Monday, 18 August 2014

Short Hiatus

Sup everybody! So it's almost the end of summer, and in three days I will be heading off to the US to start university. Cue total freak out moment! I will be super busy over the next few days packing almost my entire life into a couple of suitcases (yes, I'll be back in Singapore this December for winter break but still).

And once I get to uni, I'll again be super busy settling in, meeting new people, etc. So I decided to take a little hiatus on the blog, just a couple of weeks until classes begin and I'm not confused about the whole process anymore.

So that's it for now, then! And I will see you guys again sometime in the beginning of September. I'm really excited to start a new chapter in my life, and a really important one at that. Living in a whole new country all the way across the world, it's going to be weird but I can't wait ❤ 

Also, I will finally get to meet authors and attend book signings/festivals and gosh it's going to be awesome.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Review: Rotten by Michael Northrop

Title: Rotten
Author: Michael Northrop
Release date: April 1st 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: ARC
Pages: 246

Source: Author

A troubled teen. A rescued Rottweiler. An unlikely friendship.

Jimmer "JD" Dobbs is back in town after spending the summer "upstate." No one believes his story about visiting his aunt, and it's pretty clear that he has something to hide. It's also pretty clear that his mom made a new friend while he was away---a rescued Rottweiler that JD immediately renames Johnny Rotten (yes, after that guy in the Sex Pistols). Both tough but damaged, JD and Johnny slowly learn to trust each other, but their newfound bond is threatened by a treacherous friend and one snap of Johnny's powerful jaws. As the secrets JD has tried so hard to keep under wraps start to unravel, he suddenly has something much bigger to worry about: saving his dog.

Rotten is a book that would appeal to dog lovers everywhere, as well as adolescent readers. It's an interesting story, and I loved the growing affection between JD and Johnny Rotten. There's also a mystery aspect that we don't get to find out much about until later.

JD spent the summer somewhere upstate, no one really knows where. Or what he was doing there. He's actually really mysterious about it all. When he gets back, there are only a few days left for school to begin, and he gets a surprise when he enters the house - his mom got a dog! Johnny Rotten (a.k.a. JR) is a rescue dog, which means he's been treated pretty badly in the past and had to be taken out of that hostile environment. So it's hard for JR to trust people, especially males. But JD and JR soon take to each other, and it's cute to see that. Until of course, something has to go wrong, and JD has to figure out how to save his dog before it's too late.

I really liked the way this book was written - it totally felt like a genuine teenage boy's thoughts. JD's interactions with his friends were especially amusing and pretty awesome, because these guys are legit and realistic teenage boys (despite their reputation). None of that annoyingly perfect/sexy/romantic attitudes that male YA characters all have now. I guess most people would call this a guy book, but really it's a dog book. If you love dogs, you'll love JR.

I wish we'd got to know some things closer to the beginning of the book, though. Maybe a little more information about JD's summer, or how he fell out with his girlfriend. JD and his friends also seem really immature, though maybe that's just to authenticate the teenage guy POV. I did find their jokes and conversations pretty funny, though!

There's a lot here about friendship and compassion, both human and with Johnny Rotten. I really felt for JR, and for JD as well when everything started going wrong. I adore dogs (though I sadly don't have one of my own), and it was cool reading about an adorable misunderstood dog like JR.

*Thank you to Michael Northrop for sending an ARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

Friday, 15 August 2014

Review: Rogue by Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Title: Rogue
Author: Lyn Miller-Lachmann
Release date: May 16th 2013
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary
Format: ARC
Pages: 227

Source: Author

Kiara has Asperger’s syndrome, and it’s hard for her to make friends. So whenever her world doesn’t make sense—which is often—she relies on Mr. Internet for answers. But there are some questions he can’t answer, like why she always gets into trouble, and how do kids with Asperger’s syndrome make friends? Kiara has a difficult time with other kids. They taunt her and she fights back. Now she’s been kicked out of school. She wishes she could be like her hero Rogue—a misunderstood X-Men mutant who used to hurt anyone she touched until she learned how to control her special power.

When Chad moves in across the street, Kiara hopes that, for once, she’ll be able to make friendship stick. When she learns his secret, she’s so determined to keep Chad as a friend that she agrees not to tell. But being a true friend is more complicated than Mr. Internet could ever explain, and it might be just the thing that leads Kiara to find her own special power.

In Rogue, author Lyn Miller-Lachmann celebrates everyone’s ability to discover and use whatever it is that makes them different.

Rogue is an intense and thought-provoking novel about a girl with Asperger's syndrome who tried her best to make friends despite everything she's been through. This is technically middle grade, although I wouldn't really recommend this to middle schoolers on account of the subject matter *cough* drugs and drinking *cough*.

Kiara has always had trouble making friends, especially since she's already labelled 'weird' and 'Crybaby Kiara' after a few incidents. She has trouble managing her anger, and that gets her kicked out of school. Kiara has a brilliant mind - it's just that she's not good with emotions. So when Chad moves in across, Kiara wants to make a friendship that will actually last. Except that Chad's got a lot of troubles of his own, troubles that Kiara gets dragged into. And she realizes that empathy is something she really is capable of, despite what 'Mr. Internet' says.

I loved that Kiara's obsessed with X-Men! I love the movies, though haven't read any of the comics. But I love Rogue too, she's awesome. Kiara relates her life to that of Rogue, and even relates people she knows to other X-Men characters. Chad is Gambit, and her brother Max's friend is Wolverine. I thought it was pretty cool, though no one in the novel does.

It was interesting to see into Kiara's mind as a kid with Asperger's syndrome. Though it's a little concerning that she's not actually diagnosed with it. No one knows what's wrong with her, not even her family. They think she was born different because of her father's chemotherapy before her conception. I don't know if that's legit, but I still think it's weird that no one bothered to find out what her condition really is. Kiara had to find out from the internet and tell her dad.

Speaking of Kiara's family, I was pretty surprised at how different they are! Definitely not your average family - they're all in a band together. Kiara's mother, father, two older brothers, and even uncles I believe. They go touring and everything, and Kiara goes along with them, recording concerts. Which is really cool! But I did find it weird that her mother speaks mostly only Spanish and barely any English, while her dad can't speak Spanish at all. Major communication issues!

Oh gosh, issues. There are so many issues in this book. Not even kidding! Really serious ones that I wasn't expecting at all, especially for a middle grade book. And that made things pretty hard to believe, because everything gets so messed up. I don't want to state them specifically, but I did mention drugs and drinking. Not together, don't worry. But it's way intense. And that's not even all there is. Which is why I think Rogue is a great book for teenage readers, like maybe fourteen or fifteen? Twelve seems too young to me, even though that's the age of the characters here.

Another cool thing about this book - the BMX riding. I've seen some do awesome tricks in a skate park, and reading about them here brought back the amazement I felt seeing that. It's a bunch of guys having fun and making videos of their stunts and wipeouts, and there's real talent everywhere. I'm a little jealous of Kiara that she got to see all of that up close! But of course, not all good things last. And things get really really bad soon in the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed Rogue in many ways, even though the intensity freaked me out a little. Integrating X-Men into Kiara's life was a great move, I think. It really did help me empathize with her and her situation.

*Thank you to Lyn Miller-Lachmann for sending an ARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Title: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)
Author: Sara Raasch

Release date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 277

Source: Edelweiss

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Snow Like Ashes is a great example of the awesome fantasy novels that are slowly taking over the YA fiction community. I loved the premise and the characters, and most importantly the writing. Sara Raasch has totally pulled me into her beautiful yet dangerous world, and I'm excited to see more from her.

Meira and seven others are the only Winterians who escaped sixteen years ago when Winter was invaded and defeated by Spring forces. Meira was just a baby then, and doesn't feel a true connection to Winter. But she strives to do whatever it takes to help Winter get back on its feet, and then she can finally have some Winter memories of her own. Magic in the kingdoms comes from objects known as conduits, and Winter's conduit is a locket. Meira decides to go retrieve the locket herself, which sparks the danger and action that begins soon after.

The basic concept is there are eight kingdoms in the land - four Season kingdoms and four Rhythm kingdoms. Each have a ruler. There are four male ones, and four females. The magic they have can only be passed down to rulers of the same gender. So basically the kingdoms with original female rulers should only have queens, as they are the only ones that can possess and control the magic. Each kingdom uses the magic as seen fit for their people. I think the concept is really cool, and I'm intrigued to know more about where the magic comes from and how the people came to possess it.

Our protagonist, Meira, is like the epitome of kickass YA heroines. I loved her! She's tough yet really compassionate, and so incredibly driven. I was also really amused by how awkward she can be. Though hardened by the life she leads, Meira is far from cold or aloof. In fact, all she's ever wanted (apart from saving Winter) is to be acknowledged and appreciated by Sir, the man who brought her up like a father.

I liked that there wasn't too much romance in this book. The focus is kept on Meira's character development and her search for her identity. I wasn't fond of the love triangle that emerged soon in the novel, but I'm glad it's kind of resolved by the end. At least, I think so. Mather and Theron are both great guys. Both are similar in the way that they have a lot of responsibilities, but their characters are pretty different. I gravitated more towards Theron - he's an artsy kind of guy, he loves paintings and poetry. And he seems really easy to be around. Mather on the other hand is the more broody type, and he kind of bugged me at times. But I still liked him regardless.

There are twists in the plot, some of which I saw coming and some that I didn't. I saw a big one coming quite early on, but I brushed it off because I was too caught up in what was going on. I was glad to see I was right! Anyway, I think the way everything is carried out in this book is perfect - smooth pace, no dullness, lots of action and tension.

All in all, this was an awesome read. I'm glad there was no cliffhanger at the end - in fact, it ended pretty well. If some little things had been changed, this might've even worked well as a standalone. There are so many great elements in this book. I hope a lot of them are explored more in the next one! Filled with ferocity, fighting and fear, Snow Like Ashes will keep you on the edge of your seat, compelled by the magic of the world within it.

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

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Release Day Blitz: Flawed by J.L. Spelbring

Happy release day to Flawed (Perfection #2) by J.L. Spelbring! Check out the book below and enter the giveaway :D

In a world where Hitler won the The War, and perfection is constantly sought, Ellyssa has broken free from her austere life and has found another meaning for her existence. 

Family, friendship, and love. 

But her happiness is short lived. Ellyssa finds herself on the run, again. Her father's work didn't die with him, but lives on in her siblings, Aalexis and Xaver, and they are determined to complete his unfinished dream.

Release date: August 12th 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Kobo | iBooks

About the author:

J.L. Spelbring lives in Texas, where she wanders out in the middle of the night to look at the big and bright stars. Besides knocking imaginary bad guys in the head with a keyboard, she enjoys being swept away between the pages of a book, running amuck inside in her own head, pretending she is into running, and hanging out with her kids, who are way too cool for her.

Her novel, Perfection, released in July 2013 and the sequel, Flawed, releases August 2014.

Find J.L. on:

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Monday, 11 August 2014

Review: Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Title: Messenger of Fear (Messenger of Fear #1)
Author: Michael Grant

Release date: September 23rd 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 146

Source: Edelweiss

Michael Grant, author of the New York Times bestselling Gone series, has created a powerful and brilliant narrative that examines the nature of good and evil in every human.

Mara wakes in a field of dead grass, a heavy mist pressing down on her. She is terrified, afraid that she is dead. Then a beautiful young man dressed in black appears. He calls himself Messenger of Fear.

This boy is able to move effortlessly through space and time. He also sees the darkness in human hearts. He sees the evils done: the destructive lies, the cruelty, the bullying, the violence. And if the world does not bring justice to those who do evil, he will. He offers the wicked a game. If they win, they go free. If they lose, they will live their greatest fear. Either way, their sanity will be challenged.

It is a world of fair but harsh justice. Of retribution and redemption. And mystery. Why was Mara chosen to be the Messenger’s apprentice? What has she done to deserve this terrible fate? She won’t find out until three of the wicked receive justice. And when she does, she will be shattered.

Messenger of Fear is a really vague book. That's the best word I can use to describe it. The premise is original - I've never read anything like it before. But we also don't get many answers. I adored Grant's Gone series, and the writing in this book is just as good. But I'll need the next book before I can figure out what exactly I think of this series.

Our protagonist, Mara, wakes up in a place she's never been before, with no idea of her past or her own identity, except for her name. The Messenger appears to her, which should probably calm her a little, except he's even more mysterious than her surroundings. Soon Mara is told that he is the Messenger of Fear, and deals out justice to wrongdoers. Mara is his apprentice, although she has no memories and so cannot remember why she agreed to such a thing. Mara accompanies the Messenger as he goes about his job, discovering more and more about her new world. And simultaneously fearing it even more.

We really don't get to know much in this book. And it's a lot shorter than most novels, so it was basically an introduction into the world. I can't even decide whether I like Mara or not, because I don't know her well enough. She's really compassionate though, and sensible. We know a little more about what the Messenger is like, because of Mara's curiosity. He, too, was given the job of Messenger as a sort of punishment. Though he's just as compassionate as Mara, and really kind, he has to push all the emotion away to focus on his job. I really hope we find out more about who he is in the next book! But from what I've seen, I like this guy.

There are a few pretty violent scenes that I don't normally see in YA, and those were a bit hard to read but it's not too bad. This book definitely has a lot of darkness in it, though, so be prepared for that. No rainbows or butterflies here. I liked seeing a side of human nature that we don't normally see - the damaged and bad ones but not truly evil, as well as the ones with no compassion at all.

There's a twist towards the end that was actually pretty obvious earlier on, so I was disappointed by the predictability. Hopefully the next book stays away from that kind of mystery, because I'd like to know more about the characters. Not just Mara and the Messenger, but Daniel, who's kind of like their boss. As well as Oriax, a girl who works for another side. We don't even know what exactly that side is! So yeah, I want answers.

It's definitely intriguing, the plot. We have no idea about this world so experiencing it along with Mara is pretty cool. I'd have liked it to be longer, with at least some more background knowledge, and also some more about the Messenger. But I guess that's all being left to future books. Either way, this was a cool read, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

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

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, 9 August 2014

In My Mailbox #35

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

Some lovely titles this week! *Sigh* I love books.

For Review

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes*
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard*
A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas*
Make it Right by Megan Erickson*
Perfection by J.L. Spelbring^
Day 21 by Kass Morgan^

*ARCs from Edelweiss (thanks HarperCollins!)
^ARCs from NetGalley (thanks Spencer Hill and FSB!)

Those three up there are all 2015 releases that I'm very excited about. So glad Harper put those up this early! I can't wait to dig into them, especially A Wicked Thing - that sounds amaaaazing. I read Make it Right a little while ago, it was a cute read :) Excited for the next one. And Perfection I was honestly surprised to see pop up on NetGalley since it released last year, but I still want to read it, so what the hell (Y) Also, I just got approved for Day 21, and I'm so so excited! This is the sequel to The 100, and I'm very curious to see what happens next.


Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Divided by Elsie Chapman

Aren't those covers just beautiful? I read both of these, and really liked them. Especially the second one. I don't know if there will be another book, but there's definitely the possibility of it and I'm hoping for one, because this dystopian world is really fascinating.


The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Elite by Kiera Cass

Got these from a friend and fellow book blogger - thanks for the awesome birthday gift, Rabiah ❤ I've been wanting to read this series for a while, and now that it's ended I can binge-read them anytime!

I'm really happy with all of these. And really excited for the ARCs I haven't read yet! What did you guys get in your mailbox this week? :)

Friday, 8 August 2014

Review: Stay with Me by J. Lynn

Title: Stay with Me (Wait for You #3)
Author: J. Lynn

Release date: September 23rd 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Pages: 350

Source: Edelweiss

At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she'd left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

Stay with Me is yet another amazing installment in the Wait for You series. This book follows Calla, Teresa's friend from college. And the different thing in this book is that it isn't actually set in that college - it takes place over the summer, in Calla's hometown. Though it took me a little while to get into this and enjoy it, I ended up loving it just as much as the previous books.

Calla carries a lot of secrets with her, a lot of pain too. Most of it isn't detectable, except for the scar going across her left cheek, which has always made her feel self-conscious. Calla hides her real life from her friends and tries to pretend she's normal, but when she finds out her druggie mom has stolen all of her college bank balance, she needs to go back and find her. And what Calla finds when she goes back is pain, danger, and Jax.

At first, I couldn't bring myself to really like either Calla or Jax. Sure, I sympathized with Calla, but I hated it when she never stood up for herself, always needing Jax to speak up for her. And Jax initially struck me as shallow - especially when he kept going on about the fact that he only kisses hot and beautiful girls, saying nothing about personality or anything else. Also, he constantly calls Calla 'honey', which kind of got on my nerves.

But later on, as the novel progressed, Calla grows a pair. She becomes bolder, and definitely more strong-willed. Calla's been through a lot, and seeing this development in her was amazing. Jax steps up too - he shows us just how much he cares about Calla, and I found myself loving him by the end. He's a nice guy, and yeah he's got his own secrets but his primary focus is always Calla.

I liked the danger aspect in this book - it's a lot more than in the previous ones, what with all the drug dealers and guns and knives, etc. Some parts really made my heart race. Calla gets into a lot of trouble, way more than a smart girl should, but I still really liked her. And we get some surprise appearances! Avery, Cam, Teresa and Jase all show up to check on Calla, and they do help her out. I loved seeing them again. We also get to see Ollie and Brit in the beginning. But that's not the surprise. No, the surprise was seeing other J. Lynn characters pop up in this book for a minute or so! I won't say who, but it was really cool.

So overall I really loved Stay with Me. Especially Jax, he was incredible. I have no doubt all JLA fans will enjoy this as much as I did. And I'm so eager for the next book now! This has got to be my favourite NA series so far. JLA has done it again!

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

Rating: 4.5/5

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #78: The Fine Art of Pretending

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...

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

Title: The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending #1)
Author: Rachel Harris

Release date: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

Though I tend to stay away from most contemporaries, I love books with a premise like this. Plus, it's Rachel Harris! So I'm definitely excited. This sounds like a really cute read and I need books like that sometimes. Here's hoping this is a great one!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Release Day Launch: Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opposition RDL Banner

We are ridiculously excited to bring you the release day launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout's OPPOSITION! OPPOSITION is a young adult paranormal romance being published by Entangled Teen and the fifth book in her LUX series.

Opposition Cover

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound | Others via Entangled

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.



I still stared at Daemon, completely aware that everyone else except him was watching me. Closely. But why wouldn’t he look at me? A razor-sharp panic clawed at my insides. No. This couldn’t be happening. No way.
 My body was moving before I even knew what I was doing.

From the corner of my eye, I saw Dee shake her head and one of the Luxen males step forward, but I was propelled by an inherent need to prove that my worst fears were not coming true.

After all, he’d healed me, but then I thought of what Dee had said, of how Dee had behaved with me. What if Daemon was like her? Turned into something so foreign and cold? He would’ve healed me just to make sure he was okay.

I still didn’t stop.
 Please, I thought over and over again. Please. Please. Please. On shaky legs, I crossed the long room, and even though Daemon hadn’t seemed to even acknowledge my existence, I walked right up to him, my hands trembling as I placed them on his chest.

“Daemon?” I whispered, voice thick.

His head whipped around, and he was suddenly staring down at me. Our gazes collided once more, and for a second I saw something so raw, so painful in those beautiful eyes. And then his large hands wrapped around my upper arms. The contact seared through the shirt I wore, branding my skin, and I thought—I expected—that he would pull me against him, that he would embrace me, and even though nothing would be all right, it would be better.

Daemon’s hands spasmed around my arms, and I sucked in an unsteady breath.

His eyes flashed an intense green as he physically lifted me away from him, setting me back down a good foot back.

I stared at him, something deep in my chest cracking. “Daemon?”

He said nothing as he let go, one finger at a time, it seemed, and his hands slid off my arms. He stepped back, returning his attention to the man behind the desk.

“So . . . awkward,” murmured the redhead, smirking.

I was rooted to the spot in which I stood, the sting of rejection burning through my skin, shredding my insides like I was nothing more than papier-mâché.

“I think someone was expecting more of a reunion,” the Luxen male behind the desk said, his voice ringing with amusement. “What do you think, Daemon?”

One shoulder rose in a negligent shrug. “I don’t think anything.”

My mouth opened, but there were no words. His voice, his tone, wasn’t like his sister’s, but like it had been when we first met. He used to speak to me with barely leashed annoyance, where a thin veil of tolerance dripped from every word.The rift in my chest deepened.
For the hundredth time since the Luxen arrived, SergeantDasher’s warning came back to me. What side would Daemon and his family stand on? A shudder worked its way down my spine. I wrapped my arms around myself, unable to truly process what had just happened.

“And you?” the man asked. When no one answered, he tried again. “Katy?”

I was forced to look at him, and I wanted to shrink back from his stare. “What?” I was beyond caring that my voice broke on that one word.

The man smiled as he walked around the desk. My gaze flickered over to Daemon as he shifted, drawing the attention of the beautiful redhead. “Were you expecting a more personal greeting?” he asked. “Perhaps something more intimate?”

I had no idea how to answer. I felt like I’d fallen into the rabbit hole, and warnings were firing off left and right. Something primal inside me recognized that I was surrounded by predators.


Don't miss the books that started it all!

LUX Special edition cover



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:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 


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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Title: Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1)
Author: Heather Demetrios

Release date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 334

Source: Edelweiss

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

I can't believe I almost just scrolled past this book. Thank god I didn't! Exquisite Captive is such a compelling book, with an awesome protagonist. I really love that it's inspired by Arabian Nights. There really should be more books like this in YA. Not just because it's diverse, but because it's refreshingly different.

Nalia is the last jinni left of her caste - the most powerful of all the castes. She survived the coup, but ended up on the dark caravan and sold to a human, who's been her master for many years. Malek has always been cruel to her, but his recent shows of kindness confuse Nalia. She knows she has to be free of him, though. And that's where Raif comes in. He's a jinni too, but part of a caste that hates Nalia's. He's also the leader of the revolution in Arjinna - the one against the two most powerful castes. Well, one now, since the most powerful has been destroyed. Raif decides to help Nalia escape her shackles, but in exchange for the one secret Nalia can never give up. She has a choice to make, but will she make the right one?

I loved reading about the different jinni castes and how everything works. The dark caravan is atrocious, yes, but interesting too. I can't wait to find out more about it. I really really liked Nalia as a protagonist. It was a little clichéd that she's the only one left of her caste after the coup, but you can't help sympathizing with her plight as a shackled jinni as well as the fact that she has to constantly hide who she truly is. Oh, not to mention the fact that she needs to basically seduce her cruel master to get her bottle from him so she can finally be free.

For those of you thinking there's a love triangle in this book, let me clarify it for you - there really isn't. Yes, both guys are interested in Nalia. But she only reciprocates the feelings for one of them. As for my opinion on the two... I really liked Raif. And pretty much hated Malek. Honestly, I don't know how anyone would like Malek. He's horrible to Nalia, and treats her like crap. He's tortured her numerous times. There's a sort-of justification later, but really nothing can justify whatever he's done.

On the other hand, Raif was all kinds of awesome. He's a little annoying at first, but as we get to know him and the situation he's in, he's a lot more likeable. It's also amusing how hard he tried to deny his feelings for Nalia. Doesn't work, though! Raif has a lot of responsibility, and he'll do anything to get justice for his caste and make sure they're free of jinni overlords. But Nalia's in the picture now, and that complicates things.

There's also a lot of danger infused throughout the book, because there's a killer after Nalia. And he'll murder anyone in his way to get to her. She needs to be even more careful than before, and all of this just makes things harder for her to do her job and get the bottle from Malek. The climax towards the end is awesome and really intense. And of course there's a bit of a cliffhanger but it's not too bad and I'm now already hooked on this series.

This is one of the 2014 YA books I think everyone should read! If you're sick of the same old thing repeating itself, you will love this change. And even if you're not into fantasy, Exquisite Captive might just end up changing your mind.

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

Rating: 4/5