Saturday, March 30, 2013

Review: Fast Forward by Juliet Madison

3 comments:
by Juliet Madison
Published February 1st 2013 
Publisher: Escape Publishing
eBook, 218 pages


Aspiring supermodel Kelli Crawford seems destined to marry her hotshot boyfriend, but on her 25th birthday she wakes in the future as a fifty-year-old suburban housewife married to the now middle-aged high school nerd.

Trapped in the opposite life of the one she wanted, Kelli is forced to re-evaluate her life and discover what is really important to her. Will she overcome the hilarious and heartbreaking challenges presented to her and get back to the body of her younger self? Or will she be stuck in the nightmare of hot flushes, demanding children, raunchy advances from her husband, and hideous support underwear forever?--Goodreads


Awesome book! 5 Stars! 


Review
I accidentally came upon this book while on Goodreads and I ended up purchasing the novel and finishing it in one sitting!

Kelli comes off as conceited and a bit rude at first, but she grows on you! She was actually really funny. I laughed at her freak outs :) She tends to exaggerate a lot, especially when she went bungee-jumping with her son. Kelli's overly active imagination made this book a fun and light read. Thank goodness I didn't read this in public or otherwise people would think I'm a lunatic since I was smiling like a lunny for most of the book.

Since Kelli was sent to the future, there were tons of new technology. The technology were really cool! There was a built-in coffee maker in the car!!! The car had auto-drive! And it talks to you! I for one can not wait for the future :)

The novel was funny, but it also taught an important lesson. Reading this novel just made me appreciate life and all it has to offer. I'm the kind of person that constantly wonders what if? What if I turned in that assignment on time, would I've gotten a better grade in the class? What if I splurged and got that cute shirt? I'm also a huge planner. I have a plan for my future and intend to follow through with it. I also get stress out when things don't go according to my plans. The funny thing with life is that you never know. The only thing you can do is live your life and have fun doing so. As the kids would say, YOLO. (you only live once!)


Purchase this novel at: Amazon (Kindle)  / B&N (Nook) / KOBO

Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

4 comments:
Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) 
By Cassandra Clare 
Released: March 19, 2013 
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books 
Hardcover, 568 pages 

Don’t miss The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, soon to be a major motion picture in theaters August 2013.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy. --B&N


4.5 Stars

Review
I cannot believe that it's over! The Infernal Devices, one of the best YA series ever written is done, gone, and forever shall stay in our hearts. If you're a lover of this series and need to stop hyperventilating in excitement to read more Will and Jem, then I suggest you to stop being a miser and buy a copy of this book like I did. Seriously! It is worth every penny and trouble that you will get yourself into, like I did with spending $9 on it.

This will be a spoiler-free review, so let's see how this will go. Now, let's start with the aspect of the series that keeps everyone hooked: the love triangle. Honestly, this love triangle is one that is ridiculously hard to read about. It's so heart-wrenching and unbearable to see Tessa, Will, and Jem be forced into the kind of despicable romance with one guy left hanging. For some reason it is okay for 2 girls + 1 guy to have a girl be left hanging because that girl is always the self-centered *beep*, but for with 1 girl + 2 guys, it's such a tumultuous roller coaster that always crashes. 

Thankfully, Cassandra Clare is able to make the otherwise overly used love triangle exciting and seem original. There are so many love triangles out there, but this series presents a love triangle that seems to be genuine and passionate. I will not say that I am falling for the conclusion of this love triangle because it felt somewhat fake and obvious that the author was trying to appease everyone. 

Otherwise, everything about Clockwork Princess was perfect, or near perfection. There is a maturity that all of the characters, young or old, seem to develop. Characters that I originally despised, mainly Gabriel and Jessamine, received their share of the spotlight that redeemed them. Other characters that were obviously meant to be despicable remained that way, and some still are to this day (Woolsey is the werewolf I'd love to shoot the most). Despite the ridiculously large number of characters that keep popping up in The Infernal Devices, they all possess their own unique qualities that make them memorable. 

Clare's tendency to have weak, boring female leads seems to have shifted to stronger, more likable female protagonists. Tessa has become a heroine that is worthy of everyone's love and support because she doesn't mope or waste time on dreaming on the what-ifs, like Clary did in City of Lost Souls. In the beginning, Tessa did seem to be a clone of Clary, but thankfully she has developed into a fierce heroine that can stand among the Shadowhunters. 

Meanwhile, Will + Jem, are the couple that deserve the most shipping. All of the misunderstandings and necessary clarifications are revealed to the both of them that leaves the reader breathless. There are so many moments between the two in this book that left me brokenhearted. The beautiful friendship they have is so powerful and sweet. If only all books had bromances of similar caliber as this one...

Clockwork Princess is the pinnacle of perfection for conclusions to magnificent, epic series like these. Cassandra Clare has left her readers disappointed with an ending that is somewhat predictable, yet satisfying. The ending wasn't tightly tied up, but left many loose ends for Clare's future books, leaving everyone desperate to find out what more is to come in the world of the Shadowhunters.


Purchase Clockwork Princess here: Amazon/ B&N/ The Book Despository

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 3/27

6 comments:
"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 Can't Wait For:
Breathless (Elemental #2.5) by Brigid Kemmerer
Expected publication: May 2013 by Kensington Teen

Too many secrets. Not enough time.

Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.

But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.

His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.

He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.--Goodreads


Pre-order Breathless at: Amazon / B&N



Rosie Obsessively Awaits

Poison by Bridget Zinn
Expected Publication: May 12, 2013 by Disney Hyperion

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.


Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?



Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon. --Goodreads

Pre-order Poison at: Amazon/ B&N/ TBD

~M is Eagerly Anticipating:

PODs by Michelle K. Pickett
Publication Date: June 4th, 2013 by Spencer Hill Press
 
Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.
-Goodreads

Pre-order PODs at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Firmoo Glasses Product Review

2 comments:
Hey guys, this is ~M. So recently I received a free pair of glasses from Firmoo, an online eyeglasses store. Firmoo is the world's most popular online eyeglasses store, and are committed to offering customers the best quality products at the most affordable prices. For this reason, they have gained a solid reputation and trust from hundreds of thousands of fans on Facebook.

Here are the glasses I got:


 Here is me wearing them (as embarrassing as it is): 

Okay. So just letting you know, I ordered a pair of glasses and had the lenses tinted (so I could wear them as sunglasses, I didn't need a pair of regular glasses). With that said I shall get on with my review. I gave the glasses a four and a half star rating, and that was because they were high quality and nicely durable (not flimsy like those cheap pairs). They also came with a nice case, a cleaning cloth, and a little bag that the case can go into (I guess to carry it around or protect your glasses/sunglasses even more). The only things I didn't like about them were minor and a personal preference. I would have liked for them to be a bit bigger and the lenses to be a bit darker (it all depends on what style you decide on).


I gave their product a rating of 4.5 stars.


Furthermore, they have a First Pair Free program, where you can pick a pair of free glasses (pay shipping only). Check it out here: http://www.firmoo.com/free-glasses.html. If you're interested, here's the link to their website: www.firmoo.com/

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Things I Can’t Forget Blog Tour: Review of Things I Can’t Forget plus a Bonus

2 comments:
Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks #3) 
By Miranda Kenneally
Publication: March 1st 2013 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format via NetGalley


Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.

Some Rules Were Meant To Be Broken.

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt…with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…--Goodreads

Note: Mature themes, sexual situations, religious discussions.


4 Stars

Review:

Thank you to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel! Everything in this review are my own opinions.

I HATED Kate. I know this is an incredibly negative approach to writing a review, but just deal with it for now and let me explain. It took me most of the book to like her. I thought she was judgmental and she wasn't open to things. For Kate, everything can only be seen and done one way. I kept reading this book mainly because of the other characters, like Matt and Parker and Will. (BTW Parker and Will are from Stealing Parker, which is my favorite of the Hundred Oaks series:) But the more I read, the more I hated Kate. There were parts were I liked her, but for the most part she wasn't a likable person. Then I got towards the end and really started to like Kate.

Ahhh Matt! All the guys in Hundred Oaks are awesome. But some of the guys stories I want to hear are Ryan's (Parker's older brother), Brian's (The coach from Stealing Parker. I wonder what happened to him), and Brad (from Things I can't Forget. Is he with Andrea now? I thought we didn't like her). Matt didn't judge Kate and did the cutest things for her, such as sleeping outside her cabin when she didn't want to sleep with everyone else at Dogwood. I really liked how Matt and Kate went to camp together when they were 11 and now found each other again! I'm such a sucker for cute things like that. :)

I love how Miranda Kenneally's novels are all about finding yourself and truly thinking about what YOU believe in. Kate was just trying to listen to what she was taught and when she didn't, she thought she sinned. Unlike the other Hundred Oaks novels, you might not like the protagonist right away, but she does make you think about your life and what you believe in.



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


About the Author:

Miranda Kenneally writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. She is also the co-creator of the website DearTeenMe.com. You can visit her at www.mirandakenneally.com or @mirandakennealy.


BONUS Part of the Post!

Top Ten Secret List - Learn about ten upcoming characters from THINGS I CAN'T FORGET and RACING SAVANNAH (Dec. 2013)


1. Kate Kelly: Kate is the heroine of THINGS I CAN’T FORGET. Kate is 18, a recent high school graduate, and she’s working as the arts and crafts director at a summer camp, where she meets up with Matt Brown, the boy who gave her her first kiss.


2. Matt Brown: Matt is the love interest in THINGS I CAN’T FORGET. Matt is 20, in a fraternity, and plays the guitar. He’s also training to run a marathon barefoot! He’s getting over a bad breakup with his ex-girlfriend when he meets Kate. Is Kate really the girl for him, or will dating again just lead to more heartbreak?

3. Emily Mansfield: Emily is Kate’s former best friend. They got into a fight after high school, and without her, Kate doesn’t know who she is anymore.

4. Ian Hot Boy With No Last Name: In THINGS I CAN’T FORGET, Ian is the wild crazy guy who cracks me up. He likes to fool around with his girlfriend in inappropriate places and refers to many people as “douches,” but he has a big heart and a soft side. I never gave him a last name, but I love him. Ha!

5. Parker Shelton: In STEALING PARKER, Parker doesn’t have many girlfriends. In THINGS I CAN’T FORGET, she doesn’t get along with Kate at first, but as they get to know each other, is there a chance for a real friendship?

6. Savannah Barrow: Savannah is the heroine of RACING SAVANNAH. She’s 17, a senior in high school, and she works at a high-stakes horse farm, doing everything from hauling hay to shoveling manure to mopping floors. She’s been living in the servants’ quarters all her life, but she wants nothing more than to become an exercise rider and work with the horses that compete in big races like the Kentucky Derby.

7. Jack Goodwin: Jack is the farm owner’s sexy son. Jack is being groomed to take over the farm one day, so his father makes him manage the estate and staff. Even though he’s attracted to Savannah, Jack knows he won’t be considered a responsible, gentlemanly farm owner if he goes after a member of his staff.

8. Marcus Winchester: Marcus is the villain of RACING SAVANNAH. Marcus is a rival farm owner’s son, and he has a past history with Savannah, which doesn’t make Jack too happy.


9. Rory Whitfield: Rory works on the horse farm in RACING SAVANNAH. He’s the younger brother of Will Whitfield (Corndog!) from STEALING PARKER. Rory lives next door to Jack and Savannah and he’s Savannah’s closest friend. Rory is in the drama club and wants to sell a screenplay to Hollywood.

10. Vanessa Green: Vanessa is the younger sister of Ty Green, the love interest from CATCHING JORDAN. Vanessa has a thing for Rory Whitfield… and is rather shocked that Rory has Star Wars sheets and sleeps with a Chewbacca stuffed animal.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Book Trailer Reveal: The Fallen Stars by Stephanie Keyes

3 comments:

The Fallen Stars (The Starchild #2) 
By Stephanie Keyes 
Release Date: April 12, 2013 
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing 


Kellen St. James was just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy, until he eighty-sixed the Lord of Faerie and proposed to the Celtic Goddess, Calienta. But then everything in Kellen’s life gets turned upside-down when he and Cali end up on the run from a seriously irritated group of faeries. The worst part? They have zero idea why they’re being hunted.

Suddenly, Kellen is stuck in the middle of another prophecy that foresees him turning away from Calienta and embracing the dark. He’ll be forced to take sides in a struggle to claim his birthright, while discovering secrets about his father’s past. Meanwhile, his passion for Cali grows stronger, even as the prophecy threatens to tear them apart.

In the end, will Kellen and Cali survive the fates? When the ultimate power is within reach, which side will he choose? --Goodreads



The Trailer

Today's trailer is for Stephanie Keye's second book, The Fallen Stars. Have a look!

Giveaway

There is a great giveaway happening for this event! Check out what you can win.
Giveaway3

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday 3/20

8 comments:
"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 Can't Wait For

Spirit (Elemental #3) by Brigid Kemmerer
Expected publication: May 28th 2013 by K Teen

With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…--Goodreads


Pre-order Spirit at: Amazon / B&N / TBD



Rosie Insanely Craves

Expected Publication: June 25, 2013 by HarlequinTeen
Paperback, 384 pages

I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.


Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive. --GoodReads


Pre-order Ink at: Amazon / B&N / TBD

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Author Interview and Giveaway: Double Star by Cindy Saunders

1 comment:

By Cindy Saunders 
Published: November 28, 2012 
Publisher: Book Baby 


When Cepheus, a dark god, forces seventeen-year-old Ally Ashworth off an isolated overlook, she has no idea she's falling into his world, or that the necklace she’s wearing is actually a key - one with the power to ignite the next world war. But she’s carried beyond his reach and into the one place where he’s powerless ... the forest of Gilgamesh.

Ally’s never been Miss Popularity, but her outsider status takes on new meaning when she’s rescued by Liam Cheveyo and his peculiar friends. After seeing them shape-shift into their freaky humanimal counterparts, Ally smacks hard into a few truths: magic really does exist and, although getting here took no effort, finding her way back might be impossible. Feelings between her and Liam begin to grow along with the realization that, in this world, she’s stronger, better ... until she’s caught in a trap set by the creepy spider-boy Cepheus sends to retrieve her. But Ally’s not going down without a fight, not after learning the horrible truth about the passageways.

The survival of both worlds depends on it. -Goodreads



Interview with the Lovely Cindy Saunders!

 ~M: What was your inspiration for Double Star?

CS: I’ve always been fascinated with the possibility of other worlds existing either in the heavens or running parallel to our own. I was looking around one day and thought ... “What if ...?”

I remembered a vortex site I visited on a trip to Sedona a few years back and discovered that vortexes are thought to be gateways to other worlds. As a matter of fact, Stonehenge and The Great Pyramid of Egypt are thought to be centers of vortex activity and again, thought ... “What if ...?” At that point, the ideas started to flow. I’ve always been interested in Greek mythology and wondered what it would have been like if the gods really had existed. What if they still do?

Then, I began thinking of love. What if you found your one true love (if you have experienced it, you know what I’m talking about it. If not ... wait for it. It’s the most unbelievable feeling) but what if the odds were stacked against you? What if you found yourself in another world and this ‘soul mate’ was there? What if there were other forces, as well? Ones which threatened everything you believe in. What would you be willing to do? What if all the craziness in this world right now (the violence, the wars, the devastating weather, etc.) was being caused by something or someone traveling into our world? What if you had the power to close that door?

I started to write down all these ‘what ifs’ and my story was born. I actually told my daughter about my ideas and she said, “Mom, how about the name Double Star?” I liked it and it stuck. I wanted the story to be based on a Greek goddess (I made up Ascencia) who died in swan form. When I did some research, I discovered that Cygnus (the swan) actually has a double star in the constellation and figured it was meant to be!


~M: Well, besides dead swan goddesses, is there an author that you admire who has really inspired you?

CS: I have always been a fan of Stephen King. He is not afraid to explore “what ifs”. I especially like his fantasy novels about other worlds such as The Talisman and The Gunslinger Series. I love the way he develops his characters so you feel invested in them regardless of how crazy they might be! He’s an awesome writer.

~M: Stephen King rocks!! ALL HAIL STEPHEN KING OF MAINE!! Anyway....

Who is your favorite character and why?

CS: Probably like any author, there is a special place in my heart for all my characters. I wanted to write a story where the characters were relatable but not too hard or too flawed. They have issues but what’s going on around them is what creates the conflict. Shane, Oisin and Ian are loosely based on people I know. Corm ... he’s probably the guy I would have fallen for in high school. I like Ally’s strength and resiliency, given the situation she’s had to deal with. But of course, my favorite is Liam. He’s strong yet vulnerable and, of course, in my mind he’s very hot!

~M: Because time travel should totally exist, if you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?

CS: Start writing now! I don’t know why I waited so long. I’m not an English major. I wasn’t even fond of writing in school ... my grammar is still atrocious (talk to my editor and she’ll agree!). But I think I’ve always thought like a writer. I like observing people, what they’re saying, their body language, trying to get inside their heads, figure out what makes them tick. I’m probably way off base but it’s all about creating an illusion because perception is reality. So my advice to anyone thinking about writing ... go for it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

~M: Grammar sucks! Good thing, but sooooooo pesky! 

Was there any part of the book that you had hard time writing? Please explain.

CS: The final scene where Ally and company confront the Shenfo. I was involved in only one fight in my entire life and that was in high school. Sadly, I didn’t do very well. Trying to visualize in my head how it would go down at the end of the book was one thing but actually writing it was another. Because Double Star is, for the most part, through the eyes of Ally or Liam, they couldn’t possibly see everything that was happening. It took many re-writes but in the end, I’m pleased with how it turned out. Maybe I need to watch more Chuck Norris flicks! Also, I need to thank my brother, Ned, for his help with this scene and countless others in the book. He knew what I was trying to do ... I couldn’t have done it without him.

~M: I see, I shall take notice of your obsession with Chuck Norris. Besides writing and Chuck Norris, what else do you obsess yourself with?

CS: I love music. I find it very inspirational. It’s amazing how a song can bring back memories of another time or place and bring tears to your eyes or a smile to your face. I’ve always been a big concert- goer. Nothing compares to the energy at a live show. My tastes are always changing but I remember listening to Coldplay’s Viva la Vida CD (“Death and All His Friends”) and the Merrows piece in the book literally wrote itself. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hear that song and not be reminded of Ally’s day at the lake. Musical inspirations for Double Star were lots of Coldplay (to be quite honest, I never was into them before I started the book), Collective Soul, Manchester Orchestra and Cage the Elephant. For Double Star II, I’m listening to Lana Del Ray, AWOL Nation and Imagine Dragons.

~M: The ending of Double Star was left very open ended, can you give us any hints as to what will happen (we will even accept musical hints!)?

CS: Honestly, I’m not sure what’s going to happen! I didn’t know where the story was going in the first book until I got there. What I do know is that the group will find two others who complete the star. They will confront Cepheus ... but there is an alliance, a trinity of evil so to speak, that is stronger than anyone could have imagined. And if good is to win over evil, it will not be without casualties.

~M: Sigh.... Just waiting for some spoilers. 

What are you currently working on, and what can readers expect to see soon?


CS: Double Star II, of course! I don’t think I’m one of those writers that can put the story aside and work on something else. The characters are alive in my head and I don’t want to lose that. They need closure, too! I’m hoping it will be available by the end of 2013.

Giveaway

Enter to win an eCopy of Double Star! 
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

6 comments:
Don't Turn Around (PERSEF0NE #1)
By Michelle Gagnon
Published: August 28, 2012
Published: HarperCollins 
Hardcover, 320 pages


Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her computer-hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.


Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa's talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation called AMRF threatens his life in no uncertain terms.


But what Noa and Peter don't realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who'd stop at nothing to silence her for good. --Goodreads


5 Stars

Review:
Don't Turn Around is a beautiful book. Seriously, I think I've been waiting my whole life for this. It's got everything a truly terrific young adult book needs to have:
  1. A strong female character (Noa) who doesn't get progressively weaker as they male character (Peter) appears.
  2. The beginnings of a romance between the two main characters (it's only the first book. I'm sure it'll progress)
  3. A storyline improbable enough to be classified as young adult, but grounded enough in reality and the insane world of hackers to make for an incredibly entertaining read.
  4. An author with some insane writing skills.
The book alternates between the viewpoints of Noa, a girl living on her lonesome after running away from the foster care system, and Peter, a rich boy who lost his brother to some mysterious disease that is taking out the country's teenagers. The book starts out with Noa waking up in a warehouse crawling with evil henchmen with an IV in her arm and Peter's house being broken into by a group of masked thugs. The story continues on the action packed course it starts off with and doesn't slow down. 

The book ends up including just about everything and action book could. Tragedy? Some. Insanely wild and awesome fights/running away? Lots of it. Sheer fantastical hacking scenes? Enough to make you want to become a professional hacker. The beginnings of a revolution just to spice things up a bit? You got it. A few predictable plot lines? Come on. This is young adult fiction we're talking about. You already know the answer.

Overall, Don't Turn Around was a gripping novel with strong characters the reader roots for, a storyline that keeps the pages turning and, of course, hackers!



Purchase this book at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository

Friday, March 15, 2013

Review: Talented by Sophie Davis

2 comments:
Talented (Talented Saga #1)
By Sophie Davis 

Released: January 11, 2012 
eBook, 281 pages



When Talia Lyons was just a child, her parents were murdered before her eyes. Offered a choice between accepting their fate and exacting revenge, Talia trains to become one of the country’s deadliest assassins in order to kill the man responsible for their deaths: Ian Crane. Luckily, Talia was born with a gift- the ability to read and influence the minds of others. At sixteen, Talia is poised to graduate from the McDonough School for the Talented, where she learned to control her abilities. Now there is only one obstacle standing between her and the retribution she craves... Talia herself.

Her greatest asset may also be her undoing; while a formidable weapon in the field, Talia’s talents prevent her from both shutting off the mental connection she shares with her questionable boyfriend and blocking out the thoughts of a beguiling fellow recruit. But Talia can’t afford to have the feelings and distractions of a normal teenage girl, when her life is far from normal.

She must regain the single-minded determination that has brought her this far, or it may cost Talia her life when she finally faces Crane. And even after being molded in to a weapon of war, she’ll still have to find the strength it takes to pull the trigger.


If James Bond and Sookie Stackhouse had a love child with a yearning for vengeance, her story would be TALENTED: an adventure about powerful teenagers who aren’t afraid to embrace their fears and fight for what they believe in. --Goodreads

4 Stars

Review

There are times when books that have summaries that interest you, but not in the way that the author probably intended. The whole little snippet at the end talking about James Bond and Sookie Stackhouse's love child is what had me sold. It wasn't like I wanted them to have a love child, that wouldn't be a pleasant experience, it was more that the writer of this blurb clearly wanted to prove that this book would meet the ridiculously high expectations placed upon it by comparing it to James Bond and Sookie Stackhouse, and I intended to determine whether it was a deserving honor or a farce.

The story begins with Natalia "Tal" proving herself as an expert 'Talented' who can kick butt with her mental capabilities. Whoo-hoo! Natalia is introduced along with the group she is assigned to as she is training to be a Hunter, which includes the ever-responsible Henri and the playboy Erik. With her childhood friend boyfriend, Donovan, and her new best friend, Penny, it seems as if Tal's life is an average one, even with the whole Hunter thing. In fact, Tal's life is a little too simplistic in this radically different dystopian world with people with superpowers. Soon enough, Tal is quickly caught into the net forcing her to challenge her ideals and the sacrifices she will have to make to finish her retribution. On a side note, the guy who killed her parents is kind of important here, but then again not really.

This summary that I have crafted is full of contradicting statements. I know, it is ridiculous. Well, the reason for that is because truthfully, I have no idea how to describe the basic plot. There are shifts from epic fighting scenes that deserved more description and detail to cute girly scenes about fashion and nail polish to highly emotional scenes that either make me want to smile or want to puke. So many descriptions to choose from, so how am I supposed to decide?

One of the things that I struggled with most was the emotions that a scene would try to evoke. Sometimes the author succeeded in her goal with certain scenes, while at other times, not so much. For example, Tal's questionable boyfriend is a playboy and everyone knows it, but her. Despite the fact that they know it will crush her, the teammates that Tal lives with, Henri and Erik, don't even tell her because they are afraid that it would ruin the karma within the group! In other words, they think that Tal is too weak to handle her cheating boyfriend, so they just let him continue cheating on her! It is ridiculous and totally hypocritical for a book that seems to advertise the girl power. 

There were scenes that had made me start tearing a bit, though they were few and far between. When Tal, Henri, and Erik are assigned a Kill Mission to assassinate a scientist, the author was able to capture the conflicting emotions that everyone was experiencing. Most books about spies and assassins tend to skim over the nitty gritty emotional conflict one may experience when killing another human being, but Talented instead used it to make the characters that originally seemed too uppity become more relatable. 

Even with all of the flip-flopping feelings I had about the characters and their decisions, Talented was an extremely enjoyable book. At times, it was hard to decipher what direction the author intended to take it. One of the most important characteristic that a protagonist must have is to be flawed, which Tal excels in. Her mistakes and teeny bit of arrogance make her a heroine I love to cheer for because it is always a surprise whether or not she succeeds. The dystopian world that Tal lives in is one that is quite fascinating, full of facets, that I cannot wait to discover when continuing on with this series!


Talented is free here: Amazon (Kindle)/ B&N (Nook)


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