Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review: Rarity by D.A. Roach


SYNOPSIS

Brogen Mathers can’t deal with teen drama… 


As an empath, she is constantly bombarded with other people’s energies. Despite coping techniques taught by her psychologist mother, it’s often too much to bear, forcing her to avoid most activities a typical high school junior would enjoy. 

Jay Wilken won’t let his past define him… 

A dead mother and an alcoholic father brought Jay to Stanton, but he doesn’t want pity. His good looks, charisma, and friendly nature quickly win over the whole student body, but he has his eye on one girl…Brogen. 

Brogen can’t believe anyone could be so genuinely nice. It has to be an act, right? But when Jay literally saves her from deadly jaws, she has to admit he’s exactly what he appears, and he’s worth risking the potential emotional upheaval. 

“Drama” might as well be Becca Grant’s middle name… 

Another newcomer to Stanton, Becca’s blonde beauty and abundant attitude shoots her straight to the top of the popularity charts—and she believes Jay belongs right there beside her. Accustomed to getting exactly what she wants, she launches a relentless mean-girl campaign to shake up Brogen and claim Jay for her own. 

Everything changes with a devastating diagnosis… 

When Jay learns he has a rare and potentially fatal disorder, he keeps it secret and begins to push Brogen away to spare her future pain—which is exactly the sort of opening Becca is waiting for. 

As Jay’s well-meaning deception unravels, 

Brogen realizes there is much more than her heart at stake… 

But how far is she willing to go to fight for someone she loves?




*2 STARS*

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

There may be spoilers. Read at your own risk.

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I had high expectations for this book. The synopsis boasts a teenage girl with empathy, a sweet new guy, and a mean girl. I envisioned some kind of spin on Mean Girls, and I guess I'm partly to blame for that, but this book just did not work for me at all.

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It seemed like there was this underlying bitter current about the "pretty girl" always getting the guy. The word 'blonde' was overused to the point of annoyance. We get it. Becca was blonde and pretty. But blonde does not equal popularity, no matter how many times the author tried to stress that point. Brogen's dad cheated on her mom with a "pretty blonde" and now she refuses to go near Jay because Becca, who is a "pretty blonde," has her sights set on him. It was so damn superficial. 

(Brogen is reflecting on the fact that her dad is dating the "Blonde-squad's" newest leader's (aka Becca) mom) 

Linda was the adult version of Becca. She was so unlike my mom, exact opposites. I was like my mom. Why did the attractive blondes always get the guys? Even if I dyed my hair blonde, I still wouldn't land the guys. I didn't have that goddess look-long and thick wavy hair, big bosom, curvy hips, and long legs. I was trim from all my running and had muscular calves and thighs, but I got short changed in the boob department. My hair was dark brown, long enough for a pony tail, but nothing remarkable.

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Becca was supposed to be the mean girl, but aside from being blonde, having big boobs, having friends, being interested in the same guy as Brogen...she didn't really do anything that mean. Brogen walks past Becca & her group of friends a couple of times and she overhears the word 'loser' but given that Brogen is a self-proclaimed drama avoider and doesn't care about what other people think about her, I would think that that wouldn't bother her that much. The word 'slut' was painted on her locker with nail polish. THAT is the only true 'mean' thing that was credited to Becca and Brogen brushes it off like it's no big deal. I just don't see where the 'mean girl' hype is.

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The most realistic part of the book was Jay. I felt like his reactions to his diagnosis were spot on and understandable. The guy has just found out that the life expectancy for his disease is 38 years old. Of course he's going to be conflicted and emotional. 

And I'm once again reminded why I avoid the YA contemporary genre.

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Review: Through the Fire by Michelle Irwin


SYNOPSIS

Evie Meyers’ life is one spent on the run. Every minute of every day, her life is in danger if anyone should suspect the truth about her ancestry. Her father was willing to risk everything to keep the truth hidden, even from her, but the lies he fabricated were exposed when her high school crush, Clay Jacobs, inadvertently stumbled upon her secret. His discovery puts Evie at risk from a secret organization tasked with washing the world clean of nonhumans—and Clay is one of its deadliest soldiers. Forced into a war she doesn’t understand, all because of what she is, Evie is left with no choice but to flee with her father to escape persecution. 


When Clay reappears in her life, battle scarred and mysterious, Evie is unprepared and terrified as he forces his way back into her heart. When the battle catches up with her, and a tragic accident tears apart the peace she discovered, she finds herself alone and without the protection of her father, or her lover. Now, she needs to keep her secrets hidden and learn to survive on her own in a world that wants her dead, all while searching for the missing piece of her heart.






*5 STARS*

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was pitched to me as Romeo and Juliet meets Supernatural. I'm a sucker for forbidden romance but the potential of a Supernatural vibe sent me over the edge, and I just had to read this book.

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So here's the nitty gritty. We've got Evie, nineteen years old and not human. She's got unusual red and violet eyes. She always seems to be running a fever.

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She's spent her life on the run with her dad, hiding from a society of hunters called The Rain. I was lucky and didn't read any of the reviews that spoiled what Evie is, and so I won't do that to y'all either. Suffice to say though, she is oh so special.

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And then there's Clay. *swoony face* Clay is a member of one of the most influential families of The Rain. It has been drilled into his head practically since birth that any creature that isn't human is a monster and needs to be eliminated. He battles with his feelings for Evie and the only way of life he has ever known. Plus, his family won't let him go without a fight.  

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This story was straight up crazy. There were so many twist and turns. Just when I thought I had figured out where the story was going, boom! It would change on me. I don't think I've ever rooted so fiercely for a fictional couple to be together. And when Evie and Clay finally "get together" (nudge nudge, wink wink), it was...phew.

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 The ending left me....emotional. I just. I can't. I have no words.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Review: Burning Bridges by Nadege Richards


SYNOPSIS

Kill or be killed. Love or let go.

In a world divided between the Hunters and the Warriors, the prisoners who have fallen prey to King Cyrus's decrees are forced into the arena to fight until death. The winner is granted mercy and the privilege to see another sunrise–for the loser, it’s death unto the weak.


Seventeen year-old Princess Echo races towards freedom to find out who she really is, and to put a world that has been swallowed by lies back together again.


And then there’s Ayden. His very existence as a Hunter is forbidden, and with his otherworldly, violet eyes Echo is finding it hard to stay away from him. When death threatens their forbidden love Echo and Ayden are forced to do the unthinkable–how far will they go to be together?










*If I could give this book a million stars, I would. Unfortunately the max is 5, so 5 it is.*

Do you believe in second chances? 
Not until I met you. 

This book y'all. THIS. BOOK. I can't even. 

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BenjaminofTomes on YouTube described this book as An Ember in the Ashes meets Romeo and Juliet, and I agree almost completely, except that there is a bit of a Gladiator air to it as well.

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I simply could not put this book down. There were hardly any "stopping points" throughout the story. It was so fast paced and had me on the edge of my proverbial seat for 98% of the story. I lost count how many times my heart raced either from fear or swooning. And trust me, there was a lot of swooning going on. Ayden just might be my new book boyfriend.

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"I think I love you, Echo Abbeny. It's not about freedom. It's about how I am with you. I'm no longer a tortured soul, Echo; I have hope. You make me want to try harder, and not just for myself, but for my family and for you. Always you. You're so damn stubborn, but you make me look forward to the next day, whereas five weeks ago it was hell to think about the next week. You've given me a second chance."

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Echo was a force to be reckoned with. She has never felt like she fit in with her family. She doesn't want to be Queen. She just wants to be free to make her own choices.

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"I am a disgrace! I'm pitiful, Mother! You and Father have this hideous image of who you expect me to be, but I don't have the same mindset. I'm different, and forever will be. I don't want to be a princess; I don't even want to be here right now!" 

This book had everything. Forbidden romance. Drama. Twists and turns. The ability to make you hate a character in the first half of the book and then sympathize with them in the second half. It also left me wanting more. I need to know what happens next! My only regret is that I didn't buy the whole set of books from the beginning. I don't know what I was thinking only buying book 1. Now my poor mailman is going to be traumatized by my less-than-secretive stalking.

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Review: Final Life by Rose Garcia


SYNOPSIS

For seventeen-year-old Dominique, nothing sucks more than being forced to move across the country during senior year. Angry and feeling alone, she thinks things can’t get any worse until her new neighbor pressures her into playing a psychic card game. When she touches the cards, she has a vision of a red desert where a malignant presence hints at past lives and threatens to kill her...again. 


Convinced she’s gone crazy, Dominique struggles to forget the experience, but the vision follows her and intensifies with each repetition. Adding to her problems are two gorgeous guys she desperately tries to avoid. If Dominique is to put an end to the evil pursuing her, she must push through her fears and discover the secrets of her past. If she doesn’t, she’ll be dead. For real. 

Amazon: (FREE) http://amzn.to/1MIcBl8





*4.5 STARS*

Final Life was my very first book purchase at my very first book signing, so it's got a special place in my bookish heart. I don't know what took me so long to actually read the book, but I'm so glad that I finally did!

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Once I started reading, I could not put it down. Laundry? It's gonna stay in the basket. Kids need dinner? Let them eat cereal and pop tarts! Don't judge me. You know you've all done it at least once. Adult responsibilities? Pffffft.

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Final Life hooked me from the very beginning. Poor Dominique just wants to have a normal senior year after being uprooted from Michigan and transplanted to Houston. Of course, that doesn't happen. She gets plagued by visions and then her parents take in their friends' son, who just happens to be super hot, Farrell. Farrell was my favorite. He was quiet, reserved, reliable, and loyal. Plus he was strong and fiercely protective of Dominique.

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I will note that there is a love triangle in this story. And while I understand why Trent was relevant to the story, I spent most of his scenes wanting to shake some sense into Dominique and drop kick Trent out of Houston. Basically, I just wanted Farrell. More Farrell.

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 Basically, Final Life was amazing. I'm so glad that I have the next two books in the trilogy and I am eagerly looking forward to finding out what happens next in Dominique's story. Oh, Farrell. I'm looking forward to MORE FARRELL.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Review: Crane by Stacey Rourke


Holy beautiful cover, Batman!

SYNOPSIS

The Horseman is unending,

his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.



Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep. 



What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?



Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse. 



But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?







*5 STARS*


If you're looking for the perfect spooky read for October, look no further! Crane is sure to scare the pants off those who are faint of heart and will at least send a shiver up the spines of those who are more daring and like to take a walk on the wild side.

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The story is told in dual perspectives, alternating chapters between Ichabod's POV and Ireland's, who is Ichabod's descendant. I love how Washington Irving was made to be an actual character of the story and not just mentioned as the author of the original Sleepy Hollow legend. And intertwining Rip Van Winkle and his sleeping curse? FANTASTIC!!

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The descriptions were wonderfully horrific. Chapter 22 scared the ever living snot out of me and I had to sleep with my bathroom light on that night. 

He didn't look her way, didn't so much as flinch. Only when she inched closer did she see why. Small silver hooks had been fished through his upper and lower lids, forcing them open. Blood puddled at the corners of his eyes, trickling down his face into crimson slashes. Ireland's hand hovered over him, wanting to help -to free him- but not having the foggiest idea where to start. Slowly, his mouth began to move. Sneaking syllables passed barely twitching lips. Tipping her ear to his mouth, she leaned closer. "Save her, save me. Save her, save me."

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So. Freaking. Creepy. 

My favorite characters were Noah and Rip. Noah was adorable with his self-deprecating humor and determined chivalry.

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Rip was just plain hilarious. From his *ahem* "condition" to his ever present confusion of modern day things such as slang and computers, you couldn't help but love him. I loved his banter with Ireland.

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If you're looking for a unique spin on the Sleepy Hollow legend and want a deliciously creepy read to put you in the mood for Halloween, I highly recommend Crane!!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Review: Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton


SYNOPSIS

Olivia Black just discovered that her ghost hand, a rare birth defect, can do more than light up a room. It can reach into people and pull things out. Things from the darkest depths of the human psyche never meant to exist in this world.


Olivia can pickpocket the soul.

But she can’t control her ability, or the strange items it extracts, and the only thing between Olivia and the men bent on taking the power of her hand is a boy she barely knows and doesn't trust.




Amazon
Book 1 (FREE): http://amzn.to/1OUeigB




*5 STARS*

HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER!

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Stop what you're doing right now and download this book. It's FREE on Amazon. What are you waiting for? Go! Go! Go!

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I had no idea what to expect with Ghost Hand and so I went into it with zero expectations. All I knew was that it was about a girl with a ghost hand. That concept alone was enough to draw me in. Little did I know that I was in for a roller coaster ride of twists and turns. Just when I thought I had things figured out, another twist would trip me up.

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I really liked Olivia's character. She was easy to relate to and her reactions and insecurities were real. All the poor girl wanted was to live a normal life, well as normal of a life with a ghost hand. She was sassy and had an arsenal of one-liners.

-I was beginning to appreciate Marcus's intelligence almost as much as I appreciated his exterior.

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And Marcus!!! 38% in and I was already in love. 


-As I looked at it a memory flashed in my mind-Marcus asleep in that chair, pulled up next to me, his long arm stretched over mine, his hand cupped protectively over my ghost hand.

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He's got secrets, lots of them. Some are sad, some are devastating, and there's one that had me spazzing out.

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I won't go into much details because it's best if you have no clue at all. So many characters had secrets of their own. One twist caught me SO off guard that I had to stop reading and just stare at my Kindle for a moment. I usually can get a sense of characters and where a storyline is going to go, but this 100% caught me off guard.

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 Seriously, for real...read this book. 
You will NOT be disappointed!!

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