Friday, May 31, 2013

Yesterday Series Spotlight!

Yesterday Locket Tour

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Her yesterday was five years ago. What will her tomorrow bring? When HANNAH KRAEGER saves a family injured in a car accident, she has no idea she has changed events in the past. Waking the next morning, Hannah discovers her yesterday was really five years ago. Each trip Hannah takes through time changes the timeline and her own life. With help from DR. SETH MCALLISTER, Hannah must unravel the mystery of why she time travels and who she actually is before the strange ability costs her future, the man she loves, and even her life. YESTERDAY is a thrilling Christian Romantic Suspense filled with unexpected twists, mystery, and romance.  



The Locket

Hannah suddenly finds that she has time travelled once again, but this time is different. After helping save a woman's life, Hannah discovers that she has completely altered the timeline and thrown her very existence into jeopardy. Facing life-threatening effects upon returning to her own time, Hannah is then given a death sentence: if she time travels again, she will die. Now, Hannah must solve the clues to her own identity and find a way to save her own life before she is once again sent spiraling through time. Will her mother's locket hold the key to both her past and her future? Has she just found the love of her life only to lose him? Could God have a plan for Hannah amidst the chaos?


Chapter 12
Rounding the corner of the hallway to the medical offices, I stopped mid-stride. “What’s wrong?” Seth asked, concerned. I pointed. “The medical offices should be right there.” Instead of a hallway that opened up to a reception area surrounded by doctors’ offices, I was pointing to a solid wall. I turned around in a full circle. I had an awful sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I began to notice other differences. The paint on the walls looked dingy, the tile old, and the pictures on the wall cheap. “Seth, none of this is right,” I mumbled, nervously fingering Mom’s locket clasped around my neck. The feeling of dread was rapidly transforming into panic. Nothing was as it should be. Then I knew. My mind swirled with everything that had just happened. My eyes swung to Seth's confused gaze and locked. In that instant, I knew two things. The man I loved, loved me back. And, wherever, whenever I was, he had come with me.




amanda tAuthor Amanda Tru

Although I loved my job as an elementary school teacher, I am now very blessed to be mommy to three adorable little boys and living my dream of being an author. I have a vivid imagination and have always been easily entertained by the stories in my head. Fortunately, I also love to paint those pictures with words. I like writing a wide variety of genres, and my current book list includes everything from a Christian time travel / romance series, to an action-packed suspense, to a romance involving a woman who likes to anonymously play matchmaker. Although I enjoy historical, Christian, paranormal, suspense, and everything in between, my books all have one thing in common--I love to surprise my readers with the unexpected. I currently have 7 books available for kindle, nook, and paperback. My family and I live in a small Idaho town where the number of cows outnumbers the number of people.  

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

BLURRED by Tara Fuller final cover reveal!

By: Tara Fuller
Release Date: 07/02/13
Cash is haunted by things. Hungry, hollow things. They only leave him alone when Anaya, Heaven’s beautiful reaper, is around. Cash has always been good with girls, but Anaya isn’t like the others. She’s dead. And with his deteriorating health, Cash might soon be as well.

Anaya never breaks the rules, but the night of the fire she recognized part of Cash’s soul—and doomed him to something worse than death. Cash’s soul now resides in an expired body, making him a shadow walker—a rare, coveted being that can walk between worlds. A being creatures of the underworld would do anything to get their hands on.

The lines between life and death are blurring, and Anaya and Cash find themselves falling helplessly over the edge. Trapped in a world where the living don’t belong, can Cash make it out alive?

Pre-order Blurred!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SPIRIT by Brigid Kemmerer

Don't forget to pick up the free goodies and vote in the poll at the end of this post!

Rating: B+
With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

My thoughts on the book:
Spirit is a much darker book than the previous Elementals series installments. I was a bit shocked at how tortured Hunter is. His character growth throughout this novel is impressive, and as always with Kemmerer, the other characters are fleshed out and believable. The plot is action-packed and intense, the pacing is spot on, and the continued world-building is fantastic. Kemmerer has really grown as an author over the course of this series, and Spirit did not disappoint. 

Hunter is a fascinating character, and I enjoyed getting to know him better. I also love how he evolved over the course of the novel. I also can relate to how much he loves his dog because I'm super close with my cat. Additionally, I can understand the feeling that animals are easier to trust than people. Therefore, Hunter made a lot of sense to me. I wasn't a huge fan of Kate. She's kind of skanky and shallow, in my opinion. I just didn't like her at all. I feel like Hunter can do much better. Michael really stood out in this installment, and I grew to love him even more. 

The plot kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire duration of the book. I had to see what was going to happen next. Poor Hunter has the worst luck ever! Kemmerer also touched on some really serious issues in this installment, such as child abuse, child neglect, and the complicated relationships between parents and kids. Also, I like how she challenges the idea of a traditional family and illustrates that sometimes the best families are the ones you create yourself. Somehow Kemmerer always manages to make profound statements without being preachy, and I love her for that. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who likes good YA paranormal literature. Kemmerer is a rising star in the YA genre, and you do not want to miss these books!

Order Spirit!

Here is a code for free download for the Elementals ebook (available on Kensington site only, through link below):

The promo code is: VCARD
It’s active until May 31st.

About the author:
Brigid Kemmerer started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years!
Spirit, the latest book in the series, will be released in stores and online on May 28, 2013. Connect with Brigid on her websiteTwitterFacebook, and GoodReads.

Click here to read the first chapter of Spirit!

DANCE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin

Dance of the Red Death
Bethany Griffin

Rating: C
Release Date: 06/11/13
Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.

Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

My thoughts on the book:
I really, really loved Masque of the Red Death, and I was looking forward to the sequel. However, Dance of the Red Death fell short for me in several ways. The character growth was non-existent, the pacing was off, and the romance just didn't work for me. The plot itself was solid, but as the conclusion of the series, it fell a bit short.

Araby is still a strong and likable character, but she doesn't change or grow much in this installment. Considering this was the conclusion of the series, I would have liked to have seen more happen to her. Elliott didn't really blow me away in this book either, and I really loved him in Masque. He was complex, yet a little creepy. However, he seemed incredibly interesting. I didn't really have any feelings for Will either way. I was mad at him for what he did in Masque, but I didn't hate him. I just really didn't care about him either way.

The pacing was terribly off, and that made the book less enjoyable. Griffin spent too much time on the events leading up to the ball and not nearly enough time on the ball's aftermath. The ending was a bit messy and I don't feel like it tied things up very well. It seemed as if there may be room for another book, but I know there won't be one. Griffin's writing was top notch, though, and the plot held my interest, at least. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to people who enjoyed the first one. It was a bit of a disappointment, but still worth reading. 

Pre-order Dance of the Red Death!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I can't go to BEA :(

Hey everyone. I know I promised coverage of BEA, but a family emergency has occurred, and I am unable to travel to NYC for the event. I am so freaking disappointed, but hopefully I can go next year. Reviews will still be posted as they've already been scheduled. Otherwise, I will be MIA until this emergency is resolved. Thanks for understanding/reading/commenting/being fantastic. I promise to be back in full force soon!

Friday, May 24, 2013


Sleeping with the Entity
Cat Devon

Rating: C-
Release Date: 06/04/13
She has a sweet tooth and a dream.

Meet Daniella Delaney. She’s all ready to open her shop, Heavenly Cupcakes, in one of Chicago’s sleepier districts. But she’s having a hard time convincing the local business association—namely Nick St. George—that she’s a good addition to the neighborhood. Daniella hopes that her famous red velvet cupcakes will be enough to melt any man’s heart. But Nick is no ordinary man. He’s got fangs.

He has a constant craving...

As leader of the Vamptown clan, Nick has no intention of letting Daniella breathe new life into his old haunts. But something about her leaves Nick hungry…for more. He can’t control her mind like other humans, a trait that makes Daniella irresistible. Could it be that, for the first time in centuries, Nick has met his match? Love is always a force to be reckoned with. But can this vampire have his cake and eat it too?

My thoughts on the book:
Sleeping with the Entity is a cute, light, and quick read. However, it has many flaws. The characters aren't fully developed, many conversations and situations don't seem realistic, the writing is a bit amateurish in spots, and the world-building was practically non-existent. Still, I somehow managed to enjoy the book, if nothing else, for the simplicity of it all. The idea itself is a bit original, and I always love a story set in my hometown of Chicago. 

Daniella was a bit of an obnoxious character. She rambled way too much, and there were times when I wanted to tell her to shut up. Also, many of her actions didn't make sense. However, she was a decent person, or so it seemed. It was hard to tell because there was zero character development. I also didn't feel like I got to know Nick at all. I mean sure I knew some facts about him by the end, but I never got a feel for him. He seemed okay, too, though he was a bit jerky at times. I didn't know enough about him to forgive him for it. The secondary characters may as well have not existed because it was glaringly obvious that they were there as filler characters only. 

The plot was a bit nonexistent, and things didn't always make sense. Characters believed and agreed to things randomly with no rhyme or reason other than it fit neatly into the box that the author created. The plot felt extremely forced and planned, and nothing seemed very realistic. Also, nothing overly bad happened. Somehow, though, and I'm not sure how it happened, the book hooked me. I couldn't put it down and read it all in one sitting. It's a quick, light read, but how conveniently things worked out really got on my nerves. 

Overall, I'd say check this one out at the library before buying. It was okay, but nothing special. 

Pre-order Sleeping with the Entity

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Beneath a Darkening Moon
Keri Arthur

Rating: A+
Keri Arthur, the New York Times bestselling author of the Riley Jenson Guardian series, returns to the Ripple Creek werewolf reservation of Beneath a Rising Moon—where the past has come back with a vengeance to haunt a beautiful ranger.
Savannah Grant still harbors deep secrets and carries emotional scars from a love affair gone bad many years ago. She has tried to bury her heartbreak in her job as chief ranger of the Ripple Creek werewolf reservation. But now someone is murdering humans on her turf, and the pattern matches a series of deaths she witnessed a decade ago: the same year that she met—and lost—the love of her life.
The murderer seems to have risen from the grave. Then Savannah’s old love appears. Cade Jones is an Interspecies Investigation Squad officer, determined to catch the killer he let slip through his grasp once before—in part because of a bewitching young werewolf. Now, as moon heat reignites their desire for each other, Savannah and Cade are forced to come to terms with long-buried secrets—not only to stop a monster from killing again . . . but to give their promise to the moon one more chance.

My thoughts on the book:
I absolutely adored the first book in this series, but Beneath a Darkening Moon completely blew me away! I could not put this book down. I was up until 6am finishing it. Arthur is a fantastic writer, and her characters are believable. The narration is split between Savannah and Cade, and it works well. I liked seeing what each of them was thinking. The murder mystery really added to the suspense of the novel, and I had to figure out what, exactly, was going on. This is one book, and series, that can't be missed!

Savannah is a flawed, but wonderful leading lady. I really enjoyed reading things from her perspective. She has some trust issues, but her character evolves nicely over the course of the novel. She's not clingy and dependent on men, and I liked that. Cade is swoon-worthy, of course, and a great love interest for Savannah. He, too, is incredibly flawed, and sometimes I wanted to smack him. However, his heart was in the right place, and he really grew on me as the novel progressed. 

The plots, both romantic and mystery, were seamlessly interwoven. Arthur kept me guessing, but all of the events made sense. Between wanting to know who was really involved in the murders and wanting to know what was going to happen between Savannah and Cade, I couldn't put this book down. The pacing is super fast, but nothing feels rushed. The ending wrapped everything up nicely. The writing was top-notch. I have no complaints about this novel. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book, series, and author to everyone. If you want a sweet and steamy romance mixed with an edge-of-your-seat murder mystery, then look no further than Beneath a Darkening Moon

Order Beneath a Darkening Moon

Monday, May 20, 2013

SWEET PERIL by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Peril
Wendy Higgins

Rating: A+
Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things. 

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

My thoughts on the book:
Wow. Sweet Peril is an amazing follow-up to Sweet Evil. This book does not suffer from "second book syndrome" nor does it disappoint. I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time. The character growth is believable, the plot is intriguing and intense, the pacing is spot-on, and the ending leaves the reader wanting more. This is one novel that cannot be missed. 

Anna is a fantastic leading lady, and in this installment she shows her strength by *not* acting like Bella Swan and laying down and dying because Kaidan went away. Anna realizes that there are things in life that are more important than her and that people are depending on her. She focuses on what she has to and tries to push her sadness away as much as possible. This shows great maturity, and I really loved that about her. Kaidan also grows a lot in this book, and even though I was a Kai fan before, I really adore him now. Kopano bores me a bit. He's not my favorite character. He's nice enough and all, but super boring. I really enjoyed getting to know Zania and Flynn, and I also liked seeing more of Blake, Ginger, and Marna. 

The plot is pretty intense, and I was definitely engaged with the entire story. I couldn't put the book down. I had to know what was going to happen to these poor nephilim. Things weren't necessarily action-packed, but there was a sense of urgency throughout the entire novel. Also, once Kaidan re-entered the scene, things got extremely interesting. The ending leaves the reader wanting more, but ties up a lot of the unanswered questions from this book. I guess I'd say it's a semi-cliffhanger. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone. It's a good, lighthearted read with a fantastic heroine, interesting secondary characters, and intriguing plots. You can't go wrong with these books

Order Sweet Peril!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

DARE YOU TO by Katie McGarry

Dare You To
Katie McGarry

Rating: A-
Release Date: 06/01/13
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...

My thoughts on the book:
McGarry does it again in her latest contemporary novel, Dare You To. I read this entire novel in one sitting, even though it's 462 pages. While there are a few very small things that I didn't like, overall this novel is phenomenal. McGarry once again created believable characters, realistic and tragic situations, and a beautiful romance. This is one summer read that cannot be missed. 

Beth is an extremely complex character. While she got on my nerves at times, I understood her actions. She just wants to protect herself because she's been hurt so much. However, sometimes she came across as an ungrateful brat, and I wanted to smack her. I know that she's just a kid and had to grow up fast to take care of her mom, and I know that her situation and reactions are extremely realistic, but that doesn't mean that I didn't want to knock some sense into her. More often than not, I liked and sympathized with her character, though. Ryan is amazing, and while he comes off as a jerk at first, around the middle of the book, I fell in love with him. He's actually a really good guy, but like most teenage boys (or just guys in general), he doesn't think about how his actions affect those around him. He and Beth make a good team and challenge each other, which makes them both grow constantly throughout the course of the novel. 

The plot starts off a bit slow, in my opinion, and for the first 70-80 pages, I was actually a little bored. I know that McGarry is showing Beth's and Ryan's lives so that we can get to know them better, but I felt like it dragged on a bit too long. However, once things picked up, I was so engrossed in the story that I couldn't put the book down (which led to me reading until 4:30am and not getting much sleep). You can't help but care about these characters, and I had to know how the story ended before I could go to sleep. McGarry, again, is a master of showing instead of telling, and through her prose, she enables the reader to feel exactly what her characters are feeling. 

Overall, I'd recommend this novel to anyone. I'm not a huge fan of contemporary (I like a couple of contemporary novels/series, but that's it), and I really adored both this book and Pushing the Limits. The cool thing about this series is that you can read Dare You To without reading the first novel in the series, though I don't see why you'd want to. Both books are amazing, and this is, by far, my favorite contemporary series. I'd venture to say that this will be one of the best reads of the summer. You can't miss this one. 

Pre-order Dare You To!

Friday, May 10, 2013


If I Should Die
Amy Plum

Rating: B
I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?

My thoughts on the book:
If I Should Die did not live up to the super high standards I had in place for it, but it was still good. The whole novel just seemed a bit anticlimactic to me, especially after the ending of the second book. The ending itself was satisfying, if convenient, and there wasn't much character development throughout the course of this installment. The plot was intense, but I just couldn't make myself feel that sense of urgency that the past two books had. This is a hard review for me to write because I'm just not sure how I felt about If I Should Die.

Kate doesn't really evolve at all in this novel. She's still the same rash, irrational, stubborn girl that she was in the previous installments. I like Kate because she fights for what she believes in, but the girl needs to learn to control her emotions some and not make such idiotic decisions. Kate is smart, though, and I love that about her. She's also cultured and a researcher. There is more I like about her than not. Vincent is as sickeningly sweet as ever. I like his character, too, but I wish he had at least a bit of a dark side that we could SEE. Kate seems to have blinders on when it comes to him, and that annoys me a bit. I like my heroes to be a bit rougher around the edges than he is. Georgia is still annoying and childish. Mamie and Papy actually do grow some, and I enjoyed getting to know them better. There are a few surprising revelations with some of the secondary characters as well, but I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, so I'm going to leave that alone.

As previously stated, the plot is intense, but I couldn't make myself feel a sense of urgency. Many of the occurrences were much too convenient, and it was blatantly obvious that Plum was manipulating the story to her liking. I don't like when I can see an author's manipulations. The characters are supposed to have trial after trial after trial, not one trial that works out neatly without any mess. One of the glaringly obvious moments is when Kate is looking for something in the dark and the moonlight JUST SO HAPPENS to shine on her necklace and reflect on what she is looking for. Seriously? At least have her feel around and search until she finds it. That'd be more realistic. There are a few moments like that in the book, and those moments pulled me completely out of the story. Regardless, I couldn't put the book down, and I had to know what happened next. I never felt bored. I was invested in the story, even though I wasn't necessarily on the edge of my seat the entire time. In the end, everything wraps up nicely and neatly, and I would have liked a little more mess there, too. However, the ending was satisfying, and I don't feel like the author neglected to complete anyone's story. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to fans of the series and this series to anyone who wants a less gruesome spin on zombie tales. These zombies are hot, and the world Plum has created is pretty awesome and definitely unique. The first two books in this trilogy are unbelievably amazing, and this one is pretty good as well. 

Order If I Should Die!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Giveaway hop winner!

Congratulations to Jen H.! You've won the box of mystery books.

I sent you an email. Please respond within 48 hours with your address or another winner will be chosen.

Thank you everyone who participated in this giveaway and stay tuned for more giveaways in the future (maybe after I go to BEA, for instance)!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

THE TEMPTATION by Alisa Valdes

The Temptation
Alisa Valdes

Rating: D
His touch was electric. 
His eyes were magnetic. 
His lips were a temptation.... 
But was he real? 

After crashing her car on an empty highway, Shane is miraculously saved by Travis, a mysterious cowboy who walks out of nowhere. She is instantly attracted to him, and for the first time, she believes in “soul mates.” But Shane soon discovers that Travis is dead and that strict rules from the Underworld govern kindred spirits of different dimensions. Breaking these rules could destroy both their souls. And while Travis is almost impossible to resist, temptation proves to be the kindest enemy they encounter. 

Can true love surpass the power of pure evil? Part love story, part supernatural thriller, this first book in the Kindred trilogy will leave readers lusting for more!

My thoughts on the book:
The Temptation was a major disappointment for me. I didn't have extremely high hopes for this book, due to the mixed reviews, but I did expect the narrator to at least be tolerable. None of the characters were very well developed. The plot was ridiculous, and the insta-love was unhealthy to say the least. The world-building and writing were pretty good, and the pacing was okay. Due my absolute hatred of Shane, though, I just could not enjoy this book. 

Shane has got to be one of the most obnoxious narrators I've ever read. The girl overreacted to everything. EVERY-FREAKING-THING. She'd get intensely terrified at the drop of a hat. By page 100, I was wishing that she had just died in the car accident in the beginning of the book and that the story had been about someone else. Also, her obsession with Travis? Creepy to the extreme. When she's not throwing herself at him and whining and begging for a kiss, she's basically stalking him. I mean I try not to judge all novels that have insta-love, but this was not a healthy situation. And Shane is so STUPID. She makes one dumb mistake after the other, and for some ungodly reason, she insists on taking her dog with her EVERYWHERE. Then when something happens to the dog, which obviously it will because you're taking it to inappropriate spots in the first place, then she blames everyone but herself. She's self-absorbed and doesn't care how her actions affect others. She does what she wants, then whines and apologizes like an idiot later. She's the weakest and sorriest excuse of a main character I've seen lately. Okay. I think I'm done with this rant. *Takes a deep breath*

Moving on, the rest of the characters are extremely bland. Travis is nothing special, in my opinion. He's just some guy who happens to not be a sociopath, like Shane's boyfriend Logan. Logan, however, is a boring sociopath. He loves killing animals (which is disgusting), but he doesn't do anything that I'd consider off the wall for a creepy psycho. Kelsey, like Shane, is dumb as a rock and obnoxious. Shane's mom is a cookie cutter image of what someone thinks a mom would be... you get the idea. No one is developed and no one has an actual personality. Reading interactions with the overly dramatic Shane and a non-developed character extremely painful. 

The plot is kind of ridiculous, in my opinion, but whatever. It didn't blow me over, and I really didn't care what happened. I just wanted Shane to shut up and die. The world-building is actually pretty good, and Valdes' writing isn't bad. If I hadn't hated Shane so much, I'd actually be tempted to try some of Valdes' other works, but if she creates characters like Shane, then I don't need to read anything by her. The pacing was pretty spot-on, and everything flowed naturally. 

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless they wanted to read from the perspective of one of the most obnoxious characters ever created. However, if you can get past Shane, the book isn't half bad. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

TRANSPARENT by Natalie Whipple

Natalie Whipple

Rating: D
Release Date: 05/21/13
Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

My thoughts on the book:
Transparent is not what I expected. For some reason, through no fault of the author, I thought that Fiona could turn invisible, but wasn't invisible all the time. Therefore, when I realized my mistake, I couldn't get into this book. Don't get me wrong, Whipple's writing is fine, the concept is interesting, and the plot is full of suspense, but I just could not wrap my head around a character being invisible constantly. Because I couldn't willingly suspend my disbelief, I was unable to enjoy this book. 

Fiona is a well-created character, and I wanted her to succeed. However, because of the whole invisibility thing, I never could fully connect to her. I know she can't help being invisible and all of that, but I just couldn't  relate to her at all. I felt very disconnected from both her and her mother. I vacillated between having sympathy for her mom and wanting to smack her because she's so weak sometimes. On many occasions, Fiona is much more grown-up than her mother. Her father is truly a terrifying and evil bad guy. He's complex but awful. 

The plot is full of action, suspense, and intrigue. As I stated, the concept is extremely unique. The people who can get past the invisibility thing will adore this book. The pacing is spot on, and even though I couldn't get fully into it due to the aforementioned reasons, the plot kept me reading. Whipple does an excellent job at creating a one-of-a-kind, albeit (in my opinion) unbelievable world. The rules of this world are expertly woven within the prose - there are no info dumps in this narrative. The writing is top notch, and the ending will leave you begging for more. 

Overall, I would recommend this book to people who can accept the idea of someone who is completely invisible constantly. If you can accept that, then you will enjoy this novel immensely. For those of you who, like me, can't wrap your head around the idea, I'd say skip it. 

Pre-order Transparent!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

BLACK HEART by Christina Henry Cover Reveal!

I simply adore this series, and I am super excited to share this cover with you guys!

Black Heart
By: Christina Henry
Release Date: 10/29/13
As a former Agent of Death, Madeline Black is no stranger to witnessing violent ends. But being the one to cause them is an entirely different story…

Despite her having saved Chicago from a vampire invasion, the Agency wants to get Maddy off their payroll—permanently. With the deadly Retrievers hot on her trail, she has no choice but to trust Nathaniel to port her to safety. But even the exotic and dangerous world that she winds up in is not as peaceful as she would have hoped. Caught in a turf war between a group of fae and a disturbingly familiar foe, Maddy soon discovers that the twisted plots of her grandfather, Lucifer, and his brothers extend even into this unknown realm.

Now, with enemies gathering on all sides, Maddy’s fate is looking darker than ever. And to protect her unborn son from her adversaries, she may have to tap into a power she hoped never to access…


The Girl with the Iron Touch
Kady Cross

Rating: A+
Release Date: 05/28/13
In 1897 London, something not quite human is about to awaken 

When mechanical genius Emily is kidnapped by rogue automatons, Finley Jayne and her fellow misfits fear the worst. What's left of their archenemy, The Machinist, hungers to be resurrected, and Emily must transplant his consciousness into one of his automatons—or forfeit her friends' lives. 

With Griffin being mysteriously tormented by the Aether, the young duke's sanity is close to the breaking point. Seeking help, Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. Finley must finally confront her true feelings for him...and for Griffin. 

Meanwhile, Sam is searching everywhere for Emily, from Whitechapel's desolate alleyways to Mayfair's elegant mansions. He would walk into hell for her, but the choice she must make will test them more than they could imagine. 

To save those she cares about, Emily must confront The Machinist's ultimate creation—an automaton more human than machine. And if she's to have any chance at triumphing, she must summon a strength even she doesn't know she has....

My thoughts on the book:
These books just keep getting better! The Girl with the Iron Touch is my favorite Steampunk Chronicles book to date. Cross takes readers on an adventure they'll never forget. This installment is full of suspense, romance, and intrigue. The characters grow, new characters are introduced, and relationships evolve. From the first page I was hooked. I couldn't put this novel down. 

This story is told in third person limited from alternating points of view. It switches between Emily, Finley, and a new character named Mila. Normally I hate when viewpoints switch, but each of these characters offer something that the others lack. Also, the various viewpoints allow the readers to get to know all of the characters better and from different perspectives. Finley is still my favorite, but I really enjoyed learning more about Emily and getting introduced to Mila, too. 

Finley grows a lot in this novel, and so does Griffin. I really love how both of them are changing and how these changes affect their relationship. Emily and Sam also change over the course of the story, but not as much. The relationships between Finley and Griffin as well as Emily and Sam evolve quite a bit, too. It's interesting to see how the dynamics between all of the characters develop as the relationships grow. I'm also interested to see how Mila fits in with everyone. Additionally, I loved getting to know Jack better. He's just more and more of a mystery. I'm totally team Finley and Griffin, but I adore Jack, too. I just don't think he's right for Finley. 

The plot is intense, and while there is some action, it's not necessarily action-packed. Cross starts the book with an action scene, but as the story line progresses, the action takes a back seat to the mysteries and suspense. I was completely invested in the story, though, and wasn't bored for a second. Also, the pacing is perfect, and the world that Cross developed keeps growing. The ending, which I love, resolves most of the issues in this book, but it leaves a few things open ended for the next installment. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to anyone who loves steampunk. Cross really outdid herself with this novel. It is amazing. Give this series a try. You won't be sorry.

Want to pre-order The Girl with the Iron Touch?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

NATURALS by Tiffany Truitt

Tiffany Truitt

Rating: A-
Tess is finally safe from the reach of the Council, now that she is living in the Middlelands with the rebel Isolationists. With James having returned to Templeton, she easily falls back into her friendship with Henry, though her newfound knowledge of Robert’s chosen one status still stings. Even surrounded by people, Tess has never felt more alone. So she’s thrilled when James returns to the settlement, demanding to see Tess — until she finds out that it’s because her sister, Louisa, has been recruited into Tess’s old position at Templeton, and that the dangerously sadistic chosen one George has taken an interest in her.

My thoughts on the book:
Naturals illustrates just how much Truitt has grown as an author. This installment opens with an emotional prologue in which I could actually feel Tess' emotions. Compared to Chosen Ones, the emotional writing is a huge improvement. The words are beautiful and Truitt shows instead of tells what happens to Tess. The characters continue to grow; the plot is engrossing; and the continued world building is fantastic. This is one book you don't want to miss. 

Now that Tess has stopped repressing her emotions, I like her much better. She is a lot easier to relate to in this novel, and she is actually quite likable. I admire her bravery, but the fact that she forgives people (who sometimes don't deserve it) so easily annoys me at times. James is fantastic, just like in the last novel. Robert is MIA for a lot of the book, but I still ended up loving him even more, and Henry is the biggest jerk alive. The new characters, such as Lockwood, add an interesting layer to the story. 

The plot is intriguing and captivating. There isn't a lot of action, but the reader is still kept on the edge of his or her seat with this installment. The writing is unbelievably wonderful, and Truitt's ability to show instead of tell improved vastly from the previous book. The character development is believable and engaging. Truitt also paints a very vivid picture of life with the Isolationists, which shows the true price of freedom in Tess' world. Truitt incorporates classical literature as a method of helping us further understand the characters, much like she did in the last novel, and I really like that addition to her stories. There is a big surprise at the ending, and I'm a bit displeased at how things ended. However, I know this isn't the last book, and I appreciate the feeling of suspense that the ending gives. If everything had been happy and perfect, then no one would continue reading the series, right? I'll just suffer until the next book comes out, haha. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book and this series to fans of Dystopian literature... especially if you're tired of the same cookie-cutter type plots and characters in the other novels of the genre. The Lost Souls series stands out in an over-saturated genre and is a must-read for all fans of YA Dystopian. 

Order Naturals!