Apr 30, 2013

{Blog Tour} Book Review + Fave Quotes + Giveaway: The Forgotten Ones - Laura Howard

Thanks for dropping by my stop for this tour! You can follow the tour here.

Title: The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy #1)
Author: Laura Howard
Release Date: April 30th 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Source: eARC from author for blog tour
Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.
What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.
I didn't think I'd be this surprised by The Forgotten Ones—just by reading the blurb, I'd already formed theories as to where this story could go, especially since this isn't my first time encountering the Tuatha de Danaan in fiction—but from the start, Allison's story had me curious. The writing also captured me; I found its beauty on the clarity and simplicity of how the words were strung together. 

Allison was an okay character for me. She was smart and strong, and I admired her determination to someday be able to relieve her grandparents of the burden of taking care of her schizophrenic mother, but it irked me how she felt like having fun every once in a while was such a crime, or at least that it would be a huge hindrance to her goal. In the end, she was also quite forgettable.

I loved how fast-paced this book was, and I read it in almost one sitting. The Forgotten Ones was rich with action and a colorful cast of characters, although some of them felt unnecessary and ended up confusing me, what with their goals or desires not being made clear enough to distinguish them if not by their otherworldly names. But although most of them were transparent and vague at the same time, that didn't make the story uninteresting at any point. I just kept reading and reading until I reached the end.

Allison's romance with Ethan, the bad boy who always turned sweet and gentle for her, felt very sporadic. I'd say it was unneeded, but it's not like I didn't enjoy their sweet moments, however few they were. I just wish there was more... or at least almost as much as we saw of the Danaan's world. Speaking of which, the fairy world was described very well by the author, making it all too easy to see the beauty and horror mixed together beneath the wonder.

The ending was fulfilling, tying up the immediate conflicts and leaving loose ends for the sequel. I started reading The Forgotten Ones thinking it was a standalone, but I'm glad to find out that it's actually the first in a trilogy.

MY FAVORITE PART was Allison and Ethan's date. Talk about a break from all the weird in her life.

(cover and blurb from Goodreads.com)

I was reading so fast, only two stuck out for me XD
“Something in your eye, Allison?” Ethan asked, seemingly amused at my attempt at indifference.
I clenched my jaw and almost rolled my eyes again. “That must be it, Ethan.”
“Oh, come on. I know how bad you want to see me with my shirt off.”
The Danaans were lovely to look at, but their behavior was not normal. It was as if they were made of stone, incapable of emotion.
About the author:
Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.


Apr 27, 2013

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27th 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languagesnot all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangersbeautiful, haunted Akivafixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
As I type this, it's been more than three hours after I'd wiped away my tears and put down this book, but only one word resonates in my mind to describe it: WOW. Beautifully unique and moving, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the best book I've read so far this year, and I totally regret not picking this up sooner.

Right from page one, I was entranced by Laini Taylor's exquisite writing. I knew I should've prepared myself for severe writer envy. Her prose was solid but lyrical, and the way she described everything and everyone made it very easy to immerse myself in the story. With just a few adjectives and native handicrafts or landmarks, I was transported to Prague and Elsewhere and everywhere Karou's journey towards discovering herself had brought her to, and I actually felt like a tourist. I'd give up my own teeth for a bruxis if that would mean being able to write like her.

Now for our main characters. I loved Karou; she was wise, strong, brave, and unabashedly curious, which put her in a handful of pinches. But underneath her feistiness and sharp tongue, the hollow feeling that was one of the few constants in her life didn't prevent her from having a good heart and a soft spot for animals. Akiva, on the other hand, was a tough one both inside and out, thanks to his grueling childhood and, well, let's just call it "previous experiences" with devils. But even if the first glimpses at his character were of him being merciless, I immediately fell for him, his perfect face, and the mystery that had shrouded him.

I loved how the book was written from both their perspectives, but the third-person POV hindered the deep emotions in the story quite a bit—quite a bit, I repeat, because I still felt every thrill and melancholy that these two wounded characters felt. I was also surprised by how unrevealing the blurb actually was, but that just added to the suspense because everything in this book—especially the author's take on angels and demons—was so fresh, I had absolutely no idea whether to expect more action or some downtime when I could finally stop being on the edge of my seat.

But Daughter of Smoke and Bone didn't come without faults. First there was the almost two hundred pages of backstory before the ending. I enjoyed it for a while, but soon it just felt too long and, because it started right after a "big moment", I couldn't wait for it to end. It turned out to be entirely necessary, though, and now I've realized that the story couldn't have been told in a better way. Second, the ending felt lacking because it merely answered the question of Karou's origin—or maybe I'd just been preparing myself for something like the mother of all wars. Either way, it didn't provide enough character development.

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this, but I self-harm with books, and, oh man, is this book one of the best tools. It was painfulparticularly the romance, oh good heavensbut it's the kind of pain that I yearn more of. And more pain I got, sure enough, when I learned that the third book in this series will be released in 2014, which means I won't be able to pick up Days of Blood and Starlight any time soon because I can't handle waiting that long for the next one.

MY FAVORITE PART was Zuzana meeting Akiva XD

(cover and blurb from Goodreads.com)

Stacking the Shelves {6}: March 2013

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where bloggers share recently bought, borrowed, won, and gifted books (print or ebooks)!

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi - bought; signed (review)
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen - bought
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead - bought
Robin in the Hood by Diane J. Reed - won; signed
Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver - bought
*not pictured* Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire - borrowed (review)


Apr 25, 2013

Book Review: The Immortal Rules - Julie Kagawa

Title: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: April 24th 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: NetGalley
To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness….
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.
Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.
As I've mentioned in this review, I didn't enjoy the prequel novella to this book, but thank heavens The Immortal Rules, although not as good as I'd hoped it would be, was still better.

The Immortal Rules was divided into four parts. The first dragged on with some clutter which I found hard to get pastlike, I get it, Allie has a hard life, let's get a move on. Thankfully, the reprieve came in the second part, when Allie Turned. This triggered more action and suspense, and honestly, I had no idea where the story would go after this part, which was very good because I love unpredictability in my fiction.

Sadly, as all reprieves do, the thrill was cut short with the third part when Allie hid her true self to join a band of humans who were looking for Eden, a place said to be free from vampires. The plot went on aimlessly, lengthening the book unnecessarily (almost 500 pages). But as part four kicked in, the story picked up again, although I still had a hard time finishing it.

But what the pace lacked was made up for by the world-building. It was thorough but just enough to never feel like an info dump, and Julie Kagawa created a future Earth so violent and deadly that it could drive everyone, both vampire and human, to become the worst version of themselves. Add to that the vampire-zombies called "rabids", and this is certainly a world I would never want to be transported into.

Aside from that, I also loved Allie. She was fierce and determined, even before she became a vampire. When she Turned, she was on a constant struggle to keep the monster in her under control, and, save for a few slips, she succeeded. She chose to keep every little bit of humanity she had left, and I really admired her for that. She was also realistic and practical, never making me facepalm.

An inevitable romance was sprinkled in the last quarter or so of the book, but it was developed really well so I have no qualms about that. The last 20% of this book saved it for me, and I'm satisfied with how it ended. And even though I wasn't awed, I'm still looking forward to reading the sequel next week.

MY FAVORITE PART was the ending.

(cover and blurb from Goodreads.com)

Apr 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday {19}

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, where bloggers post about much-awaited releases!

Title: The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed #1)
Author: Page Morgan
Release Date: May 14th 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson has gone missing.
No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.
Gothic fantasy has never let me down before, and as if that's not enough reason, The Beautiful and the Cursed has gargoyles. Gargoyles. So damn original. Not to mention that pretty cover (if you can't tell by my blog, I love pink). 
(cover and blurb from Goodreads.com)

Apr 23, 2013

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Sacrifice - K.A. Last

Title: Sacrifice (The Tate Chronicles #0.5)
Author: K.A. Last
Release Date: May 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Cover Designer: KILA Designs
Seth’s heart is breaking. He knows his decision will hurt the one person he keeps breathing for, but he can’t take it anymore. He can’t be near Grace knowing she will always be just out of reach.
Grace is oblivious to Seth’s turmoil. She loves him unconditionally, but not in the way he wants. They both know that in Heaven physical love is forbidden, and to break the rules is to defy everything they’ve ever been taught.
When Grace and Seth are sent on a mission to save a young mother and her unborn child, Grace must face the fact that Seth won’t be returning home. She doesn’t understand Seth’s decision and hates him for it. But what neither of them realise is how big a part that single decision will play in shaping their entire future.
What would you sacrifice for the one you love?
About the author:
K.A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. She now resides in a peaceful leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children and a rabbit named Twitch.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apr 19, 2013

Book Review: The Selection - Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Release Date: April 24th 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself - and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
I'm not so sure anymore because I bought this last June, but I think I picked up The Selection because of that gorgeous cover. Perfect model for the main character, perfect shades of blue, and perfect dress. *drools* Seriously, though, kudos to the Harper team for that. 

But to those who heed the words "Don't judge a book by its cover", no need to worry because what's under that cover was equally mesmerizing. I read this in two sittings, and it became two only because I didn't want it to end yet. America's voice hooked me in from page one, and I didn't realize I'd already gone through almost the entire book until fifty pages from the last.

Now, for the girl with the cliched last name. Like a lot of fictional redheads, America was kind, brave, determined, honest, and bold, but at the same time, her fears and uncertainties made her a very real teenager, and I just loved her. Up until the last page, she remained true to herself while becoming fiercer and wiser. I can't wait to see how she progresses in the next books.

And, of course, I also can't wait to see what'll happen with the two equally charming boys vying for America's heart. At first, I totally rooted for her and Aspen, but I'd heard enough about this book to know that I would also love Maxon. Even though strong, courageous Aspen provided his fair share of feels and swoon, Maxon had the upperhand with his status as prince of Illea—not to mention how he was in, like, 70% of the book and Aspen was in 20%. And honestly, Maxon was written as a deeper character than Aspen. I also have to mention how this prince almost brought me to tears a number of times because of how adorable he was. 

The idea behind the Selection was very interesting—like The Bachelor but better—and it was fun to see how thirty-five girls from all walks of life, as in the different castes, faced each other in this competition. But being a post-apocalyptic dystopian book, I have to mention the world-building. Although that part was mixed seamlessly with the plot, I found it lacking. Illea's history was explained thoroughly with, well, a history lesson for the Selected girls—not the most unique method I can think of, yes—but the rest of the world's wasn't. Also, the writing wasn't exceptional, what with the tons of "telling" done, but it didn't bother me much because I was too engaged in the story to care.

I was planning to give this book a solid five out of five, but the ending was a letdown. The only resolution it gave was for America's confusion with the two boys, which she just admitted to them and to herself. I couldn't help but admire her, though, because in other books with love triangles, the girl usually made it even more painful for the three of them by refusing to recognize her feelings.
No, I'm not choosing him or you. I'm choosing me.
Atta girl.

MY FAVORITE PART was America and Maxon's lol-tastic first date XD

(cover and blurb from Goodreads.com)

Apr 17, 2013

Book Review: The Bane - Keary Taylor

Title: The Bane (The Eden Trilogy #1)
Author: Keary Taylor
Release Date: March 5th 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Source: NetGalley
Before the Evolution there was TorBane: technology that infused human DNA with cybernetic matter. It had the ability to grow new organs and limbs, to heal the world. Until it evolved out of control and spread like the common cold. The machine took over, the soul vanished, and the Bane were born. The Bane won't stop until every last person has been infected. With less than two percent of the human population left, mankind is on the brink of extinction.
Eve knows the stories of the Evolution, the time before she wandered into the colony of Eden, unable to recall anything but her name. But she doesn't need memories to know this world is her reality. This is a world that is quickly losing its humanity, one Bane at a time.
Fighting to keep one of the last remaining human colonies alive, Eve finds herself torn between her dedication to the colony, and the discovery of love. There is Avian and West – one a soldier, one a keeper of secrets. And in the end, Eve will make a choice that will change the future of mankind.
The Bane is The Terminator meets The Walking Dead with a heart-twisting romance.
I really wanted to love this book, if only because I loved What I Didn't Say by the same author. Sadly, like most of the sci-fi/dystopian/post-apocalyptic books that I've read before, I had a hard time getting into The Bane and in the end, I was underwhelmed.

I love kickass female characters so it wasn't a surprise for me to like Eve from the start, what with her strength, ferocity, and determination, but even though the book was written in first-person from her perspective, I just couldn't connect with her because she was so... mechanical. An explanation was given for that, though, so I just ignored it and focused on the other parts of the story.

As half of the book dealt with Eve's inner turmoil with her past and her real identity, a quarter was spent on outrunning the Bane: creatures who came about by mankind's attempt at playing God. They were like zombies, but instead of preying on humans as a food source, they were wired to turn the few remaining "organics" into Bane with something as simple as a touch. The presence of the Bane was the main conflict in the story as Eve, with her unusual talents at survival, tried to protect her small family of other refugees in Eden. But the Bane were getting smarter and more aggressive, pushing her and everyone else to their limits.

Unfortunately for Eve, her problems didn't end there. With the arrival of West, her long-time dormant heart started feeling, awakened by the thrill that he ignited within her. She didn't like this one bit, but even more so when Avian, her savior and one of the people closest to her, began revealing the feelings he'd hidden. This love triangle was very unexpected for me; it had me on my guard the whole time because Eve's condition made it even more unpredictable. That said, I felt like it was forced and lacked emotion and passion and just didn't mix in well with the rest of the plot.

Although the mystery surrounding Eve kept things interesting, I didn't find it enough to make this unputdownable. Halfway through, the stakes brought by the need to survive from the Bane was downplayed to make way for the romance, which disappointed me. The climax wasn't too thrilling because it focused on Eve's feelings as she finally shed off her indecision, but it led to a fairly satisfying ending that has me curious for the sequel.

MY FAVORITE PART was Eve's suicide mission.

(cover and blurb from Goodreads.com)

Apr 14, 2013

Series Review: Beautiful - Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Release Date: August 14th 2012
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Borrowed (Thanks, Ren!)
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
I don't give much thought to genres, but say New Adult and my eyes and ears automatically perk up. Like the other novels I've read that fall under that category, Beautiful Disaster was sexy yet emotional, hooking me in from page one. 

The prose wasn't outstanding, what with the steep and weird turns that the conversation sometimes took, but the mediocrity ends there. This book shone with its wide cast of characters—most of them college kids whose level of freedom added more possibilities for the plot to stretch out. But I'll focus on our main couple for the story truly centered on them.

First, Travis Maddox. I'd seen so much love for this Walking One-Night Stand that I didn't think I'd be so much of a fan. But who was I kidding. I love bad boys, and Travis was nothing if not one of them. What made me swoon, though, was how he was a bad boy with the heart of a good one and the brain of a nerd. Yeah, he's smart; color me surprised. He saved his sweetness for Abby, but every time he showed it, I couldn't help but giggle and gush like mad. The only thing I hated about him was his violent and manipulative streak.

Abby Abernathy, on the other hand, made me raise an eyebrow most of the time. The blurb promised a goody-goody all around, but I felt like in the story, that "innocence" was only justified by her cardigans (which she didn't even wear much). I also didn't like how Abby let what other people thought affect her so much, and her characterization was very inconsistent, oftentimes making her a hypocrite. For me, her initial hesitance to take a chance with Travis was pure cowardice—sure, he had a very bleak reputation, but it was nothing a good, lengthy conversation couldn't solve. 

And then came the big event when her one month at Travis' apartment was up. What in farking hell was that?! I was so enraged that I saw red, and if only the copy I'd been reading wasn't borrowed, I would've thrown it across the room. Seriously, it's Abby who's disturbing, not Travis, even with his womanizing—which he'd totally stopped because of Abby, by the way. And aside from the unhealthiness of their relationship, I also didn't like their constant push-and-pull, especially because the story dragged because of that.

Fortunately, the story took an unexpected turn when the drama with Abby's dad came in—unexpected, but not surprising because the whole time, I was just waiting for, excuse my French, shit to hit the fan.

Beautiful Disaster was one of those books that kept me on the edge of my seat with worry for the characters. When I had to put it down because of mundane reasons, my mind kept wandering to it; that's how addictive it was. And when I reached the end, I was relieved that I could finally stop worrying about them, but at the same time, I craved for more. Thankfully, I had Walking Disaster at the ready.

MY FAVORITE PART was "I CAN'T! Get... no... satisfaction." Totally cracked me up.

The .5 is for the second half of the last chapter and the epilogue, both of which made me grin like a clown on steroids.

Title: Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Release Date: April 2nd 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
How much is too much to love?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.
In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. Just when he thought he was invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.
Every story has two sides. In Jamie McGuire's New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster Abby had her say. Now it's time to see the story through Travis's eyes.
When I was halfway through Beautiful Disaster, I started reading reviews for Walking Disaster. Most of those reviews expressed disappointment so before I dived into this, I lowered my expectations even though I was truly enjoying the first book. 

Thank God for those lowered expectations because from the get-go, I found the story to be rushed and the writing choppy, and I'm pretty sure it didn't confuse me only because I read it right after Beautiful Disaster. The chronology was sometimes vague, jumping too far forward without enough explanation, unlike in the first book where Abby's every move was stated.

Being in Travis' head was both fun and offending. I loved seeing firsthand his erratic behavior and sweet gestures, however crazy they were. But I didn't like how disrespectful he thought of the girls he'd slept with, and how he saw Abby as a conquest at first. Also, I couldn't put my finger on it in Beautiful Disaster, but now, being in Travis' head, it was disturbing to know that his need to be with Abby was greater than her safety, i.e. he wanted her to be present in his underground fights even though it had already put her in danger.

I also had a problem with how Abby's character seemed so one-dimensional, although I'm pretty sure that's not how Travis viewed her, and that added to how this much-awaited sequel became a letdown. That said, I still had fun reading it, but I would advise everyone not to expect Walking Disaster to exceed its predecessor.

MY FAVORITE PART was the ending, which gave me what I craved for when I finished Beautiful Disaster.

(covers and blurbs from Goodreads.com)

Apr 11, 2013

Cover Reveal: One Tiny Lie - K.A. Tucker

 Title: One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths #2)
Author: K.A. Tucker
Release Date: June 11th 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents' tragic death and Kacey's self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would...and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.
Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?
As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows.
I absolutely loved Ten Tiny Breaths, so I'm itching to get my hands on this sequel!

About the author:
Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

The publisher, Atria Books, has also cooked up a special video for One Tiny Lie's cover reveal! Check it out below:

Apr 10, 2013

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Going Under - S. Walden

FYI, the blitz banner was created with the old cover for this book. 

Title: Going Under
Author: S. Walden
Release Date: March 19th 2013
Publisher: Penny Press
Brooke Wright has only two goals her senior year at Charity Run High School: stay out of trouble and learn to forgive herself for the past. Forgiveness proves elusive, and trouble finds her anyway when she discovers a secret club at school connected to the death of her best friend. She learns that swim team members participate in a “Fantasy Slut League,” scoring points for their sexual acts with unsuspecting girls.
Brooke, wracked with guilt over her friend’s death, decides to infiltrate the league by becoming one of the “unsuspecting girls,” and exact revenge on the boys who stole away her best friend. An unexpected romance complicates her plans, and her dogged pursuit of justice turns her reckless as she underestimates just how far the boys will go to keep their sex club a secret.
About the author:
S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it. 

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com and follow her blog at http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.


Apr 9, 2013

Book Review: The Collector - Victoria Scott

 Title: The Collector (Dante Walker #1)
Author: Victoria Scott
Release Date: March 25th 2013
Entangled Teen
Source: NetGalley
He makes good girls...bad.
Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.
Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:
Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.
Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector… and uncover emotions deeply buried.
I know I said in a recent post that when I read a book, I try not to expect anythingbut that's very hard to do when a book's receiving so much hype, as is the case with The Collector. Thankfully, this book didn't disappoint.

For me, the best thing about this book was Dante Walker himself, in whose POV this book was written in. It was so much fun being inside his head, and unsurprisingly enough, his abounding self-confidence entertained instead of irritated. I also loved how, for the first time ever—for me, at least—the heroine wasn't physically appealing, particularly in the hero's eyes.

At first glance, Charlie Cooper was the stereotypical nerdy girl, complete with hideous hair, uneven teeth, and bad skin, and I had a hard time imagining how self-absorbed Dante could fall for her. But sure enough, he did. How could he have not? Beneath the unpleasant facade, Charlie was smart, sweet, and so unusually kind. Their relationship was one I really loved, because it didn't sprout—it grew, changing both of them along the way.

The Collector's strength was clearly the characters, because I felt like the plot could have progressed faster. Still, that gave me time to relish these new friends, whose variety added so much more color to the story. It also enhanced the suspense; the whole time I was reading this, I kept suspecting everyone as the bad guy who would stab Dante and Charlie in the back.

The twist at the end was great, but it made me even more worried for Dante and Charlie. Also, I wish what would happen to Charlie's soul had gotten explained, but I'm sure it will be in the next book which I am looking forward to!

MY FAVORITE PART was Dante trying to get close to Charlie. 

(cover and blurb from Goodreads.com)