Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Where You Are Blog Tour

Where You Are 
By Alla Kar
Published: July 14, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Pages: 174
Book 1 in the Together series
Format: Ebook
4.5 stars

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Got boy problems? Call Laney Scott. She's good for advice, a shoulder, or a swift kick where you need it. When her roommate Bethany gets her heart broken, yet again, it's Laney to the rescue. But Laney's harboring a secret. She's nursing her own broken heart. She and her friends come up with a plan to break Aiden and set it into play. Laney wants Aiden to pay for what he's done to Bethany. She will make him fall in love with her, so can break his heart. 

Laney's ex-boyfriend Lachlan Hems is back in Florida, still Australian and sexy as hell. His best mate Lucas is getting married, and he is in town for the show. He just didn’t realize Laney would be there … in another guy’s arms, or that seeing her again would have such an effect on him. After the incident in high-school, he vowed to never care for her again. But sometimes fate has different plans.

When Laney’s resolve crumbles, Lachlan is the only one that can put her back together again.

Where You Are is the start of a three-books new adult series from Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestselling author Alla Kar.

*Novel provided by Alla Kar, Swoon Romance, and YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review*

This book is a new adult novel, and I don't review too many new adult books on this blog for a reason.  I'm not very good at articulating my thoughts about individual components of the story like I can with other books.  So for this review I'm just going to discuss my overall feelings of the book.

Let me start off by saying that I really enjoyed this book.  It exceeds the other new adult books I've read recently in leaps and bounds.  This book deals with a pretty heavy and important subject matter, that isn't in YA or NA near enough.  I won't tell you what it is, because it is a spoiler, but I would like to applaud Alla Kar, because I thought that she handled it beautifully.

Overall, this is a really fantastic new adult book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys new adult.  I'm so glad I got to be a part of the blog tour for this!

Thanks for reading!


That's What He Said Thursday

That's What He Said Thursday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Chapter Break. Just take a quote from one of your favorite male characters that they said to the lucky female love interest.

“Aw, come on, sweetheart. I thought I was doing a pretty good job. I got my arm around the prettiest escort on this block—how could I not be lusting over you? Don’t I look like I’m lusting? This is me, lusting.” His lashes flutter at me.
-From Day to June. 
By Marie Lu

Hope you keep reading

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

By Maggie Stiefvater
Published: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 368
Format: Ebook
Book 3.5 in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series
4 stars

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A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy. 

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

*Novel provided by Scholastic Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Opening Thoughts

It has been ages since I read the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, which is a kind of prequel to this book.  However, I can assure you that Sinner can be read separately from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, and I would actually recommend just skipping the Wolves of Mercy Falls, and going straight on to Sinner.  Like many people, I continued reading the Wolves of Mercy Falls series purely because of Cole and Isabel, who this book focuses around, because they were really the only interesting characters in series.  They weren't amazing characters, I still don't think that they're amazing characters, but they were interesting.  Knowing that, I was intrigued by Sinner, but I wasn't planning on spending my money on it.   But, I was very excited when I received an email from Scholastic saying that I had been approved for a review copy of the book.

Cole is still somewhat of an arrogant asshole, though I must say that he is quite subdued compared to how much of a jerk he was in Shiver.  Despite the fact that he was kind of a jerk, he could still be charming and sweet and he made me laugh out loud several times.  I definitely have a very love-hate relationship with Cole, half the time I'm all for Cole, and everything working out for him, but  there were other times where I wanted to slap him because he kept messing everything up for himself.  I know that he means well, especially when it comes to Isabel, but I swear to God, he is a frustrating character!  He's grown and changed a lot since Shiver, he's a more mature character, still very frustrating and immature at times, but he has matured. 

Isabel can be a bit psychotic at times.  She has a quick wit, and can be very cold and closed off at times, so you don't realize how much she's hurting on the inside until you read from her point of view.  I respect her because she doesn't take crap from anyone, regardless of whether they're an authority figure or not, but I also get kind of annoyed with her at times for her inability to operate as a normal human being, which makes her an interesting character, yes, but I ca't say that there weren't times when I was sick and tired of it.  I do appreciate that Isabel doesn't sugarcoat the fact that a lot of the time, life sucks.  And it really sucks that life is like that, but it is and there isn't anything that anyone can do about it. 

On a side note, I really loved Leon.  He provided a lot of humor for a side character.

This book is definitely more of a contemporary than a paranormal.  The only paranormal aspect in this book is the fact that Cole is a wolf, but that is just another issue added to his inner turmoil, which is what this book mainly focuses on.  It's a hugely character driven story.  It is mostly focused on the inner struggles of Cole and Isabel, which obviously means that there isn't a whole lot o plot, but it still keeps you engaged and interested. 

Overall, it has the classic, beautiful writing that I admire Maggie Stiefvater for, with a story about broken humans, instead of wolves.  I really enjoyed this book and I'd recommend it to anyone who liked Cole and/or Isabel in Shiver, or anyone who enjoys contemporary. 

Let me know in the comments if you've read the book!  Did you enjoy it? 

Thanks for reading!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

By Rainbow Rowell
Published on  September 10th 2013
By  St. Martin's Press
445 PAges
5 Stars

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Opening Thoughts
My first question when opening this book was,can Rowell really pull off what it means to be a true fangirl? I am a fangirl. I am not ashamed of being a fangirl. I take pride in being a fangirl. I fangirl over so many things. I put my game face on to challenge Rowell if she could write about and understand what it is to be a true obsessive fangirl. I am now a fangirl of fangirl. She hit the nail right on the head.


I feel like I have a strong connection with Cath. I feel like I know what it feels like to be Cath. Cath reads and writes through her hard times just like I do. I know what it feels like to have that escape from the world. To have the one place where you know you feel more at home with than in your own bed. It's that train you know you can catch on the last second when you need a quick get away. I also know what it's like to worry. I am a huge worrier. You always feels like something will go wrong when your not around. You worry because you care though. You don't want anything to happen to them. I don't need to explain that fangirl part. I feel like I'm reading a part of myself when reading about Cath. I also love the way she writes fanfiction. I want Simon Snow to be a real series so I can fangirl over Simon and Baz. I want to fangirl over them so hard. The way she wrote about them was fanominal.It was true fanfiction. I fell in love with Levi. When ever I read a scene where he has starbucks I want a cup of coffee more than anything. (Which sucks because It's usually like ten at night.) He was so sweet to her, so sweet that I could feel it in the pages. I ship him and Cath so hard that when they fought I slammed my face into the book and screamed. I loved how special he made her feel. I want to date a guy who will make me feel as special has he does to Cath. He was so friendly too. It was like friendship and rainbows were pouring out of every inch of him. I could not let him go when I finished the book. Wren, I was back and forth with most of the book. In the beginning she was not my favorite character. Then I hated her. Then I hated her even more. She was such a stereotypical college student. She was just like crap to me. At the end though I was wary of her but I liked her. She was not a favorite character but she redeemed herself. Now I loved Reagan. I could never describe a relationship with a group of friends I have but now I call it a Reagan-Carth relationship. It was really nice of her to take Cath under her wing. She was a bad role model, but she was a good friend to Cath and was really good about her and Levi getting together. She is one of my favorite characters.   


Now one of the only problems I had in this book was it was hard for me to find out when the climax came. It seemed just like any other story conflict. I would have thought that the climax would be a lot bigger and more important than what we got. I also wish we could have read more of Cath's fanfiction. I really liked her writing and would be glad to hear more than what was in the book. The in between chapters was not enough for me. 

This is one of my favorite books now. It is so amazing how she captures being a true fangirl and what it is like to be that other girl in college. I would like to saw that Rowell's writing style is my favorite. I highly recommend this book and her others. 

Hope you keep reading


CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Book Blogger Memory Challenge

Hello everyone!  Today we're going to be doing something a little bit different!  I'm going to be attempting the Book Blogger Memory Challenge!  I wasn't formally tagged, but I saw Gloria from Gloria The Violinist do this, and she said that she tagged everyone so here I am, doing it!

I'll be putting the first answers to pop into my head, so sorry if it seems a little bit scatterbrained.  

1. Hunger by Michael Grant
2. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

3. George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl

4. - - - - - - - - - - 

5. Stolen by Lucy Christopher

6. - - - - - - - - - - 

7. The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

8. The One by Kiera Cass

9. - - - - - - - - - -

10. Divergent by Veronica Roth 

As, you may have been able to guess, the dashed lines represent a challenge that I could not meet, because while I thought that I had a pretty decent memory, apparently I don't, because I only got a 70%.  That's like a D.  Wait to go me.  But seriously, this challenge is way harder than it looks, so since I want to see how you guys do on it, I'm going to challenge everyone who reads this.  Be sure to let me know in the comments if you decided to do this challenge along with a link, I'd love to check it out!

Thanks for reading!  Don't forget to subscribe and comment!

Anthem's Fall Author S.L. Dunn Favorite Books of 2014

Anthem's Fall 

Anthem's Fall
By S.L. Dunn

Above a horrified New York City, genetics and ethics collide as the fallen emperor and a banished exile of the same herculean race ignite into battle over the city’s rooftops. In the streets below, a brilliant young scientist has discovered a technology that can defeat them both, yet might be more terrible than either.
Set both in modern New York City and in the technologically sophisticated yet politically savage world of Anthem, Anthem’s Fall unfurls into a plot where larger than life characters born with the prowess of gods are pitted against the shrewd brilliance of a familiar and unlikely heroine.

7 Favorite Books Read This Year: 

1) Ready Player One, Ernest Cline 
2) Maddaddam, Margaret Atwood 
3) Song of the Vikings, Nancy Marie Brown 
4) In Cold Blood, Truman Capote 
5) The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho 
6) The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara 
7) Neuromancer, William Gibson (halfway through, but really liking it) 

S.L. Dunn

S.L. Dunn is the debut author of Anthem’s Fall, a novel he wrote amid the wanderings of his mid twenties. He has written while living intermittently in St. John USVI, Boston, Maine and Seattle. Raised on big screen superheroes and pop science fiction, he sought to create a novel that bridged a near-sci-fi thriller with a grand new fantasy. He currently resides in Seattle with his girlfriend Liz and their dog Lucy, and is hard at work completing the next book of the Anthem’s Fall series.


Hosted by Book Nerd Tours

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell
By Richelle Mead
Published: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 401
Format: Hardcover
Book 3 in the Bloodlines series
5 stars

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Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets--and human lives." 
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Opening Thoughts
Mmm, guys, this book let me tell you.  So, this, if you, for some odd reason were not aware of it, is my third time reading this book.  My third time.  Aren't your feelings towards a book supposed to diminish your feelings?  Because this book brought back all the feels.  It had me close to tears, which makes me only imagine what rereading The Fiery Heart is going to bring.

In this book, Sydney continues to struggle against the barriers that the Alchemists have, breaking through them in ways that neither Sydney, or the readers would have ever thought possible from the kind of person that Sydney was in Bloodlines.  She's questioning everyone, not taking anything for granted, which makes her a million times more relatable than when she was just blindly following Alchemist orders.  Her magic is becoming stronger and stronger, and she's becoming more accepting of not just human magic, but also vampire magic.  She's finally seeing that maybe magic isn't the evil and unnatural thing that she has always thought it to be, it's just the people who twist it to their wills, and use it to do horrible things that are the evil in the world.  And Sydney's not just accepting it.  She's using it to kick some major ass!
And of course, how could we not have a discussion of the characters in this series without mentioning the wonderfully beautifully perfect Adrian Ivashkov.  Now to start this off, I tend to not get involved in fan casting.  I just feel like if people are going to make a movie of a book, then they are going to cast who they want to cast, regardless of what the various fangirls out there have to say about it.  However, I came across a review of this book saying that Max Irons was their ultimate Adrian casting.  Now, I don't know about you, but I only know Adrian from the movie of The Host, in which he looked like this:

Now, he's attractive, yes, I'm not going to lie.  But not exactly Adrian Ivashkov material, if you know what I mean.  So, I go ahead and put his name into Google Images, and I find these:

Look no farther casting crews, I have found your perfect Adrian Ivashkov!  I mean come on guys, this is him.  He's perfect!  Now, I think these pictures are from like three years ago, but still, I think that he can replicate this look.  You have to agree with me.  You just have to.  But fan casting aside, Adrian was wonderful, as always in this book.  His dialogue is as brilliant and swoon-worthy as always, and he's so adorably patient with Sydney and her denial.  He's so protective of her and it's wonderful.

“Because I can't help doing it," he said with a shrug. "And hey, if I keep loving you, maybe you'll eventually crack and love me too. Hell, I'm pretty sure you're already half in love with me."

"I am not! And everything you just said is ridiculous. That's terrible logic."

Adrian returned to his crossword puzzle. "Well, you can think what you want, so long as you remember-no matter how ordinary things seem between us-I'm still here, still in love with you, and care about you more than any other guy, evil or otherwise, ever will."

"I don't think you're evil."

"See? Things are already looking promising.”

“You're not as much of a lost cause as she was. I mean, with her, I had to overcome her deep, epic love with a Russian warlord. You and I just have to overcome hundreds of years' worth of deeply ingrained prejudice and taboo between our two races. Easy.”

“But when I touch you, your aura … it smolders. The colors deepen, it burns more intensely, the purple increases. Why? Why, Sydney?” He used that hand to pull me closer. “Why do you react that way if I don’t mean anything to you?” There was a desperation in his voice, and it was legitimate.”

I also want to briefly discuss Marcus, not too in depth, but I do have a few things that I would like to say about him. Now, excuse my language, but he's kind of a dick. Like, seriously dude, what the heck? He kept trying to move in on Sydney, and Adrian was like, oh no, I don't think so, yet Marcus still kept doing it. I don't like him, and I my opinion of his character doesn't improve as the series goes on. I have to say though, it is nice that he doesn't become a love interest for Sydney, and turn this into a love triangle, not only because I'm sick and tired of love triangles, but also because I feel like that would be very out of character for Sydney. I don't know about you, but she doesn't really strike me as the kind of girl to be balancing more than one guy at once.

The plot was as fast-paced and engaging as Richelle Mead's books always are, which I feel like I say in every review of her books, but it's totally true. The plot is more unpredictable than The Golden Lily, though I promise that the ending isn't as painful. There are lots and lots and lots of powerful Sydrian feels in this book, which got me even more pumped to dive into rereading The Fiery Heart, which as you may or may not know, is written in dual POV, from Sydney and Adrian. This book is the best in the series so far, but The Fiery Heart is even better. I don't even know how Silver Shadows is going to compare.

Overall, this is just another fabulous Richelle Mead work of art. The books are addicting and irrisistable, shocking and swoon-worthy, generally the perfect mix of anything you could ever want in a novel. I'd recommend this series to anyone, just make sure you read Vampire Academy first!

Let me know in the comments what you thought of this book! Who's your fan casting for Adrian, or really any of the characters?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily
By Richelle Mead
Published: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 418
Format: Hardcover
Book 2 in the Bloodlines series
5 stars

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

Opening Thoughts
So, as many of you may know, I'm currently in the process of rereading this series in preparation for the release of Silver Shadows which I'm very excited about, as you all may have been able to deduce because it's been my Waiting on Wednesday like three times. This book I do believe was not quite as good as book one in the series,Bloodlines. That being said, I still loved it, and I firmly believe that it deserves the five stars that I gave it. As with Bloodlines, there's not a ton of action, but there's certainly enough to keep you interested and engaged throughout the book.

Sydney definitely grows between the first book and the second book. I thought that it was quite a positive growth, though I don't think that her Alchemist superiors would agree with me. She's slowly becoming more accepting of vampires, and particularly vampire magic, and seeing that even though vampires are evil and unnatural according to Alchemist beliefs, maybe there are humans that are a million times worse than the vampires that she is associating with in Palm Springs. She's still kind of uptight, but she's beginning to make decisions based on what she feels is right, regardless of the fact that the Alchemists would very much frown upon her actions. I think that there is a certain kind of bravery in going against everything you've ever been taught in order to do what you believe is right. Perhaps it's not the typical kind of bravery, but I do believe that it's brave nonetheless. 

"Nothing he said could change what I think of you. I've had my mind made up about you for a long time...and it's all good."

"Adrian stood there leaning against the door frame, watching me with his heart in his eyes. In my chest, my own heart was breaking. On my cheek, the lily reminded me who I was."

I loved Adrian even more in this book than I did in the first book. Adrian will definitely surprise you in this book. When you hear people talk about him, you would probably think that Adrian is an arrogant asshole, and while yes, there are certainly times that he can lean towards that attitude, most of the time, he's sweet and caring and kind and smart. Yes, smart. Adrian can be smart, you just have to give him a chance. In theBloodlines series, you definitely see more of Adrian's sensitive and vulnerable side than you do in Vampire Academy. I think that in Vampire Academy, Adrian kind of built up this facade, and he only ever really lets it down around Sydney. 

"I tried to be a better person for her - but it was to impress her, to get her to want me. But when I'm around you, I want to be better because...well, because it feels right. Because I want to. You make me want to become something greater than myself. I want to excel. You inspire me in every act, every word, every glance. I look at you, and you're light made into flesh. [...] You have no clue how beautiful you are, or how brightly you shine."

"You need me? You yell. You want to leave? We go. I'll get you out of here, no matter what."

Now, I would like to talk about Adrian, and Sydney together. I love them together. They are absolutely one of my OTP's (One True Pairing, if you don't know what that means). They bring out the best qualities in each other. Sydney doesn't put up with any of Adrian's crap. She doesn't let him just breeze through life like everyone else does. She does't just brush it off, and say, "Oh, well that's Adrian." Adrian helps Sydney loosen up, and stands up for her. Every time either of them interact, I start smiling like a maniac, because they're just too cute. I think that I wouldn't love this series near as much as I do if weren't for Adrian and Sydney. And while Richelle Mead excels at pretty much every aspect of writing a book, characters, and character development, is definitely her strong suit. The characters in her books make the books for me. I'd probably still enjoy them, but I definitely wouldn't love them. 

"He shouldn't have said that," repeated Adrian, eerily serious. He leaned his face towards mine. "I don't care if he's not the emotional type, or the complimentary type, or what. No one can look at you in that dress, in all that fire and gold, and start talking about anachronisms. If I were him, I would have said, 'You are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen walking this earth."

"He shook his head. "No. Because there's no one else out there who understands you like I do." I waited for more. "That's it? You're not going to elaborate on what that means?" Those green eyes held me. "I don't think I need to."

"Isn't it obvious, Sage? No, of course it isn't. I did it so I'd have a reason to be around you - one I knew you couldn't refuse."

The plot is brilliant, as Richelle Mead's plots tend to always be. It's full of twists and turns, with more action than Bloodlines, though again, not as much as Vampire Academy, as should be expected, because neither Sydney nor Adrian, the two main characters are fighters, as Rose and Dimitri are in Vampire Academy. However, Sydney is starting to get in on the action through her independent study with Ms. Terwilliger. I won't reveal exactly what she does in her independent study for the sake of spoilers, but it's certainly giving her some more power, and helping her to not feel so helpless and weak in the face of Strigoi, and the other people that are after their little group in Palm Springs. Again, I won't tell you who's after them, because I don't want to spoil anything, so you'll just have to read the book yourself. Richelle Mead's writing is just as addicting and engaging as always. It sucks you in and doesn't let you go until the very last page.

Overall, this is another fantastic installment in this series, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this series, or the Vampire Academy series. I would also recommend Richelle Mead's work to Jennifer L. Armentrout fans. The two authors have a similar writing style, and I think that if you enjoy one then you would also enjoy the other.

Let me know your thoughts on this book!  Did you like it?  Are you excited for Silver Shadows?  Thanks for reading!