Monday, 30 September 2013

Cover Reveal: Lost Without You by Liz Hannah + Giveaway

Today I'm helping to reveal the cover of Lost Without You (Haven #1) by Liz Hannah!


You can also see the full paperback cover!


I really like the cover, and I'm pretty excited for this book too. I haven't read NA in a while, so hopefully this will satiate me.
Here's the official blurb - 

Grace Young thought she was a survivor - until the day her twin brother died, leaving her parents heartbroken and their relationship with Grace fractured beyond repair. Now all Grace wants is a chance to experience something of a normal life, before it's all too late.

Going to college hundreds of miles from home seems like the right way to embrace her new found freedom, especially after years of homeschooling, but while Grace takes to her classes naturally, it's the other side of college that she's unprepared for.

The parties. The friendships. The boys. Especially one Dean Michaels, the Haven University's star soccer player. Fate throws the pair together, and their friendship starts to turn into something more. But can Grace keep the secrets of her past hidden without hurting those she's come to count on the most?


Release date: December 30th 2013
Publisher: Self-published


About the author:

Liz Hannah is a New Adult author that calls both Scotland and Australia home. Currently studying her Bachelor of Arts at university, when she’s not busy reading or writing, Liz can be found procrastinating from her studies indulging in her Pinterest habit or watching too many TV shows. Lost Without You is her debut New Adult novel.

Find Liz on:

Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter 





Giveaway!

Cover Reveal: Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia

It's time for another Spencer Hill cover reveal! Here is the cover of Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia :)



This cover is so pretty! And that font? Love it! I'm definitely excited for this one, even though there's almost a year for it to come out.
Here's the official blurb - 

Raised by an old fortune-teller within the dark veil of the Bavarian Black Forest, Rune has learned two valuable lessons: only take from the forest that which you can use, and never, never look anyone in the eye in the village. For something terrible happened in the forest long ago... and now, the whispers of a long-dead mother with a vengeful secret have come haunting.

Forced to flee all she has ever known, Rune soon learns of a legacy she is bound to--one that is drenched in fear, witchcraft and murder--a birthright that stretches beyond the grave to the trees where Rune is no longer safe.


Release date: September 9th 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press


About the author:

Jennifer Murgia has been writing ever since she was nine years old. After receiving recognition for her poetry, she went on to use her talents to bring characters to life in fiction novels that are authentic, intriguing, and personal. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Find Jennifer on:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Sunday, 29 September 2013

In My Mailbox #17


In My Mailbox is a meme previously hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren and now hosted by The Mod Podge Bookshelfwhich allows us to share the books we’ve bought, borrowed and received.

I haven't done one of these in about 3 weeks, but I really had to do one this week because of an awesome package I got!

Won


I won this awesome prize pack from the lovely Joanne and Karen Rock! A signed copy of Smoke (Burned #2) by Ellen Hopkins, a friendship bracelet, two JK Rock Star wristbands, two bookplates signed by J.K. Rock, a really sweet card, three tattoos, Extracted and Reading with Me postcards, and 5 awesome Spencer Hill bookmarks! I'm so glad I finally have Frigid and Sentinel bookmarks 
Thank you so much for this, Joanne and Karen. You guys rock!


For Review



ARC of Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike (from NetGalley)
Trust in Me by J. Lynn*
Salvage by Alexandra Duncan*
Let the Storm Break by Shannon Messenger*
Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong*

*ARCs from Edelweiss (thanks HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster!)

I'm so freaking happy I got accepted for Earthbound! I love Aprilynne Pike and I read this one just a few days ago - completely adored it! My review will be up soon for that. And I freaked out when I saw Trust in Me up on Edelweiss as well. My review of that is already up, so be sure to check that out. It's Wait for You in Cam's POV, and it's amazing.

Salvage sounds awesome, and that cover is so pretty. I have high hopes for that one. I still need to read Let the Sky Fall, but I had to request the sequel anyway, don't ask me why. But I've heard a lot of good things about this series, so here's hoping I love it too :)
And omg Sea of Shadows. Kelley Armstrong is like my idol, and I loved her Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising series so much. I can't wait to get into her new YA novel!

So that's it for this week. Not much, but I love all of it so much. Lots to read, but I gotta hold off a little until the SAT subject tests next Saturday are done. Wish me luck xD

What did you guys get this week? Excited about any of the titles I've mentioned? Leave a comment!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Review: Sworn to Transfer by Terah Edun

Title: Sworn to Transfer (Courtlight #2)
Author: Terah Edun
Release date: September 17th 2013
Publisher: All Night Reads
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eBook
Pages: 244
Source: Author

Eighteen-year-old companion trainee Ciardis Weathervane has won the friendship of the royal heir and saved his claim to the throne. Yet her interference in the inheritance rights leaves more harm done than good. The Ameles Forest lies unprotected and its inhabitants are dying.

As humans begin to die in gruesome deaths, the Emperor dispatches the royal heir to the forests with the solution to the kith concerns.

With enemies closing ranks in Sandrin, Ciardis can little afford to leave the city’s nest of vipers to take on a new task. But she’s given no choice when her loyalty to the crown and courts are called into question.

To keep the Companions’ Guild happy and the favor of the Imperial Court, Ciardis will be tested in frightening new ways, especially when she’s faced with an obstacle that could risk the lives of her friends and the family she never thought she had.

Sworn to Transfer definitely exceeded my expectations. If you've read my review of Sworn to Raise, you'll know that I felt it didn't live up to its potential. Well, its sequel clearly did. Terah Edun stepped it up for this book, and it captivated me. The writing is vivid and detailed, and the plot was well-paced. I also loved getting to know the characters better. After this book, I'm incredibly impatient for Sworn to Conflict!

This book picks up a couple months after Sworn to Raise left off. Ciardis is comfortable in her role as Companion trainee, but things soon start to go wrong. Not only is she meant to protect Prince Heir Sebastian, but herself, too. Attempts are being made on her life, and the kith of the Ameles Forest are being killed off. The atmosphere in this book is laden with mystery and suspense as Ciardis strives to figure out who this enigmatic yet powerful murderer is.

Ciardis has really grown into her character, and I loved seeing that. She's impulsive yet kind-hearted, and she'll do anything to save the innocent from dying. She's tough as rocks, and won't let anything stand in her way. I love her brazen attitude towards everything. It's definitely different from the other women around her. Ciardis also learns a lot about her powers as a mage, and the fact that she can do more than just enhance the powers of others.

I wish there was more of Sebastian in this book, though. I missed him for most of it. Sebastian has grown too, but in a different way. He's becoming more of a man than a boy, and as a result people have begun to respect him. Even Ciardis sees him in a different light. There wasn't any romance in this book, either, but I think there surely will be in the next. I feel like Ciardis's and Sebastian's relationship has strengthened, and may become something more soon. I hope it does! Their age difference didn't matter to me in this book, not like it did in Sworn to Raise. Maybe because Sebastian seems older. Either way, I'd love to see a romance develop between the two of them in the third book.

I loved the world building in Sworn to Transfer. We get to see exactly how mage powers work, and how Ciardis is trained to control hers. The detailed description of the mage cores put a clear picture in my mind, and I love it when authors can do that with something as abstract as magic. World building like that is difficult in a fantasy novel, and Edun has definitely pulled it off in this book.

If this series keeps getting better, I can't wait to see what's in store for us in Sworn to Conflict! The action in this book is as riveting as it was in the first one, and there was more of it. I loved the danger streaked throughout, with the kith murders and the enigma of the Shadow Mage. We are introduced to some new characters, too, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them more in the next book. Overall, this was an awesome read, and if you're a fantasy lover, this is one world you don't want to miss out on.

*Thank you to Terah Edun for providing me with a copy for review*

Rating: 4/5

Friday, 27 September 2013

Cover Reveal + Excerpt: Soul Possessed by Katlyn Duncan



We are thrilled to be able to share with you the cover for SOUL POSSESSED, the second book in Katlyn Duncan's The Life After Trilogy, which releases next month on October 28th. We think the cover is absolutely beautiful and we can't wait for its release!

We also have an awesome excerpt from the book so be sure to check it out below!

***



SOUL POSSESSED (The Life After Trilogy #2) by Katlyn Duncan

About the Book

Release Date: October 28, 2013

Publisher: Carina UK

Series: Book 2, The Life After Trilogy

Genre: YA Paranormal

ISBN: 9781472044556



Description:

Life after Life

Now Maggie has been given the chance of her after-life to become a Guard, nothing will stand in her way. Not even the undeniable attraction she feels for her trainer and past love—Jackson. But when the battle between Shadowed and Guard begins again which side will she choose?

When her boss, Felix, partners Jackson and Maggie up with Ally and Cooper to investigate terrifying Shadowed activity, she doesn’t think it could get any worse. Jackson and Cooper barely tolerate each other and this time, Maggie isn’t just proving her loyalty to the Guard during one mission...she has a side mission too. One so secret and so dangerous she can’t tell a soul...



***

About the Author:

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.




***

Excerpt


Jackson nodded and lifted his hand again. I stepped forward, swallowing any doubt as he reached out, one hand cupping my cheek, the other grasping my hand lightly, tracing circles with his thumb and before I could worry about how those circles made me melt inside, the memory slammed into me.

"Margaret!" Gemma shouted with glee. "Come out of there, I know you are trying to scare me!"

I watched the young red-haired girl put her hands on her hips, trying to be brave. She scanned their father's study, narrowing her eyes. The fire roaring in the hearth was the only source of light in the room, casting dark shadows across the furniture.

Maggie hid behind her father's chair, in silent wait for her prey.

"I'm going to tell Mother!"

Maggie's little hands tightened on the chair but she didn't make a sound. I walked over to her, watching her mouth twist up into a sly grin. She was the older of the girls, but she protected her sister fiercely, proclaiming she was the only one who could tease her. Gemma hated when Maggie played games, but it thrilled Maggie no end and I could feel excited anticipation roll off her in waves.

Gemma's bravery faltered as she stepped forward toward the overstuffed armchair, expecting her sister to jump out at her at any moment.

But Maggie waited. She had incredible patience, but I sensed that part of it was stubbornness and a desire to test boundaries. Her head poked out from behind the chair just as Gemma turned toward the love seat. I watched as Maggie slowly came out of her hiding spot and charged at her sister.

Gemma let out a scream but Maggie covered her sister's mouth with her hand.

Both girls collapsed on the floor, Gemma's muffled squeals threatening to break through Maggie's tiny fingers.

"Shh," Maggie cooed.

Gemma managed to wrestle her mouth away from Maggie's hand. "I hate you!" Her indignation faltered into a fit of giggles and Maggie quickly joined her.

As she helped her sister up from the floor Maggie said, "Gemma. You need to always expect the unexpected. You can't go through life being scared all the time." Even though Maggie was a mere nine years old, she spoke as if she'd lived lifetimes before. It was one of the things that drew me to her more than any other Prognatum I'd watched.

Maggie took a handkerchief and wiped her sister's cheeks.

"A lady wouldn't do that to her sister," Gemma said, finally relaxing.

"I don't want to be a lady," Maggie stated firmly. "I want to see the world and not just make babies for the rest of my life."

Gemma shook her head. "That's what we are supposed to do. That's what Mother does."

Maggie's indignation flowed through her and into me. I knew Maggie was born to follow through with her Prognatum duties, she just didn't know it yet. It was rare for a Prognatum to want the Guard position but Maggie would be thrilled when her father revealed it to her at seventeen.

As Maggie reached down to help Gemma up from the floor she whispered, "It's not for me."

Gemma wrapped her sister in a tight hug. "I will love you either way, dear sister."

Maggie rested her head against Gemma's shoulder. "I love you too."

I fell out of the memory just as quickly as I'd fallen in, my legs shaking.



***

Other Books in the Series


Title: SOUL TAKEN (The Life After #1)
Author: Katlyn Duncan
Publisher: Carina UK
Release date: June 4th
Formats: eBook

After-life just got a lot more complicated

Maggie is a Soul Collector. It’s her job to transport souls from the Living Realm to the After – but during a mission to find a stolen soul, she ends up stuck in a teen mean girl’s body.

Trapped, Maggie’s soul is catapulted into Ally’s life – and the human world she hasn’t experienced for one hundred years. But, as a descendant of the most powerful beings in the After, Maggie must rescue Ally before the girl’s soul dies…

To survive, Maggie must uncover devastating secrets – because with one soul taken by a terrifying enemy, Maggie’s could be next!



Cover Reveal + Excerpt: Seven Day Fiancé by Rachel Harris

Here is the cover of Seven Day Fiance (Love and Games #2) by Rachel Harris!


Seven Day Fiancé (Love and Games #2)
Release Date: 10/14/13
Entangled Bliss

Summary from Goodreads:
Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.

Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.


Pre-Order Buy Links:
  photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg 


Excerpt

Angelle stopped beside a folding table boasting boxes of fresh, crispy cracklins and selected a thick piece. Cane watched, mesmerized, as she puckered those gorgeous lips and blew on the sliver. With a flirtatious glint in her eyes, she held it up to his mouth, and he opened.
Holy crap.
He’d had cracklins before. Fried pork fat was a standard gas station treat, usually shrink-wrapped and stale as shit. But this, fresh from the pot and piping hot, was unbelievable. Cane widened his eyes, and it was possible he even moaned. It was that good. And as he swallowed, Angel rewarded him with a rich, throaty laugh.
Ca c’est bon?” she asked, grinning when he grabbed another handful.
He touched her nose and popped a piece in his mouth. “Good would be an understatement.”
Grinning, she took a fried morsel for herself and sent the balding, overweight gentleman tending the table a wink. “Now that’s what we like to hear.” Then she closed her eyes as she savored the treat.
The sounds of Angel moaning, and watching her face soften in the throes of a foodgasm, had to be the sexiest damn thing Cane had ever seen. His pants tightened, embarrassingly so considering he knew the audience was still watching, but what pushed him over the edge was when her eyes opened. The pleasure in them was his undoing.
Feeling the weight of the crowd’s disapproving stares and not giving a damn, figuring now was as good a time as any to give the people the show they clearly wanted, he grasped her hip and tugged her forward, pausing only to inhale her gasp of surprise before brushing her mouth with his.
It was like setting off a damn forest fire.
Angelle, his shocking little hellcat, pounced. Forgetting all about their audience, or maybe not giving a damn either, she wound her arms around his neck, lifted onto her toes, and kissed him back with everything she had. Cane had intended to steal a quick taste, take the edge off his craving for her, and prove their point with the town’s people. But hell if he was gonna be the one to back down now.
Tightening his grasp on her slim hips, he brushed his thumbs across the smooth, exposed skin near her waistband. He deepened the kiss, thrilling over her telltale shiver. Whimpering, she yanked on the hair at his nape and sucked his bottom lip into her mouth. Hot damn.
Okay, now he had to start backing down. With all her male relatives watching, not to mention the knives and axes still lying around from the butchering earlier, if Cane valued his life, he needed to wrangle control of the situation. He’d heard patience was a virtue. That was a line of bull—he’d always sucked at waiting for anything he wanted. But for Angel, he was willing to try.
Loosening his grip on her belt loops, Cane slowed the intensity of the kiss. He smoothed the hem of her shirt down, grazed her lips one last time, and, placing his forehead against hers, inhaled through his nose. Sunflowers mixed with cayenne may be his new favorite scent. Angelle released a heavy breath, a flush blooming on her cheeks. She darted a glance at the crowd, then looking into his eyes, grinned lazily. 
“My goodness. If anyone doubted we were a couple before, I guess that showed them.”

About the Author:

I grew up in New Orleans, where I watched soap operas with my grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading my mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, I still stay up way too late reading my favorite romances, only now, I can do so openly. I firmly believe life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations. When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, I homeschool my two beautiful girls and watch reality television with my amazing husband.

I write YA, NA, and Adult Fun & Flirty Escapes. Taste The Heat is my adult romance debut, and I'm also the author of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY and A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES, as well as a ton of other books to come. I love hearing from readers and dishing books!




Author Links:
   

Cover Reveal Organized:

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Review: Trust in Me by J. Lynn

Title: Trust in Me (Wait for You #1.5)
Author: J. Lynn
Release date: October 22nd 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Pages: 228
Source: Edelweiss

It’s Wait for You as you’ve never seen it. Trust in Me lets you in on Cam’s side of the #1 New York Times Bestselling story.

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up. He can’t get the feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. Will persistence (and some delicious homemade cookies) help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery's life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?


Avery was such a mystery to me; a paradox of innocence and allure - a mystery I was determined to solve.
Trust in Me is basically Wait for You in Cam's point of view, and I loved every second of it. We get to see his side of things, and since this is his story, there are scenes in here that aren't in Wait for You, which allowed me to get to know Cam, Jase and Ollie a lot better. Even though this is a novella, it reads like a novel, and is almost the length of one. So that was awesome, getting more of Cam than I'd expected.

I found Cam's POV so hilarious! He's such a funny and goofy guy, especially with his tortoise, Raphael. Yeah, he's cocky at times, but he's just so lovable. And it's so freaking sweet to see exactly how much he cares for Avery, right from the start. The fact that he nicknames her Strawberry Shortcake in his head is downright adorable. I love how he is with Jase and Ollie, too - they're so comfortable around each other. Maybe too comfortable at times ;) You'll get me when you read this novella.

It's very different seeing Avery from Cam's perspective. She's really withdrawn, and seems a lot more reserved in the beginning. It's kind of funny to see how much effort Cam has to put in to get her to open up to him! But I loved seeing him fall for her. And since I already knew what was going to happen, it made the anticipation more exciting.

But I wish Trust in Me wasn't just Wait for You in Cam's POV. I mean, it's literally the same thing, with all the same dialogue and everything. The time frame is identical to that of Wait for You, with the exception of the last chapter, which I think is a little after Wait for You ends. I would have liked to see how Cam and Avery were after the events of their book. But I'm glad that there are quite a few scenes in this book that we haven't seen before.

J. Lynn introduces a little something that will be explored in Be with Me, a little moment with Teresa and Jase that is pretty secretive. And we get to know more about Jase, too - that he has issues of his own to deal with, though of course we don't find out what they are. Jase and Cam are really close, and it makes me nervous to think about what could happen to their friendship in Be with Me. I really like Teresa, though, from what I've seen of her. She's lucky to have an awesome brother like Cam!

Trust in Me is an awesome companion to Wait for You, though I'd recommend not rereading Wait for You before reading this, since the books overlap. This novella made me fall in love with Cam even more, if that's even possible. So of course I loved it. The depth of his love for Avery is incredible, and reading the scenes from his perspective almost make me tear up. J. Lynn's writing is amazing as usual, and though this was a quick read for me, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #39: Ignite Me

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...


Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi


Title: Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.


This pretty much tops my list of most anticipated 2014 books! I seriously can't wait for this book, to find out the endgame and who Juliet ends up with (*cough*Warner*cough*) and just basically how everything plays out. I don't want to say goodbye to this amazing series but I'm so impatient to read this!


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Review: Resist by Sarah Crossan

Title: Resist (Breathe #2)
Author: Sarah Crossan
Release date: October 8th 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Format: eARC
Pages: 242
Source: Edelweiss

The sequel—and conclusion—to Sarah Crossan's Breathe. Three teen outlaws must survive on their own in a world without air, exiled outside the glass dome that protects what's left of human civilization. Gripping action, provocative ideas, and shocking revelations in a dystopian novel that fans of Patrick Ness and Veronica Roth will devour.

Bea, Alina, and Quinn are on the run. They started a rebellion and were thrown out of the pod, the only place where there's enough oxygen to breathe. Bea has lost her family. Alina has lost her home. And Quinn has lost his privileged life. Can they survive in the perilous Outlands? Can they finish the revolution they began? Especially when a young operative from the pod's Special Forces is sent after them. Their only chance is to stand together, even when terrible circumstances force them apart. When the future of human society is in danger, these four teens must decide where their allegiances lie. Sarah Crossan has created a dangerous, and shattered society in this wrenching, thought-provoking, and unforgettable post-apocalyptic novel.

Resist is the conclusion to the Breathe duology, and it's definitely one of the most climatic finales I've ever read. The heart-pounding action left me breathless (pun not intended) and the character development was incredible. There's so much depth to them in this book, and I was sad to say goodbye to them just when I really got to know them.

Resist picks up where Breathe left off, and Alina is off to find Sequoia along with Silas and the other survivors of The Grove. We get another point of view in this book along with that of Alina, Bea and Quinn - Ronan's. We met him briefly in Breathe, but he becomes a vital character in this one. Quinn and Bea are with Jazz, just trying to stay alive, until complications arise and they're forced to separate. Meanwhile, Ronan is sent by Quinn's dad to go find him and bring him back to the pod. All four protagonists meet at a point, and realize that Sequoia, their last hope, is far from what they expected it to be.

I loved seeing how much the characters we met in the first book have grown, Quinn especially. He's changed so much - he's tougher, smarter, and more passionate. He's not the ignorant Premium he used to be, and he's gone through a lot in order to open his eyes to the world outside, and to Bea. I'm so glad Quinn and Bea stay together in this one. It took him ages, but Quinn realizes how much Bea means to him, and he'll do anything to protect her.

Bea's changed a lot, too. She's not timid anymore, and she's definitely not a pushover. She's still kind-hearted, but there's a steeliness to her that wasn't there before. And that's a good thing, since the Resistance has to be tough to make it alive. The death of her parents has definitely affected her, but in a way it's made her stronger than ever. Bea's my favourite character of the lot, mostly because she can be sweet and strong at the same time. I actually thought there might be a bit of a love triangle between her, Quinn and Ronan, but thank goodness there wasn't. Ronan knows that Bea is Quinn's, and he respects that. Though he does care for her more than he should, which is a good thing because he keeps her safe when Quinn isn't around.

Alina's still pretty much the same, but I sympathized with her a lot more in this book. She's still as sturdy as ever, but she has to go through so much that the others don't. She's emotionally challenged in ways she's never expected, but her faith in her cause never wavers. Alina's a true member of the Resistance, and she has so much potential in her - potential to be a true leader.

There are quite a lot of shockers in this book, one of the big ones being Sequoia. I imagined it as a sort of safe haven, but it's a danger that rivals that of the Ministry. The survivors of The Grove are put to the test, and loyalties are called into question. We see some unexpected (or expected, depending on how you look at it) people show up, and some surprising changes of heart. I don't want to say much about the ending, but it's definitely bittersweet. I love the way Sarah Crossan carried it out, though, in such a beautiful way. The climax is great, and most of the novel is fast-paced. There's humour laced in between the continuous danger, which provided a nice reprieve.

I would have liked this series to be a trilogy instead of a duology, because I want to get to know the characters better. But I think this worked out really well, too. I love the premise of this series, the fact that Sarah Crossan has focused her plot on the issue of a depletion of oxygen. It really makes you think, you know? I love dystopians that make you do that. Overall, this is a fantastic sequel to Breathe, and a satisfying conclusion to the series.

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

Rating: 4/5

Monday, 23 September 2013

Review: Unchained by J. Lynn

Title: Unchained (Nephilim Rising #1)
Author: J. Lynn
Release date: September 17th 2013
Publisher: Entangled Edge
Genre: Adult Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Pages: 400

Between the pissed off creatures that want demon-hunter Lily Marks dead and the fallen angel who just...wants her, Lily is about ready to trade in forever for a comfy job in a cubicle farm.

The fact that she and Julian are civil to one another is enough to have her thrown out of the Sanctuary, but she can't shake her not-so-angelic stalker or how he brings her dangerously close to ecstasy.

Her forbidden relationship with Julian provides the perfect fuel for suspicion when a traitor is discovered to be working within the Sanctuary. Lily quickly finds herself hunted by well, everyone.

Her only hope is to discover the real traitor before she loses everything--and she'll need Julian's help. That is, if Julian is really there to help her...and not destroy her.

Yeah, being a Nephilim isn't everything it's cracked up to be.

I'd been waiting for Unchained for over a year, since I heard about it back when I first started blogging. So of course I had to devour this one the day I got it. I literally read all of this in one go, the evening I got it! It's definitely very different from any other J. Lynn/Jennifer Armentrout book I've read before, which makes sense because Jennifer hasn't written this genre before. I think on the whole it's a great start to the series, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where J. Lynn goes with this.

I've always been fascinated by fallen angel and Nephilim books - Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series is a great example. I love how Jennifer put her own spin on the norm. Lily Marks hunts the dark creatures that the Fallen create, and she's the best there is. But there is one Fallen she actually cares about, more than she should. And she has good reason to. Julian has saved her life twice already, and he's always watching out for her. But when there is suspicion of a traitor at the Sanctuary, Lily becomes a prime suspect thanks to her relationship with Julian. Things aren't so black and white anymore, and Lily has to make a lot of hard decisions.

Firstly, I really have to stress the fact that this is an adult novel, which means there are scenes in here that are clearly inappropriate for younger teens. Seriously though, there are a few scenes in this book that are really erotic. I've read quite a few NAs as well as Jennifer's other adult books, but this is... whoa. Even I felt kind of uncomfortable with the steamier parts of Unchained.

Unchained is written in third person, and correct me if I'm wrong but I think this is Jennifer's first book that isn't in first person? I prefer first to third, but in this case I think third person is necessary. We don't just get into Lily's head, we get to see things from Michael's perspective too. Michael, in case you were wondering, is a new Nephilim recruit who is more than he seems. I liked seeing this from his point of view as well, because it provides a nice balance.

Okay. Lily. I loved that chick almost immediately! She's just so badass. She reminds me of Alex from Jennifer's Covenant series. Lily is tough, she's extremely skilled, and says exactly what she thinks. She doesn't take crap from anyone, and people always know where they stand with her. I empathized with her a lot, especially when she has so much on her shoulders and has no idea what to do. I definitely liked her snark and sarcasm - Jennifer writes that in so well.

I wasn't sure what to expect of Julian, because he's an enigma most of the time. Honestly, I thought he was kind of creepy in the beginning, since he keeps following Lily everywhere. He does that throughout the book, actually, and has apparently been doing that for the past eight years. I seriously have no idea what Julian does when he's not following Lily! But I love that he does, because that's the reason he saves her life all the time. Julian's different from the other Fallen, and Lily knows that. It's why she puts up with him. Of course, there's another reason later on! I liked seeing how protective Julian is of Lily, and how much he cares for her. It helps that he's remarkably easy on the eyes. He's a fallen angel, after all. I cannot wait to get more of Julian in the next book!

I also really loved Michael's character. He's the guy that has no idea about his origin, and it's thrown in his face when Lily comes across him one night. Michael begins his Nephilim training at the Sanctuary, and he's good. Really good. He also has a rigid sense of morality which I thought was great. Michael's different from the rest of the Nephilim, though, and we find out why towards the end.

What I didn't like that much was the predictability. I had the whole mystery aspect of the novel all figured out after the first little hint, and from then I was just waiting for the big reveal. I don't want to be too spoilery so I won't say any more on that. But there are also a few other things that are quite predictable.

Overall, Unchained is an awesome start to a new J. Lynn series, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next one! Thank goodness there isn't a cliffhanger, though, because I don't think I could have handled that. But yeah, I really loved Lily and Julian, both on their own and together.

Rating: 4/5