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Thursday, December 25, 2014

[REVIEW] The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites

Author: Marie Lu
Series: Book 1, The Young Elites
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: October 7th 2014 by Penguin
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

Rating


My Thoughts

Think X-Men in a fantasy world living in a Renaissance era and you pretty much get The Young Elites. Only, this is so much darker. Marie Lu is right; The Young Elites is not a hero story. This is a story of a villain.

Adelina Amouteru did not survive the blood fever that swept her entire nation unscathed. The plague that killed her mother also took Adelina's left eye and gave her markings that distinguished her as a malfetto. Not just an ordinary malfetto, though. A Young Elite, gifted with a supernatural power that feeds off the darkness inside and around Adelina. This same gift calls the attention of The Dagger Society, a group of Young Elites that uses their powers for a secret agenda. When her and her sister's life gets threatened, will Adelina be able to call on her powers to save them? Or will it just endanger herself and those around her?

Monday, December 22, 2014

{BOOK BLAST: Spotlight + Giveaway} Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton

Where Silence Gathers

Author: Kelsey Sutton
Genre: YA Fantasy, Paranormal
Published: July 8th 2014 by Flux

In this companion novel to the critically acclaimed Some Quiet Place, Alex must choose between Revenge and Forgiveness.

For as long as she can remember, Alexandra Tate has been able to see personified Emotions, and she's found a best friend in Revenge. He's her constant companion as she waits outside Nate Foster's house, clutching a gun. Every night since Nate's release from prison, Alex has tried to work up the courage to exact her own justice on him for the drunk driving accident that killed her family.

But there's one problem: Forgiveness. When he appears, Alex is faced with a choice—moving on or getting even. It's impossible to decide with Forgiveness whispering in one ear . . . and Revenge whispering in the other.


Meet the Author

Kelsey Sutton has done everything from training dogs and making cheeseburgers to selling yellow page ads and cleaning hotel rooms. She lives in northern Minnesota and received a BA in English from Bemidji State University. When Kelsey is not writing or trying out a new career, she can be found in the park with her dogs, ordering a coconut mocha at the local coffee shop, or browsing a bookstore.


Giveaway

Giveaway is open to International.
Must be 13+ to Enter
2 Winners will receive a copy of Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton.


This blast is organized by:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

[Guest Post] Books, the Internet, and Distance | thebooksmachine.com

Hey, guys! Recently I received an email from Meryl Wright, site administrator of The Books Machine, a website designed to help authors promote their books. Included in her email is an interesting article which I'm going to share with you guys today. But before that, a little introduction about The Books Machine. According to Ms. Wright,
On our site, e-book readers have direct contact with authors and can request a free digital copy of a book, in exchange for writing an honest review. Membership for readers is free and they can increase the number of books they receive as gifts by building a reputation in our community. This is done by writing reviews and sharing book recommendations with their social networks.
So basically, The Books Machine is pretty much like Netgalley where you can request books, but here, you can also interact with the authors of the books that you request. Sounds good? You can sign up for their newsletter and also receive a free membership forever just by clicking the following link: bit.ly/newslettertbm. And now, for the guest post. . .


Screenshot of The Books Machine website

Guest Post

Books, the Internet, and Distance 

We live at a million ticks a minute. We eat breakfast, our coffee still steaming, we wave goodbye to our loved ones, and we’re on the subway, or lost in the crowd, on our way into the world of obligations.

Then meetings, e-mails, presentations, clients. But didn’t I empty my inbox before I went home? And as you’re buried under the pile of new messages, the phone rings to remind you that someone is waiting impatiently for the files on your desk that you haven’t even had the chance to look at.

Then the trip home, the traffic that seems to conspire against you, another call that asks “If you wouldn’t mind stopping by the supermarket, I forgot to buy your drink . . . your drink . . .”

And one day you say enough; I deserve to enjoy life. And from the deep recesses of your mind you remember the delight that only a good book can bring. Considering costs, and your precious time, you choose an e-book reader, you create an Amazon account, and you vow to take time for the pleasure of words on your commute to and from work. Now the challenge is deciding what to read. There are books of every shape, size and flavor, with and without reviews, new and unknown authors. And the prices. It’s not that e-books are expensive, but it’s frustrating to pay for a book with a promising beginning, only to discover that the plot soon dissolves into the waters of Venice. You make your first selection, and after a few pages you realize it was a mistake. But you’re not so easily discouraged. You dig into your wallet and, gathering up your courage, you decide to try a second title. And then magic occurs. You’re on the subway, but you’re no longer there. 

Waiting for your morning meeting, the happy memory of your new fictional friends stays with you. The supermarket stop on the way home gives you an excuse to read a few more lines. And without realizing it, your world and the world of the author become one shared space, full of new colors and textures. The book’s finale leaves you first ecstatic, then shattered, as you have to say goodbye to the world of those words. You feel anxious, longing for something you can’t quite explain. You want to recapture that magic, another adventure awaits to enliven your routine, your commute, the daily obstacles that appear on your path through life.

And then one day you discover a place that seems like it was created just for you; a place where you’re not distanced from the stories, and more importantly, from their creators, your guides through wondrous foreign lands. This place is The Books Machine, a space where the reader and the writer are no longer just names. A community, where an author can extend a free gift of their book to you, directly. And you show your gratitude by submerging yourself in their world, by reading their words. Here, you can make a difference for the writers you love. By providing your honest opinion of their work, you give the writer the most precious gift of all: recognition for their talent.

Books you'd normally have to pay for are free, just for you, with a simple request. Direct contact with authors. Your honest opinion. The best reads, the warmth of a unique community, the next book, a new adventure waiting for you at the start of a new day.

Join our 20,000 fans in a revolution that's gaining momentum daily. Sign up for our Newsletter and receive notifications of the best titles being given away by our authors. Click on the following link, this is the place to be: bit.ly/newslettertbm

Meryl Wright

Site Administrator
www.thebooksmachine.com
FB: www.facebook.com/TheBooksMachine


So what do you think, guys? Will you be signing up for The Books Machine newsletter? Do check out their site and let me know what you think! ^__^

Julie

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

{BLOG TOUR: Excerpt + Giveaway} The Light in the Wound by Christine Brae

December seems like a month for Filipino authors because this is the second tour I've participated in for a fellow Filipino. Today, I give to you Christine Brae and her book The Light in the Wound. ^__^ *Insert a round of applause here* This tour is organized by Bookish Diaries Book Tours and will run from December 15th-19th. I believe this is their first blog tour so congratulations, Amanda and Jothee!

The Light in the Wound

Author: Christine Brae
Published: July 23rd 2013
Genre: New Adult
Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Fully Booked
Affected by her parents’ highly publicized divorce, Isabel grows up isolated and alone, with a resolve to never fall in love and repeat their mistakes.

When Jesse Cain enters her life, she falls hopelessly in love with him, and every sadness she’s ever felt is washed away by his intensity and passion. But people change as they grow up. Things can never stay the same forever.

Jesse and Isabel fight to stay together, determined to hold on to what they once had. Isabel wonders if a second love can ever be enough to make her forget her first.



Excerpt

“I’ve always been honest with you about how difficult it has been to let go of the past. But you are my present and my future. From the first time we were together, you saved my life. You saved my soul. You made me want to make you proud. You made me realize that I deserved better. You made me unafraid to love you. My wounds are healed because of you.”
He lifted me up, placed me on top of his lap and held me close as I leaned my head on his chest. He stroked my hair lightly as he spoke.

Monday, December 15, 2014

{BLOG TOUR: Excerpt + Giveaway} The Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza

Hello, loves! Today is the start of the blog tour for The Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza. I'm doubly excited for this tour because this contemporary romance novella is written by a Filipina author. Yay! ^__^ Posted here on my stop is an excerpt from the book. Make sure to follow the tour to read more excerpts and reviews of The Boyfriend Backtrack. You can view the schedule [here]. This is organized by Oops I Read A Book Again and will run from December 15th-19th. And oh, there's also a giveaway at the bottom of the post! ^__^

The Boyfriend Backtrack

Author: Dawn Lanuza
Date of Publication: October 3, 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance
Purchase link: Amazon
If they say that life flashes right before your eyes when you die, do you also get a flashback of your exes when your perfect boyfriend is proposing to you? At least that's the case for Regina Cortez. There's her dramatic high school boyfriend, her first college crush, the irresistible heart breaker, and the ever elusive one. By backtracking to her past, will Regina make it to 'I Do'? Or will she just keep running away?




Excerpt

Before getting to our cars, Jules stops me and says, “Don’t you think it really means something?”
“What?”
“That little mind trick you had.”
I simply shrug. I’m not sure what it meant either. I’m not even sure why something like that would happen to me.
“I space out on some of our conversations, I admit,” Jules tells me. “I have so much information in my brain. Sometimes when Leslie talks about her new vegan recipe, my mind takes a vacation. So I just nod and repeat the last thing she says.”
“That’s exactly what you do when I start talking about my weddings,” I realize.
She nods, looking a little guilty. “It’s not that I don’t think it’s interesting. I’m just really tired.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday [#12]: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. My WoW pick today is:

All Fall Down

Author: Ally Carter
Release Date: January 27th 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA Mystery, Thriller
Pre-order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.

This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay -- in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.


Why I'm Waiting On It

Have you read the first two chapters of All Fall Down yet? No? You totally should! It has an interesting premise and the first two chapters alone are enough to make me excited for this book. I can't wait to read more! I haven't read any of Ally Carter's books before and I want to start with this one. Just a few more weeks of waiting! ^__^

P.S. If you're an Ally Carter fan, you can sign up to be an Ally Ambassador here and spread the word about her new series.

Julie

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

{BOOK BLITZ: Guest Post + Giveaway} My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling

My Ex From Hell

Author: Tellulah Darling
(The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #1)
Publication date: April 1st 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Purchase: (only 0.99c on Kobo, iTunes, and Amazon)
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Bloom wishes she’d been taught the following:
a) Bad boy’s presence (TrOuBlE) + teen girl’s brain (DraMa) = TrAuMa (Highly unstable and very volatile.)
b) The Genus Greekulum Godissimus is notable for three traits: 1) awesome abilities, 2) grudges, and 3) hook-ups, break-ups, and in-fighting that puts cable to shame.

Prior to the Halloween dance, Sophie figures her worst problems involve adolescent theatrics, bitchy teen yoga girls, and being on probation at her boarding school for mouthy behaviour. Then she meets bad boy Kai and gets the kiss that rocks her world.

Literally.

This breath stealing lip lock reawakens Sophie’s true identity: Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She’s key to saving humanity in the war between the Underworld and Olympus, target numero uno of Hades and Zeus, and totally screwed.

Plus there’s also the little issue that Sophie’s last memory as Persephone was just before someone tried to murder her.

Big picture: master her powers, get her memories back, defeat Persephone’s would be assassin, and save the world. Also, sneak into the Underworld to retrieve stolen property, battle the minions of Hades and Zeus, outwit psycho nymphs, slay a dragon, rescue a classmate, keep from getting her butt expelled from the one place designed to keep her safe …

… and stop kissing Kai, Prince of the Underworld.

My Ex From Hell is a YA romantic comedy, Greek mythology smackdown. Love meets comedy with a whole lot of sass in book one of this teen fantasy romance series. Compared to Kai and Sophie, Romeo and Juliet had it easy.




Guest Post


Inside Tellulah’s head: The writing of The Blooming Goddess Trilogy

 
I am obsessed with the naming of things. Characters, projects, I can spend ages finding just the perfect fit. And while that may sound like procrastination, it’s super important procrastination. Since I’m gearing up to release My Life From Hell, the final book in my YA romantic comedy/Greek mythology series, The Blooming Goddess Trilogy, I thought I’d share the thinking behind my book titles in this trilogy. 

The one thing I knew going in was that this was the story of an underachieving girl who discovers that she is Persephone, Goddess of Spring. When it came time to name this girl, Sophie Bloom just immediately popped into my head. Sophie as the human derivative of Persephone, and Bloom both for spring and for her journey. Because, what was clear to me, was that each book thematically had a flowering-esque cycle to it.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I've been tagged by Carmel from Carmel and Kyla for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Thanks so much, Carmel! Hugs! ^__^

RULES:

1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their site
2. Post the award's logo on your blog
3. Answer the 10 questions you've been asked
4. Nominate 10 other bloggers and ask them 10 new questions. (You can skip this part if you did this tag already. But still, I would love to read your answers.)
Here are Carmel's questions:

1. What book/s do you think deserves more hype?
=> I think Before Ever After, The Naturals, The Book of Lost Things, Gameboard of the Gods and Sing Me to Sleep are some of the books that deserve more attention. They're some of my favorite books and are really good!

2. What book/s do you think is overrated?

3. What is your most-read book?
=> Oh, definitely the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series! I think I've read the entire series more than twice. :)

4. What book/s would you like to be a movie?
=> By default, I don't want any book I've read to be made into a movie because sometimes the movie gets murdered by producers and directors who don't know what they're doing. But because the book-to-movie adaptations I've seen this year were all great, it will also be good to see I'll Give You the Sun (the latest addition to my favorites) on screen. And of course, I'm also looking forward to Where She Went. Keeping my fingers crossed!

5. If you will get married to a celebrity, who would it be and why?
=> Tom Hiddleston (because Loki!) 

6. What's the song of your life or a song that best describes you?

7. What do you want for Christmas?
=> Is this a trick question? Haha! Books, of course!

8. Who's your childhood (celebrity) crush?
=> None. Haha! I know, I'm such a bore.

9. If you were to meet your favorite fictional character, what would you say?
=> I'd probably won't be able to speak at all. Haha! I guess I'll just give them a hug and bawl my eyes out because of all the feels they've given me.

10. Your favorite dessert?
=> Anything sweet! ^__^


And here are my questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What are your favorite book-to-movie adaptations?
  3. Fifty Shades of Grey - love it or hate it?
  4. Books that annoyed the hell out of you.
  5. Who are some of your favorite authors?
  6. Do you eat snacks or listen to music while you read?
  7. How's your Goodreads Reading Challenge progress so far?
  8. Would you rather date a rock star or a Hollywood celebrity?
  9. How do you handle reading slumps?
  10. What's your favorite aspect of blogging?
I'm tagging these awesome people (only tagging 4 because it seems like everyone else already did this):

  1. Erika @ The Nocturnal Fey
  2. Laira @ Laira's Blog
  3. Alexis @ Alexis's Blog of Awesomeness
  4. Ailla @ Le Bibliophile
Enjoy! ^__^

Thursday, December 4, 2014

{BOOK BLITZ: Guest Post + Giveaway} Wish by Grier Cooper

Wish

Author: Grier Cooper
Series: Indigo Dreams #1
Publication date: December 2nd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
For Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost 16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders – the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things for Dancers.

But Jesse is the least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.
   

Guest Post

Debunking Ballet Myths 

While many people admire ballet as art form, it's also often criticized. Unhealthy body image is one of the most common complaints. But are these criticisms based on reality or myth? Let's examine some of the most common ballet myths and see what's real: 


1. All ballet dancers are anorexic.
The average professional ballet dancer spends anywhere from five to eight hours each day dancing their butts off; imagine how slim you would be if you exercised that much! Ballet also naturally creates longer, leaner lines in the body, unlike other athletic pursuits such as running, which create bulkier muscles. Although they are slender, most dancers are health-conscious—they have to be in order to have enough energy to get through their long, active days...although their busy schedules mean they snack throughout the day as opposed to eating huge meals (it's hard to be light on your feet with a full belly!). 


2. If you want to be a professional ballet dancer you have to start taking ballet classes early, like when you are still in the womb.
Just look at ballet superstar Misty Copeland; her story will burn that myth right out of your head. Copeland didn't begin taking ballet classes until she was thirteen, yet in 2007 she made dance history when she became the third African American female soloist (and the first in two decades) at American Ballet Theater. Another classmate of mine at the School of American Ballet didn't begin ballet until she was twelve but later went on to dance with New York City Ballet

Monday, November 24, 2014

Celebrate #MockingjayPart1 with a #Giveaway! (aka Early Christmas Gift)

I saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 movie last Friday night with my aunt and it was amazing! I've never been too keen to watch book-to-movie adaptations because I'm always worried it'll come out so horribly different from the book. So I thank the god of movie adaptations because Mockingjay was filmed beautifully. It is only now that I appreciate the need to split the last book into two movies, because two hours is never enough to contain that much action and story. (Actually, two movies is not enough but what can we do?) 

So to celebrate Mockingjay Part 1's huge success in my own little blogger way, I'm going to give one lucky follower a paperback copy of one of the book-to-movie adaptations I've watched this year. I've only seen three (see? not too keen.) so you have limited choices but these books are really good and awesome, as are their movie adaptations. ^__^









Actual covers may vary.

Giveaway

One winner will get to choose between If I Stay, Mockingjay or The Fault in Our Stars.
Open internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. (Check it here.)
Ends on December 29th
Entrants below 18 years old should have their parent's/guardian's permission to enter.
Entries will be verified so NO CHEATING! ^__^





Enter the giveaway here if the rafflecopter form doesn't load.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Julie


P.S. If you haven't watched Mockingjay Part 1 yet, here's something to convince you to buy your tickets now!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

[REVIEW] Find Me by Romily Bernard

Find Me

Author: Romily Bernard
Series: Book 1, Find Me series
Genre: YA Mystery, Contemporary
Published: September 24th 2013 by HarperTeen
Purchase from: Amazon | The Book Depository
Fans of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy will just love this creepy and alluring teen thriller. Complete with action, techie intrigue, a horrifying mystery, and a blossoming romance full of sparks, Find Me is an exhilarating debut.

When teen hacker and foster child Wick Tate finds a dead classmate's diary on her front step, with ma note reading "Find me," she sets off on a perverse game of hide-and-seek to catch the killer. But things get even more personal as Wick's deadbeat dad returns and the killer points to Wick's sister Lily as the next target.

With the help of oh-so-cute hacker-boy-next-door Griff, can Wick find her tormentor and save her sister?

Find Me won a 2012 Golden Heart Award and placed first in the 2011 YA Unpublished Maggie Awards (given by Georgia Romance Writers).


Rating


My Thoughts

Teen hacker Wick Tate has more than enough to worry about. Her father is on the run from the police, a cop stops by the front of her house at night, and she doesn't know how long the life she and her sister have now will last. So when she finds her classmate Tessa's diary on her doorstep and learns that Tessa committed suicide, Wick didn't know what to do. Until she tracks who sent her the diary and discovers that she and her sister might be in danger.

Find Me has an interesting premise and I've been so excited to read this book because HACKERS! Me loves good hacker movies and wants to see the action in books as well. However, Find Me fell short of my expectations.

Friday, November 21, 2014

{BOOK BLITZ: Excerpt + Giveaway} Coral & Bone by Tiffany Daune

Coral & Bone

Author: Tiffany Daune
Publication date: July 7th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads

Halen knows the sparks igniting under her fingertips are dangerous. She has spent her entire life trying to quell the tingly feelings that make her destroy things, but now that she is back in Rockaway Beach, where she watched her father drown, the flames have become impossible to tame.

Halen is trying to hold on, but when she is thrust into a mysterious new world, the underwater realm of Elosia, she unravels the secrets of her past and can’t help but ignite. As she explores Elosia, she realizes her life has been a lie. And when those who have deceived her come to her for help, Halen must choose—walk away or unleash the magick that could destroy them all.





Excerpt

"See who you are," the mermaid whispered. 

Halen's eyes clouded over and when the smoke cleared she found herself standing in an open field. She was dressed in a cotton dress which fell around her ankles. Soft grass tickled her toes. She took a step forward and a flower sprung from the ground beside her. She leaned down to pick the red poppy. As she took another step a flower sprang up from between the blades of grass. Halen smiled. She walked a little farther and with each step a new poppy sprouted and bloomed. She ran faster and the field blossomed under her feet, and when she waved her hand, the entire valley filled with red poppies. She inhaled their sweet scent and when she exhaled, the birds glided in the breeze of her breath through an endless blue sky.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Guest Reviewer Wanted!

Hello, everyone! I'm currently looking for guest reviewers here on the blog who can or want to contribute a book review or two. See, I'm having a hard time juggling school and blogging these days so your help will be really and truly appreciated.

So if you want to be a guest reviewer here, just shoot me an email at booksandinsomnia(at)gmail(dot)com and we'll work out the details. Don't worry, you'll be properly credited for your posts.

Thanks!

Julie


Monday, November 17, 2014

{COVER REVEAL} Surfacing by Kristin Halbrook

Today is the cover reveal for Surfacing by Kristin Halbrook. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

Surfacing

by Kristin Halbrook
Genre: Mystery 
Age category: New Adult 
Release Date: December 10, 2014
Blurb:
Katie Sawyer has spent the past three and a half years cultivating the perfect UCLA experience. She has the perfect boyfriend: a football star. She has the perfect social life: she's President of Delta Gamma. But her perfect best friend, Chelsea, just drowned. Worse, the body tumbled out of the closet in Professor Griffin's chem lab.

Katie's fairy-tale fa├žade hides a past she would like to forget, but Chelsea's death brings every old emotion to the surface. If she's going to move on from her hurts, Katie has to pull her not-so-perfect self together and search out the identity of Chelsea’s killer, even if it means turning to Josh Hunter for help. It's not easy. Josh infuriates her. Once upon a time, they were next door neighbors and best friends. They were confidants. They were even teenagers fumbling and exploring each other in the dark. He knew everything about her. He owned her heart. That was before things changed.

Now, secrets are surfacing. Chelsea was seeing someone. And she was pregnant when she died. Katie must come to terms with Chelsea’s other life…and face the fact that she has some secrets of her own. Even if it means letting the past--and Josh Hunter--back into her life.

A college Clueless meets Veronica Mars, Kristin Halbrook's new adult mystery is full of sexy romance and twists that will keep you guessing until the end.
 The cover:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

[REVIEW] I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You The Sun

Author: Jandy Nelson
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Published: September 16th 2014 by Dial Books
Purchase from: Amazon | The Book Depository
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.


Rating

My Thoughts

Heartwarming. Mind-numbing. Jaw-dropping. This book is perfection! I wanted to devour it and savor it at the same time while reading it. I'll Give You The Sun is a new favorite.

The writing is so alive and vivid. I love love love the prose! It's actually my favorite aspect of the book. I love the poetic quality to it, the way it successfully conveyed the emotions of the characters, the way it also invoked emotions from me as a reader. Reading this book is an emotional journey for me, as it touched and moved me in more ways than one. This is one beautifully written story.

And don't get me started on the characters! They were absofreakinglutely amazing! Noah and Jude and Oscar and Guillermo and Brian were all far from perfect but I love them to bits, flaws and all. Even the twin's parents were quite interesting. It seems like every character in this book should not be taken at face value, and I don't mean that in a bad way. It's just that everyone has layers and layers of stories and secrets within them that add color and depth to each character. One thing is sure, though: Jandy Nelson creates characters that are so alive, real and relatable.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday [#11]: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. My WoW pick today is:

The Fill-In Boyfriend

Author: Kasie West
Release Date: May 7th 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.
Pre-order from:


Why I'm Waiting On It

That cover! I love it, so contemporary. And I've been hearing good things about Kasie West's writing so I'm really looking forward to read this one. In the meantime, I'm trying to find copies of her other books in my local bookstores. ^__^

What book are YOU excited for? Comment away! :)

Julie

Monday, November 10, 2014

[REVIEW] Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten

Author: Gretchen McNeil
Genre: YA Mystery, Thriller
Published: September 18th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
Purchase from: Amazon | The Book Depository
SHHHH!

Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.


It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?


Rating

My Thoughts

I read Ten last Halloween and I must say it's perfect for the season. It's a creepy and chilling novel and will keep you on the edge of your seats.

I really liked the pacing and flow of the story. It's fast and consistent. The characters were also well-characterized. I liked the distinction between each character. They're all unique and have distinct personalities. It was a riot to have the ten of them in one house. I was just confused at first with all their names and who was who, since the story was told from a third person limited POV, but it's fairly easy to keep track of them once you get to know them. Meg, as the main character, is a strong heroine. It wasn't hard to like a character who prioritizes friendship over boys, even when things got too much. But beyond that martyrdom, Meg knows how to stand up for herself and for others when the situation calls for it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

[REVIEW] The Sham by Ellen Allen

The Sham

Author: Ellen Allen
Genre: YA Thriller
Published: September 7th 2014 by BookBaby
Source: Author
Purchase from: Amazon

When love leads to death, be careful who you trust…

Eighteen-year-old Emily Heath would love to leave her dead-end town, known locally as "The Sham", with her boyfriend, Jack, but he's very, very sick; his body is failing and his brain is shutting down. He's also in hiding, under suspicion of murder. Six months' ago, strange signs were painted across town in a dialect no one has spoken for decades and one of Emily's classmates washed up in the local floods.

Emily has never trusted her instincts and now they're pulling her towards Jack, who the police think is a sham himself, someone else entirely. As the town wakes to discover new signs plastered across its walls, Emily must decide who and what she trusts, and fast: local vigilantes are hunting Jack; the floods, the police, and her parents are blocking her path; and the town doesn’t need another dead body.

WARNING: THIS BOOK IS UNSUITABLE FOR YOUNGER TEENAGE READERS. IT DEPICTS ADULT SITUATIONS, MURDER SCENES, CONVERSATIONS ABOUT SEX AND PROFANITY. 


Rating

My Thoughts

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Author's Note: This book is unsuitable for younger teenage readers. It depicts adult situations, murder scenes, conversations about sex, and profanity.

I have mixed emotions about The Sham. It lived up to my expectations of being gory and violent, but there were a lot of things I didn't get. I liked it okay, but I can't say I'm a fan.

For starters, this book isn't for the faint-hearted. There were gruesome scenes and I often found myself grossed out by the stuffs mentioned in this book. But for some reason, I couldn't look away. The story was riveting. What I liked about The Sham is that it kept me constantly guessing and slightly freaked out up until the end.

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^