Monday, December 31, 2012

Jillian Dodd Promotion Event AND Giveaway


"THANK YOU Jillian for all that you do!”

Friends of Jillian Dodd are showing their appreciation! 

In appreciation for the hard work and effort indie author Jillian Dodd does behind the scenes for authors, her writing friends are offering YOU the chance to win one of her books! You can choose from one of the Keatyn Chronicles:  STALK ME or KISS ME. Or maybe you prefer one of the titles in the That Boy series: THAT BOY or THAT WEDDING. All books are New Adult contemporary romance. Good luck!

Giveaway: Choose (1) eBook copy of either STALK ME (Keatyn Chronicles, #1), KISS ME (Keatyn Chronicles, #2), THAT BOY (Volume 1), or THAT WEDDING (That Boy, #2). 

-Open International. 
-Books will be gifted from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. 
-If a winner does not have an e-reader they can download the Kindle app for free to their computers on Amazon
-Ends January 7th
  • How to Enter Giveaway:
    -Please comment below with how you follow YA Novelties (either via GFC, Email, Twitter, Facebook). This is ONE entry to giveaway.
    -You can gain an extra entry if you ‘Like’ Jillian Dodd’s facebook page AND comment with your Facebook name below:


The Book Descriptions:

STALK ME  (Goodreads)

Gossip girl meets Hollywood in this new series by That Boy author, Jillian Dodd.

Keatyn has everything she ever dreamed of. Her life is following the script she wrote for the perfect high school experience. She’s popular, goes to the best parties, dates the hottest guy, and sits at the most coveted lunch table.  
She’s just not sure she wants it anymore.
Because really, things aren’t all that perfect.
Her best friend is threatening to tell everyone her perfect relationship is a scam. 
Her perfect boyfriend gets drunk at every party they go to. 
It’s exhausting always trying to look and act perfect.
And deep down, she isn’t sure if she has any true friends. 
To add to the drama, her movie star mom’s long-time fan has turned stalker.
An older man is flirting with her and telling her they should make a movie together.
And she’s crushing on an adorable surfer. Dating a guy like him would mean committing social suicide.
So she writes a new script. One where all the pieces of her life will come together in perfect harmony. 
But little does she know, there’s someone who will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen.

KISS ME (Goodreads)

I've always written scripts for my perfect life.
But no way could I have ever scripted this.
My life is so far from perfect, it’s not even funny.
All because of a stalker.

I’m at a boarding school where I have to lie about who I am.
I can’t see my family.
I’m tutoring a Hottie God that tortures me with his smile.
The most popular girl already hates me.
But there’s this boy.
This hot, sweet, sexy boy.
So I’m going to stop trying to script my life and just live it.
Because who knows how long I have left.

THAT BOY (Goodreads)

That Boy is a contemporary romance about falling in love with the boys next door.

You know, being friends with two cute boys does have its benefits. 

There's Danny. Danny is a golden boy in every way. He has dreamy blue eyes and blonde hair that always looks perfect, even when it’s windblown or been stuck under a football helmet. He’s the boy every girl crushes on. The boy I get into trouble with, the boy I fight with, the hot quarterback no girl can resist, not even me. Being with Danny is like being on an adventure. He has a bright, contagious smile and abs to die for. He’s pretty much irresistible.

Equally crush worthy is Phillip. Adorable, sweet Phillip, who I have known since birth.  Phillip has dark hair, a perfect smile, brown eyes, and the sexiest voice I have ever heard. He’s the boy I talk to every night before I go to sleep. The boy who rescues me, the boy who can read my mind, the boy who is always there for me, the boy who tries to keep me out of trouble, the boy who irritatingly keeps getting hotter, and whose strong arms always seem to find their way around me.  And when he gives me that grin, I can never say no.

One boy will give me my very first kiss.
One boy will teach me to make out.
One boy will take me to prom.
And finally, one boy will ask me to marry him.
They will both be my best friends.
But only one of them will be the boy I fall in love with.
Only one of them is That Boy.

THAT WEDDING (Goodreads)

The gorgeous engagement ring on my finger mimics my happiness.
I feel so sparkly, glittery, and full of promise, because I absolutely know he's that boy.
The boy I want to marry. My prince. My happily ever after.

But then our pastor starts asking lots of questions.
His parents say I haven’t dealt with my past. 
I have horrible wedding disaster dreams.
I can’t find the perfect dress.
I have to manipulate him to get my way.
An old boyfriend asks me to run away with him.
My best friend says I'm going to ruin everything.
And forever starts to sound like a really long time.

Which totally freaks me out and makes me question everything I know.

Should best friends get married? 
Will my past affect our relationship?
Are my horrible dreams a warning?
Will I ever find a dress?
Could his sexiness be clouding my judgment?
Am I going to ruin everything?
Or is it just a case of cold feet?

And then I have to decide. Am I willing to give up on true love forever, or am I going to listen to my heart and marry him?

About the Author

Jillian is the author of the That Boy series and The Keatyn Chronicles. She grew up on a farm in Nebraska, where she developed a love for Midwestern boys and Nebraska football. She lives in Texas with her family.

Author social media links:
Facebook       Twitter        Pinterest

Top Books of 2012 and Giveaway


We've been incredibly blessed this year with so many amazing books! In honor of this year, we've decided to have a giveaway for our top 2012 books! Check it out down below.

Jenny's Fave Books of 2012:

I adore this series! Currently I'm reading Onyx (Book 2 of the Lux series) and I also love it. Since I read these novels, I'm liking aliens more and more. JLA is amazing. She's probably one of my fave authors of 2012! LOVE the Covenant series as well:)

Click HERE for my review of Obsidian

I can not say how much I loved reading this novel! Katie McGarry's novel is definitely one of the best contemporary novels that I have read ever! 

Click HERE for my review of Pushing the Limits!

~M's favorite books of 2012 

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer was possibly my favorite novel of 2012, if not my favorite then in the top two. I choose Cinder because, well, I absolutely loved it. Not only is there a kick-ass heroine, but the plot is very original. It involves cyborgs, aliens, romance, and a lost princess. Most books that I've read I don't remember very well, but for me, this book clearly stood out.

Rosie also gives this book a thumbs up! Click HERE to see her review!

The second choice was extremely hard, but after a lot of agonizing and debating with myself, I picked Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth.. The reason why I choose this book, and not the many others, was because it was a great second book in the Divergent series. For sequels, I'm usually disappointed, and the second book usually doesn't live up to my expectations, but Insurgent did and even surpassed my hopes and dreams of it.

Rosie's Top Hooyahs 2012

Okay, now I know that PP is a bit cliché, but who doesn't need some predictability in their life? I really enjoyed PP because it was one of the first YA books in a long time that I couldn't predict the ending! I was delighted that all the details that I assumed were useless in the beginning became very important factors that wove together to form a flawless conclusion. It was a pleasant surprise for me to find  that the characters were quite likeable. I understand Kresley Cole is currently and formerly an erotica novelist, and that PP is one of the first YA novels she's ever written, so to have written such a breathtaking YA novel on her first try is simply amazing. I can't wait to read Cole's sequel! While Poison Princess may seem a little strange in the beginning, but stick with it! Trust me, it only gets better and better.

Click HERE for my review of Poison Princess!

The Immortal Rules is yet another beautifully written book by Julie Kagawa. Kagawa's sarcastic, descriptive, free-flowing style pulls the reader in in such a way that it's practically impossible to stop until the book is finished. Utterly human in stuck in the body of a vampire, Allie must find a way to survive in the now apocalyptic remains of Earth, while balancing her teetering love life on the side. Allie is a lovable heroine that isn't afraid to give ya a nice butt whoopin' if you get in her way. As an avid fan of Kagawa's stories and a critical reader, I emphatically and highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

Click HERE for my review of The Immortal Rules!

Angie's Obsessions of 2012:

Throne of Glass wasn't a perfect read. It had flaws, quite a few in fact. Yet, I still had an extremely difficult time removing myself while reading it. There's something entrancing about a girl forcing those around to her to see for who she really is, not just dismissing her in her former glory or as a weakling. 

Recommended: For those who want a classic kick-butt heroine, even with the clichés.

Click HERE for my review of Throne of Glass!

Let me just scream in frustration that this book doesn't get the attention it deserves. Very few books succeed with a plot circled around dragons, let along having the protagonist being half-dragon. It's a refreshing high fantasy with the warmth of a girl rediscovering herself, as well as the depths of evil in society. The writing style is so beautiful and colorful, I pick up my copy of this book frequently and gladly to revisit the vivid world of Seraphina.

Click HERE for my review of Seraphina!

In honor of the many amazing 2012 reads of this year, we are having a giveaway for one of these books! (USA only, sorry. We're planning something good soon!). One winner shall choose one of these fabulous reads to win. Good Luck!

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

by Hannah Harrington
Published: August 28th 2012 
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Paperback, 288 pages 

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.--Goodreads

5 Stars!

Before I read this book I wrote a paper on the word silence for my English class. I like to say I learn all there is about silence, but I really haven't. My definition on that word (and on any word for that matter) is going to continue to grow as I grow. I actually meant to read this book for more research for my silence paper, but I didn't have time to finish the book for the paper's due date. :( But I still finish the novel and really enjoyed it.

Speechless tackles many problems such as homophobia and bullying. At first I thought Chelsea was a coward for taking the easy way out by not talking. In a small way she was being a coward, but in a bigger way she wasn't. I felt she could've accomplish the same things that she accomplished in the novel without her vow of silence, but the vow of silence symbolized something. The vow of silence stood for the self-loathing Chelsea had towards herself, the anger she has towards Warren and Joey (the people who beat up/ almost killed Noah), and the sadness Chelsea has about her lost friendships. Although Chelsea does realize that she didn't actually want to be friends with Kristen at all; she just wanted to be seen in high school and by being Kristen's BFF, Chelsea was seen. I thought this was selfish, but really doesn't everyone want to be notice? Especially in high school? Maybe not noticed all the time, but at least seen most of the time and not feel invisible like you don't matter?

Asha who became a good friend of Chelsea's was so so kind. Chelsea and Asha met in detention where Asha struck up a convo with Chelsea and invited her to Rosie's (a restaurant Asha, Sam, Noah, Andy, and eventually Chelsea work at). 

I simply do not understand why anyone would beat up another person for something they can't change! Warren and Joey, shortly after finding out that Noah was gay, hunted him down and beat him so hard that Noah went to the hospital unconscious. Even if you don't believe in being gay, why would you beat up someone because you don't believe in what they stand for? Violence is never the answer. Chelsea was the only who found out that Noah was gay and told everyone at the party that Noah was gay and that cause Warren and Joey to go after Noah. If Chelsea never told anyone that bit of gossip Noah would never have gotten hurt. Chelsea blames herself for that, but she didn't know that Noah was going to get beaten, so it's not all her fault. Since we are only human, we're going to blame ourselves for things we can't completely control.

Through Chelsea's vow of silence, she learn a lot about herself. By the end of the novel I was really proud of her. Chelsea was never a bad person, but by the end of the book she became a much better person than she was in the beginning. Many lessons can be learn from this novel and if you guys are looking for a good book to read or just have some free time, read Speechless. You'll read enjoy it and who knows maybe it'll give you something to think about!

Lesson: Think before you speak!

Purchase this novel at: Amazon / B&N / TBD

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review: The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris

by Shana Norris
 Published: April 30, 2011
 Kindle Edition, 350 pages

Avery James has her life planned out: this summer she'll work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica, next year she'll graduate at the top of her class, and after that, college and medical school. Perfect, planned, total order.

The only problem: getting the rest of the money she needs for the trip before the deadline. Hannah Cohen, her biggest competition for the valedictorian title, makes an unexpected offer: If Avery can win over Zac Greeley and make him break up with Hannah before the end of the school year, a check for five hundred dollars is all hers. Faced with the prospect of spending yet another summer working as a giant hot dog, it's an offer Avery can't refuse.

Zac is nothing like Avery expected. Within his chaotic world of midnight slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties, her total order is quickly falling apart while Hannah seems poised to get everything she wants. But just how much is Avery willing to give up for the perfect, planned life?--Goodreads

3.25 Stars!

The cover of this book is cute, just like the novel was. The Boyfriend Thief was a lot more Middle-Grade than YA, but it was still a good read. I was torn between giving it a 3 stars or a 3.5 stars, so decided it is a 3.25 star book! :)

Avery, the main character, really disappointed me. I guess I wanted to like her, but I couldn't. I didn't dislike her, but at the same time I can't really say that I liked her. I know this is kind of confusing and extremely oxymoronic, but this is how I feel; deal with it! :P Avery was just kind of forgettable? I read a lot of contemporary novels and you really can't switch it up with contemporary, so most novels basically have a similar plot, but different-ish characters. With Avery I was really angry at her for being angry at others. I know something bad happened between her, Hannah, and Eillot, but we don't know quite why until much later. I am all for building suspense, but that suspense was stretched out a bit too long...

I liked Zac although he was very much like other contemporary male characters. I was rooting for Zac and Avery though! LOL:)

The character I liked the best was Elliot. I thought he was just a random character, but the novel had an unexpected twist to the book with Elliot. 

The plot as I said before, it's not quite original, but it was an easy, cute read. If you are aiming for a light and fast read this is the novel for you! 

Purchase this novel at: Amazon and B&N 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Post Holiday eBook Event!

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The Post-Christmas Holiday Book Sale hosted by the Indie Book Festival, will kick off on December 28 and run through December 31. All books will be .99!! The Indie Book Festival will be posting the participating books to their Facebook page as well. The Indie Book Festival website is the premier online website for seasonal ebook sales events! From Halloween to Valentine's Day – we'll celebrate it by bringing you bestselling books by today’s hottest Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal and Young Adult indie authors. 

You can also enter to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card now!

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Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

1 comment:
Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test #2)
By Aimée Carter
Published: March 27, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Paperback, 297 pages

Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she'll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry's first wife, Persephone. --Goodreads
2 Stars

With all of the hype this series is receiving, you'd totally expect something extraordinarily original or dramatic, but unfortunately Goddess Interrupted doesn't stand out in that retrospect. Instead, this book is an overly dramatic, but fun read.

After all the trials Kate has gone through to get to the stage of being hitched to Henry, trouble strikes. I know! You totally didn't expect something abnormal to happen! Yes, Calliope (Hera) is insane, releasing the very daddy who ate her when she was a newborn for no reason besides what? She wants to avenge her misery with her useless husband by hooking up with Henry and killing of Kate. Of course, things never turn out as one expects when half of the cast is insane.

As you've probably figured out by now, Goddess Interrupted is the continuation of The Goddess Test (genius, yes I know). With the words of continuation, this also means a continuation of the hilarious soap operatic moments that can only happen with a straight man (girl in this case), and the insane almighty gods. With Henry kidnapped, we've lost the "Beast" of Beauty and the Beast. Now it's "Beauty" running off to find her hubby's first wife who everyone hates. Then what was already making no sense just spirals downward to become one of the most awkward and sexist books in YA history.

Basically, the author retells a Greek myth in modern times, but unfortunately decides to add tons of sexist and nonsensical situations. For example, Persephone has never loved Henry, not to mention was forced to marry him. Then when she decides that she cannot live this loveless life anymore, and falls in love with Adonis, all of the gods consider her a slut? It is understandable that this situation has happened in the past, and many people have thought the same things hundreds of years ago. But seriously! This is the 21st century, this book takes place in the 21st century, so shouldn't at least the one character born in this century (hello Kate) act like she can understand Persephone's decision. It just floored me out sexist this series could get. 

Then there's the ending. What kind of book ends with such an awkward ending that has the antagonist flash her playing cards in front of the protagonist before her plan is even in the final stages? For goodness sakes! After the sudden revealed plan, there's a frikkin' time skip that feels so out of place. One reason is because it's from Henry's point of view, and we've never had a single moment in this entire series with another narrator besides Kate, so it feels disjointed. Let's just say that there could have been a better way to end this book.

I won't deny that I enjoyed reading Goddess Interrupted. It was like watching Breaking Dawn: Part I, funny because it couldn't be taken seriously. The OMG moments were laughable, and the plot moved too rapidly to be seriously reprehensible. Still, this is definitely one of the biggest slumps of a series that I've read, but I love the cheesiness of this series so much, so I'm definitely putting The Goddess Inheritance on my to-read list.

Purchase this book: Amazon/ B&N/ TBD

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Sworn to Raise by Terah Edun

1 comment:

Sworn to Raise (Courtlight #1)
By Terah Edun
Expected Publication: March 15, 2013

Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the kingdom. But beneath her kingdom’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations.

Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companion’s Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron. 

But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.

This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder. --Goodreads

Enter to win a $60 Amazon Gift Card!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Trailer Reveal: Eternal Hope by Frankie Rose

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Series: The Hope Series #2 
Publication date: October, 2012

He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me 

When your friends go missing and you don’t know if they’re dead or alive; when you tie your soul to the one you love; when you kill to protect and your family suffers, there’s only one thing you can do: 

Move to Montana. 

Farley Hope is special. She was prophesied to kill the forebears of her bloodline- a race of cold-blooded Reavers, men who steal the souls of the living to gain power. The Quorum had counted on Farley ending her own life in the process, but when Kayden came to her aid and helped save both her and Daniel, he undid their plans. Now the Quorum are displeased, not only with Kayden, but with Farley and Daniel too. Though her father is now dead, Farley’s troubles with the Reavers are far from over. An ancient Immortal, trapped for a thousand years, wants Farley for himself, and he will stop at nothing to claim her. 

With secrets that lead to anger and pain, that turn friendship to dust, the group must overcome the problems within their own circle before they have a hope of fighting off the powers that threaten their lives. --Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday 12/26

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event that features the books that we (the bloggers) are highly anticipating. "Waiting on Wednesday" was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Jenny is "Waiting On":
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook 
Expected Publication: January 29th 2013 by HarperTeen
Add this on Goodreads!

Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.--Goodreads

Pre-Order Nobody but Us at: Amazon / B&N / TBD

Angie is impatiently dying for: 
Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand
Expected Publication: January 22, 2013 by HarperTeen
Add this on Goodreads

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all. --Goodreads

Pre-order Boundless here: AmazonB&N/ TBD

~M is eagerly anticipating:
The Archived(The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab
Publication Date: January 22nd, 2013 by Hyperion 
Add this on Goodreads

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

Pre-order at: Amazon / Barnes and Nobles  

What do you think? What are you Waiting on Wednesday for? Comment below! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cover Reveal: Of Triton by Anna Banks


Of Triton (Of Poseidon #2)
By Anna Banks
Expected Publication: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?

My thoughts: Breathtaking isn't it? Please don't yell at me for posting this late. I really enjoyed Of Poseidon over many of the other mermaid books that came out this year. I'm not sure what made it stand out from the rest, but maybe the covers are a big reason. You have to admit, these covers are gorgeous, even if I do feel kind of sorry for the models who had to pose like this multiple times for a while. 2013 can't come any faster, darn it!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review: The Guardians by Krista Ashe

1 comment:
By Krista Ashe
Published: September 5, 2012
Kindle Edition, 321 pages

Got Wings?

Elijah and Cassie aren’t your old-school angels chilling in the heavens and strumming harps. They’re members of the Guardians, an elite force of angels. Their newest mission is no walk in the clouds. In an effort to seek out troubled teens, they, along with fellow angels, Rafe, Sophie and Gabriel, will pose as a family of adopted brothers and sisters and enroll in high school. Along with their gift of “emotional divination”, which is to take on the pain of those who are suffering, they experience their own roller coaster rides of teenage emotions.

Accustomed to working with children, shy Elijah is overwhelmed when he is assigned to Abby, an honor roll cheerleader. When she discovers she is pregnant and her boyfriend abandons her, Abby turns to Elijah for support. As his feelings for Abby intensify, Elijah also struggles with the desire to be a guardian to Abby’s unborn baby. However, as Elijah is trying to do good, a dark force hovers over him in the form of Lucius—one of Satan’s demons. Things escalate when Elijah threatens Lucius. It will come to a fight to the finish with Elijah either being defeated or damning Lucius back to Hell. --Barnes&Noble

3.5 Stars


With plenty of emotions and angst, The Guardians sets itself apart as a paranormal angel book without the whole excessive "pure" mojo becoming burdensome and tons of human like emotions for our "angelic" characters.

After witnessing the murder of a pivotal mother, Victoria, among several families, several angels, including Elijah and Cassie, are sent on a mission to prevent several of the mother's family members from going off the bridge to the bad stuff. The job's tough, but someone has to prevent these multiple children from being manipulated by Lucius, the malevolent presence responsible for Victoria's death who is out for more blood. 

The guardian angels are sent down to earth in human bodies to make themselves behave like real humans for the sake of fitting in, so the angels are not immune to the effects of human emotions. These emotions make the angels relatable protagonists, despite their job title as "angel." This feels somewhat out of place with all of the jealousy, pride, and anger that comes along with the title of being a "guardian angel." In some ways, this is more like a book about two people developing feelings for people who lack the necessary ability to go far in life without some support. Unfortunately, they fall in love with these hopeless people, and then the soap operas come in. *dun, dun, dun* (No, actually it's a good thing)

There are few angel books that take risks like The Guardians does. Instead of focusing on "cleansing" the souls of these poor humans, the angels serve as guards for the kids recovering from the empty spot Victoria left in their lives. However, many elements of the plot and aspects of the world are left unexplained that leaves the reader confused at times, and wondering why all of this couldn't be solved as easily as it is at the end. Every scene seems to be a climatic moment, even if it is not the vital to the story line. Whether or not that is a bad thing, I still have yet to decide, but overall, it feels as if there's no true plot line. Instead, it feels more like a group of TV episode summaries bunched together, with a new situation and climatic moment every few chapters.

Many of the characters of The Guardians vacillate from brimming with emotion to drowning to one-sided characters with no personality. For example, Elijah and Cassie are hormone-crazy angels in teenager bodies. It's endearing in that they have to experience what every human's forced to face, but a little odd to see these angelic creatures easily adjusted to the sinful nature that humans have. It seems questionable that the main angel characters are the ones with all of the problems, while the other three; Rafe, Sophie, and Gabriel, aren't really developed as characters and act like the angelic creatures they are. Nothing is wrong with this, in fact, it makes The Guardians stand out as a book. Meanwhile, the assignments; Abby and Zach, are somewhat undervalued. Rather than being seen as teenagers who suffer as all teenagers do, they are portrayed as nearly perfect humans with terrible circumstances awaiting them. Abby is Miss. Goody-Two Shoes, even when she finds out that she and baby can't be together. Zach is like the Hulk, a sweet guy with an untested rage just dying to be unleashed. Overall, the characters weren't exactly the best selection to be found, but they were enjoyable to read about.

The Guardians is a sweet, enjoyable read due to its easy nature and real-life problems among teenagers. Despite all of the angel talk, there is no other book that has many of the soap opera problems that teenagers must face in a realistic manner, way more realistically than dramas. At first, I was thinking this book would be like Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, which was one of the stupidest books ever written in the history of YA kind, but actually, this book succeeds in everything Halo couldn't possible imagine. The ending was a little rushed in my opinion, and needed work because of its approach, which could've been achieved earlier in the book to save many characters much grief. Regardless, with a plot accented with twists and a group of multi-faceted characters, The Guardians shows itself as a great start for what I hope to be a wonderful new paranormal angel series.

Purchase The Guardians: Amazon (Kindle)/ B&N (Nook)

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) 
by Katie McGarry
Published: July 31st 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Hardcover, 392 pages

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked. 

So wrong for each other...and yet so right. 

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.--Goodreads

5 Stars! It's a keeper!

I know, I know! I'm really late on the Pushing the Limits train! I got this book over the summer, but there were sooo many good awesome books that came out over the summer, so didn't get the time to get to this one, but this book was wow to the max!

I love all the suspense and mystery in this book. Katie McGarry drops you right into the story and it's up to the reader to figure out what is happening. At first, I thought it was really confusing and I admit, it took me a a chapter or two to understand to situation, but it was really interesting to find out what's happening. After you find out what is happening, you still don't know the full story! If you are like me and are baited by the mystery and you HAVE to know what is going on, then you are probably going to finish this book in one sitting like I did. This book truly blew contemporary out of the water! Reading this novel is time well spent!

The guidance counselor/ social worker was so trusting and nice! I love my guidance counselor, but this lady took guidance to the next level! First, she got Echo and Noah working together and that my friend is how the story got started! Second, she didn't judge them. Third, she was the one who helped our hero and heroine get their lives back and better than it currently is. I found myself trusting her and just in general liking her. 

Best friend: Ok YAN family, this is the most crucial part of the book: the best friend. It's the deciding factor of a good book.... I LOVED Lila! Girl was the BEST! She has stuck with Echo through everything she has been through in her life! Lila helped Echo when Echo's accident happened, when Echo's mom had her bipolar episodes, and when Echo's brother died. Lila was definitely a true friend, unlike Grace.

Isaiah and Beth. Isaiah and Beth are Noah's best friends. I thought they were interesting characters, but they really cared about Noah and that was really sweet. The three of them are all in foster care, well Beth isn't, but she stays with them a lot since her mom isn't the ideal person you want to live with. Beth was a bit rude to Echo, which I didn't quite get, but all the more reason to read Katie McGarry's new novel featuring Beth! :)

Echo and Noah. I can't really explain how well this duo worked in this novel, but they just made the novel that much better. I promise you if you read Pushing the Limits you will love Echo and Noah as well! But keep in mind Echo is a tad insecure about herself, especially after that night, and Noah has a really tough skin and gets mad easily, and all of this can be annoying at times, but understand where they are coming from!

Overall, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G book! Can't wait for Dare You To

Purchase Pushing the Limits at: Amazon / B&N / TBD

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review: Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4) 
By Jennifer Estep 
Expected Publication: December 24, 2012 
Publisher: Kensington 
Paperback, 384 pages 

For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself… --Goodreads

4.5 Stars

Jennifer Estep has continuously impressed me with her break-out into the YA genre. Her Mythos Academy series is now one of my top YA paranormal series. What began first as a mediocre, clichéd Touch of Frost soon blossomed into this epic of massive proportions that cannot be contained. Time after time, I am repeatedly surprised by Jennifer's growth in writing for a YA audience. Before, I found Gwen a dull, stereotypical Bella kind of character. At this point, Gwen is one of the fiercest YA protagonists ever to exist.

Crimson Frost begins immediately after the horrifying events of Dark Frost. As with most books and movies, the worst news comes at the best time, as in Logan's daddy in charge of prosecuting poor Gwen for freeing Loki. Poor Gwen seems to be back at square -1000 with everyone at the Academy wanting to kill her, and her now incredibly awkward relationship with Logan. Sometimes, I just want to throw Jennifer Estep around to give Gwen her happy ending already. Throughout the entire series, Gwen has to face so many threats without thanks, and almost dies constantly. Enough, is enough! However, her pain is the reader's gain, so I can totally understand why Gwen should continue suffering.

What makes me really love the Mythos Academy series is the character growth that is constantly shown throughout the series. Characters that were first shown as shallow and dependent gradually mature into likable, strong supporting characters. Unlike many series that just focus mainly on the main protagonists, Mythos Academy always includes other characters in the main events, and they aren't just back-up singers, they're all part of the action as well. Although Crimson Frost didn't focus as much on the supporting characters as the previous books did because a majority of the focus was on Gwen's problems and turmoil, there was still some new revelations for some of the sideline characters that made the book all the more exciting to read.

After finishing Crimson Frost, I was at a sort of loss. The book was nearly perfect in my eyes. The characters were vivid and relatable, the plot was imaginative and innovative, everything seemed perfect. Then I realized my problem: I already figured out everything that was going on before it actually happened. This did not make my enjoyment of this book any less, but I feel like that if a book is predictable, it shouldn't receive a rating greater than the enjoyment rating. If I was grading this solely on my enjoyment, then it would've received a 5 star rating. Unfortunately, the predictability factor just lowers the rating by a mere half star.

Despite its predictability, Crimson Frost by no means is one of those over-the-top books. The fast-pace of the story keeps the reader from finding this a dull, tedious read. All of the characters have some spark in them that electrifies the pages with their dialogue and interactions alone. The pivotal relationship between Gwen and Logan is tested throughout this book especially, and it's so heartbreaking to see two people who belong with each other having to face such terrible trials. Jennifer Estep has penned the best book of the Mythos Academy series yet, and I can't wait to read the next book to defy my expectations.

E-ARC courtesy of Kensington via NetGalley. Thank you Kensington and NetGalley! 

Pre-order Crimson Frost at: Amazon/ B&N/ TBD
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