Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review: Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: November 13, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
448 Pages

The final book in the  New York Times  bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Galactica and Prometheus!


Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship  Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh—to build a home—on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who—or what—else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed—friends, family, life on Earth—will have been for nothing.

All I gotta say is, just go with your gut people!

Oh man, this book. It was all over the place hitting every emotion on the spectrum: sadness, horror, fear, happiness, love, name it, it was there. But honestly, I guess that's to be expected when you land on a new planet and are unsure of what awaits you. Revis did a great job at describing this new place to us. I could see it visually and found myself, like the characters, wanting to explore and uncover its secrets. And there were a lot of secrets.

Having decided to leave Godspeed behind and lead some of his people to this new Earth, Elder finds himself in over his head. These people look at him to lead and he's just as confused as the rest of them. Amy's solution: wake up the frozens. As you can guess this doesn't go over well. The shipborns are terrified of the earthborns. The earthborns don't understand the shipborns. And then there's Amy's father - now head of the mission. He immediately takes over, giving orders and taking charge.

I was not a fan of Amy's parents. Her father didn't recognize Elder as a leader mostly because of his age, which I get, but he didn't take time to try to understand these new people. He completely disregarded anything his daughter tried to tell him. Yes, he was trying to set up a new colony on a new planet but at the same time, wouldn't you think he would want to know why Amy was woken up early, what happened on Godspeed, how Elder came to be, ANYTHING. Especially her mother who was a scientist! It's literally her job to ask questions!

And don't get me started on Chris.

The world building and the sci-fi element were what made this book for me. When people started dying from mysterious creatures I wanted to know more! The explanation - maybe not as cool as it could have been but interesting. I just wished that I hadn't predicted a majority of the book so early on. Overall this was a solid 3 star series for me and I am interested in what else the author has to offer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Teaser Tuesday 8/23: Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted MizB at Books and a Beat!
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!

I'd run from the train station right across town, and it had felt like maybe I was running for my last chance at being normal. Charging through the cold air, over the crusty little patches of snow, away from the weirdness of the whole afternoon with Toby. I didn't feel like me.

Page 90, Chapter 22 

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Review: A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: November 21, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
404 Pages

Book 2 in the New York Times bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Gallactica and Prometheus!


It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to act on his vision--no more Phydus, no more lies. But when Elder learns shocking news, he and Amy must race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed, all the while dealing with the love that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

Beth Revis catapulted readers into the far reaches of space with her New York Times bestselling debut, Across the Universe. In A Million Suns, Beth deepens the mystery with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: THEY HAVE TO GET OFF THIS SHIP.

A Million Suns shows what happens when basically a body of government breaks down. When you give people back their free will, what will they do with it? This book picks up exactly where the first ended and I like that Revis left nothing out. She completely went for it in this installment. All the truths were laid out - even ones I never thought existed. Lies, murder, conspiracies, backstabbing - this book encompasses them all.

When Elder made the choice to free his people from the drugging of the water, I don't think he anticipated the fallout. Not everyone wanted the truth. What was interesting was how many people preferred to be blind. On the other side, there were the ones who now that they could think for themselves, they didn't want to follow the leader they always had. They wanted to choose their leader and Elder doesn't know how to deal with that. He was so naive in a way. He figured everyone, once freed, would still follow blindly and just accept all that he does as truth.

Then there was Amy. With all the truths mostly uncovered, she just wanted her parents back. She was naive in a different way from Elder. She was so focused on getting to Sol-Earth that she didn't take the time to understand the people of Godspeed. She didn't understand Elder's loyalty to them. She wanted Earth back.

Middle books aren't always the strongest for me. Since they are basically a bridge from the beginning to the end, sometimes they are just info dumps or slow moving plot lines. I didn't feel that with this one. It was it's own beast with it's own problems - some new. It moved the plot along nicely and has me wanting to know what happens now. There's so many unanswered questions. So many things that I just don't trust. I want to be as optimistic as Amy, but it all honesty, I'm scared of what's to come - in a good way though!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Cover Reveal: Every Little Thing by Samantha Young

Happy Monday! I am so excited to be part of the cover reveal for Every Little Thing by Samantha Young. This is the second in Young's Hart's Boardwalk series. I absolutely adore Samantha Young and I cannot wait to read this!

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The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 2017
Publisher: Berkley

Hartwell, Delaware—the perfect place to get away from it all, and find what you never knew you needed…

Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content—her successful business, a close circle of friends, and her steady boyfriend…even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.

Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence, and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.

Once Vaughn begins to realize he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime.

Thank you so much to everyone at Berkley and Penguin for allowing me to take part in this cover reveal!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8)

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 31, 2016
Publisher: Little Brown UK
330 Pages

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

On June 26, 1997 the world was introduced to Harry Potter. Whether you started at the beginning or joined the magic later on, no one can deny that this book series is one of the best things to happen to literature in a very long time. I will admit, I didn't read the first book until right before the first movie was released, but once I did, I was enchanted. Fast forward many years later, and many emotions later, when we all thought this world was over, we got Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

I won't lie. I had extremely mixed emotions about this one. Yes, I love Harry Potter. But I also love the way that is was wrapped up. Book 7 ended perfectly. I didn't want anything to ruin that. On the other hand, I was intrigued by this future world that was being introduced to us. So, like many, I devoured it the moment I opened it.

Book 8 picks up right where 7 ended - our grown up crew all sending their children off to Hogwarts. But this time we focus on Albus Potter. When we first meet Albus, he's nervous and a little scared of going off to Hogwarts, but like his father before him, he gets on the train and instantly makes a new friend - Scorpious Malfoy (who is freaking adorable). The play fast forwards their first few years at Hogwarts and we watch Albus become this extremely sullen teenager who feels the pressures of being Harry Potters son. Mix that with his best friend who has to deal with the rumors of his  birth and you get two outcasts who want to prove they are more than their last names.

I don't really want to give anything away plot wise, but it was a very interesting one. But I will agree with a lot of the reviews I've been reading in which there are holes. But I don't chalk this up to bad storytelling. More like this was a play. In a play you don't get the pages and pages of background and descriptions that you normally get in a regular book. So it was definitely more of a visual imagining. But I love plays and I love this world so it was easy for me to watch it play out.

Then there were the characters.

Oh man, I knew there would be feels involved but I didn't expect the FEELS, ya know? I don't want to say, but there's one scene (fans will know when they read it) that just hit me really hard and, yeah, I'll admit it, I got teary. I had this book rated at 4 stars when I started this review and have since bumped it up to five because of the feelings I'm getting while writing this.

So thank you, JK Rowling for this world and for everything you've given us since. I've heard that she wants this to be the end of Harry for her (writing wise) and I completely understand. Rowling has given us the tools for it to live on forever in our hearts and minds.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Blog Tour: Defying Gravity (Finding Perfect #2) by Kendra C. Highley

Defying Gravity Blog Tour Banner

I am happy to be a part of the Defying Gravity blog tour today! If you like sugary sweet teen love stories with a little angst thrown in then this book might just be for you. Also, be sure to check out the awesome giveaway below!

The blurb as see on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 25, 2016
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
191 Pages

Disclaimer: This book contains enough sexual tension to melt snow, the hottest near-kiss in the history of near-kisses, and a sexy snowboarder determined to win the heart of the girl he loves.

Zoey Miller lives for her holidays in Aspen. Her time up on the mountain with the Madison brothers, Parker and Luke, is everything. But for the first time, it’s not enough. This time, she’s determined to win one of the brothers’ hearts.

But the brother she has in mind is a renowned player, with hordes of snow-bunnies following him around Snowmass resort. And the other…well, he’s her best friend and knows she deserves better. Namely him. And he’s going to win her heart.

Enter to Win the Defying Gravity Prize Pack!

Defying Gravity Prize Pack Giveaway

Zoey Miller lives two lives. Back home she's super put together, super popular, class president, all-round Miss Perfect. But every winter vacation she comes back to Aspen and it's here Zoey lets out the person she really is - the laid back, sporty girl who just wants to hang with her two best friends, Parker and Luke - brothers, who have known Zoey since they were infants. However, this year something changed. Zoey comes to Aspen with a plan - make Luke notice her in a more than friend sort of way. The only problem with that is Parker has the exact same plan for Zoey.

Yup, this book has a love triangle: 2 brothers and a girl.

Overall, I found this book adorable. Zoey, for the most part, is likeable. She's fun, sweet, cares about her friends and is trying to figure out where her future lies outside of high school and this bubble that she's created. The Zoey I didn't like so much was the fake one that surrounded Luke. For someone who spends most of the book complaining about having to be someone she's not back home and how those people only like one side of her, she certainly becomes the perfect little snow bunny just following Luke around. It really didn't make sense as to why she would fall so hard for the superficial shallow brother knowing what we know about her.

The brothers were like night and day. Luke, as I said before, was full of himself, rude, and just not a nice guy. Can you tell I didn't like Luke? The only reason her pursues Zoey is because he wants to beat Parker at everything. (How Zoey doesn't see through his charade is beyond me.) Then there's Parker. Sweet, adorable, Parker. He's been in love with Zoey for years and when he decides to make his move, suddenly she's chasing his brother. I felt really bad for him but at the same time, I wanted him to man up and tell her what was going on.

These books are just like candy. Short and sweet following the formula we all know. Despite this being set in the winter, it's a perfect read for day at the beach. And I dare you not to fall for Parker. Another plus, even though it's a series, you don't necessarily have to read them in order to understand the plot. Each book is it's own. Also, side note, I want to learn how to snowboard now.

Thank you to Entangled Teen for allowing me to take part in this blog tour and for providing an e-copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Teaser Tuesday 8/2: Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted MizB at Books and a Beat!
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!

Hanna Donnelly looks like she's seen a ghost. The ghost of Oksana Balashova, perhaps, twelve years old and covered in blood.

Page 302 of ARC copy

What are you reading this week?
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