Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Dating Down by Stefanie Lyons


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication 'can't-wait-to-read' selection is:

Title: Dating Down
Author: Stefanie Lyons
Release Date: 8th April 2015
Publisher: Flux
Find on: Goodreads

When a good girl falls for a bad boy

She thought she loved him. She thought she could change him. She thought if she just believed in him enough, his cheating and his drugs and his lying would stop, and she'd be his and he'd be hers and they'd love each other forever.

But for Samantha Henderson, X-the boy she will not name-is trouble. He's older, edgier, bohemian . . . and when he starts paying attention to Sam, she can't resist him. Samantha's family and friends try to warn her, but still she stays with him, risking her future and everything that really matters.

As moody and vivid as it is captivating, Dating Down is told in scenes and bursts of poetry that create a story filled with hurt, healing, and hope.

It was the cover that got me (it's ALWAYS the cover- but I don't want to be like Chloe). Another reason why I want to read it is the bittersweet romance hinted in the synopsis, and how can you possibly resist that? The promise of hot guys and swoon-worthy moments will definitely make a girl weak in the knees. Add some intriguing words and phrases like 'poetry', 'a story filled with hurt, healing and hope', and you've got my full attention.

Monday, January 26, 2015

ARC Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

Title: Every Ugly Word
Author: Aimee L. Salter
Release Date: 29th July 2014
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Find on: Goodreads

Quick Review: When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

Detailed Review: I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest feedback.

A review was long due for this book, but I found myself in a reviewing slump (and blogging slump) that's lasted for months.

So I'm going to start off the new year with a positive review, which I hope will give way to more positive things in the future.

  *drum roll and blaring trumpets*

My initial reaction after reading this book was just

Mind=blown

This is why: main character= younger Ashley= older Ashley

Yes, I can imagine your eyes popping out of your head as you struggle to make some sense of this.

The thing is, with EUW, you don't. You just have to keep reading and trust the author to give you the answers. And even if you don't get said answers, you still find the story just as good.

The most appealing factor in this book is not the cover, nor the story itself, or even the characters; it's the way Salter managed to portray bullying in such a way that it makes you the victim. I could literally feel Ashley's fear and apprehension like my own when you read the parts where she gets bullied.

I'm personally really proud of the author for bringing up this issue in her book and for highlighting the effects on its victims. I understood Ashley's suffering and struggles because I, was once a victim of bullying. 

This book was an eye-opener for me as from experience, I thought that there was merely name-calling and physical force involved. EUW taught me that it was so much more than that. It could be the destruction of one's hopes and dreams and possibly even to the point of losing the people they love, as was the case with Matt for Ashley.

Another point awarded for the author goes to the fact that Salter decided to include an older Ashley to help out her younger counterpart. I decided metaphorically that it was her way of saying that the victim always needs someone, especially someone with experience to help them survive the ordeals they were put through.

Character development in this book was also a key element because I believe a person's attitude changes due to bullying. I 'witnessed' Ashley's transformation as she went through different degrees of bullying, that would have made me want to kill myself. Instead of doing what I would have opted to do, she stayed strong and I admire her so much for that. I feel like she could be my role model.

That sounds cool, actually. Having a fictional character as your role model. That could work.

Regarding the ways Ashley was bullied, I am speechless. I cannot find the words to describe what Ashley had to go through and I would let you experience it from her eyes should you choose to pick up this book- which I suggest you should (must).

The ending was both touching and perfect. One person dies (you'll never guess who- and it is not a spoiler). I actually thought it was the right way to end it because it added much-needed depth and character development to the book. Again, the author decided to give Ashley's story a happy ending because I felt that she wanted to tell us that it is possible to survive bullying.

*cries puddles of tears*

When the book ended, I was overcome with so much emotion (including being mindblown- how could you not?) because it was too relatable to my experience as a bully victim.

*more tears*

Brief Review: No amount of words can describe what Every Ugly Word was. It wasn't just a story of a person's life; it could be so many other people's. This book is one of the very few that describes the true side of bullying and the havoc it wreaks on people's lives and I admire the author for approaching this topic in her debut- in other words, for being brave. Bullying is hard to write about, since it is especially hard to capture the emotions involved, as is the case for mental illnesses. But Salter? She did it.

Final Rating: 5/5 'Totally Amazing!'










Your Reviewer:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: Bulletproof (A Songbird Novel #2) by Melissa Pearl

Title: Bulletproof (A Songbird Novel #2)
Author: Melissa Pearl
Release Date: 20th November 2014
Publisher: Evatopia Press
Find on: Goodreads

Quick Review: Morgan Pritchett doesn't need anyone. Strong-willed and confident, she's the master of organizing and looking after everyone around her. In her mind, she's bulletproof.

But she has one weakness - men. She can't seem to live without them, yet is unable to find her perfect match. After yet another break up, Morgan promises her sister and best friend that she'll write off men for the rest of the year...but then she meets Sean Jaxon.

Sean Jaxon has worked hard to become a Hollywood actor, scoring minor roles and slowly making a name for himself as an action sidekick. After a chance encounter with the stunning Morgan Pritchett, he decides to take a risk and put his dancing skills to the test by signing on for the lead role in Superstar, a TV musical. He never thought he'd reconnect with the girl who urged him to ignore his manager and be honest with himself, but when Morgan shows up on the set as a production assistant, he realizes he's found his ultimate weakness - her.

Their passion for dance and music will bring them together, but will their relationship be able to withstand the forces determined to pull them apart? As Morgan comes face-to-face with her long-buried demons and Sean decides just how much he's willing to risk for love, these two songbirds discover something...they're not as bulletproof as they thought.

Detailed Review: *I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review*

I didn't know I had missed the characters from the series so much until I started Bulletproof.

Morgan had always been one of my favourite characters since the start of the series. She was strong, confident, brave- basically the things that make a good character.

In Bulletproof, we get a deeper glimpse into her character as well as her past, which has caused her to develop into a control freak. She always takes care of everyone, but completely disregards herself. 

That job is usually delegated to her boyfriends.

The love interest, Sean, was a really easy character to warm up to as well. I love music and sometimes dancing (as long as I'm not too bad at it), so I could relate with him very well.

The chemistry between the two is definitely smoking hot and electrifying, but. Yes, there is a but. But it, sadly, wasn't as swoon-worthy as the romance between Cole and Ella in Fever. I still ship Sean and Morgan of course, but not with the level of intensity I do with Ella and Cole. They may be one of my favourite couples, ever.

Honestly, I didn't know who to hate more in the book, the main characters, or the minor ones like Morgan's evil boss, Travis and Sean's manager, Rhonda. They were equally frustrating, which I must reward numerous applause for. It is hard to create such a bond between character and reader. Love-hate relationships with Morgan and Sean weren't absent at all during the whole course of the book.
I believe that character development is very important for a book to thrive; Bulletproof didn't lack it, it was filled to the brim with it. I liked that it focused on Jody as well, hinting at a sequel. *wink*

What I loved the most was the fact that family had been an important factor in the book. Both the main characters value family, so much so that Morgan was forced to give up her dreams to become a dancer after her mother left so she could take care of her family. Morgan's grandmother forced her to reconsider her opinion of being truly bulletproof and Sean's mother persuaded him to fight for true love. This is the power of family that the author managed to capture in Bulletproof.

The playlist for Bulletproof was perfect and suited the story way too well. I can't say how much it means to me because I love music so much. It's good to read about characters who are passionate about the same things as you

Did I also mention that the covers for this series are as hot as the books themselves?

Note: There is a sequel coming up, featuring Jody, my favourite character in the books so far. Yay!!!

Brief Review: This series is one of the few that shows off the wonders of music- how life-changing it is and its relationship with love. I don't think there wasn't anything I didn't like about Bulletproof; it definitely made Titanium run through my head while I was reading it! Music lovers will love- no, devour- this book.

Final Rating: 5/5 'Totally Amazing!'








Your Reviewer:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Release Day Blitz: Bulletproof (Songbird #2) by Melissa Pearl

Bulletproof by
Melissa Pearl
Release Day Blitz

November 20, 2014

Morgan Pritchett doesn't need anyone. Strong-willed and
confident, she's the master of organizing and looking after everyone around
her. In her mind, she's bulletproof. But she has one weakness – men. She can't
seem to live without them, yet is unable to find her perfect match. After yet
another break up, Morgan promises her sister and best friend that she'll write
off men for the rest of the year. But then she meets Sean Tate.


Sean Tate has worked hard to become a Hollywood
actor, scoring minor roles and slowly making a name for himself as an action
sidekick. After a chance encounter with the stunning Morgan Pritchett, he
decides to take a risk and put his dancing skills to the test by signing on for
the lead role in Superstar, a TV musical. He never thought he'd reconnect with
the girl who urged him to ignore his manager and be honest with himself, but
when Morgan shows up on the set as a production assistant, he realizes he's
found his ultimate weakness — her.


Their passion for dance and music will bring
them together, but will their relationship be able to withstand the forces
determined to pull them apart? As Morgan comes face to face with her demons and
Sean decides just how much he's willing to risk for love, these two lovers
discover something... they're not as bulletproof as they thought.

BUY IT
AT:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00NN0RU3O/ref=mp_s_a_1_13?qid=1416403566&sr=8-13&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70

~*~ABOUT
MELISSA PEARL~*~

Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New
Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as
Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan... not to mention a nine month road trip around
North America with her husband. "Best. Year. Ever!!" She now lives in
China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but
writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the
opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in
November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of
books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book was
released in February 2014 - True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very
excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under
her own name as well. She has six books releasing in 2014 and is excited about
writing each and every one of them.

"I am passionate about writing. It
stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I
can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can
laugh, cry and fall in love."

GIVEAWAY:

Friday, November 14, 2014

COVER REVEAL: The Angel Killer by Lisa Voisin





I am super excited to reveal the awesome cover for THE ANGEL KILLER, the second book in Lisa Voisin's The Watcher Saga, and to share an excerpt from the book.

There is also an amazing giveaway included with the reveal for a copy of THE WATCHER, the first book in the series, or a pre-order copy of THE ANGEL KILLER and a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


The Cover Revealed


Coming January 5, 2015

Description

Now that she’s found him again, all Mia Crawford wants is some downtime with her fallen angel boyfriend, Michael. But the call of duty keeps him away—from school and from her—with more demons to smite than ever.

When Michael is mortally wounded by a cursed sword, Mia must perform an ancient blood ritual to save him. But the spell exacts a price. Haunted by visions of war, torture, and despair, Mia discovers the world is in more danger than she ever imagined. Behind the scenes, an evil adversary pulls all the strings.

After redemption, there’s Hell to pay.

Add to Goodreads


About Lisa Voisin


A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction.

Lisa is also a technical writer, a meditation teacher, and the leader of the Young Writer’s Club, a local writing group for teens in her home town. A self-proclaimed coffee lover, she can usually be found writing in a local cafĂ©. When she's not writing, you'll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counteract the side effects of drinking too much caffeine!

Though she’s lived in several cities across Canada, she currently lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiancĂ© and their two cats.


The Excerpt

Michael leaned against the building’s stucco wall and rested his hands on my hips. Light from the store cast a warm gleam in his crystal blue eyes. He leaned in, and the draw to be close to him was a gravitational force. “Hello,” he said.

“Hello.” I had to get a grip. It’d been so long since we’d talked, I tried to focus on all the things I wanted to tell him. “We went to see Fatima.” His fingers caressed the sides of my waist, sending happy tingles through me. “You know, in her store…” To my own ears, my voice sounded raspy. I trembled.

“Cold?” He drew me closer, his mouth crooking into a grin.

Lost in him, I forgot all about Fatima. “You know damn well that’s not it.” I twined my arms around his back and touched the spot between his shoulder blades where his wings connected. Its warmth thawed my fingers.

He leaned in and brushed his lips along my jaw line. “Thought that was just me,” he whispered, and his breath tickled my neck. “I’ve wanted to do this for three days.”

Our lips met, and I melted into him, not caring that we were on the sidewalk, outside a deli with families shopping inside. Nor did I care that, being an angel, he had to follow very strict rules about contact with humans—especially contact of the relationship variety. Angels had the ability to enthrall humans with their touch, something Michael had to constantly keep in check. But I didn’t have to be enthralled to want to kiss him. That was my own doing. All that mattered right now was that he was here. With me.

He pulled me closer and the buzz of his energy filled me heart and soul, blocking out the rest of the world. My hands sought warmth under his leather jacket and found bare skin. I could feel the shiver from my touch surge through him. His mouth pressing more firmly against mine, he brushed a hand along my cheek and tangled it in my hair.

A dreamlike blur of light and color filled my thoughts. But then the image shifted to blood. His.

The Giveaway

The reveal includes an awesome giveaway to ONE WINNER for a print copy of THE WATCHER (US/CA/UK) OR a pre-order copy of THE ANGEL KILLER (when available) AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below...



a Rafflecopter giveaway


About The Watcher

Series: The Watcher Saga #1

Release date: March 4, 2013

Publisher: Inkspell Publishing

Pages: 556

Formats: Paperback, eBook

DESCRIPTION

Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her.

Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings—soft and silent like snow—and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning.




The Trailer



Monday, November 10, 2014

ARC Review: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

Title: Stitching Snow
Author: R.C. Lewis
Release Date: 4th October 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Find on: Goodreads

Quick Review: Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

Detailed Review: I received an e-ARC copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I was slightly apprehensive before I started Stitching Snow.

After all, I have heard that fairytale re-tellings can be either good or bad, depending on how the author chooses to write the story, who the villain is, etc.

This re-telling of Snow White is the former of the two.

There was so much action and emotion at the same time. How the author incorporated these two elements so well, I have no idea. But let me tell you, wherever there's action, there will be some emotional moment awaiting you, whether tragic, happy or full of humour.

I haven't read many re-tellings. So I don't know what exactly makes them good. However, I know a good book when I read one, and Stitching Snow was one of those cases.

Re-tellings can be hard to pull off, because you have to follow the storyline and make it your own.
I would think it requires lots of time and revising, compared to writing based on an original idea. I wouldn't even know what to keep the same and what to add and change.

As usual, there is the princess, the prince, the evil queen and the seven dwarfs. These are what will make our minds think, Snow White.

Originality is also key. Reminder- it also needs to be yours. Otherwise, it's plagiarism. In Stitching Snow, advanced technology is an important element for Essie's story as she is an inventor. Her bloodline is also another key original idea that probably made the story shine with a different vibrance from the fairytale itself. I believe it added much-needed mystery and action, not to mention some twists as well.

Moving on, there wasn't much I didn't like about Stitching Snow. I thought the characters were pretty well-rounded and seemed real enough. Dimwit was one of my favourite characters in the book; actually, all of the drones were my favourite characters in the book because they captured the spirits of the seven dwarves so well. The plot, the twists, even the romance were oddly satisfying in the way you like something you didn't even think you'd like.

Brief Review: Mystery and intrigue, together with advanced technology, lures the reader into this newly imagined fairytale that is both famous and well-known. Characters as good as Essie and Dane wouldn't have been found in a fairytale, but in this retelling they shine and flourish. I look forward to more re-tellings from this author, if there are any!

Final Rating: 5/5 'Totally Amazing!'








Your Reviewer:












Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas





Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication 'can't-wait-to-read' selection is:

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: 5th May 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Find on: Goodreads

When 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it ... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
 

I love Sarah J. Maas- she really is an incredible author. And seeing that my birthday is 4 days later than the publication date, maybe this could my birthday present? *wink wink*