Friday, 31 January 2014

Excerpt Blast: The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

We are thrilled to share an excerpt for Heather Lyons' THE DEEP END OF THE SEA! THE DEEP END OF THE SEA is a New Adult Fantasy set for release February 13, 2014 and definitely one you need to add to your TBR pile!


What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.

Release date: February 13th 2014
Publisher: Cerulean Books


I let it happen again.

The temple settles into that stagnant silence I’ve long learned to loathe, and these are the most cohesive series of words I can string together for many long, desolate minutes.
I let it happen again. Resolutions apparently mean nothing, even if crafted under the best of intentions. Had I not, just this very morning, recited a daily pledge held dear to my heart: I shall not let myself be used for death?

And yet, a man is dead, and I was the weapon that slayed him.

I move closer to where he now stands, forever frozen in terror, and press my shaking hand against his outstretched stone one. “I’m sorry,” I whisper, though he cannot and never will be able to hear my words. “So, so sorry.”

His eyes, wide and mercifully detail free, offer me nothing in return. Once I commit his features to memory, I construct a life history with a name worthy of his sacrifice. Walt was single (I can’t bear the thought of spouses and children, thus my collection of singletons) and a bit of a daredevil when he wasn’t volunteering to teach literacy to adults in poverty stricken urban areas. He’d gone spelunking at least a half-dozen times, sky diving twice, and bungee cord diving off some crazy bridge in Colorado just once, on his thirtieth birthday. Walt liked to write poetry; how could he not, when his now-deceased parents had named him after one of the greats?

Walt liked to talk about poetry, too, which means he needs to be with others like him. I strip off my flannel work shirt, down to a tank top, and get to work. Shoving stones around when half of one’s body is reptilian isn’t the easiest of tasks, requiring a great deal of precision and care.

As I always tend to do when placing a new statue, I can’t help but flash back to the one and only time I’d broken one of my victims. I’d been tired—he’d snuck upon me when I’d been sleeping—and an overestimated shove sent poor Nikolaos face first against the temple floor. I’d spent most of that night collecting the pieces which once made a whole man, blubbering in misery. As penance, his head, missing an ear and part of his nose, still sits on a shelf in my bedroom.
Treat us gently, I like to imagine him telling me nightly before I sleep. We deserve your care.

I have not failed Nikolaos since. Over the ages, I’ve developed a routine to transfer the statues around the island that includes wrapping the bodies in a thick quilt before putting them up on casters. It takes a painstaking amount of time to shift them short or long distances, but each person deserves nothing less from me.

Walt’s group sits just outside the temple. They are the philosophers of our island; it only seems natural they would find much to appreciate in both the sun and the stars. I struggle with his body over the stairs—they are tricky to maneuver for me even without hauling a two hundred pound statue—but eventually, I get him exactly where he’ll fit in best.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Walt,” I tell the still faces forming a cluster near a non-functioning fountain. “His poetry is as beautiful as his namesake’s.”

I angle Walt so his eyes face theirs. It’s late afternoon, and there is soft orange light filtering down upon their features. It’s a beautiful sight, which only saddens me, because all of that talk about death and beauty being intertwined is one of the biggest loads of crap I’ve ever heard. Death isn’t beautiful. Too often than not, it’s messy and brutal; even when done in sleep, there’s still that theft of breath, that failure of a heart. Death is an act of violence.

I should know. I am one of the most prolific murderers in history. And I think about death constantly.

I often wonder what my own death will be like, if I am ever blessed to embrace it. I’m not too picky in my imaginings; I’ll take any sort by this point. Logically, I’d prefer a less painful exit, but, knowing my luck, it’ll be as ruthless as once reported and still widely believed.

It ought to be noted I have some of the most wretched luck to ever be doled out, so there is that.

The sound of waves crashing against the shore sends my eyes to the horizon. I’ve tried to drown myself in those waters more times than I ought to admit over the years, but the sea always spits me back out. I’ve also tried overdosing on pharmaceuticals, stabbing myself in the chest and eyes (which was just as painful as you’d imagine), and throwing myself off a cliff. Melodramatic, yes, and all ineffective for an immortal cursed with impenetrable skin and a digestive system apparently filled with acid.

Death is not my friend. At least, not yet.

Awesome excerpt, right? I really loved this book and I can't wait for everyone else to read it when it comes out! It's an awesome Greek mythology retelling.

About the author:

Author PhotoHeather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

Find Heather on:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Review: Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout

Title: Such Sweet Sorrow
Author: Jenny Trout
Release date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher

Never was there a tale of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo…But true love never dies. Though they’re parted by the veil between the world of mortals and the land of the dead, Romeo believes he can restore Juliet to life, but he’ll have to travel to the underworld with a thoroughly infuriating guide.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, may not have inherited his father’s crown, but the murdered king left his son a much more important responsibility—a portal to the Afterjord, where the souls of the dead reside. When the determined Romeo asks for help traversing the treacherous Afterjord, Hamlet sees an opportunity for adventure, and the chance to avenge his father’s death.

In an underworld filled with leviathan monsters, ghoulish shades, fire giants and fierce Valkyrie warriors, Hamlet and Romeo must battle their way through jealousy, despair, and their darkest fears to rescue the fair damsel. Yet finding Juliet is only the beginning, and the Afterjord doesn’t surrender souls without a price…

This is definitely different from any paranormal I've read before! Jenny Trout infuses Shakespeare, Greek and Norse mythology, and some awesome creatures in this action-packed debut. I was surprised when the mythology was added in, and I think that was a nice touch to the feel of the book. It certainly made things more interesting. In addition to the lovely alliteration in the title of the novel, Such Sweet Sorrow has an equally lovely storyline, one that I enjoyed being a part of for a while.

I've read slightly modern and abridged versions of both Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, but that was years ago so I can barely remember the plays. I did recognize all the characters mentioned, though, and who they were. I think that's a good thing to know before reading this novel, since these two plays are referenced quite a bit. They have to be, since Such Sweet Sorrow shares its main characters with some of Shakespeare's. I found it really cool to see a different version of these characters, and I liked that Trout still maintained their core personalities. At least, from what I can remember of the original ones.

This novel starts off with Romeo still distraught from Juliet's death and resorting to asking a witch for help. She leads him and the Friar to Hamlet's castle, where Romeo and Hamlet find out that they can help each other. They end up going to the Afterjord to save Juliet and bring her back. Well, Romeo does. Hamlet just ends up going because Romeo pulls him in. But he proves to be indispensable to the star-crossed lovers. The three of them face incredibly dangerous obstacles and cruel tricks during their fight to get back home. But will Juliet still be the same? And can Romeo and Hamlet really trust each other? Everything is put to the test in the Afterjord.

I adored the writing in this book. I was a little concerned about it before reading, but it flows so smoothly and it's the perfect blend of Shakespearean and modern English. However, I'm not a fan of third person and in this case I think it made me feel disconnected from the characters. It's great getting all three perspectives, but sometimes it got a little jumbled up, and you'd never know when you'd get whose point of view.

I did like the characters though, and I think they were created really well. Juliet is really badass, and I loved her sarcastic quips. She's tough and strong, and it's obvious how much she loves Romeo. And how much he loves her. I mean, he did go into practically hell to get her back. He was a little hard to like at first but he grew on me over the course of the novel.

But my favourite character out of the three has to be Hamlet. He's a bit prickly and doesn't let people in, but his aloofness is just a front. He really begins to care about Romeo and Juliet both, and they're probably the first people he's ever cared for. Apart from his dad and Horatio, of course. Hamlet tells it like it is, he doesn't sugarcoat anything. And he's pretty damn hilarious. The relationship I liked most in this book is the growing friendship between Hamlet and Romeo, because even though they got off on the wrong foot and it takes quite a while for them to warm to each other, they're really close in the end. Like they've known each other forever.

There's a lot of action scenes throughout the book, since the trio has to face innumerable obstacles and fight an insane amount of creatures. We get to see Fenrir the wolf, Valkyrie, and even the Norns. There's quite a bit of Norse mythology in this story, with a few mentions of Greek. I really liked that, since I now know quite a bit of the Norse gods from other books I've read.

The beginning quarter was a bit slow for me, and I was impatiently waiting for something to happen. I think the point where they find Juliet is where it gets interesting. The ending wrapped up a little too fast for me, but overall I really enjoyed reading this. If you're a huge Shakespeare fan, I don't know if this is for you, since you probably wouldn't want to see the characters you love portrayed in a completely different way. But who knows, maybe you'd like that. So give this one a try. And if you aren't big on Shakespeare, you should definitely check this out, it's a great paranormal twist on the plays!

*Thank you to Heather at Entangled Publishing for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #57: What I Thought Was True

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...

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: What I Thought Was True
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release date: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Dial Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.

Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

I don't read too much YA contemporary and of the ones I have read, very few have actually stuck with me. But even though I haven't read My Life Next Door yet, I think this one sounds amazing! I really can't wait for this. Plus, isn't that cover just lovely?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Release Day Launch: Seeking Her by Cora Carmack

We are so excited to share in the Release Day Launch and giveaway for Cora Carmack's SEEKING HER! Seeking Her (Losing It #3.5) is a novella in Cora’s bestselling Losing It series, published by William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins)! Go out and grab your copy today!

Seeking Her


Jackson Hunt gets his turn in this Finding It prequel novella …

Jackson Hunt hasn't been out of the military for long, but he needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he is going to keep his demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.

Becoming bodyguard (and babysitter) to spoiled rich girl Kelsey Summers isn't exactly what he had in mind, but it's a chance to travel, to get away. The catch: Kelsey's father doesn't want her to know she's being followed.

She's vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When Jackson sees her falling into the same patterns he suffered years ago, he decides it's time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know Kelsey is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her, the more he wants her.

Release date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Check out my 5-star review of Seeking Her HERE!


I was going to have to find some way to cope with this. If not, I was better off calling Mr. Summers and suggesting he find someone else to take over his daughter-watch.

I felt a pang of something at that thought. It was a general kind of discomfort, and I wasn’t sure whether it was the thought of returning home or something else that made that thought so unappealing.

After the cooling walk earlier, and now standing under the cool, calming rush of water, it was easier to think that I could control myself, but I knew better. It always seemed easier in my head than it really was.

I wiped the water from my eyes, and tried to think of some other way to deal. There was always the hope that Kelsey would get bored. That she would mellow out. If she only partied a couple nights a week, I should be able to resist. But that seemed unlikely.

All that restless energy; the way she’d soaked up the attention from the people around her. I couldn’t see her giving that up. And it was working for her. She was still in the phase where partying made her feel good. That was the one thing that helped me stay clean. The few times I’d slipped up since I started the program had left me miserable and angry, and even more frustrated than when I started. I’d found new ways to chase the high. And maybe that wasn’t any healthier, not when one way involved being in the midst of flying bullets.

It wasn’t the same kind of rush, but it did the trick. I pictured Kelsey again, laughing with her head thrown back, her shirt falling off her shoulder and displaying the gentle curve of her neck. It reminded me of the way she’d tossed her head back that first day out in the woods.

The memory of that caused a different kind of rush in me, and I groaned, pressing my forehead into the tile. Before I could help myself, I pictured her long legs straddling that guy in the gardens. The bright green material of her bra, and the way it conformed to her perfect chest. She leaned back, her fingertips trailing from the bark of the tree to his shoulders.

In an instant, the memory shifted into fantasy, and those were my shoulders she clung to, not his.

That was my undoing. There was only so much resisting I could do in one night.

About the author:

HeadshotCora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Find Cora on:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 27 January 2014

Cover Reveal: The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

The Fine Art of Pretending is one book I'm really excited for this year, and I'm so stoked to help reveal the cover today!

This is such a sweet cover! It makes me even more excited for the book.

Check out the blurb below - 

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.

Release date: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

About the author:

Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, watching soap operas with her grandmother, and staying up  late sneak-reading her mama's romance novels. Today, she still stays up late reading romances, only now she does so openly.
A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life's problems can be solved with a hot, 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.
She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches countless hours of Food Network and reality television with her amazing husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult Fun, Flirty Escapes, and LOVES talking with readers!  

Find Rachel on:

Review: Scintillate by Tracy Clark

Title: Scintillate (The Light Key Trilogy #1)
Author: Tracy Clark
Release date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 338
Source: Publisher

A mighty flame follows a tiny spark.

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and they were living in Ireland. Since then, her dad has been more than overprotective, and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she suddenly sees around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—instead, she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.

As she realizes the danger associated with these strange auras, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves, and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—one that could change mankind forever…and end her life.

Scintillate has an intriguing and unique premise that got me interested right from the start. It's definitely like no paranormal I've read before, and I really liked that. Plus, I found the connection to Irish culture really cool, since I don't know much about it and it's obviously very rarely focused on in YA. Scintillate is filled with action and suspense, just the way I like it.

Cora lives with her dad and stepmom in California, but she's always dreamed of going to her birth country, Ireland, where her mom was from. When Finn Doyle, an Irish exchange student, starts taking an interest in her, Cora sees the opportunity to learn more about her mother and even about herself. Because Cora knows she's different - she can suddenly see auras around people. And she's being stalked by a dangerous man with a pure white aura. Cora needs answers more than ever, and she decides to take matters into her own hands and travel to the place she was born, the one place she can find what she's looking for.

I liked Cora well enough, especially her independence. Although it does get her into a lot of trouble. She didn't stand out too much to me, though. I didn't feel like there was enough depth to her character, so hopefully it'll be explored more in the next book. I really didn't like Cora's dad. He's controlling and oppressive, under the guise of being protective. No wonder Cora left! I probably would have done the same after being lied to straight to my face so many times.

Cora's best friends were a nice addition to the book. One is her cousin Mari, who knows way more about fashion than Cora ever will. The other is a guy called Dun (funny name!). He's downright hilarious. We don't get to see too much of them since Cora runs off to Ireland soon, but I hope for more in the sequel. Especially since Cora detects a certain something between the two!

Speaking of a certain something, let's come to Finn. He's quite charming and really nice, nothing like what Cora thought he was in the beginning. And he's Irish, so he talks funny - which I found pretty amusing. And his singing and guitar playing? It blows everyone away! The guy has a serious talent for music. But he's keeping a secret, and Cora knows it but she has no idea how it could shatter everything she knows about Finn.

I kind of have mixed feelings about the romance. It's definitely insta-love, but it wasn't too annoying since there's a reason behind it, and behind the strong connection they feel to each other. Their feelings get a little too intense at times, especially Finn's, and that wasn't too appealing for me. Again, there's a reason, but I still felt iffy about it. Also, the feelings develop way too soon. The romance lacks build-up, and it disappointed me because that's usually my favourite part of a romance. We can see the beginnings of a possible love triangle here between Cora, Finn, and the guy Cora meets in Ireland - Giovanni, an Italian who's just like her. In the sense that he can see people's auras too, and his own is silver, like Cora's. I loved Giovanni, but I'm not a fan of love triangles, so that aspect of it wasn't too great.

I love the part in these books where we finally get to find out everything! And Scintillate's revealing moments are certainly captivating. The action scenes are great too, and I loved that I could see everything vividly happening in front of me. I haven't read a book that did that for quite a while, so I'm glad for it. There are a lot of shockers, like a good action-packed paranormal usually has, and those were done perfectly. Most of them you'll never see coming.

Despite the insta-love and overload of intensity in the romance, I enjoyed this book on the whole. My favourite parts were the ones without Finn present, so I guess that sums up my feelings about the two of them together. Though they have this undeniable connection, I think Giovanni would be a better guy for Cora to be with. And not just for the obvious reasons you'll find out later in the novel. He really gets her, even though they barely know each other. And his concern for her is really sweet. I did love the twists and turns in this book, and the writing completely drew me in. Tracy Clark's debut is definitely worth checking out.

*Thank you to Jaime at Entangled Publishing for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Review: Trouble Comes Knocking by Mary Duncanson

Title: Trouble Comes Knocking (Trouble #1)
Author: Mary Duncanson
Release date: November 11th 2013
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Genre: New Adult Thriller/ Romance
Format: eARC
Pages: 233
Source: Inkslinger PR

It’s hard not to answer when trouble comes knocking.

A girl who can’t forget…

Twenty-two-year-old Lucy Carver is like Sherlock Holmes in ballet flats, but her eidetic memory is more albatross than asset, and something she usually keeps hidden. When she notices that something’s amiss at her dead-end job, she jumps at the chance to finally use her ability for good. That is, until, a man is murdered, and she becomes the target of the killer.

A detective on his first case…

Detective Eli Reyes is overbearing, pompous, way too hot for Lucy’s own good, and seems as determined to ruin her relationship with her boyfriend, John, as finding the murderer. He brings Lucy in on the case, thinking she can help him get to the truth, only to cut her loose when he realizes he’s gotten far more than he ever bargained for.

A past that won’t go away…

When memories from her childhood invade her present, Lucy discovers a mystery bigger than she could have imagined. With the killer still after her, and Eli nowhere to be found, she takes things into her own hands, determined to expose the truth no matter what—before trouble comes knocking…again.

Trouble Comes Knocking sounded like an awesome crime thriller, and I really wanted to like it. I mean, a kick-ass protagonist with an eidetic memory, solving crimes like Sherlock Holmes? It's right up my alley! But I was sadly disappointed, and I apologize in advance if I rant a little in my review.

Lucy Carver has an eidetic memory, but she keeps it hidden. She also keeps hidden the fact that she notices a lot more than most people do, and others assume she's psychic or something. When she finds something wrong with the accounting at her new workplace and a coworker is murdered, Lucy knows she has to help. She accepts a consultant job with Detective Eli Reyes, but as she uncovers secrets, she discovers that this series of events has a close relation to her childhood and who she really is.

Throughout most of the book, I really did not like Lucy. She was nothing like what a woman her age and with her abilities should be. Sure, it was cool that she could tell a lot about people's lives just by looking at them - which reminded me a lot of the TV show Sherlock. But honestly, her constant drooling over her boyfriend John and her partner Eli Reyes really annoyed me.

I found the insta-love (or insta-lust) kind of pathetic. Example 1 - 
I would spend a lifetime trying to shake that laugh out of him as many times as possible. 
This is Lucy talking about John, on page freaking thirteen. She barely knows the guy! Oh, and then if that's not bad enough, after drooling over John for a week or so and almost having sex with him, she’s drooling over Eli, too, just the day after the almost-sex with John. Example 2 - 

I motioned for him to continue to the kitchen, and as I walked behind him, I openly ogled the tight muscles flexing in his blue jeans.

Really, Lucy? Oh, and I have more. Lucy is a 22-year-old woman, and she sounds like a freaking tween girl half the time. Examples 3 and 4 - 

Oh my God, John is holding my hand! Brain to mouth, use your words, use your words!
He pointed out the different trees and plants, and I spent the entire time staring at him like a puppy just saved from the pound. I didn’t know guys like him existed.

It's kind of obvious from all of this that I couldn't like Lucy at all. I was hoping this book would have more action, looking at the synopsis, but Lucy spends half the time going between John and Eli even though John is her boyfriend, and the other half sitting around calling in sick to work. She doesn't really do much at all, even with the gift she has. That brings me to another point - she calls it her special ability. This isn't a paranormal! Having an eidetic memory is rare, but it's normal. And noticing small things isn't something that puts you on a supernatural level, either. Lucy also jumps to conclusions quite a lot, which really got on my nerves. It's like she does have the brain of a young teenage girl.

I did like John and Eli, though. The characters aren't very well-developed so we don't get to know much of them, and I couldn't relate to them, but they seem like decent guys. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses, and it's cool to see how different they are, both appearance-wise and personality-wise.

Most of the novel is very romance-focused, with Lucy cozying up to one guy and then the other. The book does pick up later, though, and the last quarter was really interesting. But in my opinion, that's a little too late for a book to capture your attention.

What I did like was the present-time interrogation at the beginning of each chapter. It's exactly like the style of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, and it worked really well in that book too. Also, the ending of this book does make me interested in the next one. I don't know if I'll be picking up the next installment, though. Not if the first three quarters are anything like this book's. I've never written a 1-star review on the blog before, but there's a first time for everything, right? And I really was disappointed with this.

*Thank you to Inkslinger PR for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 1/5

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Title: Uninvited (Uninvited #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Release date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: eARC
Pages: 241
Source: Edelweiss

The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

Wow. That was my primary reaction after reading this one - Uninvited completely blew me away! Before reading, I thought it sounded pretty intriguing with the HTS concept, but I had no idea how much I'd love the heart-pounding action and the incredibly real characters.

Davy is a music prodigy, and her dream is to attend Juilliard after graduating high school. She get accepted, too. But her whole life gets taken away from her when she's tested positive for HTS. Basically, she has the kill gene. And pretty much everyone has begun treating her differently. She's uninvited from her high school (they don't expel, they uninvite. I found that quite amusing), and has to attend the local public school with five other HTS carriers. Davy hates what's happening to her life, but she's powerless to stop it, especially when the government decides to send all HTS carriers to detention camps. Luckily, Davy is sent to a training camp instead along with other gifted students, but she starts to wonder whether that was the better option after all.

Davy actually reminds me of Tris from Divergent. She's not physically imposing or anything, but she trains as hard as she can so she doesn't have to depend on Sean to keep looking out for her. She's driven and very talented, and definitely different from the majority of the carriers. It's obvious that she'd never intentionally harm anyone, and it was sad to see how people treat her after she's identified as having the kill gene.

I really loved Sean too. While Davy reminds me of Tris, Sean kind of reminds me of Four - intimidating yet kind and really protective. Sean's always got Davy's back, right from the start. It's actually weird how many times he shows up when Davy's in trouble. Though Davy was initially afraid of him, she realizes that he's a good guy and has a compulsion to help others. I love guys like Sean, the ones that seem kinda broody and aloof at the start but you get to see a different side of them later. Sean would do anything for Davy, and vice versa. The progression of their relationship was really nice to watch.

There are quite a few secondary characters that play a big role, too. I really liked Davy's brother, Mitchell. He's the only one in Davy's old life who treats her exactly the same. He cares about her so much, and his anguish at her situation is heartbreaking. I'd love to have an older brother like Mitchell! I have to say that Davy's ex-best friend, Tori, is a total bitch. Her actions actually seemed unrealistic to me. When she finds out about Davy's HTS, she completely ditches her, and even tells on her to the authorities. I really don't get it. Davy's ex-boyfriend, Zac, was easier to like, but he succumbs to peer pressure in the end and I ended up hating him too.

That's one thing that really interested me throughout the novel - people's reactions to the carriers. It's like they're already killers or something, the way citizens talk about them. The paranoid nature of the people around are natural in a way, I guess, but I know that I would never be like them. They don't give anyone a chance to prove themselves, and it's because of their hostile nature towards the carriers that they even attempt violence. Why try to be different when everyone firmly believes you're a killer anyway, right?

Also, reading this book reminded me of how it sucks being a girl, you know? There are gender issues in here too, where girls are always inferior and weaker. Davy gets into a lot of bad situations, and every single time Sean has to save her by beating up the guys who attack her. I'd totally be as frustrated as Davy, too! It must suck always having to be rescued or only feeling safe when one guy is around.

Uninvited is the kind of book that really makes you think, makes you contemplate about humans in general and the way they behave. And you'd also unconsciously wonder what would happen if you were in Davy's situation. How would people around you treat you once they know? It's been ages since I read a book that made me really wonder about things, so of course I adored this one.

Needless to say, this will be one of my favourite 2014 novels and I'm very impatient for the next one. I'm glad this is a duology, so I don't have to wait too long for the conclusion of the series. Uninvited is a book you definitely don't want to miss! I feel like I'm saying that for pretty much every book I read, but I really mean it. This was mind-blowing and so incredible.

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

Rating: 5/5

Friday, 24 January 2014

Review: Be with Me by J. Lynn

Title: Be with Me (Wait for You #2)
Author: J. Lynn
Release date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Pages: 299
Source: Edelweiss

Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…

I've been waiting for Jase and Teresa's story ever since I read and fell in love with Wait for You. So when I got the opportunity to read and review Be with Me, of course I devoured it all in one day! How could I not, when the story was so intense and the characters so compelling. I have to say I liked this one even more than Wait for You. And if this series just keeps getting better, I can't wait to see what J. Lynn has in store for us in Stay with Me!

We first met Jase and Teresa in Wait for You, where we found out that Teresa is a dancer but tore her ACL recently, and her future is balancing on a fence. We also knew that Jase has some well-kept and huge secrets, which we find out in this book. After sharing a kiss about a year ago, Teresa and Jase haven't talked much at all. Until they share another moment, and the two of them are flung together in a college class, among other situations. But Jase knows that he needs to stay away from Cam's little sister, even though all Teresa wants is to be with him. Be with Me follows this couple as they go through and overcome the biggest obstacles they'll ever face.

I loved getting to know Teresa. She's headstrong, passionate and stubborn, and very different from who she was a few years ago. It's tough for her to be going to college to get a teaching degree, because it's her Plan B after she tore her ACL and her dancing career is hanging on the balance. On top of that, her roommate is displaying some really familiar signs and Teresa's torn about what to do. I felt so sorry for her on account of her dancing, because it's really obvious how much she loves it.

Ah, Jase. He's even more amazing than what we saw in Wait for You. I mostly loved how he is with Jack, his little brother. He loves that kid so much. And he cares for Teresa a lot too. Jase is pretty hot and cold most of the time, and that got on my nerves a little, but I can't help loving that guy. He's also really enigmatic, until he reveals his secret to Teresa. That point totally shocked me! So of course I can't say anything about it. But it's huge, trust me.

We get to see loads more of Cam and Avery in this book! Since they all go to the same college, Teresa included, we get to meet them again, as well as Brit, Jacob and Ollie. Cam and Avery are as attached as always, and there's a little surprise there as well. I also found it sweet how protective Cam is of Teresa. Sure, I can see how it would be annoying to her, but I think it's great that she has a brother who always looks out for her.

I'm sure we all remember Cam's cookies from Wait for You. Well, get ready for Jase's cupcakes! Yeah, they're pretty amazing. And so is he, of course. Every time a pink box was mentioned, my heart would do a little flip. But along with the sweet and light-hearted stuff, there are some dark aspects in this novel. History seems to be repeating itself in a way, and there's a lot of tension, a lot of danger. I quite liked it, and I think the balance was managed really well.

There's some clichéd dialogue and scenes that I think the novel would be better without, but I overlooked that because of the pure awesomeness of the rest of the book. Be with Me is my favourite of the series so far, and I'm already dying here for the next installment. Jase and Teresa are definitely my new favourite NA couple!

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

Rating: 4.5/5

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Chapter Reveal: Be with Me by J. Lynn

We are thrilled to get to share with you the first 5 chapters from BE WITH ME! This is the next book in the Wait for You series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, writing as J. Lynn, and is being published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. These 5 chapters should get you ready because BE WITH ME releases on February 4th! Check out all of the information we have for you below, read the first 5 chapters, and then go pre-order your copy ASAP!

* Amazon * Barnes and Noble *

BE WITH ME Synopsis:

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wait for You.

Do Teresa and Jase have a real shot at getting together or will life get in the way?

Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…

Release date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: William Morrow

About the author:

# 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