Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Review: Deviate by Tracy Clark

Title: Deviate (The Light Key Trilogy #2)
Author: Tracy Clark

Release date: March 3rd 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 338

Source: NetGalley

Tormented after a daring escape, Cora Sandoval must find a way to stop the Arrazi from murdering innocent people and from violating, using, and killing the Scintilla for their powers. She must also accept one bitter betrayal: Finn Doyle—the Irish boy who has both a piece of Cora's heart and soul—is Arrazi...

On the verge of extinction and sought by those who would either consume or destroy them, Cora and the remaining Scintilla survivors must solve the mystery of The Light Key. If they fail, the truth will stay buried forever and mankind will pay the ultimate price.

No longer will she hide.

No longer will her loved ones be hunted.

And she will have her vengeance...even if she shatters her heart in the process.

I'm glad I reread Scintillate before going into this one, because I really didn't remember much of what had happened, and the plot picks up right where the previous book left off. For the most part, I felt Deviate was a lot slower than Scintillate, and though there were some good action scenes and twists, not much really happened in this. I saw a bit of a middle-book syndrome while reading it.

Cora, her mom, and Giovanni are on the run from the Arrazi, and Cora is reeling from the death of her father and the betrayal of Finn. Moreover, they need to figure out the mystery of the light key and why it's so important. Cora is doing her best to get her life in order after it's been messed up this bad, but it's hard, and thinking about Finn just makes it worse. She knows she needs to forget about him and focus on how to keep herself, her mom, and Giovanni alive, but that's easier said than done.

I liked Cora more in this book, mostly because she's dealing with so much and I really sympathized with her. There's character development as well, since she's stronger now after the events of the first book. Finn, though, I really didn't like. He spends half the book feeling sorry for himself and deciding to kill himself, then suddenly realizes he needs to live. But he's still whiny and annoying. I don't know what happened to the Finn we first met in Scintillate, but this boy is not him.

Some parts of the book seemed like an info dump to me - they were all in concentrated areas. I felt like it would have worked better if the history and background info was spread out over the course of the book somehow. Like I mentioned before, not much happens, so I was a little disappointed about that. Hopefully we'll get to see all the cool stuff in the final book of the trilogy.

The twists were great - as in, I didn't see them coming. I can't say I liked them, though. They were just a bit much, and created even more drama in this already dramatic series. Overall, I liked Deviate as a whole, but I did have issues with it. I'm still definitely looking forward to seeing how everything ends! Though I'm not looking forward to more Finn.. Giovanni is so much better. I'm hoping he does more in the final book.

*Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

Monday, 16 February 2015

Release Day Blitz: The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Return Release Week Blitz banner

We have been dying to bring you the release blitz for Jennifer L. Armentrout's THE RETURN! THE RETURN is a New Adult Paranormal Romance and is a part of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Titan series. Seth is looking to be just as dangerously delicious as we all hoped!


The Return - Cover

THE RETURN Synopsis:

The Fates are cackling their bony asses off...

It's been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they've given him have been violent and bloody--which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He's got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy's deal might be, but it's a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

Release date: February 17th 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Booksamillion


THE RETURN Excerpt:

I was a half-blood, but I was also the Apollyon, a child of a pure and a half, a union that had been forbidden for thousands of years because an Apollyon was more powerful than any pure or half could ever hope to be.

And I always got to the traitors’ hideouts before they did, so the Sentinels were usually left with the cleanup, which I was sure absolutely thrilled them.

The first to enter was a female half-blood dressed just as I was. Her black hair was pulled back in a neat little knot at the top of her head. She was older, probably in her mid-thirties. It was pretty rare for a Sentinel to live that long. Her dark skin paled as she stopped just inside the entrance. She clenched titanium daggers in her hands like she expected something vicious to pop out from under the bloody mess.

The female Sentinel tipped her chin up, and the overhead light sliced across her broad cheekbones. She bore a jagged scar under her right eye, the skin lighter in tone. She saw me and froze.

My smile widened.

Behind her, another Sentinel rushed in, almost mowing her over. He saw me and whispered, “Seth.”

He’d said my name like I was the monster under his bed, and I sort of liked that. Then another Sentinel and another rolled in. The fifth took one look at my interior design work and keeled over. Slamming his hands on his knees, he hurled up his dinner.

Nice.

Our society existed completely unknown to the average mortal and had operated under what was known as the Breed Order for thousands of years. The Order had been dismantled, which meant halfs were no longer forced to choose between becoming Sentinels—hunting down violent creatures, protecting pures, enforcing laws, and otherwise usually dying pretty damn quickly on the job—or servants, which was a job that really wasn’t a job, but more like slavery. Since then, many pampered pures had signed on to be Sentinels, making up for the loss of the halfs who’d pretty much said “screw this shit, I’m out.”

This wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

For example, the dumbass puking all over my blood-covered floor was a pure. When he straightened, his face a greenish hue, he backed away, shaking his head. “I can’t,” he gasped out. “I can’t do this.”

Then he turned and hauled ass out the doors.
I sighed. This was why we couldn’t have nice things.

About the author:

Author Photo#1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


Find Jennifer on:


Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 13 February 2015

Collide Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Hi guys! Today is my stop on the blog tour for Collide (The Taking #3) by Melissa West. Thank you so much to YA Bound Book Tours for organizing this tour! You can check out the full schedule here. Read my review below and don't forget to enter the giveaway :)

Title: Collide (The Taking #3)
Author: Melissa West

Release date: February 9th 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: eARC
Pages: 247

Source: YA Bound
Purchase links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Military legacy Ari Alexander has survived alien spies, WWIV, and a changing world order. But when the new leader of Earth uses Jackson—the only boy she's ever let herself care about—to get to her, Ari has no choice but to surrender.

To free Jackson, she agrees to travel to the national bases to train others to fight. What she discovers is a land riddled with dying people. Ari has the power to heal by turning the fighters into aliens—half-breeds like her. If she succeeds, together, they have a chance at overthrowing the alien leader, Zeus. But if she fails, everyone she holds dear will be wiped away forever.

Once again, everything Ari’s come to believe is thrown into question. In a world of uncertainty, loyalties are tested, lies are uncovered, and no one can be trusted. If Ari and Jackson have any hope at survival and at preserving a life for the future, they must fight the final war with their eyes wide open.

Collide is definitely an explosive end to this trilogy! I like how the title really fits with the plot of the novel. There was never a dull moment in this, and I loved the way everything is tied up in the end. This book was just as good as I was expecting!

Ari is back on Earth now, but a very different one from the home she was used to. Things have changed, there's new leadership, and Ari isn't happy about it. She's doing her best to help, but it seems like she's judged for being half-Ancient now regardless of who she used to be. Meanwhile, Zeus is alive and is scheming to destroy mankind, and only Ari and Jackson know how real the threat is. They have to convince the people on Earth that Ancients and humans have to work together if they want to survive.

Collide has a lot of dystopian elements in addition to the basic sci-fi setting, with the politics going on and the decisions people have to make. I liked that these issues were addressed, because it made the book seem more real to me. Everything's definitely not all fun and games here - shit's going down. I won't lie, there are deaths. Of course there are, with a high stakes novel like this. I didn't like them, but I can't argue against their purpose in the book.

Ari is one of my favourite YA heroines, mostly because I love all the badass fighter ones. She can kick ass, she's strong, but she's not cold. She really cares about her home and her friends, and she's not about to let anything happen to either of them. It sucked to see how she was treated by people on Earth, being labelled as untrustworthy because she's kind of an Ancient now. But I loved how she handled everything. Ari's tough as hell, and we see a lot of that in this book especially. She's tested to her very limits and she still manages to stay on top of things, which really impressed me.

And Jackson, of course, made this book all the more awesome. How can you not love him? He does everything he can to save Earth along with Ari even though it's not his home, and he's so supportive of her. He strives hard to take Zeus down, despite the fact that they share the same blood. He knows what's right and what's wrong, and that's something I definitely cannot say for some other characters *cough* Lawrence *cough*. We get quite a few Jackson-Ari scenes and they're all beautiful or heartwarming or just really sweet.

Overall, I'm completely satisfied with the way this series wrapped up. Some little things I wasn't too happy about, but in general it was great. The build-up was effective, the climax was awesome. And thank god for no loose ends! I really hate those. If you're a sci-fi fan and haven't read this series yet, give it a go! You won't be sorry.

*Thank you to YA Bound for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5




About the author:



Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/InterMix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

Find Melissa on:




Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #92: Until the Beginning

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week's WoW is...


Until the Beginning by Amy Plum


Title: Until the Beginning (After the End #2)
Author: Amy Plum

Release date: May 5th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

When Juneau's clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people's gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles's cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau's people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people - and herself - Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.


After that cliffhanger ending of After the End, I absolutely cannot wait for this. Dystopia will always be one of my favourite YA genres, and this dystopian premise is really awesome. I'm excited to learn more about Juneau and Miles!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Review: Fall with Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Fall with Me (Wait for You #4)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release date: March 31st 2015
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Pages: 275

Source: Edelweiss

Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.

Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

I want to start by saying I adored the previous books in this series. Like actually adored. This one, though... Well, it didn't live up to my expectations. Fall with Me follows Roxy and Reece, whom we met in Stay with Me. Like Stay with Me, this one doesn't take place in college, but we still get to see glimpses of previous characters. I had quite a few issues with this book that I just couldn't get past, and I hate that I couldn't because I really wanted to love this.

Roxy works at Mona's, and she does a great job there. She has a routine that involves visiting her best friend in the hospital every week. Charlie has been there for years, and doesn't seem to be getting better. When his attacker is released from prison, he goes to visit Charlie, and wants to talk to Roxy too, but she won't have anything to do with him. And since instances of violence are increasing in the town, she has good reason. Roxy's life gets even more crazy when Reece comes back into it. They had a night together a while ago, and since then they've stayed away from each other. But now that Roxy could be in danger, Reece will do anything to make sure she stays safe.

I liked Roxy well enough - she's spunky and funny, and I love her t-shirts. I also sympathized with her a lot because of Charlie. But honestly, the decisions she makes.. they're kind of ridiculous. I mean, she let a guy think they had sex one night and never bothered to correct him over the next few years? Moreover, weird stuff starts happening in her house and she doesn't even consider telling the police or anyone about it. She brushes everything off despite the attacks going on. So yeah, Roxy's decisions really pissed me off.

Then there's Reece. He's the standard incredibly hot and ripped and charming love interest. I wish there was some variation, because every guy in NA now is just blending together in my mind. Reece is really protective of Roxy, which is sweet to see at times, but pissing off at other times. Also, he keeps calling her 'babe' every chance he gets, and I just found that kind of degrading. Why can't he say her freaking name?

Some scenes in this book seemed reused to me, and I feel like there's just a general similar plotline in this and Stay with Me, with variations on some things. The whole mystery aspect of this one didn't really appeal to me, mostly because the motivation behind the things that occurred didn't make sense. You'll get what I mean if you read the book. The danger didn't feel like danger because it was just kind of ridiculous.

I feel terrible that I don't have many nice things to say about this, because it's JLA and I love her. But I think I'm just done with the NA genre. I'll still love all her YA stuff! Fall with Me is good if you adore NA, so go for it if you do. It just wasn't really for me.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Cover Reveal: Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins + Giveaway

It's finally here! The cover of Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy #4). Check it out and enter the giveaway below!



Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it. 

Until he meets Anna Whitt—sweet, smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she has a certain power over him, one that makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve. 

Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives as the influencers of sin, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the demons’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.

Sensual and swoon worthy, this companion volume to the acclaimed Sweet Evil series from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, told from the perspective of the irresistibly sexy and mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into his struggle, his intense connection to Anna, and most of all, the true emotions that drive him.

Release date: September 8th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen





About the author:

After earning a bachelor's in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master's in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, Wendy taught high school English until becoming a mommy. Writing Young Adult (YA) stories gives her the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal, daunting, and exciting years before adulthood.
She lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son.

Find Wendy on:




Giveaway!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 6 February 2015

Review: Death Marked by Leah Cypess

Title: Death Marked (Death Sworn #2)
Author: Leah Cypess

Release date: March 3rd 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 220

Source: Edelweiss

A young sorceress’s entire life has been shaped to destroy the empire controlling her world. But if everything she knows is a lie, will she even want to fulfill her destiny? The sequel to Death Sworn is just as full of magic and surprising revelations, and will thrill fans of Leigh Bardugo and Robin LaFevers.

At seventeen, Ileni lost her magical power and was exiled to the hidden caves of the assassins. She never thought she would survive long. But she discovered she was always meant to end up, powerless, in the caves as part of an elder sorcerer’s plan to destroy the evil Empire they'd battled so long. Except that Ileni is not an assassin, and she doesn't want to be a weapon. And, after everything, she’s not even sure she knows the truth. Now, at the very heart of the Empire—its academy for sorcerers—the truth is what she seeks. What she finds challenges every belief she holds dear—and it threatens her fledgling romance with the young master of assassins.

Leah Cypess spins an intricate and beautiful conclusion to Ileni's story. In the end, it may not be the epic decisions that bring down an empire, but the small ones that pierce the heart.
It had, in the end, been about death. About who needed it, and who was ashamed of it, and who celebrated it. About who might, someday, move past it.
Death Marked is the sequel to Death Sworn, and it's the conclusion of the series, no matter the fact that many people think it left too much open. I think it left just the right amount open, and I liked this book just as much as the first one, if not more.

Ileni now lives with the Imperial sorcerers at the Academy. She's not a prisoner exactly, because she wants to be there to find out if they truly are evil or not. Ileni has no power of her own anymore, and has to draw from lodestones. But where do the lodestones get their power from? Ileni has a lot of questions and seeks to find the answers. But that puts her in danger, and what she finds is nothing like what she expected.

Ileni has a lot of hiding to do in this book, more than in the previous one. At the Academy, only Karyn knows she was with the assassins. No one else can find out, because the Imperial sorcerers and the assassins are at war on opposite sides. What bothered me here was that Ileni seemed to keep switching sides, and at one point I didn't even know if she was pretending to betray knowledge or if she really was. I get where she's coming from, because both sides have their flaws, but still. She's very fickle-minded. But Ileni still has her morals intact, and there are things done on both sides that she cannot condone.

We don't see too much of Sorin, because he's still back at the Caves, and is now the new master after Ileni killed the previous one. He communicates with Ileni sometimes, and we can see that they care about each other a lot, even love one another, but both consider it a weakness. I loved that this book doesn't have a fairy-tale love story where the love between the main characters can conquer anything. There is way too much going on, and Ileni doesn't know if she's on the right side.

I wish we'd seen more of Sorin, of how he's handling everything at the Caves, how he's dealing with being the new master. And how he's making sure Absalm doesn't control him. Sorin has a lot of difficult decisions to make as we see in the book, but I just can't agree with the extremity. And neither can Ileni. Which causes quite a bit of tension, and it makes Ileni really think about what she's doing.

There are new characters, sorcerers training alongside Ileni - Cyn and Lis, who are twin sisters, and Evin, who is Karyn's nephew. The four of them definitely make an interesting group! I loved Evin. He's extremely powerful, and all magic comes easily to him. Moreover, all of it is his own. But Evin isn't interested in power, and that's what made me like him more. Ironically, it's also what made Ileni hate him. Yeah, she hated him because he had so much power but didn't use it for the 'right' reasons. Ileni's jealousy of Evin got on my nerves quite a bit, but I'm glad it tapered off later. Her hatred of him was really irrational, and there was this one point where he kind of saved her life and it made her hate him more. Which I really didn't get. Oh well, either way Evin is awesome and he's one of the highlights of the book in my opinion.

The ending is left pretty open, but for the first time I liked it that way. Normally, I need closure of some sort. Death Marked, though, felt right ending the way it does. With sorrow, but hope too. A bittersweet kind of ending, depending on how you look at it. For the romantics out there - you probably won't be too happy with the way things turned out. Don't worry, it's not as bad as I'm making it sound! But I found it to be realistic, which is the best way to go. At last, a realistic YA situation! Death Marked has definitely left its mark on me (hah) and I applaud Leah Cypess for giving us the right ending.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5