given to them. I especially loved Jordan and Mom they were such amazing characters! Especially Mom. I also enjoyed getting to know Carter and Rain, the fact that we were able to see the difficulty that they had with what happened to Jake, but Im glad guilt didnt ruin their relationships and that everyone managed to work through the hard times that had come to them! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Curse Keepers By Denise Grover Swank

The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank (Book 1) 4 STARS

The Curse Keepers
Synopsis--The wall between our world and that of vengeful spirits has protected humanity for more than 400 years. It’s about to come crashing down.

Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of those descendants—a Curse Keeper. Her father took pains to teach her what he knew of the curse and the responsibilities of its guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers ever meet, the curse will be lifted, the gate will open, and the raging Native American spirits will be unleashed to seek their revenge.
Despite her father’s seriousness, Ellie has always taken the legend for a harmless fairy tale. Until she meets the darkly handsome, but downright infuriating, Collin Dailey and realizes everything she was told is true. For when they meet, it’s like the air is sucked from the room. Collin’s presence is electrifying… and it’s not just attraction Ellie feels, but the inexorable pull toward her destiny. The prophecy is real, and now Ellie and Collin must battle supernatural forces and their loathing—and passion—for each other to set things right. The Curse Keepers are all that stand between the world and its destruction.

Overall-- Wow. I really enjoyed reading this book. Ms. Swank has done it again!!! Much like her Chosen Series, this first installment in a trilogy kept my interested, entertained and satisfied, all the way until the very end....where I then wish I could devour the next book in the trilogy, but its not out yet!!! I love the characters and their development. I love the plot and its twists and turns. I like that the story moved so easily and fluidly, without the feeling of something missing. The Curse Keepers is a book with a lot going on. Ellie and Collin meet and become quite entangled with one another, in more than one way, when their encounter unleashes the gods and spirits that have been locked away for 400 years, and together, they must shut the gates the hell. Unfortunately for this duo, its not that easy, and it has nothing to do with the spirits, most of the time, and much to do with each curse keeps sordid past. The adventure that these two go one is incredibly curious. I was uncertain when I started this book, but love the authors other series, so I thought Id give it a try, and boy am I glad I did. Loved this book and cant wait for the others!!

Cover --Pretty 

Rating: PG 13 
Overall: Mysterious adventurous, love, and finding oneself. 
Characters:  Ellie, Collin
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? Yes
Book Boyfriend: None. 
Genre: New Adult 
Sex Scenes: Yes
Setting Virginia Area

Plot--The plot wasnt all that surprising, most of it is in the synopsis and is predictable. But thats not what makes a book good. And the setting and characters behind the plot are what makes this book good. The story premise of a curse and the missing Roanoke town are certainly intriguing, but thats not enough to grip someone. The beginning started off slow, but it built quite nicely. At first the internal dialogue felt all over the place and annoying. The voice of Ellie took some time to get used to, but, Swank wrote this perspective actually quite well, and by well I mean realistically. Sure there are flaws in the book, as I could find in every book, but sometimes there s more to a book than that. This book was gripping, it kept me glued to the pages (well my e-reader) and I was devouring it because of all the twists and turns. What was interesting was the added back story issues that Collin and Ellie ran into. Their tension, while obvious felt raw, and listening to the internal battle with Ellie later on was interesting. Collin and Ellie both had secrets which were bound to be released. These secrets are what get Collin and Ellie into plenty of interesting scenarios and cause great strain on their relationship. But thats to be expected in the first of three!  


Ellie-- Ellie was different. She strikes me as pretty, and smart, but lacked drive and ambition. Frankly, she was also annoying. Her voice at first was plain frustrating. But, as I kept reading, I found her also quite interesting. Her internal voice had no filter, and her continual rationalization of the issues was really funny at times, and interesting. It also kept her (and me) sane. She was stubborn but loving, she was smart, and brave but also stupid and annoying. Her reactions, most of the time, were real to me, and the tension between her and Collin was quite palpable at times. At least to me. I enjoyed their banter and the tension ebb and flow. Overall I ended up kind of falling for Ellie as a character because she was in fact relatable, but what makes me like her, is the end, and how she "deals" with the fall out. 
Andrew Stetson

Collin- Collin is the sexy bad ass jerk that Ellie is forced to work with to save humanity from the curse. He's hot, and he's the biggest jerk ever. He makes this VERY clear to Ellie. He doesnt like her, she doesnt like him. They need each other. But slowly, Collin seems to get into Ellies heart. Even though she shouldnt trust him and even though trouble follows him everywhere, and I really do mean everywhere, they somehow become connected. Their "love story" isnt sweet. Or romantic. Its not sad either. Their mission, tension and involvement with the curse leads them to fall for one another. But will it last? Collin made it clear he is a jerk, and cant be trusted, but he protects Ellie with his life, refusing to let ANYTHING happen to her. Yet he refuses to open up completely to her about his past. They have a tumultuous relationship with a lot of angst and at the end of the day Im left wondering, where can they go from here? How will this work....and yet I must know!!!