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February 27, 2013

REVIEW: The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

Title: The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy #1)
Author: Mindee Arnett
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Format: ARC; 367 pages
Rating: 5/5
Get it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.

Literally.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

My thoughts, feelings, and reactions
The Nightmare Affair was a novel where Nightmares, demons, wizards, fairies and more are real. They’re walking, talking, living, and blending among us. The Nightmare Affair was full of imagination and creativity. Mindee Arnett created a book that was easily entertaining and one that was riveting, gripping and so much fun to read.

Destiny, better known as Dusty, was one spectacular character! Not even one page into the book, I was completely in love with her. Dusty had so much personality, so much spunk that it wasn’t hard to like her immediately. Honestly, I wanted to be Dusty’s friend, for real, forever. I liked that Dusty was a flawed character who had insecurities about herself, who was slightly awkward and clumsy, but still be super cool and down to earth too. In The Nightmare Affair, she started off as a someone to be scared of or someone to ignore, but as she learned more about herself and as her determination grew, the more her confidence did too. Dusty definitely had this paranormal, snarky, snappy Nancy Drew detective attitude going on that I’m sure many will enjoy. With a big mouth and a sharp tongue, Dusty was one fun character you don’t want to miss getting the chance to know!

Romance wise, this book definitely has some high points. There’s no insta-love here! Dusty grows to like two boys. Both are sweet and care very much for her. What I like about the relationship that Dusty had with Paul and Eli, was that they grew and develop to potentially be something more later on. There was room for feelings to deepen further. There was room to strengthen or break bonds. Mindee Arnett created something believable and real. Dusty’s feelings for Paul and Eli felt true and no where near forced. It just felt natural. My favorite had to be Eli because I loved how their partnership turned into a friendship where they were there for each other despite the daunting circumstances they were in at the moment. Dusty had a different kind of relationship with Paul compared to Eli, but Arnett still managed to make it so I loved both to the point of sever attachment problems. 

What truly made this book memorable and down right fantastic, was the world. What I thought was just going to be another paranormal world paralleled to the human world, I got something so much better, more realistic, more believable, and way more captivating. I loved every single aspect about this world from all the different magickinds, to the school grounds of Arkwell Academy, to the Magi Senate, to the role of the Keepers, the purpose of the Will, and even how Animation occurs. There was so much going on within this world, it was complex and involved but I never got overwhelmed or confused. In fact, the more I learned more about Dusty’s world, the more I wished I lived in it with her and the more I wished it were real. I especially loved getting to know about Nightmares and how their feeding and dreamwalking worked. It was very interesting. I really enjoyed learning about the magickind hierarchy between naturekind, witchkind, darkind and of course, the halfkind. Even in this world there was constant discrimination, popularity feuds, and the need for control and more power. This book was so much more than just a simple murder story. There was a tangled web of betrayal, deceit and lies that made you doubt which characters you could really trust. In a world with magic, rules, and order, you’ll find hidden secrets that threaten the peace that makes this world far from perfect than what it seemed. 



Overall, The Nightmare Affair was filled with mystery, suspense and even some adventure. It was not only witty and clever, but very entertaining. Just this first book alone has made me a fan of Arnett’s for life!

February 25, 2013

REVIEW: The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

Title: The Goddess Inheritance (Goddess Test #3)
Author: Aimee Carter
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Format: egalley* 384 pages
Rating: 5/5
Get it: Amazon | B&N | Book Despository
Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.

During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

My thoughts, feelings, and reactions
For the past two or more years, Aimee Carter has enamored me with every Goddess Test book she creates, each one getting better and better as the story goes on. Like all good and great things, sometimes it just has to end. While I grieve and rejoice this last book, The Goddess Inheritance, I weep not only for an incredible story reaching its term, but for every single character I have come to love and hate. In this very last book, Carter gives us the epic ending we have all been waiting. It’s dramatic, compelling, and bittersweet to the very end. 

Aimee Carter starts off The Goddess Inheritance with a bang. Right away, we are back front and center into the action with Kate. In this last installment, the stakes are higher, the whole fate of humanity is at risk, and most importantly, Kate and Henry’s family are in perpetual danger. Cronus continues to wreak havoc and Calliope won’t stop making Kate’s life a living hell. When it all comes down to a raging war, death is inevitable and Carter makes sure we know this.

Kate really grows into her role of being a goddess even when she was still inexperienced. Despite this, Kate was much stronger, fiercer, stepped up and took initiative. Kate was determined as ever to save not only Henry and their baby, but her whole family and even the world. Again, we see how truly selfless Kate was; continuing to put others before herself numerous times. Though sometimes the decisions she made backfired along the way, Kate kept trying, never gave up, and learned from her mistakes. Tougher and wiser, Kate pushed all her limits to get to where she was now and in this final book she shined brighter than before. 

Henry will always be my favorite and though he frustrates me to no end, I love his devotion, dedication and the love and care he deeply felt for Kate. He continuously protects her; putting himself in harms way and sacrificing just as much as Kate does. There was no more doubt how strong and deep their relationship ran. It was much more stable and solid without the issue of trust. Henry and Kate belong together and they knew that and they made sure nothing and no one would come between them. My heart simultaneously ached and swelled with love for the both of them.

Like with the last two novels, Carter never ceases to amaze me with the world she has created within this series. She really took Greek mythology and twisted into her own masterpiece and her ability to enrapture doesn’t fail in The Goddess Inheritance. Carter definitely weaves in shocking revelations, never-ending betrayals and ultimate sacrifices that make this book heart-stoppingly good. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the ending to this one-of-a-kind series and Carter doesn’t just deliver, but she brings it home. It was everything I longed for and much much more. 

Overall, The Goddess Inheritance was a spectacular end to one of my beloved and favorites series of all time. Though this may be the end, I will never truly say goodbye. 

*Thanks to HarlequinTeen for sending a copy for review

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Favorite Quotes:
All quotes are subject to change from the finished copy

"You're going to have me for a hell of a lot longer than this." Location 443.

"Kate, I swear, if you don't come back, I will tell Henry you kissed me. And that you said I have a nice ass." Location 457.

"Humanity is nothing compared to you." Location 695.

"I will not let you go, Kate, because I love you. Not because I believe you belong to me. Anyone who has been around you for five minutes knows better than to think that." Location 1539

"We did not have the opportunity," he said. "Now try to go into the bedroom. I will meet you there." I gave him a look. Location 1697.

"I see the sunrise now," he said. "Because of you, the days have color. Eternity has meaning once more. You found every broken piece of me and put me back together, even though I hurt you too many times for me to deserve it. You are the glue that holds me together. If I lose you, it will be the end of me. The end of everything good in this world." Location 1802.

February 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #29

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews where you can share books obtained via the bookstore, the library, online, through trade, borrowed from friends, gifted and/or received for review that you're adding to your shelf.


Books Mentioned:
For Review - Edelweiss/Netgalley
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
The Ward by Jordana Frankel
Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
Parallel by Lauren Miller
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

For Review - Blog Tours
Love's Forbidden Flower by Diane Rinella
Deeper We Fall by Chelsea M. Cameron

Bought/Freebies -
Hard to Resist by Shanora Williams
Playing for Keeps by J.E. Macleod
The Torn Wing by Kiki Hamilton

Won/Gifted -
Of Triton by Anna Banks
For Darkness Shows the Stars (signed) + swag

Bloggers Mentioned:
Giselle @ Xpresso Book Tours
Jaime @ Two Chicks on Books
Vi @ Confessions from a Vi3tbabe

Special Thanks to-
HarperCollins/HarperTeen
HarlequinTeen

February 21, 2013

Blog Tour: Descension by B.C. Burgess Review + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop in the Descension blog tour courtesy of AToMR Book Tours!
Check out my review and enter the giveaway below! :)


Descension by B.C. Burgess (Mystic #1)
Publication date: April 4, 2012
Format: ebook* 429 pages
Rating: 4/5
Get it: Amazon | B&N
The Angel
After three years caring for her dying mother, Layla Callaway learns she was adopted under unusual circumstances. Following a cryptic message to seek her birth family in Oregon, Layla uproots her lonely life, quickly finding she descends from witches and wizards. Magic is in her blood, and a handsome family friend is eager to prove it. Through a ring imprinted with her birth parents’ memories, Layla’s enigmatic past comes to light, presenting possibilities and trials more chimerical than her wildest dreams.

The Guardian
Quin’s natural charisma yields plenty of witches, but he longs for the lost witch – the mysterious Layla. He's dreamed about her his entire life, envisioning the day he would lay eyes on her face and aura. When that day arrives, not only is he breathless, he’s confronted with the challenge of a lifetime – an innate need to keep her safe and forever by his side.

The Hunter
Employing fiendish manipulation and manpower, Agro uses the arcane force of others to elevate his supremacy and wealth. Nothing pleases him more than latching on to a mystical vein, and never has there been a more enticing source. The divine witch will be his.

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My Review
Descension by B.C. Burgess was a very different book that centered around a very unique type of witches and wizards, but also dealt with power hungry forces and true love. I can definitely say that Descension was original in many aspects in which I found to be truly interesting and in parts to be very heart-warming. 

I commend Burgess for creating a story that does not lack in magic and imagination. What I found in the world of Descension was something super cool and completely wondrous. This magic that the witches and wizards have in Decension can basically do anything you put your mind and imagination to. I love the dynamics of the coven and how close-knitted they were and the fact that they were all family oriented. I was especially fascinated with the aspect of soul mates through bonding. I liked the way that Burgess twisted into something different. I really loved learning about auras and how a witch is able to read one’s emotions and of course the use of elemental magic and spells. This world was really open to many things and I can see there is still so much to know and discover.

The main character, Layla, was great. I really liked her. She was a very independent and responsible girl. I admired Layla for stopping her life to take care of her sick mother. She really kept it together even when she was really down. It was very sad to see how she came to be after her mother was gone. It wasn’t until she moved to Oregon when she finally came to life. Discovering who she really was gave Layla a reason to live. By the end of the novel, I could see the growth in Layla; the set determination and the hidden strength coming off of her. I can’t wait to see where this journey of hers will take her next.

My favorite part of this book was diving into the past and how Layla came to be in the beginning of the book. It was wonderful to read all about Layla’s whirlwind romance and their fight to stay together. Layla’s family was filled with so much love, joy, and devotion that I felt it go straight through me. Her parents were brave and sacrificed so much. They were extraordinary characters I came to love wholeheartedly. 

Burgess writing took some time to get used to, but once I did, I was flying through the book. Descension had a good pace that kept moving along nicely with each new revelation. The descriptions and vivid imagery used to describe the Oregon scenery was breath-taking and had me wishing I could actually see the area for myself. I really loved how she combined two different stories, weaving them together into a one big one. She really made it complex and alluring all at once. I didn’t expect to feel all kinds of emotions but I did and by the end of the book, I was in tears from the heartbreak and unwavering devotion of Layla’s parents. I was left awestruck by such an intense admiration for them.

Overall, I enjoyed Decension immensely. It was well written, had amazing characters and an awesome storyline. 

*Thanks to AToMR book tours and B.C. Burgess for sending a copt for review

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 GIVEAWAY
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author
I'm a small town girl with big dreams and a wild imagination. I'm addicted to coffee and writing. The combination is my idea of heaven. I read every day, if only to my young son, whom I hope to someday inspire with my passion for writing.

I love hearing from my readers, so feel free to contact me through any of the links below.









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February 20, 2013

REVIEW: My love letter to LOSING IT by Cora Carmack

Title: LOSING IT
Author: Cora Carmack
Publication Date (Paperback): February 6, 2013
Format: ebook, 288 pages
Rating: 5/5
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Virginity.

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible—a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half a brain would ever believe.

And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theater professor.

She'd left him naked in her bed about eight hours earlier. . . .



My dearest and ever so wonderful LOSING IT,



First and foremost, I must confess that you have slayed me. You have taken it upon your bookish self to grasp me with your claws and hold me tight, and sweet hell, after you were done with me I was ever so willing to stay in your clutches for all eternity. I still am, if I’m truly being honest. You have made me feel all the feels one could possibly imagine with wanting to feel. 


I was downright addicted the moment Bliss showed up on page. That girl made the most awkwardest scenes super duper hilarious I may have almost died from excessive laughter. My cheeks ached from all my foolish grinning throughout the whole book. Bliss was super cool, very talented and just one endearing character I greatly had the pleasure of getting to know. She was a wonderful friend, knew how to have a good time and was just one amazing, friendly girl. There really isn’t anything that could possibly make me dislike the girl. (well, except for the fact that she has Garrick.. *grumbles*)

"I'm in love with this burrito. I would marry it if I didn't want to eat it so badly."

Garrick. *cue sighing and swooning please* Now Garrick was a whole other story. He was the perfect, wrapped up in goodness type of package. That sexy, delectable, can-I-please-have-him, British man was downright yummy. Not only was he straight up sexified, he was smart and funny and independent and cute and gorgeous and drool-worthy. Did I mention he was hot? Yep, he sure was. Best thing about him? He was caring, he was a one hundred percent gentleman even when you didn’t want him to be! He was not afraid to say what was on his mind and he had confidence and swagger like no other. I think Garrick can be loved by all because of his amazing personality and how he can get along with just about anybody. His sex-appeal was off the charts and by god, if that accent of his didn't make me fall head over heels, then I don’t know what did! 

"I'm trying to give you what you want. It's hard when I let myself go, when I kiss you how I want to. Because all I can think about then is how your skin tastes, and how much I want to taste it again."

The sexual tension piling up between these two was electrifying, explosive, and basically like the cereal: snap, crackle and pop! LOSING IT, you really should tell Cora Carmack that she did more than a fine job of developing these two character’s relationship and giving me exactly what I wanted out of them and more! They weren’t just sweet, but pinch-cheeks adorable. It was very obvious how much passion and fun Carmack had when creating you and this was all portrayed through her writing because I had the best time reading you, LOSING IT, even if I didn’t get a wink of sleep. You were the icing to my cake and the cherry on top of my sundae; basically perfection in its sheerest form and I love you so damn much I could kiss you if you had lips! You were more than just a story about a girl wanting to lose her virginity. You were a story about love, believing in that love, fighting for that love, chasing after your dreams, and giving it your best. I revel in the joy and happiness you have given me and I’m sure it will take a lot for another story to come as close to you.

So, my dear friend, LOSING IT, you were one intense tension of sexy, funny, and awkward that I lovelovelove to bits and pieces times infinity a million. Please tell Cora Carmack that she has made me a fan of her work for life and I simply cannot sit around waiting for what’s next to come! 


Forever yours truly,
Jessirae xx
P.S. This is reason number 8646393 on why I heart you bunches of oats..
"Are you going to me put me in your phone under some secret code name so that no one knows who I am when I text you dirty thing?"

My eyes widened. "Are you planning to text me dirty things?"

His eyes danced with amusement and that blinding grin was back on his face. "I'm not ruling it out."

February 18, 2013

REVIEW: Mind Games by Kiersten White

Title: Mind Games (Mind Games #1)
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 19, 2013
Format: egalley* 256 pages
Rating: 5/5
Get it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

My Review
Mind Games is another masterpiece that I completely loved from Kiersten White! She has done it again, simply sweeping me off my feet with another amazing story. Mind Games has a stunning combination of the bond and love between two sisters, suspense and edge that will surely be loved by old and new fans all around. 

I’ve been smitten with White’s work the moment I finished Paranormalcy and Mind Games was further proof of her excellent and outstanding writing style. She has this touch, this ability to create unique voices and personalities in every character she makes and it’s more prominent here between her two main characters, Fia and Annie. The swift and easy way of her storytelling always impresses me to no end. There is something about her writing that flows smoothly without trying that I can never get enough of no matter how many books she may write. Mind Games was really different from her pervious books and that’s what I love most about it. It’s darker, more mature and ten times more thrilling. Kiersten White really ups her game and I was throughly dazzled. 


Between Fia and Annie, I loved Fia more from the very beginning. For me, Fia was just more interesting, more of a mystery and very hard to figure out. She was such a complex character that had so many different sides that always kept me guessing on what she would do next. Fiercely Fia, is what I call her, and she got more spunk and backbone that all the other characters in this book combined. Somewhat broken, a little spazzy and filled with energy, Fia brings out the life of this book in every way. I looked up to Fia for her strength, intelligence, and her cunning ability to fight and defend herself with little to no ease, but mostly for the continued sacrifices she makes on behalf of the safety of her sister. Troubled and internally tortured, Fia struggles with right and wrong and the consequences of her instincts despite the good and the bad. The best thing about Fia was her unwavering loyalty to Annie and the fact that her bravery was seemingly endless even in the face of her most deepest fears. 

While I didn’t love Annie the way I did with Fia, I did like her to some extent. I thought Annie was a little more serious compared to Fia’s spunky attitude. She was just as protective as Fia, even when she felt like she couldn’t really protect her all that much. I like that Annie was able to give some attitude and dish it even when she was scared and even when she truly couldn’t see. I had a soft spot for Annie because of the guilt she carried for the death of parents and for Fia’s unraveling. I could see the burden she carried and blame she put on herself for everything that has happened and it ate away at me that she would feel this way. Quiet and reserved, Annie wasn’t afraid to risk her life for Fia. She may have seemed weak, but she was strong and able to handle herself far more than I would have thought she could. In the end, I did end up admiring Annie just a little bit more. 

There was definitely many elements going on in this book that White allows us to grasp and understand, but I could always tell that there was so much more to the story and what was truly going on with the Keane Foundation. The special abilities from Seers, Readers and Feelers are slightly touched upon enough to give way to intrigue and fascination. I loved the aspect of exploitation and black mail because it was entirely different from what I usually read in books lately. The best part of this book was the alternating point of view’s between Fia and Annie and all the flashbacks that were weaved in between the chapters. These flashbacks allowed the story to come full circle and to connect any dots and tie any loose ends. It was not only insightful, but it helped moved the story and explain any questions along the way. I’m excited for the next installment because I have a feeling things are just only beginning for Fia and Annie.


Overall, Mind Games wasn’t a simple story about romance, but of two sisters who love each other so much and would go to so many lengths to protect each other no matter what. This book will enrapture from start to finish and leave you holding your breath for more. 

*Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for sending a copy for review

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Favorite Quotes:
All quotes are subject to change from eARC to finished copy.
"'If anything happens to her, I'll never have to see for you again because there will be nothing left in the world I care about.' 'You're not the only one who cares about her.'" Location 304.

"Most people lie with words; I lie with my whole body. I lie with my thoughts and emotions; I lie with everything that makes me who I am. I'm the best liar in the whole entire world." Location 504.

"His voice gets tight. Daddy issues. I wish I had daddy issues. Though I suppose I have issues with his daddy." Location 928.

"'If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does anyone give a crap?' I mutter." Location 996.

"But his hands are on my neck and in my hair and tracing my collarbone and it is wrong but it feels right, it feels like falling and I know the impact at the bottom will probably kill me, but I don't care anymore." Location 1395

February 16, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #28

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews where you can share books obtained via the bookstore, the library, online, through trade, borrowed from friends, gifted and/or received for review that you're adding to your shelf.

Had a long, tough and tiring week of school so I just didn't have the energy to film a vlog for you guys, but I'll still like to show guys what I got!


(pssst, if you click on the cover/picture of the books it'll take you to the Goodreads page!) 


For Review:
*Thanks to Entangled Bliss (Babs & Aubrie)


Bought:
I've been on a New Adult kick lately (not good for my reading/reviewing schedule) but what can I do? I can't help it, lol. I've read all three and loved them tremendously! :)

From Trade:
*Thanks to Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews
*Thanks to Estefania @ Bookaholic Corner
(respectively)

Gifted:
*Thanks to Rebecca Maizel 
for sending me a signed copy :)

*Thanks to Brook @ Brook Reports
for this beautiful Rhode necklace <3


From my boyfriend of 6 years for Valentine's Day.
He knows me so well; thanks luvvie. ;)


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And that's it! Let me know what you got :D

February 15, 2013

REVIEW: Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Title: Nobody But Us
Author: Kristin Halbrook
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Format: ARC; 272 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars
Get It: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

My thoughts, feelings, and reactions
I have read a few mixed reviews when it came to Nobody but Us by Kristin Halbrook so I was feeling some hesitation when I started it. However, after a few pages it was already difficult to put the book down. I got desperation, heartbreak, and one touching novel that surprised me in the best possible ways. One thing is for sure, I loved Nobody but Us and I’m more than glad I read this amazing book.

What I truly loved most about this book is Halbrook’s writing. It was more than beautiful, real, and believable. She really brought the story and the character’s personalities to life. She makes you feel like you’re in the book with Will and Zoe, feeling their panic and their exhilaration of being on the road away from their troubles. I really enjoyed the spilt point of views between both characters because I felt like I was getting to know each side of their story and how they felt along the way. Because we don’t get to know Zoe and Will while they fall in love, the spilt POVs helped understand their relationship. I liked that some of their past was relived through their flashbacks because it helped make me believe the strength of their feelings for one another. The pacing, while not particularly fast, wasn’t slow either. It was the type of book where the plot builds and builds until the point of no return where everything just explodes into your face. Each chapter was always something different and something new and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. 

To be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with Zoe. She was young, naive, innocent and sometimes just plain clueless. However, Zoe was smart in some aspects and made some of her own decisions even when she was scared. Some of the things she did though, drove me crazy! Half the time I wanted to shake her because she was just frustrating or being completely and utterly stupid. I did like that Zoe believed in Will and saw the good in him. Although he was all that she had at the moment, she didn’t want to depend on him for everything. I also liked that she didn’t allow him to talk down to her when he did. While Zoe definitely had plenty of weaknesses, she definitely shined in the end of the book and showed her true strength. 

Will was my favorite of the two, no matter how broken he was and no matter how bad his temper was, I loved him. Ruggedly handsome, tough as nails, and loyal as hell, Will was just the best. I understood his protective nature for Zoe and I loved how much he wanted to prove his worth to her and himself. He was determined to take Zoe away, to take care of her and give her a better life. I really loved how he supported what Zoe wanted. Though twistedly wrong and totally rash, Will’s intentions were in the right place. He was a bad boy who got into a lot of fights, but he definitely had a soft and vulnerable side that he could not hide in front of Zoe. He really wanted to be a good man and a good person towards Zoe. He wanted to do and be everything for Zoe and in the end, Will rose up to do the right thing, sacrificed what he really wanted, and became the true hero I knew he would be from the start. 

While the tagline gave me everything I needed to know where the book was going to go, I really enjoyed seeing how everything played out. The anticipation of what will happen next was always there. I felt like any minute what Zoe and Will left behind was going to come rushing at them to bite them in the butt. Both Will and Zoe were broken and both had their own demons. I could tell they loved and cared for each other, but the way they handled things during their journey was just a reminder of how in over their heads they were. It was obvious how young they were and how they didn’t really know what they were doing. Their relationship, although filled with love, was also filled with border-line destruction. Nothing good can come out of their situation, but I was so eager to finish the book and see how Will and Zoe’s story all played out. 


With a bittersweet ending that made me tear up and made my heart ache, Halbrook still left me with hope despite how everything turned out.

February 14, 2013

Trailer Reveal: The Dollhouse Asylum + GIVEAWAY

The Dollhouse Asylum by Mary Gray
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Expected Publication: October 22, 2013
A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields--a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus--she is thrilled to have a chance at survival.

At first, Elysian Fields,with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne's heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world.

The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now "Persephone," and each couple has been re-named to reflect the most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along.

If they play it right, then they'll be safe.

But if they play it wrong, they'll die.



THE TRAILER:


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THE GIVEAWAY:
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February 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Pivot Point by Kasie West + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop in the Pivot Point blog tour, hosted by Mundie Moms!
You can check out the rest of the tour, HERE


Pivot Point by Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without


 Get Pivot Point:

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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About the Author:


I love to write--too much. It's a sickness really. My debut novel, PIVOT POINT, will be published by HarperTeen Feb. 12, 2013. (Followed by its sequel a year later.)

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, my contemporary YA novel, will be published in the Fall of 2013 (HarperTeen).

My agent is the talented, funny, and sometimes crazy, Michelle Wolfson. (quoted from her website, where you can find out even more about here.)

Connect with Kasie West:

February 10, 2013

Cover Reveal: FAKING IT by Cora Carmack

First we got Garrick. 
Now we have Cade.

Image Map


FAKING IT by Cora Carmack
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
From: William Morrow Paperbacks


Book Description:
Mackenzie "Max" Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they're expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he's kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they're forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.


My thoughts?
HOLY SWEET BABY BISCUITS.
Cade is looking mighty fine up there. 
Like I said on twitter, I would really like to make sweet sweet love to this cover. 
It is perfection!!
I totally adored Cade in LOSING IT, so I'm super ecstatic that he's going to have his own book :)))))
Cade, my love, I'm so ready for yoooooou.
JUNE COME FASTER. 

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LOSING IT by Cora Carmack
Paperback release: February 26, 2013

Pre-order this baby: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound

ya know you want it.. ;)

February 9, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #27

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews where you can share books obtained via the bookstore, the library, online, through trade, borrowed from friends, gifted and/or received for review that you're adding to your shelf.


Books Mentioned:
Miss Me Not by Tiffany King
All Over You by Emily Snow
Second Rate Chances by Holly Stephens
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Insomnia by J.R. Johansson
Fault Line by Crista Desir
Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
Strangelets by Michelle Gangnon
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
Sins & Needles by Karina Halle

Bloggers Mentioned:
Good Choice Reading Blog Tours
Shane @ Itching for Books
Giselle @ Xpresso Reads

Special thanks to:
Netgalley & Edelweiss
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Simon & Schuster
Soho Press
Flux Books

What new books did you add to your shelves?

February 6, 2013

Blog Tour: Breaking Waves Review + Playlist & Giveaway


Hey lovelies! I'm here today with my stop in the Breaking Waves blog tour! Today I'll share with you my thoughts on Breaking Waves and my personal playlist while I read the book! So let me know you think and don't forget to enter the giveaway too!

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Breaking Waves by Danielle Sibarium (Heart Waves #2)
Publication Date: January 10, 2013
Publisher: KFR Communications

Book Description:
From the moment they met, Jenna knew Reece would break her heart, but she never dreamed it would happen like this. Jenna is left shattered and broken. When life becomes too painful to deal with and she feels completely alone, there’s only one person to help her pick up the pieces and move on. The one person she doesn’t want to turn to. The one person she promised to stay away from. Tyler.

Can Jenna put aside everything she knows about him and let Tyler help heal her broken heart?


My Review:
Danielle Sibarium has done it again and swept me off my feet! I have to say that Breaking Waves lived up to everything I wanted it to be. I loved Heart Waves, but I absolutely loved and adored Breaking Waves. It was better, bolder, and packed with intense array of emotions.

I’ve always loved Danielle’s writing. Each book she writes she manages to grip me from the beginning and Breaking Waves was no exception. While Danielle gives us an even more developed character in Jenna, she gave us more with the prominent presence of Tyler. Not only that, Danielle dives deep and evokes many feelings and emotions that really tug at the heart and soul. Danielle added the perfect amount of twists and she does a great job of dancing around what was going on, letting you get a little information to keep you hooked for more. She definitely brings in the heartache, the sadness, the sexy, the funny, and the swoon-worthy moments. 




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My Playlist


Need - Hana Pestle
"I'm not quite sure how to breathe without you here
I'm not quite sure if I'm ready to say goodbye to all we were

Be with me
Stay with me
Just for now
Let the time decide when I won't need you."

- For Jenna and Reece right at the beginning, when she's not ready to say goodbye just yet. 


Without You - My Darkest Days
"If the world ceased to spin,
You could start it again with just one smile
If the seas turn to sand
With the wave of your hand it would rain for miles
But the thought of you gone,
Makes everything wrong in my life
So stay right here, right now."

- Another Jenna and Reece song but after. This can swing both ways for either how Jenna feels or how Reece may feel, but mostly Jenna without Reece. 


Wonder - Megan McCauley
"And I can't help but wonder what it is you do
You help heal the pain, and the thoughts of the truth
You're a question to the universe, a wonder to the world
And somehow, when I'm with you, I never get burned."

- This song is for how Jenna feels Tyler. How he's helping her heal and move on and how he's the only one that understands and who can bring her back from the dark. 


Near to You - A Fine Frenzy
"Near to you, I am healing
But it's taking so long
'Cause though he's gone
And you are wonderful
It's hard to move on
Yet, I'm better near to you."

- Jenna and Reece vs. Jenna and Tyler. The song basically defines how Jenna is having trouble moving on from Reece, how she's still in so much pain, but having Tyler there helps. She's better near to Tyler even if she still loves Reece.


She is - The Fray
"She is everything I need that I never knew I wanted
She is everything I want that I never knew I needed."

- Tyler to Jenna. Though Tyler brings Jenna back to life, I think Jenna brings out the best in Tyler. She's everything he needs. Especially during the dorm scene


Everything Has Changed - Taylor Swift
"And all I've seen since eighteen hours ago
Is green eyes and freckles and your smile
In the back of my mind making me feel like
--
'Cause all I know is we said "Hello"
And your eyes look like coming home
All I know is a simple name
Everything has changed
All I know is you held the door
You'll be mine and I'll be yours
All I know since yesterday is everything has changed
--
And all my walls stood tall painted blue
And I'll take them down, take them down and open up the door for you"
- For me this song screams Jenna and Tyler down to the mention of green eyes and wanting to get to know each other down to Ed Sheeran's part that could be described as Tyler's walls coming down for Jenna. But basically the title of this song describes so much.. Everything has changed. 

And that's my playlist! Let me know what you think? Do you like the songs I picked?
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About the Author

Danielle Sibarium grew up as an only child of divorced parents in Brooklyn, New York. Her imagination was developed at an early age. Surrounded by stuffed animals and imaginary friends, she transported herself into a fantasy world full of magic and wonder. Books were the gateway between her play world and reality. On any given summer afternoon she became Snow White sweeping and cooking for the dwarfs, or Cinderella waiting for the prince.

Danielle always loved dialogue and in elementary school began writing plays and short stories. This is when she began to understand she could not only bring her fantastical world to life for herself, but she could enchant others as well. And so she wrote. She wrote and wrote and wrote.

Connect with Danielle:

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The Giveaway

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REVIEW: Breaking Waves by Danielle Sibarium

Title: Breaking Waves (Heart Waves #2)
Author: Danielle Sibarium
Publisher: KFR Communications
Publication Date: January 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5/5
Get it: Amazon | B&N
From the moment they met, Jenna knew Reece would break her heart, but she never dreamed it would happen like this. Jenna is left shattered and broken. When life becomes too painful to deal with and she feels completely alone, there’s only one person to help her pick up the pieces and move on. The one person she doesn’t want to turn to. The one person she promised to stay away from. Tyler.

Can Jenna put aside everything she knows about him and let Tyler help heal her broken heart?


My thoughts, feelings, and reactions
Danielle Sibarium has done it again and swept me off my feet! I have to say that Breaking Waves lived up to everything I wanted it to be. I loved Heart Waves, but I absolutely loved and adored Breaking Waves. It was better, bolder, and packed with intense array of emotions.

I’ve always loved Danielle’s writing. Each book she writes she manages to grip me from the beginning and Breaking Waves was no exception. While Danielle gives us an even more developed character in Jenna, she gave us more with the prominent presence of Tyler. Not only that, Danielle dives deep and evokes many feelings and emotions that really tug at the heart and soul. Danielle added the perfect amount of twists and she does a great job of dancing around what was going on, letting you get a little information to keep you hooked for more. She definitely brings in the heartache, the sadness, the sexy, the funny, and the swoon-worthy moments. 

Jenna goes through a tough and devastating time in Breaking Waves. The fear, anguish, and depression she felt was like my own and I really ached for her. Although Jenna was in so much pain, I thought she did a good job of trying to pick herself up even when she felt like she couldn’t move on or when she thought she was losing all hope. I empathized with Jenna greatly and I thought that everyone around her just didn’t understand what she was going through. I hated that some of her friends and her parents kept pushing her to deal with it when these sort of things took time. I liked that Jenna did her own thing and didn’t rush into anything. Jenna was determined to find out what was really going on and that’s where I admired Jenna the most because even with the grief, she still found a way to go beyond that without the pressure of others. I think Jenna really grew, learned, and opened up more in Breaking Waves. She’s slowly evolving into a stronger, more independent, and level-headed woman. 


While I do love Reece with my whole entire being, he did not shine in this book the way Tyler did. We are introduced to Tyler briefly at the end of Heart Waves, but don’t get to know him until this book. In Breaking Waves, we get a chance to see a whole different side to this bad boy. Tyler was definitely hard-headed, obnoxious, rude, and sometimes a complete asshole. He had the worst mood swings compared to myself on PMS. But even then, Tyler had this loving, caring, sweet and vulnerable side I fell for. Sure, he had anger issues, but he was so fierce, loyal, and very protective of not only Jenna, but Reece as well. He was slightly broken and misunderstood and really, you just want to give him a hug. Tyler really helps Jenna heal and move past her struggles and for this, my cold heart melted for him instantly. Not only did he make Jenna laugh, but he also made me laugh with all their funny moments and witty comebacks. Tyler messed with my head and my heart. It’s an understatement to say I’m truly conflicted. He was infuriatingly sexy in that I-want-to-hit-him-and-kiss-him-all-at-once kind of way. Reece fans will definitely have to chase after their hearts when they meet Tyler.

I always forget how much I miss certain characters in a book until I get a chance to be back with them and this was how I felt when I read Breaking Waves. It was a mixture of familiarity and newness all wrapped in one book filled with danger, mystery, drama and a whole lot of tension. There is still so much I want to know and figure out and for the life of me, book three cannot come out soon enough. Overall, I freaking loved Breaking Waves! Danielle Sibarium did not disappoint me one bit! 

*Thanks to Danielle Sibarium for sending a copy for review