Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sassy Girl Swoony God Tourney Challenge #2: Emily

So if you didn't already know from our raving reviews that Jenn and I adore Tellulah Darling and her novels, then let me tell you: Jenn and I love Tellulah Darling and her novels. Her third novel, My Date From Hell will be released next month and to help her promote the book, Jenn and I have joined Tellulah and a bunch of bloggers in the Sassy Girl Swoony God Tourney. You can get more information on this tournament and see the other participating blogs HERE.

Challenge #1: Create a playlist from Sophie to Kai.



My playlist:

Turning Tables by Adele
The Wind Blows by The All-American Rejects
Warm Me Up by The Audition
Let's Get Lost by Beck & Bat for Lashes
The Mixed Tape by Jack's Mannequin
Disintegration by Jimmy Eat World 
Trouble Sleeping by the Perishers
Was It A Dream? by 30 Seconds to Mars

Have you read My Ex From Hell? If so, do you think these songs fit in well with Sophie's feelings towards Kai? If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: Indigo Awaking (The Hunted #1) by Jordan Dane

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
304 Pages

Because of what you are, the Believers will hunt you down.

Voices told Lucas Darby to run. Voices no one else can hear. He’s warned his sister not to look for him, but Rayne refuses to let her troubled brother vanish on the streets of LA. In her desperate search, she meets Gabriel Stewart, a runaway with mysterious powers and far too many secrets. Rayne can’t explain her crazy need to trust the strange yet compelling boy—to touch him—to protect him even though he scares her.

A fanatical church secretly hunts psychic kids—gifted “Indigo” teens feared to be the next evolution of mankind—for reasons only “the Believers” know. Now Rayne’s only hope is Gabe, who is haunted by an awakening power—a force darker than either of them imagine—that could doom them all.



Indigo Awakening is the first Jordan Dane novel that I've ever read, but a lot of people I follow rave about her and this cover is absolutely phenomenal so I was like, "Gimme, gimme, gimme." The synopsis also really intrigued me. Basically, I believed this to be a "Emily Must Read You" from the get go. I was bouncing when I was downloading the galley onto my kindle to read for a blog tour. Too bad it was actually pretty horrid.

Fifteen-year-old Lucas Darby has always heard voices, that's what got him sent to Haven Hills Treatment Facility, a private mental hospital. When he realizes his life is in danger, he runs away in search of some random girl, who tries to mentally communicate with him. Rayne, his older sister, seems to have pretty much forgotten about her brother until their older sister, Mia, who is an absolute wack-job, contacts her asking if she's seen Lucas. She hasn't, but she does receive a voicemail from him that leads her on a weird and unbelievable journey that will change everything she's ever believed in - or something to that effect.

Indigo Awakening dives face-first into the story. You immediately see into Lucas's mind and his fears, then you switch to Rayne's point-of-view where she is determined to save him from their sister, from the hospital and from those who have him running away in terror. Then you see five thousand other points-of-view and get utterly confused because the author starts off some passages by saying "Downtown LA, seconds later…" Over how long does this book take place? Don't ask me. I lost count of the seconds/minutes/hours. I wanted to bash my head against a wall because I immediately noticed that and hoped the author would go lax as the story continued. False hope, guys. False. Hope.

I'm honestly surprised I finished this novel. From the very beginning, I noticed several things that bothered me. I should've known this would be trouble when the author mentioned that Rayne, one of the main character's uses MySpace, which has been on the decline since 2008, and another flag was thrown when the author mentioned Rayne finding joy in picturing Mia, her evil older sister, with a zit ready to harvest. …I will never think of the fall harvest the same way. What makes it worse is I've been told that the author has used this description before, in another novel. WHY. PLEASE. WHO SAYS/THINKS STUFF LIKE THAT. There are many points-of-view and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the change in perspective. It's so random and I lost track of who I was reading about several times.

This has such a great premise, but the execution of it was terrible. It's like the author took every cliche she could think of a meshed it into a three-hundred-something page book. There is a nasty case of insta-love. There is somewhat of a love-triangle. There's a mysterious and misunderstood "bad boy." There is a main character with serious "women are feeble creatures, who can't decide for themselves who they love" complex. COME ON. There is almost no originality - besides the unique abilities of the characters… which still don't make sense to me.

I was left with too many questions to even want to continue. Especially - whatever happened to Mia? She just like dropped off the face of the Earth… And I could've sworn that Rayne had an iguana… Is it dead? It had to of died from neglect because it, like Mia, just disappeared. The end of the novel had me laughing because everything about it was so obvious. The "cliffhanger" could be seen from miles away. This book was just a hot mess. I, personally, won't be continuing the series, nor will I read anything else Jordan Dane has written. I can't in good faith recommend it to anyone. Indigo Awakening left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: In His Command (Don't Tell #1) by Rie Warren

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Forever Yours
363 Pages

In the dystopian future, two men discover attraction isn't just dangerous, it's deadly.It is the year 2070. Generations ago, the world was annihilated by catastrophic environmental events. The survivors were driven to live in big city centers ruled by the Company. To rebuild the world’s population, the oppressive Company had one rule: all homosexuals must be exterminated.

Commander Caspar Cannon has a stellar military reputation—and a life-threatening secret. When a revolution rips through the territories, Cannon is ordered to escort Company executive Nathaniel Rice to a secure location. For months, the commander has harbored illicit desire for Rice, knowing he cannot act on his attraction. Privileged, polished, and groomed to one day take over the Company, Rice is drawn to the rugged, military man. Yet Rice has his own mysterious agenda, and he knows their love can be as dangerous as the wasteland they must traverse.

Now leaving the besieged city behind, the two men embark on a journey that becomes a minefield of sabotage, betrayal—and forbidden passion. But when danger catches up to them, can Cannon trust the secretive man who holds his heart—and his fate?


WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS MATERIAL UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18. 


I wish I could just post a bunch of quotes from this book as a review. If you could get a glimpse, you'd understand how… difficult it was to finish this. I'll just leave you with my top five reasons for not enjoying this book and then give you a couple of quotes to accentuate my thoughts.

1) The author tried way too hard to make the narrator sound like a man, and her back-and-forth prose (between poetic and callous) did not work for me in the least. I could not picture the main character as a male. No matter how hard the author tried, the perspective felt very feminine. With the hardships the two main characters go through, Caspar (our narrator) did not seem to accurately represent the man he was supposed to be. He was a contradiction through and through. I sincerely disliked him, and his wishy-washy personality. His inability to trust was understandable at first, but over time, it bored me and the constant reiteration was tiresome. 

2) I didn't like the main characters, Nathaniel aka "Blondie" and Caspar, nor did I understand their insta-lust relationship. They were awkward and unrealistic to the era of which they are a part, and the author was never able to give me a real emotional connection--to any of the characters, even the minor ones, for whom we, as the readers, were supposed to feel sorry. I left this book scratching my head, wondering which characters should've left their mark on me. The interactions were also extremely uncomfortable, and unbelievable. Everything about In His Command was completely .

3) The book went on f-o-r-e-v-e-r. And I still didn't understand what was really going on by the end. The plot was nonsensical in my opinion and though there were some very intriguing ideas put forth, they were never given the proper attention. In His Command was one big ol' jumbled mess.

4) What could've been. There was a really good story buried underneath the flaws of this book. I'm a big fan of M/M romance novels, so when I found out a big name publisher was giving one a go, I was immediately on board. The dystopian side of this story is almost realistic based on the (sadly) common views of homosexuality today, and I was interested to see the author's take on this futuristic society. It was not well done in my opinion. It was actually quite bizarre, and it only got worse as the book went on. Nothing made sense, each event was piled one on top of the other until you were too overwhelmed to understand what the hell was going on. Cue the frustration. 

5) The awkward sex. Oh boy. It was awkward. There was dirty talking (them) and horrified laughter (me). There was absolutely nothing erotic about this erotica. I was actually rather turned off by the displays of intimacy between these characters. I skimmed almost all of the sex scenes, because no. The sex between the minor characters was almost unbearable. I'm making weird faces just thinking about this. 


Okay. I have to admit though. Something about the book compelled me to finish. Most likely it was because this book was a train wreck: horrible, but impossible to look away from. The author could've had something great, but it was the overly dramatic point-of-view and the plot that was in shambles did nothing for In His Command. It is more than likely that my journey with this series, and probably this author ends here. I'm no longer interested.
I received an e-copy of this novel for my honest opinion and review from the publisher via Netgalley.

ARC Review: The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
316 Pages

For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now... not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?

Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.

And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them...

Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers.




This is a very difficult review for me to write because I still haven't completely wrapped my head around The Infinite Moment of Us. My friend Jenn, with whom I read this, put her feelings towards the book in a way that accurately depicted my own thoughts. She said, "Like I liked parts and I loved parts but then other parts were wrong and dramatic and WTF." She has a way with words, my dear Jenn. But really… This book was a scrambled mess that left me just a teensy bit unhinged.

My interest was first piqued by the cover. I mean really… If that isn't the most beautiful cover, I don't know what is. Though I'm very conflicted about this novel, I'm still going to buy that just so I can lust over that absolutely gorgeous cover. It draws attention, and works with the title, and fits pretty well into the content--if a little romanticized.

The Infinite Moment of Us is first and foremost a coming-of-age story. In this novel, we watch our two main characters, and their friends, grow into themselves, learn what they like, learn what they dislike and come into the adult world. This book is also a love story. It's the love story of Charlie, the precious boy with a shady background, and Wren, the girl who has it all and maybe a bit too much. When the two are swept up in a relationship, they must figure out what they want to do with their lives and if the other ties into their future.

I have no problem with sex in YA, but the graphic nature of the sex in this story did not work for me. It's realistic for teens to be having sex, and I'm glad that The Infinite Moment of Us portrayed that side of adolescence. But the way that Myracle went about describing it made me cringe. I was not expecting so much detail and I have now learned not to read Myracle's work in public. Insert major blushing here.

The characters were melodramatic. I started out in love with both of these characters, but as the story progressed, Wren ticked me off more and more. A lot of Wren and Charlie's actions were understandable. They both have been through a lot in their lives--though completely different from each other. But there were several times where I wanted to smack them. Honesty, trust and communication are necessary in a successful, healthy relationship and these two often lacked that. They were sweethearts, and I was definitely rooting for them, but they were very flawed.

The story also wrapped up too quickly for me. It felt rushed and didn't seem to have been given as much thought as the rest of the story. This could have been phenomenal, and it was close to being one of my favorite books, but the ending absolutely killed it for me. The last chapter left me agitated and ranty--just ask Jenn. At the end of the book, I kept swiping my finger across my Kindle, frustrated that there wasn't any more. I am the kind of person who needs a solid, happy ending. This novel probably ended happily based on the way things left off, but we'll never really know because it is an open ending. (Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe those?)

While I found a lot of faults in this book, there was a lot of it that I enjoyed. I love Myracle's writing style. Always have, always will. She's a phenomenal storyteller with a unique style that really sets her apart. I love Charlie and his adorableness. I love most of the romance and how realistic it is to the age group. I wish I could've loved the book as a whole, but sadly, it didn't work out that way. Though I will definitely remain a loyal fan of Myracle's and read whatever she comes up with next!
I received an e-copy of this novel for my honest opinion and review from the publisher via Netgalley.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

ARC Review: Facade (Games #2) by Nyrae Dawn

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Forever

Can love save them?

After her father commits a crime that shatters her family, eighteen-year-old Delaney Cross is tired of pretending everything is all right. Packing up her car, she sets out to find the people her father hurt. Her search leads her to places she’s never been—and into the arms of Adrian Westfall.

To the outside world, Adrian is a sexy, charming ladies’ man. But his playboy persona is just an act. Secretly his soul is tortured by a memory too painful to share. Only Delaney seems to see through his fa├žade to the real man underneath. And for the first time in his life, Adrian feels he can begin to open up about his past.

Together, Adrian and Delaney share a passionate love they never expected to find. Yet both still harbor their own secrets. When the dark truth is finally revealed, will it bring them closer together—or tear them apart forever?




Oy vey. This book was hard for me to rate. I would step away from it, give myself space and then come back with a clear head and be like, I'm going to give it 3 stars. But then I would start to think about the plot and everything that happened and I would get mad until I had to walk away again. Ultimately, I couldn't find it in myself to give this book 3 stars no matter how much I wanted to.

Facade is the second in a series of love stories based on gmaes (hence the series title) that involve unlikely pairs falling for each other against odds. Adrian and Delaney both have tragedies and heartache in their pasts, which are intricately linked by a secret that could destroy one while bringing closure to the other. Each presents a certain face to the world, a mask of sorts that they hide behind. To the outside world they're fine, surviving. Inside, they're dying.

While I enjoyed Dawn's writing style, it was very clean and easy to read, I found myself extremely frustrated with her characters. Adrian, the party guy to all of his friends, was in constant pain. And while I felt for him, I also got tired of listening to him constantly tell us that he had to hide his true self, that no one would understand his pain, that it's better this way.

Delaney, on the other hand, I just didn't like. The author wrote her in a way that screamed; feel sorry for me, that she wasn't a horrible person for what she was doing to Adrian. Well, I'm sorry, she was. She carried around a secret that was so big, so completely life altering to Adrian, and she just kept hiding behind the "it's not the right time" excuse. She knew what she was doing was wrong, but never changed it. The whole book was spent waiting for this bombshell to dropm because, come on, we all knew it was coming, that when it finally did, I didn't care anymore. The extra shocking reveal wasn't that shocking since it was something that I had predicted towards the beginning of the story (although it made me hurt for Adrian). I found that I enjoyed the interactions between Colt and Chey (characters the first book was based on) much more than I cared about Adrian and Delaney. Their entire relationship was built on a lie, or an admission of truth if you want to get picky. And I just could not get behind it.

The first book was enjoyable, this one, not so much for me. I look forward to seeing what the third book brings as I am a fan of this author's work.


I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Cover Reveal: One & Only by Viv Daniels

Today, I am happy to help Viv Daniels release the cover to her new New Adult novel! Check it out below!

One & Only by Viv Daniels
Cover Created By Okay Creations

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: November 2013
Publisher: Self-Published

One night they can't forget...

Tess McMann lives her life according to the secrets she's sworn to keep: the father who won't acknowledge her, the sister who doesn't know she exists, and the mother who's content playing mistress to a prominent businessman. When she meets the distractingly cute Dylan Kingsley at a prestigious summer program and falls in love, Tess allows herself to imagine a life beyond these secrets. But when summer ends, so does their relationship -- Dylan heads off to Canton College while Tess enrolls at the state university.

One love they can't ignore...

Two years later, a scholarship brings Tess to Canton and back into Dylan's life. Their attraction is as strong as ever, but Dylan has a girlfriend…who also happens to be Tess's legitimate half-sister. Tess refuses to follow in her mother's footsteps, which leaves her only one choice: break the rules she’s always followed, or allow Dylan to slip away for a second time. 

...And only one chance to get things right.

Now, Viv has graciously offered up some prizes to help celebrate! Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
What do you think of the cover/summary? Interested? I know that I am!
Big thanks to Viv for letting me participate in the cover reveal!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Antigoddess (Goddess War #1) & Horde (Razorland #3)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate, all you have to do is:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can ad the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

--------------------

"They were frightened, but they're not idiots. I've convinced them that they can back us and live, or back Poseidon and live as slaves."
Chapter 8, Page 127
Anitgoddess (Goddess War #1) by Kendare Blake




"It occured to me then that his life had been bereft of small kindnesses, like when he put his head in my lap, and I stroked his hair. For me, it wasn't such a large matter; I hadn't even known I was supposed to want such things, until I met Fade."
Misdirection, ARC Page 107

What are you reading this week?

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Book Review: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
432 Pages

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.


 


One thing that I love about Leigh Bardugo's writing is her style and immense imagination. The Grisha Trilogy takes place in a world like none other. There's magic and wonder, there's wars and blood, tehre's love and friendship. Everything is so vivid; it wasn't hard for me to fall back into Ravka without a second though.

Siege and Storm is the second in the Grisha Trilogy. Alina and Mal are on the run from the Darkling and the terrible forces he commands after a showdown in the Shadow Fold that left them shaking. Trying to hide her true calling as the Sun Summoner, Alina aligns herself with allies that she could have never forseen and also faces off against some terrible foes, including the Darkling himself.

Even though this is a world based in magic and myth, it's an extremely character based story. Alina definitely grew from the first book...although into what remains to be seen. Her power is rapidly growing and as it does, her connection to the Darkling amplifies. She's scared and unsure of herself most of the time. She wants to protect those around her but she doesn't quite know how. As the book progressed, so did Alina's drive to finally take a stand against the Darkling. She comes up with a plan, she takes lead of an army...she gets tougher skin. But what does she lose along the way?

Then there's the love triangle that's not a love triangle...more like an emotionally destructive triangle. Alina, Mal, and the Darkling. Mal, whom I adored from the first book, is just as strong and loyal here. He loves Alina and has sacraficed everything for her. But when they arrive back in Os Alta, he finds his place isn't next to Alina anymore. He's pushed aside and my heart broke for him as he struggled to deal with being a solider in the Sun Summoner's army as opposed to her lover. The other side of the triangle belongs to the Darkling, with whom I have an unhealthy love for. He's just so dark and mysterious that I can't help but be drawn to him - even when he's killing half the population of Ravka (and probably laughing while doing it). Every chapter I found that I craved more of him - more knowledge of who he is, more raw feelings he sheds so easily, anything. For me, it is so obvious that Alina should stay with Mal. He's safe and they love each other and, most importantly, Mal doesn't want her for his own evil purposes. But on the other hand, I can see the intrigue of the Darkling and why Alina is so drawn to him despite her hatred of him.

There is a new character introduced in this book: Sturmhond. Just pure and amused love for this man. He's deceiving, dishonest, cocky, arrogant, but hell bent on fighting the Darkling. He joins forces with Alina and Mal and what follows is full of secrets and lies that really threw me for a loop. Sturmhond is not who everyone thinks he is and I look forward to more with him.

This book didn't pack quite the same punch as the first one did for me, but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it. I did. Immensely. The story was solid but the pacing was a little off at times and I found parts dragging as Alina, Mal, and Sturmhond planned and waited. The last 3/4 of the book, however, really flew by in a mess of OMG. The ending solidified my belief that this is one of the best fantasy book series I've ever read and guaranteed that I will be one of the first in line for the final book.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sassy Girl Swoony God Tourney Challenge #1: Jenn





So for those of you readers who haven't heard just how awesome Tellulah Darling is, you must be living under a rock. From Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls to My Ex From Hell, Tellulah brings something new and exciting to the YA genre. Next month, the second in the Blooming Goddess Trilogy, My Date From Hell, will be released. In honor and anticipation of this, both Emily and I have joined with Tellulah and other bloggers to participate in Sassy Girl Swoony God Tourney. You can go here to read about this fabulous competition and see who else is participating.

Challenge #1: Decide in which tropical location on Earth, Kai first kidnapped Persephone.


In My Ex From Hell, the place where Kai kidnaps Persephone is described as from Persephone as:
The air was perfumed with grass and a bouquet of floral aromas which should have been cloying but instead seemed to fuel me. I dug my toes into the cool earth. Because I actually was on earth. Somewhere tropical and lush. There was an almost overpowering scent of jasmine. 
So taking all of this in, the place I picked for the kidnapping is Raja Ampat in Indonesia where one of their three national flowers is jasmine.


 So beautiful...

Anyway, if you haven't already read My Ex From Hell, what are you waiting for??? Get on it now! You won't be disappointed. And then tell me, where do you think Kai kidnapped Persephone?



 
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