Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: Wake Me Up Inside and Destiny's Gate

Wake Me Up Inside
15875725Lee-Bice Matheson

Wake Me Up Inside is a ghost story centered around a strong teen-age heroine, Paige Maddison, who is forced to move with her parents from Toronto to hicksville Ontario, to help look after her ailing grandparents. It is a story of discovering one’s heritage and uncovering secrets. What will Paige learn about her family’s past and what will she discover about herself as she moves through this journey?

Paige discovers that her maternal family home is a mansion called O’Brien Manor along with a guest house, condemned cottage and a graveyard. Before Paige leaves Toronto, she has nightmares and visions but does not realize they are of this place until she meets the ghosts haunting the Manor…

My Thoughts
While I really wanted to like this book, I did not love it.

The plot itself was good and well-thought out. But I found several things that irked me throughout.

-Exclamation points. Okay, these killed me. Nobody thinks that way or uses that much excited punctuation. It just doesn't happen.
-The characters were great, but underdeveloped. They weren't fully explored and I couldn't get much of a feel for anyone. They also spoke too formally to be realistic.
-While I don't have a problem with romance books, I have a problem with randomly thrown in romances. Paige just blushes every time Brad was in the room and bam! one day he kisses her.
-This book dragged on but the pacing was crazy fast. There was too much telling rather than showing. I want to be inside Paige's mind to hear her thoughts and reactions.
-I was very confused about the climax. I still am. It wasn't very climactic, just over quickly.

I thought the start was interesting and the story kept me going until the end.
2 stars


23002516Destiny's Gate
Lee-Bice Matheson

In Destiny’s Gate, (FriesenPress, September 2014, Paperback $USD17.99, Kindle $2.99)the second book in the Paige Maddison young adult series, teen Paige Maddison awakens to realize she’s just had her first premonition. An overwhelming sense of dread fills her senses and she realizes that the summer’s “fun” is about to begin. Soon another premonition follows. Then she hears a woman’s voice faintly speaking, warning her that she is in danger. Paige now knows she’s in trouble but she doesn’t know why. Worse yet, Paige doesn’t know what to do in the face of the impending danger.

But she has one thing going for her. Paige learns that she is a sensitive or intuitive: She belongs to a unique group of people who have a special gift that enables them to understand and communicate with the supernatural world. It is a perception, an intuition, of that world and often times spirits from the Other Side offer pertinent warning or advice to help them along their best path in life.

Yet Paige wonders if she is the target of something in the supernatural world that intends her harm and whether the spirits from the Other Side will come to defend her when she really needs them most.

Her friend Peggy confirms Paige’s worst fears. “Paige,” she says, “you are in grave danger. There is something walking the grounds of the O’Brien Estate that is looking for you.”

As Paige confronts these troubling thoughts, she meets Allan Brewer. Handsome and gentlemanly and sporting a strange tattoo, Allan is a mystery to Paige. Is he a good man or does he belong to the forces of darkness? An ally or a foe?

Paige comes of age as she learns that bad things can happen to anyone, anywhere. We all have the ability to fight against evil and triumph over it. It comes from the pureness of hearts and genuine love for others. When you put the well–being of a friend or family member before your own, that is the purest form of love and self-sacrifice: Unconditional love.

But will that understanding be enough to save Paige from the evil that lurks around her? What must Paige do to meet the challenge from the dark side? And will she prevail?

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, International Bestselling Author says: Destiny’s Gate is beautifully written, inspiring and moving. A truly unique ghostly suspense for teens. Destiny’s Gate promises to be more suspenseful and scarier than Wake Me Up Inside, the first offering in the Y/A series.


My Thoughts:
Book 2 was sent to me for an honest review and I agreed to try it. But it had many of the same problems from #1, just in different situations.

-These characters are too emotional. They cry too easily, which, sometimes okay, is not here when everyone cries after telling someone something small.
-Paige seemed way too young to be 16. I suppose I knew she was 16, but my mind kept thinking she was maybe 13 or 14.
-As in #1, this told rather than showed. It lacked description, making the pacing very slow, but it was told too quickly. 
-Again with the romance. Paige is just randomly attracted to this adult man (who has a 16-18 year old stepdaughter so he has to be around 30s) and then he kisses her. Randomly. Out of the blue. Nope. We need some lead-in.
-Paige, while I could've dealt with once, passed out at least seven times. Sometimes from random insignificant things.
-The wolf deal was thrown in and I'm still confused about it. Again with the lack of description. One day there were werewolves. I think. 
-Paige's religion/beliefs are not explained very well. I'm lost.

1.5 stars

~Ashley

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blog Tour: Review: Soul Crossed


Soul Crossed (Of Demons and Angels, #1)

by Lisa Gail Green
Release Date: 02/25/15
252 pages

Summary from Goodreads:

"A wickedly romantic story that will have you cheering for Lisa Gail Green’s addictive
storytelling. SOUL CROSSED is devilishly delicious!" — Martina Boone, author of
COMPULSION and the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy

"Soul Crossed blurs the lines between good and evil with addictive characters and plot that will
have you eagerly turning the pages." ~Kelly Hashway, author of the Touch of Death series.

One Demon.

One Angel.

One Soul.

Josh lived a reckless, selfish life, so upon his death, escaping the eternal torments of Hell by
assuming the role of a powerful, soul-corrupting demon is an easy choice. His first soul
assignment doesn’t seem too hard: the mortal Camden is already obsessed with weapons, pain,
and torture. If only Josh wasn’t distracted by Cam's beautiful friend, Grace.

Grace never expected to die violently at age sixteen, but now she’s an Angel, responsible for
saving a soul. She can already see past Camden’s earthly flaws, so the job should be be easy. If
only that handsome, playboy Josh would stop getting in the way.

It’s forbidden for an Angel to be with a Demon, so if Josh and Grace stop resisting each other,
the results would be disastrous.

And only one can claim Cam’s soul.

My Thoughts:

Alright, so I'm a sucker for dual POV. Well, this has it.Grace and Josh both get their own time on the page and it alternates between the entire book. I love getting to know the characters more through their internal dialogue. Definitely a great asset to character development.

Love love love the beginning chapters. We start off with Josh in Hell, not really knowing where he is until a man comes up and tells him it's either torture or a favor. And then, Grace is talking about how cold Heaven is. I think this is one of the best times I've seen such contrast that I know I'll love the rest of the story.

I love the Angels versus Demons theme. This wasn't a stereotypical book about the supernatural--this was a completely original idea that deals with either saving or destroying a soul. And then of course the two fall in love. Whoops.

I just love the writing in this. It's very well-done and a pleasure to read. The plot is so wonderful and the characters are precious.

Love this book. I am so looking forward to #2!

4.5 stars

About the Author


Lisa Gail Green lives with her husband the rocket scientist and their three junior mad scientists in
Southern California. She writes books so she can have an excuse to live in the fantasy world in
her head. She likes to share these with readers so she's represented by the lovely Melissa Nasson
of Rubin Pfeffer Content. She has a parrot but would most definitely get a werewolf for a pet if
she weren't allergic.
Lisa loves YA. She believes with all her heart that teen readers are ready and willing to
experience things that some adults have closed their minds to, that books are the safest way to
explore, learn, and escape, and that imagination is the key to just about everything.


Organized by YA Bound Book Tours


~Ashley

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Review: Every Last Word

Every Last Word
Tamara Ireland Stone

Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Format: Digital ARC

23341894
If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.


My Thoughts:
Okay, so last week, I was emailed with my copy of Every Last Word, and, I'll admit it, I told just about everyone I knew. I was just so psyched to get to read this. And it was worth it.

I think everyone can relate to the high school scenario in this. It deals with characters who don't fit in, who are hiding huge secrets, and the "popular ones". Samantha, Sam, is all of those. She is in the popular group, but she has been hiding her OCD for years. And she doesn't feel like she necessarily belongs anymore. Tamara doesn't disguise the ugly bits of Sam's life. Sam has done some pretty awful things and she regrets them, but they are fully shown anyways.

Poet's Corner makes me wish I had one in my school. It's a bit Dead Poets Society, really, which made me like it even more. But it is just a group of students who are all pretty messed up in their own way, but they understand and encourage each other. They are friends when they have no one else.

AJ is literally who I wish I could be because of his compassion and ability to forgive. He doesn't care what others think about him and he is the sweetest person. And he proves to be both an excellent friend and boyfriend to Sam.

I actually loved the OCD aspect of this. I thought it was described well and I definitely learned stuff. It also got rid of the stereotypes. Tamara shows that OCD has variations as she tells Sam's story. But even though the MC has OCD and is "flawed", she also has one of the best character arcs I've seen. She grows so much throughout.

That "new reason to question her sanity"? Yeah that made me question mine. I was so thrown that I put this book down and just sort of stared off for a while. It's definitely in the running for Plot Twist of the Year. I never saw it coming. But it made the book so much better.

I was so proud of Sam at the end of this book. I love what she did with her life and I think she'll continue to better herself, with, of course, AJ by her side.

This book is full of real-life scenarios and sadness and plot twists, all rolled up and tied with a bow. But it's also filled with happiness and hope. I would read this again in a heartbeat. It is a wonderful story by Tamara that everyone needs to read.

Five Stars

A HUGE thank you to Disney for sending me a review copy!

About Tamara:
Tamara Ireland StoneTAMARA IRELAND STONE is the author of Time After Time and Time Between Us, which has been published in over twenty countries to widespread acclaim, and hailed as "an exciting debut novel" by Booklist and "a warm, time bending romance" by Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by CBS Films.

Her next novel, Every Last Word, is about a teen girl with OCD who's hiding part of herself from the world, until she discovers a secret poetry club that changes her in unexpected ways. Every Last Word releases on June 16, 2015.

A former Silicon Valley marketing executive, Tamara enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives just outside of San Francisco. For more information, visit her website at www.TamaraIrelandStone.com

~Ashley

Friday, February 20, 2015

Blog Tour: Review: Cut Here


Cut Here
By Azzurra Nox
Release Date: 02/13/15
YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

Book Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Lena Martin's idyllic world shatters the night her mother dies due to a hit and run accident. Two years later, her dad relocates her from Italy to Los Angeles to help her put behind the time spent in a psychiatric ward following her mother's death. But the move only proves to be a fatal mistake. Shortly after her arrival, the classmates of her new private school begin to commit suicide under mysterious circumstances after reading a cult book called Cut Here.

Determined to unravel the mystery behind the suicides, she bands together with loner Jonathan Russe and outcast Hope Peters to figure out exactly what is happening, not realizing that this places them under a dangerous radar. During this same time, Lena falls for a mysterious and attractive guy named Michael, who is as equally disarming as he's dangerous.

As her attraction grows, so does the body count at St. Lucy Academy. Soon, Lena needs to decide whether to stay away from the guy she's falling for, or to trust him. Is Michael behind the suicides, or is he the key that can unlock the mystery that can stop the bloodshed? Deceptions run high and Lena soon learns that nothing is what it seems.

Review:
  • Okay, who thought of this idea? I have some pretty original writing ideas, but this is the best I've ever seen. It actually reminds me just slightly of Bliss. But yeah, this idea is so perfectly out there and I love the premise it gives off. I knew right away I'd have to read this.
  • So after the premise, we have an incredible set of characters. I love how each acts and interacts. They all are well-written.
  • Which brings me to my next point: this writing is beautiful. It's so calming to read, especially given the circumstances of the plot. I would not mind seventeen more books by this author. Her writing is simply wonderful.
  • Loving the first sentence: "The suicides began shortly after Lena arrived at St. Lucy Academy." If that doesn't pull you in, I don't know what will.
4.5 stars


About the Author

Born in Catania, Sicily, she has led a nomadic life since birth. She has lived in various European cities and Cuba, and currently resides in the Los Angeles area. Always an avid reader and writer from a young age, she loved entertaining her friends with ghost stories. She loves horror movies, cats, and a good rock show. She dislikes Mondays and chick-flicks. CUT HERE, her debut paranormal urban fantasy was inspired by a nightmare the writer had a few years ago. Some of her favourite authors include Anne Rice, Oscar Wilde, Chuck Palahniuk, and Isabella Santacroce.






Giveaway
Instead of having a Rafflecopter on site, the author has a giveaway on her blog. The link is below.


Blog Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

~Ashley

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Blog Tour: Spotlight: Greta and the Glass Kingdom




Greta and the Glass Kingdom (Mylena Chronicles #2)
by Chloe Jacobs
Release Date: 2015
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Once upon a dark time…
Greta the human bounty hunter never quite fit into the shadowed, icy world of Mylena. Yet she's
managed to defeat the demon Agramon and win the love of the darkly intense Goblin King,
Isaac. Now Isaac wants her to rule by his side—a human queen. And the very announcement is
enough to incite rebellion…
To make matters worse, defeating Agramon left Greta tainted with a dark magick. Its unclean
power threatens to destroy her and everything she loves. With the Goblin King's life and the very
peace of Mylena at stake, Greta must find a cure and fast.
Her only hope lies with the strange, elusive faeries in the Glass Kingdom…if she can get there
before the evil within her destroys everything.

Book Trailer:




(Book One)
Greta and the Goblin King (Mylena Chronicles #1)
by Chloe Jacobs
Release Date: 12/11/12
Entangled Teen
Summary from Goodreads:
While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself,
falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every
ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse.
To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good
at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly
enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape.
But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to
opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the
realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she
succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back...

(Only $0.99 for a limited time at select online retailers!)


About the Author

Chloe Jacobs is a native of nowhere and everywhere, having jumped around to practically every
Province of Canada before finally settling in Ontario where she has now been living for a
respectable number of years. Her husband and son are the two best people in the entire world,
but they also make her wish she'd at least gotten a female cat. No such luck. And although the
day job keeps her busy, she carves out as much time as possible to write. Bringing new
characters to life and finding out what makes them tick and how badly she can make them suffer
is one of her greatest pleasures, almost better than chocolate and fuzzy pink bunny slippers.


GIVEAWAY

Grand Prize

First Runner Up

 Second Runner Up

Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

~Ashley

Blog Tour: Spotlight: Just Two Weeks


Just Two Weeks
Amanda Sington Williams



After being made redundant from a seemingly secure job Jolene Carr takes a two week break in the sun. On the first day she meets Raquel, another hotel guest. Little does she realise how this apparently innocent acquaintance will lead to terrible and lasting consequences. After a frightening incident she hits a conspiracy of silence from the locals and over the rest of the holiday she feels herself slipping into a vortex of fear. Back home, the nightmare continues and she realises that Raquel is stalking her. Her hippie mother and her partner Mark tell her she is imagining it all. All certainties, even about relationships, become fluid and treacherous as her past begins to unravel. If it wasn't for Rob, her ex-lover who Jolene thinks has his own agenda, she would be left to cope on her own. How much fear and betrayal can one person take?


AUTHOR BIO

Amanda Sington Williams' first novel, The Eloquence of Desire was published by Sparkling Books in 2010 and has been translated into Turkish. She won an award for this novel in 2007 from the Royal Literary Fund. Since 2006 when she first started writing she has had many short stories published, including: Growing Pains by Bridgehouse Publishing, A Mother's Love by Indigo Mosaic, Two Orchids by Sentinel Literary Quarterly. Unseasonable Weather by Dead Ink Press, The Woman at Number Six by Writing Raw, and many more.

Her second novel, Just Two Weeks is a psychological suspense and won the IPR Agents Pick in 2013.



GIVEAWAY

The giveaway on this tour is an ecopy of the book. There are two copies to giveaway.


~Ashley

Friday, February 13, 2015

Blog Tour: Review: The Man Who Can't be Moved


The Man who can't be Moved
By Tilly Tennant

Fledgling journalist Ellie Newton is keen to prove herself when she lands a hard-won job at the Millrise Echo. So when reports come in of a man camped on the corner of a local street, refusing to move until the girl who has jilted him takes him back, Ellie is on a mission to get the scoop.

She arrives to meet Ben Kelly, a man she is instantly attracted to. But she has a job to do and an incredible story to write and has soon pledged to help him win back the girl of his dreams. With Ellie’s help, Ben’s plight captures the hearts and imaginations of the public. And when a TV film crew appears to make a feature on the most romantic gesture the town of Millrise has ever seen, Ellie’s mission gets its happy ending...

But while Ellie has been busy fixing the lives of her wayward parents, providing shoulders for heartbroken friends to cry on, and worrying about her terminally-ill aunt, she hasn’t noticed that she has also been falling quietly in love – with the very man she has now ensured is hopelessly out of her reach

Ellie must choose between doing the right thing, and the thing that feels right. And whatever choice she makes, someone will get their heart broken.


My Thoughts:
Aww, this book made me happy. I thought it was so sweet throughout and I loved reading it.

Right when I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this. I mean, we have a man who decides to sit on a roadside corner to get his girlfriend back. Ben is pretty awesome as it is. He's sweet and funny, but also really determined. He has a good heart, too. I love how he treats Ellie and everyone else. I also just think his determination is incredible.

This book is the sweetest thing to exist. Especially because of the romance that blooms. I absolutely love the ending.

The beginning was a bit rough to get into. Some of the writing was choppy, making it confusing, but it evens out almost immediately. After that, it's easy to read and a fantastic story.

3.5 stars

ABOUT TILLY TENNANT

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.


Tour Giveaway

1st Prize – ecopy or paperback of book plus £10 Amazon Voucher

2nd Prize – ecopy or paperback copy of book

Open Internationally

**Thank you so much JB Johnson for the review copy!




~Ashley

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Blog Tour: Review: Henge


Henge by Realm Lovejoy 
(Le Fay #1) 
Publication date: November 11th 2014 
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

About the book:

Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted.

Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordinary skill, she has the ability to create and command fire at will. Her dream is to become the Maven—the right hand of the future King Arthur. In the chance of a lifetime, Morgan is selected to join Arthur’s Round, an elite group of young magic users from which the new Maven will be chosen.

Along with the other fire, water, and wind users in Arthur’s Round, Morgan is rigorously trained and tested. The handsome Merlin, a brilliant water user, takes a particular interest in her. Is his friendship to be trusted, or is Merlin simply trying to win the position of Maven for himself? Among the many rivals Morgan faces is the current Maven, Mordred, who seems determined to see her fail.

But Morgan has a secret—years ago, her mother was executed for using fire magic, and Morgan’s desire for justice makes her more than ready to take on the challenge before her. Can she prevail in Camelot’s tests of survival and magic? Only time—and Morgan’s powerful fire—will tell.

Realm Lovejoy’s modern Arthurian series features one of literature’s most complicated and powerful female figures. Henge is the first book in the LE FAY series, and—like Morgan le Fay’s magic—it is sure to dazzle and amaze.

My Thoughts:
Oh. My. Gosh. Eeep! This book was so freakin' fantastic and I LOVED it!

First off, I love anything Arthurian-legend. I also have an obsession with the show Merlin, which was a huge problem reading this because I tried to put the characters to the actors and fit them to personalities and yeah. That didn't work. But I've also read Howard Pyle's original story of Arthur and I liked it a lot. So this was a story I couldn't pass up, as you can probably tell from how many times it's been on the blog so far.

I think one of my very favorite things about Henge is that we are in Morgan's point of view. She tells the story (by the way, she's a wonderful story-teller). I like how it works out, because the whole time, I could only think about how Morgana ends up being Arthur's doom. And I just couldn't see that through Morgan. Until the story progressed. And I LOVE how Realm shows Morgan's struggles to remain kind and friendly when her dreams are being ripped away. I love how we go through and see reasons why Morgan changed. And I like seeing her before. The ending almost killed me because of what it did to her. But I still loved it.

Merlin. Oh, Merlin. Merlin, Merlin, Merlin, Merlin. If I type his name more, maybe he'll show up. Because I'd like that. Merlin. Okay, fine, it won't work. But Merlin is seriously awesome. For one, he's portrayed as the perfect teenager who literally is just perfection. But as we get to know him, we realize he is not completely perfect. He has flaws. But he is also pretty confident, so usually we don't see the flaws. He starts to care for Morgan, which I totally ship, but then he does stuff she hates but it's for her own good and yeah, they have a friendship-fall-out. Sadness. But Merlin is simply amazing and I want him as a friend.

I'm just so happy with the twist on such a classic. This is modern-day, and the world knows about Camelot, which is just sitting in the middle of the U.K. To get into Camelot, teenagers audition using their magic and are judged. The top users are drafted in. Of course Morgan makes it, and then we get to see how Camelot is. It's definitely more modern, but I can just picture it in my head. Morgan is shooting for the spot of Arthur's right-hand man, the Maven. Camelot picks the top student for the job. Arthur is also only thirteen, so a very impressionable teenager. I like that twist. It's cute, but it gives the story a lot of room to develop him.

Whoa I did not see the antagonist coming. No spoilers, but whoa. Huge surprise. That went crazy. I can't say any more without giving it away.

The only problem I had was the very beginning was rushed. The first few chapters, especially when Morgan was at home. I wanted to get more of a feel for the story before plunging headfirst into it. There was a part with her father that was so fast, and I wanted to feel out the relationship more. Because that particular scene would not have been over so quickly.

I definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone and I need the sequel right now. ASAP. It's not in my hands yet. This could be a problem.

I was going to give this a 4.5 because of the slight rushing, but as I wrote this, I realized I can't do anything under 5. The rushing wasn't distracting to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the story as it was. I have to go find myself a paperback. I cannot live with only an ebook.

5 stars

Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway
1 signed copy of Henge + swag (US only)
1 Amazon Giftcard ($20) (INTL)
2 paperbacks of Henge (US only)
4 ebook copies of of Henge (INTL)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

Realm Lovejoy is an American writer and an artist. She grew up in both Washington State and the Japanese Alps of Nagano, Japan. Currently, she lives in Seattle and works as an artist in the video game industry. CLAN is her first book. You can find out more about her and her book at www.realmlovejoy.com
 
~Ashley







Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Blog Tour: Review: How to Unbreakup

 How to Unbreakup
by Rebekah L. Purdy
Release Date: 02/10/15
Swoon Romance
Summary from Goodreads:
First rule of breakups: There’s no going back.
For three years, seventeen-year-old Grace Evers has regretted breaking up with Sage Castle.

That day, she lost her boyfriend and best friend. And let's be honest, it's impossible to just be
friends with the one person who gets you, faults and all, and loved you anyway. It's impossible
not to think about how it felt to be held by him, or the way he looked right before he was about to
kiss you with the most perfectly yummy kiss goodnight.

And now that things are over between them, they've become strangers to one another. Sage
won’t even look at Grace, let alone talk to her!

Breakup life sucks and Grace is utterly miserable, doing whatever she can to ease the pain of
losing Sage. She's spent the better part of high school pretending to be something she’s not and
hanging out with people who probably wouldn't notice if she wasn't there. Crappy dates,
backstabbing friends, and Sage's cold shoulder have taken their toll. So when her parents propose going away to their house on Lake Michigan for the summer,
Grace is thrilled. No more massively bad dates with horrible kissers or lunch with frienemies.
Just three months of swimming,
hiking, and relaxing before senior year starts.

But when Grace learns Sage and his family will be joining them, she readies herself for a totally
awkward family vacation of disastrous proportions. How can it be anything but awful if Sage
won't even acknowledge she exists?

This is it, Grace's last chance to get Sage back and unbreakup.


My Thoughts:
I really really enjoyed How to Unbreakup. It was such a cute story and I'd recommend it a thousand times.

The idea was so intriguing to me--a girl regrets years of her life because she broke up with her best friend and now she wants him back. Yep, I'd read that. I also like the pre-breakup chapters. I love seeing how our characters acted before Sage ignored her.

All the characters are really cute and funny. I love Allison's idea to make the list, and I love _____'s plan to go along with it. Sage is such a sweetheart, even if he seems like a horrible person at first. Logan is also really cute. Especially after he knows everything.

I honestly could not stop smiling throughout this book. I kept wanting to read parts of it out loud. Instead I was just questioned for my sanity. The romance is adorable. I love books where the two characters are so obviously in love but neither will admit it or knows the other's feelings. That's this book.

I'm really happy with the execution of the idea. It's well-written and very thoroughly described. We get the whole picture and then some extra happiness thrown in. I just love the list. That took me by surprise but it just turned out perfectly.

The only thing I must complain about is the ending. Don't get me wrong; I loved it. But it wasn't described in as much detail as the rest of the book. It was very fast and then done. I wanted slower pacing so I could remain in my blissful state longer.

If you like cute romance books, go buy this one. If you don't like cute romance books--well, there are other elements in this book. Buy it anyways.

4 stars

About the Author
Rebekah Purdy grew up in Michigan, where she spent many late nights armed with a good book
and a flashlight. When not hiding at her computer and getting lost in her stories, she enjoys
reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games and hanging out
with her kids. She loves the unexplainable like Bigfoot, the Dogman, and the Loch Ness Monster
(lots of good story material)! She admits to still having all the books she bought throughout her
childhood and teen years, and she may or may not have an obsession with anything chocolate… 


Thank you so much YA Bound Book Tours for the review copy!

~Ashley

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Review: I'll Meet You There

21469068I'll Meet You There
By: Heather Demetrios


If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.


My Thoughts:
I'm still trying to figure out how to review this without just saying, "Go buy this book!" I'll try. Doesn't mean I'll succeed.

So I have been eyeing this book for about six months now. Ever since I saw its cover and read the synopsis, I've been dying to read this. So when Heather announced her preorder campaign, I couldn't hold off any longer, even though I'm in an oath to not buy any books. I was not disappointed. In fact, I am so satisfied with this book that I can't truly function right now. It was that crazy good.

First off, the entire book is so realistic. Dialogue is spot on, as are settings. These teenagers act like typical teens just out of high school. They mess things up. Heather does not sugarcoat that, just lets the truth fall on the page. I also love the cute little line, "How's the Sky today?" Seriously. One of my favorite lines.

I have to say that IMYT has the best quotes. I think my favorite is "And maybe people were like collages--no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered." That's actually written on my whiteboard currently because I love it so much.

Josh is such a swoonworthy book boyfriend. He's hot and a Marine. And hot. But seriously, he has his own goals that make him want to leave but he gets stuck back. Also, Chris is the perfect best friend. I couldn't stop smiling whenever he was talking. I want friendships like Sky has with Dylan and Chris. Okay, I'll just finish with I adore all of the characters.

Heather did an excellent job with Josh's PTSD. He has the pain and the suffering, as well as the flashbacks and nightmares. He has his moments. But through everything, she proves that he is still worthy of being loved.

Josh's POV is incredibly. And incredibly sad. I was crying on chapter six. He speaks to someone directly instead of simply telling a story. It's so powerful and it shows what he really feels. I love it.

Whew. I did it. But now, go buy this book. It's perfect to read over Valentine's Day, instead of go on dates. Seriously. Who needs a boyfriend when you have Josh?

5 stars

Preorder Campaign:
Heather Demetrios is currently having a campaign that ends February 14. If you order I'll Meet You There before then and email proof of purchase, you will receive a signed bookplate, bookmark, and the sweetest letter from Josh that tells what happens next. And I assure you, the letter must not be missed. 

~Ashley

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Blog Tour: Review: Mark of the Beast



Synopsis 


Mark of the Beast: A searing medical thriller by Adolphus A. Anekwe, a renowned doctor, about the ramifications of isolating a gene that causes violent behavior

Dr. Regina Dickerson is a Catholic physician in San Diego who has discovered that there is a certain genetic marker that indicates the carrier is prone to psychotic violence. Working on blood from prison inmates, her theory begins to prove itself time and again with violent offenders. The variety of crimes is diverse: one couple murders their children for organ money, another man kidnaps young girls to seduce and kill them, yet another has a penchant for cyanide.

As Dickerson's work begins to show results and catches the attention of the media, people begin to fear that witch hunts and Spanish Inquisition–style mayhem will result if forcible testing is carried out. Meanwhile, a race begins to find a cure. With science and religion at odds, Dickerson must find her own answers while trying to escape those who want to put an end to her inflammatory research.


My Thoughts:

  • I really like the writing style. It's an easy-going narrative with a distinct flow. It makes it incredibly easy to read and enjoy. Anekwe also is a natural writer and is very good at what he does.
  • I have to say, I love Regina. I love her personality and how she goes about her work. She's a good character, and well-written. 
  • Do you know how much I love this plotline? It's so incredible-the "kill-gene". It's such a fascinating topic to speculate as is, but to have an entire book about it? Awesome. I love how it is executed, as well.
4.5 stars



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ADOLPHUS A. ANEKWE, MD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Indiana University Northwest Medical Center, and is also an active staff member at five area hospitals, a Board Certified Diplomat and Fellow in two medical specialties, and an active community leader. He resides in Schererville, Indiana, and is the author of Mark of the Beast.







WEBSITE: http://us.macmillan.com/author/adolphusaanekwe
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1584851.Adolphus_A_Anekwe
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-of-the-Beast-by-Adolphus-Anekwe/726634887435643

Giveaway
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

5 Winners will receive a Copy of the Mark of the Beast by Adolphus A. Anekwe.


~Ashley

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Blog Tour: Review and Playlist: Anni Moon and the Elemental Artifact


For the full schedule, go here
Synopsis 

Anni doesn't know about Elementals, Funk, Zephyrs, excited talking Bat-Rat creatures, and, least of all, Dragons. All that changes when her best friend, Lexi, is kidnapped and forces beyond Anni’s control trap her on a hidden, floating island in the Elemental world.

In a race against time, Anni sets out to save her friend. Along the way she finds allies among the Elementals, but she is also presented with a choice, one that might help save Lexi. If Anni agrees to an ancient, open-ended contract, will her sacrifice cost her more than she’s bargained for? Or will it land her in the middle of an age-old war between the humans, the Elementals, and the dreaded Fectus?

Music Playlist:
We Want the Funk by George Clinton
anything by John Williams
Review:
I can't exactly figure out how to do this without spoiling the book, so I'm going to keep it brief.

I love:
  • the plot. This book is so cute and I loved reading it. I really like how Anni doesn't know anything about the Elemental world, yet her friend is taken there. I also think it's so cute that their friendship is so strong. I suppose I would try to find my best friend no matter what, too, but still. This is a huge deal.
  • the characters. Anni's take on the world is excellent. I like her view of everything she encounters. I also like how the other characters are so obviously protagonists or antagonists. The distinction is clear.
  • the beginning. I like how it starts off in the boarding school and shows LIFE BEFORE. That's always a fun way to start books.
I don't love:
  • The only thing I didn't love was that it took me a while to get into the book. The pacing was a bit slow for a while and I struggled to keep reading. But I'm glad I did.
4 stars

Giveaway
1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of Anni Moon & The Elemental Artifact
1 Winner will receive a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In kindergarten my life's goal was to become a teacher who wore only pink and ate French fries all day long. Now that I've matured, my goal in life is to become a Miss Marple-Sherlockian-Jedi Knight--I'm totally serious, it's a real thing.

I love stories, and I've had the privilege of working in Hollywood for over a decade in many different capacities, working with celebrities, directors (I'm married to one, plus he's my illustrator), and a few executives (the head-honcho types that I can't talk about because I signed confidentiality waivers). I'm not sure any of these people would have hired me if they knew I had a closet full of mint condition Star Wars toys...

However, the life of a freelancer is not for the faint of heart. I've kept myself busy with my extracurricular activities, from skydiving to scuba diving, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a degree in Fine Art, an M.A. in Psychology (with a focus in Neuroscience), and a few other things that I like to keep top secret. ...Some people think I'm a spy, but I'll never tell!

WEBSITE: http://www.melanieabed.com/
TWITTER: @Melanie_Abed
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8647877.Melanie_Abed
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-Abed/783780501644430


Romance is in the Air Blog Hop


Good morning, guys! Welcome to my stop on the Romance is in the Air Blog Hop! You know that feeling when everyone around you is getting all sappy and you're just wondering why?

This year, don't even bother with them! Read cutesy books instead! It's what I'll be doing.

Giveaway
*must be 13 years or older to enter
*US only (sorry!)
*I am not responsible for any lost or damaged packages

Up for grabs:
Two (2) Signed Sarah Dessen books!
Keeping the Moon and Someone Like You


-Leave some comment love below for me!-

Enjoy the giveaway and happy hopping! 

~Ashley

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Release Day Blitz: How (Not) to Fall in Love





How (Not) To Fall In Love
Release Date: 02/03/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Finding true love on the other side of the tracks was never so much fun in this heartfelt and hilarious contemporary novel.

Seventeen-year-old Darcy Covington doesn't know the difference between a pawn shop and a thrift shop. Even her dog eats gourmet food, so she’s totally unprepared when her car is repossessed from the parking lot of her elite private school. Turns out her father, a semi-famous motivational speaker, has skipped town, abandoning his family while his business collapses. Even David Letterman comes up with ten reasons why her father won’t ever return home.

Desperate to sell her expensive jewelry for much-needed cash, Darcy discovers that her dad’s brother runs a funky thrift shop on a street full of eccentric characters, including a coffee shop owner named Liz and one supremely hot fix-it guy named Lucas.

Darcy finds some solace hanging out with her uncle and Lucas in the thrift shop and working in Liz’s coffee shop, while the rest of her life falls apart. The time she spends with the uber hot Lucas helps takes her mind off her family’s troubles, even though she’s sure he’s only nice to her because he works for her uncle, especially when she meets the cover girl beauty she thinks he’s dating.

Can Darcy find the courage she needs to adapt to the necessary changes brought about by her family’s drastically reduced lifestyle? And will she open her eyes to the amazing realization that Lucas wants much more than friendship from her?


Pre-Order Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo BooksiBooks

Excerpt
The tray slammed down, sending cups and plates clattering. I whirled to look at him. He bent
over the counter, picking up the spilled cups, his hair hiding his face.
“Are you okay, Lucas?” I didn’t know what was happening, or understand the energy
rolling off of him in waves. I could practically reach out and touch it.
He ignored me as he washed dishes in the sink.
“I used to think I was in love with him,” I said, surprised by my confession. “If you can
believe it.”
Lucas stilled, then straightened and turned to look at me. “I can believe it. Girls are
suckers for a pretty face.”
“You would know.” Oh my God. I’d said that out loud.
And I couldn’t take it back.
He watched me silently, waiting. I turned back to the counter, scrubbing hard, wishing I
could erase my words the way I erased the coffee stains.
“But you’re over him,” Lucas said from behind me.
I nodded, but didn’t turn around. “There’s not much to be over,” I muttered. “He never
really knew me. And he’s not very…aware of what other people are going through.”
Unlike you, I wanted to say, but this time I kept my mouth shut. 



About the Author
Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn't recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life's painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.

Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, several fourlegged prima donnas, and lots of laughter. 


Author Links:
  

GIVEAWAY:
Grand Prize:



1st Prize:


2nd Prize:


3rd Prize:




Book Blitz Organized by:

~Ashley