Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths, #1)Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I debated between 4 and 5 stars... then decided it’s definitely worth all 5.

Kacey Cleary's world was shattered 4 years ago due to a drunk driving accident. Lives were lost, hearts were crushed and brick walls were erected.

Kacey and Livie (Kacey's 15-year old sister) move to Miami from Michigan to start over...have a clean slate. They move into an apartment complex that has a Melrose Place vibe except there are "hibachis and shriveled weeds" with a couple of neighbors that easily become great additions to the story.

Storm and her 5 year old daughter live on one side; Storm is a drop dead gorgeous and quickly becomes really good friends with Kacey and Livie.

Trent is "Ohmigod"... blue eyes, dimples...HOT neighbor guy! And man, will his words make you swoon.

"You don't smile enough."
"I want to make you smile. For real. Always. We're going to go for dinners, and see movies, and walk on the beach. We'll go hang gliding, or bungee jumping, or whatever you want to do. Whatever makes you smile and laugh more. Let me make you smile."


"..."Forever's a long time." "Forever's not long enough when it's with you."

I love Kacey and Trent's banter; it really helps lighten up a story that's full of angst and sadness. Actually, Kacey has good banter with just about every character in the book; she's a pretty sarcastic girl... it’s one of her many ways of hiding.

There are several other characters that I immediately liked too; Nate, Ben and Dr. Stayner. Each for their own reasons, but all of these guys were monumental parts of Kacey's life.

There's a twist in the story that I predicted, but I kept talking myself out of it - I couldn't be right; I didn't want to be right. But I think the twist needed to happen and thankfully, even though I didn't want it to happen, it didn't ruin the story at all.

I went on an emotional roller coaster while reading Ten Tiny Breaths, but K.A. Tucker did such a fantastic job writing it and it really was an amazing book that I'm so glad I read.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays

All Our Yesterdays (Cassandra Chronicles, #1)All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 Stars!!!

WOW! What just happened? I'm ready for more NOW please!!!

I still don't know how to write this review - I don't want to spoil anything for anyone.

This book consists of time travel...which honestly, I didn't think I'd like, but man was I wrong (thanks Cristin Terrill for proving me wrong)...romance, friendships, drama and suspense. Everything about this book made it that you just do not/could not want to stop reading!

The story begins with Em being held prisoner. Her friend Finn, he's being in the cell next door. The conditions of this 'prison' are grim and Em and Finn are repeatedly tortured thanks to 'the doctor' ordering guards to do so because he wants/needs information that Em has. Finn is only tortured as another way to cause Em pain and suffering.

Right from the beginning Em becomes intrigued by the drain that's in her cell. She imagines horrible reasons why there'd need to be a drain. One day she gets the drain cover off and discovers a piece of paper; a list that gives multiple tasks. All of the tasks have been scratched out except one..."You have to kill him"

Soon after is where the time travel comes in; Cassandra. Cassandra is a time machine - one that Em and Finn use in order to escape the future and return to the past in order to try and complete the task.

The story is told from two POVs; Em and Marina's. Which, they're actually the same person - Em is from the future, Marina is from the past/present. Through the alternate POVs we also get to learn a lot about each of the characters; from the past/present and the future:
Marina is spoiled, selfish, popular, wealthy and in love with her neighbor and best friend, James Shaw.

Em is smart, tough (due to circumstances), and in love with Finn...and James.

Finn is sarcastic, loyal, best friends with James and in love with Marina/Em.

James is a genius, shy, wealthy, handsome, loyal and loving to his family and friends.

'The doctor', well he's kind-of evil... he thinks he's making the world a better place; that's he doing good... when in reality things are horribly bad.

There's not a whole lot more that I can say without giving anything away; like I said, this book has some suspense, some romance, lots of friendship and some action/drama. Once you begin reading it, you will not want to stop!! And unfortunately, the end doesn't exactly cure that problem.

Cristin Terrill did a beautiful job writing this story and regardless of what genre's you prefer; EVERYONE should give this one a chance; it's definitely worth it!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Review: The Naturals

The NaturalsThe Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

The Naturals was similar to Criminal Minds in a lot of ways...FBI, UNSUBS, profiling, etc. But the profilers in The Naturals are teenagers.

5 years ago Cassie's mom was suspected to be murdered, but a body was never found and the case is still open.

Cassie, who is now 17, lives with her family in Colorado when she is approached by the FBI. But they aren't contacting her about her mom, they're interested in her 'natural' ability of profiling people; their behavior, personality and environment.

Cassie joins The Natural's team (consists of 2 FBI agents, 5 teenagers and a retired marine who isn't directly involved, but is definitely around) and dives right into the world of profiling...helping to solve cold cases.

But there's quickly a begin to unfold very close to home. Not everyone is who they seem. Who do you trust? Who is the killer? The book becomes very suspenseful and on-the-edge-of-your-seat about 50% through the book...until the very end.

I really enjoyed this book...the mystery, the suspense, and so much more!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: This Girl

This Girl (Slammed, #3)This Girl by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

This Girl was the perfect ending to the Slammed series! This book captured my attention from page 1; I read it in less than 24 hours!!

This Girl is told from Will's POV... while on their honeymoon, Will shares his side of Slammed with Layken. It doesn't repeat the entire book, which I was concerned about, it just goes over certain highlights like when they first meet, their first date, the big student/teacher discovery, etc. It was perfect :D

I thought Will was pretty swoony already, but after This Girl...uh, yeah...he's off the charts!!

I like that This Girl also tells its own story; about the future of Will and Lake...not just the past. The epilogue really rounded out the perfectness for me.

Colleen Hoover is an amazing author. She knows how to write emotions and life! I really connect with each of her characters...sometimes in the most heartbreaking ways. Her talent continued to shine with This Girl!!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Review: Covet

CovetCovet by Tracey Garvis-Graves
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow!'s all I've got for now.

I will not be able to write a review that will do this book justice. I loved was so beautifully written!

Claire and Chris Canton's marriage is struggling due to various life factors (unemployment, finances, depression, new job, etc.). Claire develops a friendship with good-looking cop, Daniel and quickly becomes very comfortable with him. Boundaries are laid out, but one can only handle so much loneliness. I won't lie...there was more than one time where I wanted Daniel and Claire to cross the line, physically, but in the end, I'm glad they didn't.

I love how you got to see so many different types of marriages and lifestyles through Claire, Chris, Daniel and the friends/neighbors. Covet touched on cheating, addictions, child bearing struggles, depression and just overall everyday struggles that even the "perfect married couple" face.

This was my first Tracey Garvis Graves book and wow!!! I definitely plan to read more of her work.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a copy of Covet in exchange for an honest review.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: Deeper

DeeperDeeper by Blue Ashcroft
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Once I was able to get past the name changes (thankfully these weren't MC names) I found myself enjoying Deeper.

Rain is a 19-year old lifeguard from Montana. She's takes her job seriously. She puts herself in danger in order to keep others safe...and she experiences several dangerous situations in Deeper. Thankfully, her fellow-sup, Knight, comes to her rescue.

Knight is a "hot" (this was mentioned too much throughout the book, in my opinion), tatted, fellow lifeguard that is immediately attracted to Rain.

Rain and Knight both have pasts that they keep from each other for awhile, but eventually end up sharing their stories considering its keeping them from having an honest and loving relationship.

Deeper was predictable and there were parts of the story that bothered me, but obviously nothing that bothered me enough to keep me from finishing.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher from providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Review: Saving Wishes

Saving Wishes (The Wishes, #1)Saving Wishes by G.J. Walker-Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We meet Charli Blake and quickly learn that she doesn't always follow the rules and is sassy!

Charli has plans to leave Piper's Cove with her best friend as soon as they graduate high school. However, several obstacles begin to form, discoveries are made and secrets are revealed.

One of the biggest obstacles is the American French boy, Adam. For Charli and Adam, its a love-at-first-sight relationship. I can't really blame Charli though...Adam can be pretty swoony. Catch being is that Adam is only in Piper's Cove on holiday and will return to New York in a few months.

Charli's brother, Alex is another catch to her plans... he's taken care of her forever and she feels like she's holding him back...keeping him from living the life that he wants. Things are not always what they seem though...

Saving Wishes was at times predictable, but there were several curve balls thrown in along the way that I was not expecting. There is a lot of drama...some that I felt was unnecessary.

I didn't like where it ended...not an ugly cliffie really, but I felt like it ended without closure. I know there's book 2, but I like SOME form of an ending and I just didn't get that.

Overall, I liked Saving Wishes and I will definitely read book 2 because I need to know what happens...where everyone ends up!

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Review: Never Fade

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can't believe it ends there!!! If I could get book 3 now, that'd be fabulous!

Never Fade picks up right about where TDM leaves off...Ruby is working with The Children's League. But we soon discover that there are bad things happening amongst the League, kids are being killed and not everyone is as innocent as they may seem.

Ruby is still the strong MC that she was in TDM and she remains fierce and loyal in Never Fade. She's learned to control and manipulate her power now and it comes in handy many times throughout the book.

We meet some great, new characters and get to see some of the characters we met in TDM again. Together the old and new characters make quite the team.

The amazing world that Bracken created in TDM continues to unfold and be more amazing in NF.

Never Fade has everything...humor and drama, fighting and loving, friendship and enemies. It was the perfect sequel, but the ending definitely leaves you hanging and, NEEDING book 3 now!!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an advanced copy.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)Dare You To by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dare You To surprised me... in so many good ways!! I, like many others, wasn't a fan of Beth's in Pushing the Limits and I didn't think any relationship could top Echo and Noah's. Well, Katie McGarry proved me wrong!

We met Beth in Pushing the Limits - dark clothes, ripped jeans, piercings and tattoos. Bitter and angry at the world. Strong relationships with Noah (like siblings) and Isaiah (best friends). In Dare You To we learn so much more about Beth - she's lived a tough life. She takes care of her alcoholic, drug addicted mom. One of the people she trusted most as a child, her uncle Scott, left her behind when she was young. Hard to imagine her loving dresses and ribbons as a little girl, huh? She did though... and some things never change.

Beth meets Ryan at Taco Bell. Ryan is trying to get her name and number; not so much because Beth is his type, but because he was dared to by his best friend Chris. And Ryan always wins!

Ryan is the star pitcher for his high school's baseball team. He's hot and has dimples! He's smart, funny and has the perfect life and the perfect family... according to some. His family isn't so perfect behind closed doors though; his family is hiding something...something that if the small town found out, it would destroy their perfect image.

After an incident, Beth is forced to move away from her mom in Louisville to live with her uncle Scott and his wife, in her childhood hometown, Groveton.

Who else is in Groveton? Ryan :D

With Ryan's "I always win" demeanor, he chases Beth; determined to win! However, he quickly learns that he doesn't want Beth to be a dare... he wants more!

Their relationship is certainly not an insta-love relationship. Beth fights her feelings and refuses to admit that she's falling for Ryan. Thankfully, he doesn't give up and once he has Beth, he promises to never let her go (in a swoony way... not a creepy possessive way, of course).

Ryan lowers his forehead to mine. His warm breath fans over my face. "I will never let you go."

Ryan and Beth help each other face their problems and are there to support each other through the ups and downs. And they both experience quite a few downs, but their ups... *sigh*, their ups are pretty amazing!

I hold the bottle out into the rain and watch as the steady flow slowly fills it. When there is enough, enough that Beth can clearly see, I close the bottle and hand it to her.
She raises a skeptical eyebrow, but accepts the bottle.
"It's our rain, Beth."
Her head barely shakes to show her confusion while I rub the back of my neck and search for my courage. "I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle."
Beth's forehead wrinkles and she stares at the gift I've given her. "I don't..." she starts. "I don't have anything to give to you."
"You're here," I answer. "It's all I want."

During the time she spends with Ryan, Beth also begins to rekindle her friendship with her childhood best friend, Lacy. Lacy is the definition of a best friend; this girl will have your back even if it means having to throw some hits!

And speaking of best friends - We see a bit of Isaiah throughout the story too. He's still Beth's rock and she depends on him to anchor her down... until things are revealed and their friendship becomes rocky.

Dare You To is filled with relationships; love, friendship and family. The one that may have gotten to me almost as much as Ryan and Beth's is the one with Ryan and his brother, Mark. These two made me tear up.

So to sum it all up... I loved Dare You To. I loved the characters and their relationships. I loved the drama. I loved the cheerful and cheesy moments. Katie McGarry did an excellent job writing another amazing story. I can't wait for book #3.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)Pivot Point by Kasie West
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars!

After taking a few days to digest, I'm still in awe. Pivot Point was a great, great, great book!!

Addie Coleman is a junior at Lincoln High. Addie lives in the Compound with everyone else that has special abilities. Addie is a Searcher; when she's directly given a choice, she has the ability to see what each path would lead to for her.

Addie is given a difficult choice - after her parents reveal that they are divorcing, she has to choose whether to stay with her mom in the Compound or move with her dad to Dallas; living with the "Norms".

The story alternates between each path Addie is searching and for the most part, it was easy to follow along and not get confused. It worked perfect for the story!!

On one path, we meet Trevor. Trevor is hot, quiet and laid back. He played football until he was injured. He loves comics. Perfect guy, right? RIGHT!! Addie and Trevor become best friends and they're perfect best friends... until they become a little more than best friends.

"Don't best friends hug before they go anywhere?"
I smile. He thinks he's being funny, but I can play this game. "As a matter of fact, they do." I slide my hands past his ribs and under his arms.
He wraps his arms around me, and I relax into him with a happy sigh. But then he starts rubbing my back, and tingles spread down my spine. "Best friends don't rub each other's backs," I tell him.
His hands stop moving, but then they press me closer to him.
"Will you let me read the handbook so I know all the rules?"
"Yes. I will."
He bends down and rests his forehead on my shoulder, his breath warming my skin. Why haven't I pushed him away yet?
"Does the handbook cover this?" he says.
I nod.
His lips tickle my neck as they move along it. Is he trying to drive me crazy? "It definitely says no."
...he takes my face in his hands and presses his lips to mine.
...Holy crap, Trevor the nice guy is an amazing kisser.
He pulls back slightly and meets my eyes. "So when can I get a copy of this friendship handbook?"
"Friends? Who said anything about friends?"

And their relationship beyond friendship is perfect. Are you sensing the trend here? :D

On the other path, we meet Duke. Duke is the typical dreamy football quarterback that all the girls want. But he doesn't want any girl; he wants Addie. I'll admit, while I love Trevor, I did fall under Duke's spell, but he's not the one I'd pick for Addie.

"I think I'm just waiting for reality to hit. I don't understand why you'd want to be with me. We're so different."
"Different is good. Right? I wouldn't want to date myself." He kisses me softly. "I'm falling for you, Addie. Don't break my heart."

On both paths there's a mystery, which adds to the interest and excitement. When the two paths overlap, it gets that much more interesting and exciting.

The supporting characters really helped add to the already great story; Addie's Compound best friend, Laila - this girl is blunt, but fun!! Trevor's best friend, Rowan - he keeps the mood light and cheerful!

I thought this book was excellent; definitely a page-turner! My interest was captured from page one and held through the very end. I'm very excited to see where this series goes and I will definitely be reading more of Kasie West!

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Slammed (Slammed, #1)Slammed by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pretty much everything I want to say has already been said.

Layken moves to Michigan from Texas with her mom and brother after the sudden and unexpected death of her dad. She's bitter about the move and she doesn't hide her anger. But that all changes when she meets Will; hotty neighbor guy!! There's instant attraction between the two and on their first date Will takes Lake to a club where Slam poetry is performed.

Lake is excited about where her relationship is going with Will... until they discover something. Something that prohibits them from continuing their relationship. Will makes the decision that they can only be friends. This is a tough decision to follow considering they're still incredibly attracted to each other, Layken has began falling in love with Will, they're neighbors and their little brothers are best friends!!

Then Layken is hit with another life-changing event. After being angry and in denial about the situation, with the help of her friend Eddie (whom I absolutely adore) and Will, she's able to accept what life has handed her and makes the best of the crappy situation.

Poetry is a key factor in Slammed. Through the poetry I learned so much about each of the characters. I loved it!

I really enjoyed this book... but DUH! it was written by Colleen Hoover :D I'm anxious to read the next 2 books... which thankfully, I have waiting for me!

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review: The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy crap...

I've taken a couple of days to digest this book and I still don't know if I can write this review. Only one way to find out I guess...

In The Darkest Minds we learn that IAAN is a "disease" that is killing children. The children that do not die discover they've developed an ability. Abilities that range from being able to crack complicated/secret codes, telekinesis, mind reading and mind control.

Ruby Daly learns on her tenth birthday that she has changed and something has happened, something so drastic that it causes her parents to send her camp Thurmond.

The government has created "rehabilitation camps" throughout the US; camps where they promise to try and "cure" your child. Upon entry to the camp each child is assigned a color based on their abilities (green, blue, yellow, orange and red). But we quickly learn that these camps are nothing more than a prison for these kids with PSFs (Psi Special Forces) guarding and forcing the children to complete menial tasks.

Six years later Ruby escapes Thurmond with the help of Cate, but quickly discovers that Cate may not be as friendly as she seems. As Ruby is running from Cate, she meets Liam (blue), Chubs (green) and Zu (yellow). Liam shares that they're in search of East River. East River is a place created by Slip Kid for children with abilities to seek safety. Their journey isn't without complications and trouble though.

During their journey we watch as friendships are formed and bonds are created. Zu becomes a little sister figure to Ruby and Zu wastes no time trying to play dress-up with Ruby :D

Chubs eventually warms up to Ruby, but thankfully he never loses his snark because if he did, he wouldn’t be Chubs!

"Thanks for stitching me up," I said. "I'm looking a little Frankenstein, but I guess it's appropriate, all things considered."
Chubs gave me a weary sigh. "Frankenstein is the name of the doctor that created the monster, not the monster itself."
"Couldn't let that one go, could you?"
"Don't get on my case about it. You're the one that doesn't know her classic literature."

I quickly developed a soft spot for Chubs.

Then, of course, there's Liam. Handsome, protective and loyal Liam. Ruby and Liam don't have the insta-love connection which I love more and more. But once there is a connection; Liam brings on the swoon.

Did you make me so happy that sometimes I actually forget to breathe? I'll be looking at you, and my chest will get so tight...and it's like, the only thought in my head is how much I want to reach over and kiss you."


"We want you," he said, his hand slipping through my hair to cup the back of my neck. "We wanted you yesterday, we want you today, and we'll want you tomorrow. There's nothing you could do to change that. If you're scared and you don't understand your crazy abilities, then we'll help you understand - but don't think, not for a second, that we would ever just leave you."

In The Darkest Minds there are twists and turns, hearts mended and broken, relationships developed, promises made and loyalties challenged. I really enjoyed the world Alexandra Bracken created. Her writing is amazing; the descriptions really have you believing that you are there. The ending though... ugh!!! I still can't believe it...I understand why it had to happen, but it doesn't make me like it any better. Thankfully I have book 2 waiting for me to begin... which will be immediately, of course :D

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: Golden

GoldenGolden by Jessi Kirby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 Golden stars!

This book... *sigh*... it was amazing. The descriptions, the words, the relationships... all beautiful. This is the first Jessi Kirby book I have read, but after reading Golden, I definitely plan on reading more of her work.

Parker Frost is a 17 year old, high school senior. She's been a good girl; she's stayed on the course that her mother approves of. Parker is the TA for the high school's English teacher, Mr. Kinney. Every year after spring break he gives his class a black-and-white marbled composition notebooks (we all know the ones, right?) and their only assignment is to write in it. Then on graduation day, you return the notebook to Mr. Kinney and ten years later, he mails them back to their authors. And as Mr. Kinney's TA, Parker is giving the task of mailing out the notebooks that the students 10 years prior had written. As Parker is addressing the notebooks, she comes across Julianna Farnetti's.

Julianna and her boyfriend, Shane Cruz, were the town's golden couple and they died tragically during a winter storm that ended with Shane's jeep in Summit Lake.

Parker is curious what Julianna wrote in her journal and with a conversation she recently had with her best friend Kat about doing something "unexpected, worthwhile and big" she decides to take the notebook. Eventually she begins reading it and the entries she reads about Julianna lead her, Kat and her long-time crush Trevor Collins on a road trip to discovery. There are twists and turns and full circles completed.

During the story we learn about the friendship between Kat and Parker and I adore it. They have such a true friendship, one that I would want for my own daughter some day. They're honest and always there for each other, regardless.

We also get to witness the beginnings of a relationship between Parker and Trevor. *sigh* This boy... he's pretty great. Parker's been crushing on him for years and they shared playful banter many times, but she never acted on her feelings. When she finally does, it's tummy fluttering.

Golden makes you stop and think about this "...what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" regardless of how old you are. There are parts of the story that will have you questioning your beliefs in fate and destiny. There's some mystery, there's friendship and there's romance. What more could you want?

I highly recommend this book... to any and all age groups!! It's such a beautiful story and I absolutely loved it!

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review: The Prelude

The Prelude (A Musical Interlude Novel)The Prelude by KaSonndra Leigh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3 - 3.5 Stars

The Prelude begins with a tragedy - a tragedy that leaves Erin Angelo making a vow "Love, I have this to say to you: You tore open my heart. You made me feel pain when all I wanted to feel was joy. So now, I will remove your power over me. I'll never kiss anyone or trust in any dream that you can take away from me. I will never believe in you, ever again."

5 years later Erin is in Milan as a rising fashion designer. She's guarded and living with the guilt of the tragic events from her past. And she's kept her vow to never love again... until she meets Aleksandr Dostovsky.

Aleksandr (Alek) is a sexy, Russian maestro. Alek also has a troubled past that he continues to struggle with. He's an ex-gang member that lives a playboy lifestyle. But how quickly that all changes once he meets Erin.

There's an instant connection between Erin and Alek. Erin finds herself slowly letting her guard down around Alek (he's very persistent =)) Their relationship begins with a sexual arrangement; no strings attached. But Alek's past comes back to haunt them and Erin struggles to forgive what's happened in the past. Dramatic events take place and the story takes a twist; discoveries are made and decisions are changed.

The Prelude is told from both Erin and Alek's POVs. It helped detail each of their pasts and helped get inside their heads.

Overall I enjoyed the book, but there were parts that were predictable and parts that were cheesy and unbelievable.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All the stars!!

The 5th Wave was so good! Amazing... Incredible... Wonderful... out of this world. You probably get the idea. It was that good.

The 5th Wave alternates POVs which isn't always a good thing, but it worked really well for this book. It really helped give more details as to what was going on. Throughout the first few parts of the book it alternates between past and present to help give the reader a better idea of what happened to who; what everyone witnessed, what caused so many deaths and what the living endure.

I don't want to give anything away because the twists and turns are one of the great parts of The 5th Wave; the mystery, the parts that keep you guessing.

We begin by meeting Cassie (short for Cassiopeia, not Cassandra or Cassidy); 16 year old girl that wonders if she is the last human left on earth after an alien invasion. An invasion that came in 4 waves - 1st wave: lights out, 2nd wave: surf's up, 3rd wave: pestilence, 4th wave: Silencer. Cassie witnesses more death than any person should ever have to; death of loved ones and death of strangers. While anyone could easily just give up, Cassie doesn't - she struggles of course, but she made a promise to her little brother Sammy that she is determined to keep. On her mission to reunite with Sammy, Cassie gets shot in the leg by a Silencer (alien hunter, assassin, finisher) and finds herself seeking cover in the trunk of a Ford during a blizzard. Next thing she knows, she's being nursed back to health by Evan Walker.

Ah, Evan Walker - I immediately fell for him. 19 year old farm boy who knows all the right things to say.

"I didn't save you," he whispers, lips tickling my eyelashes, "You saved me."

"I had it all wrong," he says. "Before I found you, I thought the only way to hold on was to find something to live for. It isn't. To hold on, you have to find something you're willing to die for."

Evan literally helps to get Cassie back on her feet and they continue to the mission to get to Sammy together. But there are twists and turns... and Evan Walker has a secret. (I still love him though)

Then there's Zombie - he is a 17 year old high school football player whose smile gets all the girls. But there isn't high school anymore; there's a war. Humans vs Aliens. And Zombie and his squad are being trained for war; under grueling and gruesome conditions. Children as young as 7 are being trained for war (ugh - sickening). Nugget/Sammy is part of Zombie's squad, but since he's only 5, when the squad is assigned a mission, Nugget has to be left behind. But Zombie makes Nugget a promise; that he will be back. During the mission, again you encounter twists and turns and start questioning who is who; what is what... who are the bad guys, who are the good guys! Zombie, too, finds himself on a mission to get back to Nugget.

The 5th Wave is filled with action, mystery, a tinge of romance and humor! I loved the sarcasm and witty comments sprinkled throughout the book. It helped lighten some of the heavy parts. It ends in the perfect spot for book #1 to end, but there is a slight cliffhanger so be prepared for that. This book... EVERYONE should read it!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: Insurgent

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars and more!

I can't form the words right now, but GOOSEBUMPS... I have GOOSEBUMPS from that ending. Wow!!

Ok - so I've taken 24 hours to let Insurgent and all of its awesomeness sink in.

"Insurgent," he says. "Noun. A person who acts in opposition to the established authority, who is not necessarily regarded as belligerent."

Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off; Tris, Tobias, Peter & Marcus on a train headed to Amity. (I think I want to live in Amity... they put a happy/giddy/peaceful serum in their bread!! Tris on this serum was one of my most favorite parts of the book! Too funny :D) From there the book is non-stop action, twists and turns, friendships (old and new), love and hate, death and learning/wanting to live.

Tris goes through some tough times; she's young and still learning about life, about herself and relationships. I found myself frustrated with her several times throughout the book, but overall, she continues to be a strong female MC.

Tobias continues to enchant me. His love for Tris is deep!

"We're all right, you know. You and me. Nothing else is all right. But we are."

"You die, I die too."

I really learned a lot about Tobias' character in this book; some different sides of him that we didn't get to see in Divergent - he is passionate; not just about Tris, but about everything! He's loyal, stubborn and just, amazing *sigh*. His strength and the power he carries really shines in Insurgent.

We get to revisit with many of the characters from Divergent, but there are several new ones that we meet in Insurgent.

The ending... just wow!! I'll say it again; it gave me GOOSEBUMPS!! Definitely leaves you needing/wanting more, but not in that way that it would ruin Insurgent. It was the perfect ending for book #2!

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Review: Unravel Me

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 amazing stars!

Let me begin by saying, again, that I love Tahereh's writing. It's so uniquely beautiful!

Unravel Me begins right where Shatter Me left off. Juliette, Adam and James learn to adjust to their surroundings at Omega Point.

I had such high hopes that Juliette would finally feel like she was somewhere she belongs at Omega Point; unfortunately she quickly begins to feel like an outcast again - like she's a monster that everyone is scared of. With a little help (shove) from her friends, she quickly learns that there's no time to sit around moping; the enemy is at their doorstep and there's no time to waste.

Juliette learns more about her abilities while at Omega Point. She begins to learn just how powerful she truly is; what an asset (or enemy) she could potentially be.

Thankfully Adam learns exactly what his ability is pretty early on in the book; why Juliette is able to touch him.

I'd love to tell you that Adam and Juliette's relationship blossoms in Unravel Me, but such is not the case. Their relationship (or lack there of) frustrated me several times throughout the book... COMMUNICATION PEOPLE!! It's important for relationships to work. But it wasn't all frustration, there were some steamy parts... well ok, I guess that's still frustration, but a different kind ;)

Kenji... I freaking love Kenji. I think I can dub him my favorite character in the books. He's so funny, but when its time to get serious, the boy can get serious (but keeps things light).

Then there's Warner... I haven't read Destroy Me and maybe that's why I don't love him. Because yeah, I don't. He's a killer, he's a manipulator and he's a liar (there are more "bad guy" qualities about him I'm sure, I just can't think of them :D) Fine, fine... when he's with Juliette he's pretty freaking hot and has his sweet moments, but HE'S THE ENEMY!!

I loved this book and I'm sure this review hardly does it justice. Just know that you should definitely read it. I'm anxious for the next book, of course!

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review: The S-Word

The S-WordThe S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 solid-stars!

Angie catches her best friend, Lizzie, in bed; in their hotel room; on prom night, with her boyfriend, Drake. That's the worst thing that can happen to a high school senior, right? Wrong...

The Cheer Bears and many other classmates turn against Lizzie; writing Slut on her locker and all over her car. Angie doesn't stop them because she's hurt and angry.

Lizzie kills herself. Then Suicide Slut appears on the lockers written in Lizzie's handwriting and pages of Lizzie's personal diary begin appearing all around school.

Angie decides to play detective and get to the bottom of who wrote on the lockers, who had access to Lizzie's diary... and wow, does Angie make some discoveries. Some of the twists I predicted, but some; some big ones, completely blew me away. Not only does Angie make discoveries about her "friends" and other classmates, but she makes discoveries about herself along the way.

This was well written and a great debut for Chelsea Pitcher. It showed how high school can be for some; that its not always rainbows and confetti. Some kids are bullied, some kids are popular but their lives aren't perfect, some kids are different by choice and some are made outcasts for their beliefs and choices.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and Chelsea Pitcher for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

NetGalley Wellness Pledge!

I just signed the NetGalley Wellness Pledge! For more information about the NetGalley Wellness Challenge visit:

Review: Divergent

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

Since I'm so late in reading this book most of what I have to say has already been said (seems to be a trend lately)...

From beginning to end this book captured and held my attention (hence basically zero status updates along the way)

Beatrice/Tris - simple 16 year old girl from the Abnegation faction who chooses to transfer to the Dauntless faction during the Choosing Ceremony. Transferring from Abnegation, the faction where you are raised to be selfless and appreciate what you have (no matter how little it may be); where your appearance and attire are plain and simple (gray clothing, simple haircuts) to Dauntless, the faction where you must be brave and cowardless, where you will provide protection and the members are tattooed and pierced and wear black clothing has Tris frequently questioning whether she made the right decision or not. Doubting whether she can be brave enough to complete some of the tasks and activities the Dauntless partake in on a daily basis. But Tris is strong - she is brave - she is selfless. "Great things come in small packages" - Tris helps prove how true this statement is.

Four - *sigh* handsome 18 year old boy from Dauntless faction. He's a trainer for the Dauntless transfers and can be harsh and almost mean at times. But we get to see that has a vulnerable side as well. And we get to witness how sweet this boy can be with Tris and let me tell you, he'll have you swooning in no time :D

There are other characters throughout the story that are pretty amazing as well. They help show to what lengths each individual endures and how much they each of them can handle. Everyone has a breaking point and we witness how some reach theirs before others.

I'm grateful that I have the next book waiting for me to read because it didn't end with a huge cliffie per se, but it was left pretty open-ended... leaving me wanting more IMMEDIATELY!

If you like fast-paced dystopian books filled with action and some romance, then I definitely recommend this book.

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Review: True

TrueTrue by Erin McCarthy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

True was a fun, quick read.

Rory is a 20 year old college student. She's socially awkward and a virgin. Not necessarily because she wants to be, but because she's never really dated and one-night stands aren't really her thing.

Tyler is a 22 year old guy who's tattooed and has piercings *ahem* He loves and takes care of his two younger brothers because his mom is an alcoholic druggie who blames life's problems on her boys.

This is a typical romance, but touches on some emotional subjects.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an advanced copy for an honest review.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review: Shatter Me

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was skeptical to read this because it seemed to have an X-Men vibe (I'm not a huge fan), but I am so glad I did because while there may be some similarities, it is so much more!

It took a little bit to adjust to the way the story is written, but once I got past the uniqueness of it; I LOVED IT!! It helped convey so much more than commas, non-repeating words ever could :D Tahereh Mafi's writing is beautiful, it's poetic and so amazing!

Juliette cannot touch anyone without hurting or worse, killing them. Because of her 'gift' even her own parents are scared of her - her classmates tease and throw stones at her. She is alone. At least she thinks she is. In the background; watching her, admiring is, protecting her is Adam. Unfortunately, Juliette doesn't realize this until years later - when she's spent 264 days in an insane asylum (that her parents willingly sent her to) and Adam (grown up, mature, handsome, swoony) reenters her life. From there we meet several new characters - most of which hold a special place in my heart - Kenji: BAHAHAH - Warner: ARGH! - James: precious and several others that are all amazing.

I'm probably one of the last people on the planet to have actually read this book, but if by chance you haven't, I strongly recommend it.

While this didn't end with a cliffhanger at all (THANK YOU!), I am anxious to begin reading the next book... which will be happening immediately!

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Review: The Sweet Gum Tree

The Sweet Gum TreeThe Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars and more!

Oh this book... the love I have for it. I've come to the realization that my words will never do it justice, but here goes...

Alix and Nick *sigh* Their story begins and ends with a tin of bee balm. Alix is 8, Nick is 10 when they become friends. They become protectors of each other. They become so much more...

The story reveals 25 years of what life brings to Alix and Nick; indivudally and together, and let me tell you, its not all rainbows and unicorns. Sure, there's love and laughter, but there's heartache and pain too.

Throughout this book I experienced every emotion possible; intense, all consuming emotions - it was a rollercoaster ride for sure, but in the best way imaginable. I laughed, I sobbed. I blushed, I gasped. I cried, I snorted. There was one time when I wanted to throw something from frustration. There were lots of WTF moments, but plenty swoony moments.

Such an amazing book. Katherine Allred wrote it beautifully. EVERYONE should read it!!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: The Testing

The TestingThe Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

The Testing captured my interest right at the beginning and kept it until the very end.

Cia, like many other graduates before her, is hopeful that she's chosen for The Testing. Unfortunately no one from Five Lakes colony, where Cia lives, has been chosen in years.

This year, that changes. Cia and 3 fellow graduates are chosen. They're informed that they have 24 to pack and say their good-byes. Its during the goodbye with her dad that Cia becomes aware that The Testing may not be what she has expected.

Fellow graduate, Tomas, is one of the 4 chosen. Cia and Tomas develop a friendship and more during The Testing. (There are some very sweet moments)

The Testing takes you into a world where the unthinkable will happen, where you ask why and how. There are moments of shock and disbelief, sadness and relief, terror and love throughout the book.

Considering this is the first of the trilogy, its ends with a cliffie, but not a drastic one... just enough of one to leave you wanting more immediately!

Thank you to Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of the book. Thank you Joelle Charbonneau for writing this great book!

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review: Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I should probably take a couple of days to digest this book, but I won't...

Echo Emerson - something so terrible happened to her that her own mind has blocked the memory. Something so terrible that there's a restraining order against her own mother. Echo wants to remember and she'll do just about anything to get someone to tell her what happened on the day that left her with scarred arms; what happened on that day that took her from popular status at school to a freak.

Echo's home life is a mess; her brother, Aires, was her rock, her strongest supporter, but he died in Afghanistan after joining the Marines, her dad is controling and her pregnant step-mom (who used to be Echo's babysitter) likes to be the center of attention.

Noah Hutchins - he lost his parents in a house fire and lost his 2 little brothers to the foster system that he doesn't trust, with good reason! Noah portrays a typical bad boy; tats, a stoner, uses girls, etc, but oh man... once we see a little deeper into his true persona, he makes you swoon; hard! He LOVES his little brothers and will do anything for the 3 of them to be together as a family again.

Mrs. Collins - the school's new clincial social worker and a character that I adore! And not just because she sort-of forced Echo and Noah together through tutoring, but because this woman is AMAZING! She's sympathetic, personable, caring, passionate, strong, supporting and a freaking genious!

When Noah and Echo's relationship begins... these two are passionate about each other and helping each other. The love they share; you can feel coming of the pages in the book. The kisses and touches they share will make you melt!

I really enjoyed this book. It made me laugh and cry, smile and pout, snicker and gasp. It captured my attention at page one and never once lost it (my lack of sleep can prove that!)

If you love strong characters, romance and drama then I definitely recommend reading this book!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review of The Sky is Everywhere

The Sky Is EverywhereThe Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jandy Nelson's writing is beautiful. There's really no other way to describe it. You experience everything that the characters are experiencing.

My emotions were on a rollercoaster through this book; sadness, happiness (with huge grins, of course; Fontaine style), anger, laughter... you name it, I went through it.

One of my most favorite parts about this book was the poetry... I love how Lennie wrote everywhere she went and let her words scatter the town of Clover, literally.

I absolutely loved this book and I will recommend it forever.

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