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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Young World (The Young World Trilogy #1) by Chris Weitz

After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he's secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind.
The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park...and discovers truths they could never have imagined.

First of all, the fact that the author is a director really had me worried. 
Most books I've read that are written by directors are TOTAL nightmare novels.

I'm glad to say that this is the exception (Although it did dance a very fine line for me.) 
I found the characters overall extremely realistic and likeable, I found them each to be individual and I appreciated the multiple POV standpoint (Which really advantages the novel.) I even found myself getting attached to characters that died *no spoilers* 

I loved the plot. The plot was great. It had a straightforward objective, and the world kept building and building on top of itself. I loved the different societies they encountered and how likely those societies would be, should a pandemic like this one occur. 

Brainbox was my favorite character. I identified with him as a loner, and as someone often misunderstood. 

The ending brought a smile to my face, Chris pulled that one right over my eyes. I didn't see it coming in the slightest. 

I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a refreshing dystopian read.
Four stars.
Add the book to your Goodreads

The Young World

or buy the book here:

About the Author:

Chris Weitz is an Oscar-nominated writer and director. His films include The Twilight Saga: New Moon, A Better Life, About a Boy, The Golden Compass,   and  American Pie The Young World  is his first novel. 

You can find him here:

Monday, August 4, 2014

Chapter by Chapter #1 - TFIOS

The Fault in Our Stars and I have had this appointment long coming.
The purpose of this meme, is to give insight to the readers about the process of how we figure out what we are going to say about a particular novel. You take the book, and type and share your thought on that chapter, and by the end the blog readers can see your thought process grow and change a long the way! The thought can be as small as a sentence or as long as you like. Linky at the bottom!

Chapter 1: How come I never knew it was in female POV? for whatever odd reason I assumed it was from Augustus's POV.

Chapter 5: I had to stop and express something. I resonate DEEPLY with Hazel. At one point Hazel gets a shoulder pain because her heart is working too hard. I have that problem too, You see, I have Cystic Fibrosis which is technically a terminal diagnosis (It kills you eventually, the question is, how long can advancing science make you live.) and I resonate with her so deeply. I know what it feels to wake up like a zombie in the hospital, I know what its like to shuffle around after your lungs have been cleaned out. I know what it's like to revel in good nurses who give you extra ice chips and try their best to give you a few hours uninterrupted sleep. I know what it's like to be a human dartboard when it comes to starting IV's and drawing blood. I know what it is to stare at hospital ceiling tiles and I know what its like to watch ancient reruns on crappy hospital televisions. I know what it's like to feel like you have a leg inside the grave while HELLO you're still alive!

I just know.
I know her feelings...

and finally, I've found a character whom I completely 100% identify with. Her parents at one point call her " A brilliant young reader with a side interest in horrible television shows." and that is ME to a T.

In love with reading, writing, blogging, being human and yet, I am perpetually dying at a faster rate than is considered normal.

How beautiful a thing is it that I have found a book that features someone so much like me?
Is this what other bloggers rave about in other books? Has it been, that I've just come across the perfect novel to give me the epiphany that I'm not missing some piece of my heart? I've always wondered why I never quite connected with characters...is maybe this why? That this whole time i've been reviewing books through the lenses of death?

Wow..I've never experienced such a connection with a character.

I marvel at this book. At chapter five it has ensnared my heart. I can tell right now; I will be utterly destroyed by this novel.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Feature & Follow #2

What is your favorite tv series that you can watch over and over again on Netflix?
Without a doubt - Roswell. If you like JLA's Lux series, you'll LOVE Roswell. There's Aliens and lots of intense kissing. 

It's supercharged and superfun. DRAMA EVERYWHERE. Also, the series poetically begins and ends. Novel lovers will love the symmetry of the narrative. GO WATCH IT. Also, this is for Parajunkee's bloghop so please follow her and Alison and follow me and everyone else. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Like No Other by Una LaMarche GIVEAWAY

Fate brought them together. Will life tear them apart? 
Devorah is a consummate good girl who has never challenged the ways of her strict Hasidic upbringing. 
Jaxon is a fun-loving, book-smart nerd who has never been comfortable around girls (unless you count his four younger sisters). 
They've spent their entire lives in Brooklyn, on opposite sides of the same street. Their paths never crossed . . . until one day, they did. 
When a hurricane strikes the Northeast, the pair becomes stranded in an elevator together, where fate leaves them no choice but to make an otherwise risky connection. 
Though their relation is strictly forbidden, Devorah and Jax arrange secret meetings and risk everything to be together. But how far can they go? Just how much are they willing to give up? 
In the timeless tradition of West Side Story and Crossing Delancey, this thoroughly modern take on romance will inspire laughter, tears, and the belief that love can happen when and where you least expect it.
I have mixed feelings on this novel. On one hand, this novel excellently brings diversity to the table and lets average Americans peek in to the Hasidic religion; but on the other hand, Jax was an extremely flat character. He went in to the romance with nothing to lose and as such the west side story comparison is a little lost (until it's regained in the off-kilter ending.)

Devorah is a gem, I identify with her a lot as my religion wrestles with me too. She goes out on a limb to explore the non Hasidic world with a boy named Jax and she gets it. She just doesn't know exactly what she wants or how much she can explore within reason. She struggles with her reason and to me that makes her a very real character.

The story flowed pretty quickly from the beginning, and continued at a steady pace throughout the novel. The ending was a little jerky however. I feel like Jax made this huge effort not to give up and then in the end he just kind of threw his hands up and said "Ah well..." and that transition just didn't flow very well with the rest of the story.

I did like, however, like Devorah's ending narration, about how she's adopted some of the world, while still keeping her faith. She even expresses that her journey of exploration isn't quite over, and that she looks forward to exploring her new life of faith and compromises.

It was all in all very lovely to read. So on this basis I give it four stars. The only other problem I had with it, was the fact that Devorah did continue to compromise with her faith. It's strange to think about but in Christianity there is no compromise. You are either expending all energies to become more like Jesus, or you are compromising with the world and in return aren't living a Christian lifestyle.

So to see Devorah's family accepting this new mixed version of her was unusual for me. nonetheless, four stars. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a #WeNeedDiverseBooks novel.

About the Author
Una LaMarche

Una LaMarche is a writer and amateur Melrose Place historian who lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, her son, and her hoard of vintage Sassy magazines. Una used to be a fancy magazine and newspaper editor before she had a baby and started writing from home, sometimes pantsless, for a living. Her first novel, Five Summers, is being released from Razorbill in May, and she’s currently in development on a second. She also writes for The New York Observer (of which she is a former managing editor), The Huffington Post, Vegas Seven, NickMom, and Aiming Low. Una continues to blog at The Sassy Curmudgeon, which she started in 2006 as a way to bring shame to her family. You can find her on Twitter under the handle @sassycurmudgeon. (If she’s not there, she’s probably trolling the internet for celebrity blind items or bulk candy.)

You can find her on social medias here:

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Chapter by Chapter - New Meme

Chapter by Chapter is a weekly meme hosted by me.  
The purpose of this meme is to give insight to viewers about the reviewing process. 
Basically, what it is, is sharing your thoughts on a book, chapter by chapter.
You can do it a chapter at a time, or do multiple chapters in one post.
My first Chapter by Chapter Meme will take place next Monday
and will feature my thoughts while i'm reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
(Yes, this is my first time reading it, yes, I'm probably going to ruin the rest of my life.)
I'll post a linksy next monday!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Curriculum planned!

In a night of pure inspiration, I set out my ten lesson plans and all their details.
It's beautiful and I can't wait to get to talk to these students and teach them all about blogging.

In a surprise twist I've been given another blessing by getting in contact with a literature teacher who runs a group called "The Silvertongue Society" He'd like me to come speak to them on some occasion.

I'm so happy doing this.

Who knew that the kid that could barely spit out an oral book report in 3rd grade would go on to teach entire classrooms?

The lessons at the library will consist of about ten lessons, and if all planning goes right, we'll have one epic field trip at the end.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Uncaged (The Singular Menace) by John Sandford & Michele Cook

Shay Remby arrives in Hollywood with $58 and a handmade knife, searching for her brother, Odin.
Odin’s a brilliant hacker but a bit of a loose cannon. He and a group of radical animal-rights activists hit a Singular Corp. research lab in Eugene, Oregon. The raid was a disaster, but Odin escaped with a set of highly encrypted flash drives and a post-surgical dog.
When Shay gets a frantic 3 a.m. phone call from Odin—talking about evidence of unspeakable experiments, and a ruthless corporation, and how he must hide—she’s concerned. When she gets a menacing visit from Singular’s security team, she knows: her brother’s a dead man walking.
What Singular doesn’t know—yet—is that 16-year-old Shay is every bit as ruthless as their security force, and she will burn Singular to the ground, if that’s what it takes to save her brother

At first, this book was off-putting. It switched POV's frequently and didn't explain much about the current situation, I could definitely tell that this was an adult author trying to write a YA book. The book just continued like that and it really seemed to drag on. Still, without explaining much about the circumstances.

Eventually it seemed to settle on Shay's POV and the reader starts to get his/her balance straight. While a little unrealistic, I loved Twist and his hotel of street kids, I loved his rules and his seemingly soft spot for Shay (because she breaks a lot of his rules and he never does kick her out.) Twist's unusual occupation of statement painting and trouble making makes for a good story. Although his political statements were off-putting as well. I think John could alienate a lot of readers very quickly this way. but I think overall the transition he and the kids made from trouble makers to crime stoppers was fluid. For whatever reason the odd style of writing at the beginning, evens itself out and changes POVs less often.

Certainly the most interesting part of the book was the ending; which was calculated by the crew of teens (down to the iota of detail) and that was perhaps my favorite facet of the story (The crew's calculating nature.) My favorite character of course was Odin, the 17 soon to be 18 year old kid, whom while mildly autistic is also a computer genius. Odin reminds me a lot of myself actually, and I was proud of the moves he made and his resolution to never give up his friends despite being water boarded repeatedly by his captors. This book is definitely for the older crowd. Odin and X were the story savers from my point of view. If they hadn't been there to beef up the story (or if Odin's POV had been left out) I think Shay would have been a very flat character, and the book would have lost whatever spine it had to begin with.

This book was difficult for me to review, while the end was definitely worth it, the book was not without it's major flaws... So I lean towards three stars, but will give it four for the action and solid ending. I am, afterall, looking forward to the next installment.

This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

About the Authors
John Sandford
Michele Cook
No information found.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Into the Blind - Excerpt makeup post

Chapter 1
The green cement floor under my feet wasn’t doing anything. I mean, I wasn’t sure what exactly was supposed to happen, but Sinna was looking down at the floor with so much focus. Presently, he raised his eyes at me, and since I’m blind but have this highly fortunate ability to see what the people around me are looking at, I saw the object of his gaze: myself. Together, Sin and I surveyed my short figure, my pale, heart-shaped face, and my hopelessly tangled white hair. Sinna sighed as if I were somehow wrong for what we were doing.
“Ever, I can’t,” he said finally. “It’s too dangerous.”
I made a funny pleading face. I wanted to joke, to ask him how a nightmare could be dangerous. It was just a hallucination. A waking vision that temporarily blocked out one’s reality. And if Sin succeeded in making it for me now, he’d be able to make one for our guards later. We could be free in half an hour! But I suddenly choked up. The room around me—the cold cement walls the color of gangrene, the ugly kidney-shaped wooden counter, and the piles of books, magazines, newspapers, and journals (for this room used to be a mall bookstore)—all of it began to suffocate me. I had to get out of here. I had to be free. How I wished I could make Sinna feel this crushing need!
He squeezed my shoulder: he understood. Then, sounding like the Collegiate Thesaurus he’d used for a pillow for the last several years, he said, “Very well, Ever-Jezebel. Do you recall what I have imparted to you not three minutes ago?”
I nodded and made my voice sound deeper to show Sinna that I was quoting him, “Ever, you ought to remember three things. First, if you notice that something, even the tiniest and most insignificant detail, deviates from the nightmare we have agreed upon, please stop me. Second, even if everything does go according to the plan, but you feel that you wish to be released from the nightmare, please stop me. Third, once in a nightmare, you will not be able to see through my eyes, and fourth, knowing that it’s not real is not going to help you in there.” I switched to my own voice, “Did I get it right?”
The sounds of steps and whacks came from the back room, where Sinna’s girlfriend was teaching my boyfriend a new method of killing people. By breaking their necks with the edge of a palm. I only hoped Demi wouldn’t kill Fox because that girl was freakishly strong.
Sinna chuckled. “Yes, it was all correct, although I do not believe I sounded even fractionally this excited. However, let’s proceed. An ocean. Blue and warm. With a school of fish that looks like the one on the cover of the Marine Atlas.” The last words he muttered quietly under his nose, clearly to remind himself of what I’d requested to see in a nightmare.
He backed away from me…a few steps…then a few more…then all the way to the massive steel door that stood between us and freedom. He stopped there, and again, we watched the dusty green floor by my feet.
Suddenly it quaked.
Yes, right under my feet.
The snapshots I was getting through Sinna’s eyes vanished, but somehow, impossibly, improbably, I was still seeing the floor by my feet. It quaked once again.
On its third quake, a coffin-sized segment of the green floor in front of me ballooned up. In perfect silence, it wriggled and jerked from side to side, as if something large was pushing our floor from beneath.
My heart sang with excitement: it was happening, it was here, the miracle that would set us free.
The bulge gave one last shuddering twitch and then, still silently, cracked open. A gush of clear, cold liquid shot straight up out of the hole, wetting my chin, my nose, and a lock of hair that had slipped out of my ponytail. As I wiped my face, wondering why the liquid smelled of rubbing alcohol, the water spurt hit the ceiling and came back down, this time soaking me head to toe, and I couldn’t believe it was just a vision. My skin felt wet. My hair and dress clung to me as if they were truly soaked, and the only word I could use to describe this fluid was “real.”
More water came through the crack in the floor, and then more still. Only it didn’t spread—it stayed around me in a large circular puddle. I hopped up and down in it. 
“I’m loving this!” I told Sinna, not sure if I would get a response—he hadn’t specified if we’d be able to talk while I was inside a nightmare. But I did hear from him: he chortled and said, “Just don’t attempt to swim in this reservoir, Ever. It’s not real.”
The water kept on rising. Soon it touched my chin, and I hastened to press my lips together, which wasn’t easy because I was grinning so hard. Then I had to pinch my nose shut. Since I was a bit late on that, a little water trickled down my throat, and it tasted exactly like the tap stuff I drank every day. So…not a salty ocean after all? But no matter, it was still a fun nightmare.

A small, paper-white ghost flitted past me...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Celebrating 100 Facebook likes!

My Facebook page has always been thrown to the wayside but it's finally starting to catch up with everything else! For that, I'm giving away 2 ARCs of Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater along with two bookmarks from my amazing bookmark box (which has been refreshed by ALA14!)

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.
But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.
Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.
When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

Bravo! Bravo *claps* This novel delivered way more than I was expecting. I picked up the book expecting a Tamora Pierce novel (I hated those novels... I seem to be one of the very few that doesn't adore them to death.) Or, I expected a Throne of Glass novel (which I also hated, contrary to popular opinion.)  so I had braced myself for a lot of nonsense and boredom and irritation. (but I picked the novel up in the first place because I was holding out a hope from all hopes that I would get something satisfying, and boy did I!)

This novel just punches through the stories walls one by one. I love the fact that Kyra's love triangle so to speak, wasn't in the forefront of the story, and that she did absolutely nothing to engage or tease either party (that's my pet peeve in books.) Kyra thinks on her feet, and boy can her feet move.... It's definitely a plus that this is not a black and white novel, there is a lot of shifting, back and forth and the parties aren't quite concrete until the end.

When Kyra has to prove herself to the band of thieves, I love how, instead of beating them at their own game or trying to become one of them, she just blows them away with who she naturally is, and proves that there is sometimes more value to stealth than there is brute strength.

I identified with Kyra, and her homelessness, I identified with her desire to care for Idalee and Lettie.
Best of all,
I LOVED Tristam. That's what I call an A+ character. He's a dashing noble knight who eventually falls in love  with a member, of not just one, but TWO of his highest sworn enemies.

It's rather impressive how naturally the progression goes from aggressor, to passive, to lover.
he's my kind of book boyfriend.

Anyway, I better wrap this up.
Five stars, I will eagerly be awaiting book #2.
I thank Hyperion for the ARC and I must announce that in no way did it influence my opinion on this novel.
I HIGHLY recommend this novel. It's a dream of all medieval dreams, and is certainly going to be a hard book to follow.

About the Author

You can read Ten Facts About her HERE

Monday, July 7, 2014

Writing curriculum - A Scary Beast

AH! I'm in charge of teaching a group of teenagers how to effectively run a blog (and about publishing etc.)

Which means....I have to write lesson plans.

I have 10 sessions to teach kids everything they need to know about blogging.

My first session, I intend on introducing them to how to write a book review, and that will be their assigment until the next session. but during that session I'll have time to cover other things.
so I think I'm going to go the generic route and do an overall, what it takes to run a blog, and what a blog usually consists of (you know, memes, cover reveals, author interviews, giveaways.)

this is crazy! I'm also putting together bound editions of my lessons so that each kid has a reference about what i'm talking about in each assigment. It'll even have a little section for notes and an index where they can keep track of login codes and etc.

Ok bloggers, authors, and publishers....what do you believe is THE MOST CRUCIAL advice that I tell these kids. It can be anything, just be original and useful! If you have a blog, and I use your advice, I'll cite you in the reference section.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Tore by KD Ferguson - Book Blitz

Tore Divided Love
Release Date: 06/06/14

Summary from Goodreads:
A future set in stone.

For eighteen year old Krissa Channing a government ruled pairing with Braiden Connor and a move to Headquarters were her set fate. Until Braiden's sudden disappearance threatens Krissa’s entire future.

After months of endless worry, Krissa has an unexpected meeting with Duke, a perfect suitor that could offer her the future she’s always dreamed of. Just when she begins to regain hope, Braiden returns.

Now, Krissa must find where her heart truly lies. Torn between two loves, she must decide which of their worlds she belongs in. But is such a decision even possible when the choice rests between freedom and love?

Available from:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Link to Book One:
(cover linked to Goodreads)

About the Author
I have recently released my first book, Torn-True Love, published by Rebel Ink Press. I am thrilled to be a part of the family!

Author Links:
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Book Blitz Organized by:

Friday, May 30, 2014

Feature & Follow (#2)

How important is good writing to you? In an ideal world, a book would be beautifully written AND have great character development, plot, etc. But in the real world, which do you prefer: (1) Great Characters and plot with lousy writing or (2) Middling character development and plot but gorgeous writing?

Ooooohhhhhhhh.....This is a hard one. I seriously don't know how to answer this question. 

but I think I'm going to have to go with.....option number....I DONT KNOW. why such a hard question?!....

ok, ok, *flails* option number 1...I think. 

I think plot and character development are the most important things in a book for me. 
because no matter how well it's written, if the content sucks, i'm going to feel dissatisfied at the end. 
whereas if I see great plot and character, then I can chalk the writing up to inexperience or style or something.

But gosh, I'm such a sucker for prose too.... (I'm thinking of Shatter Me right now...) 

I guess that's my final answer. I'd rather have content than great writing. *shudders* I can't believe I had to decide between the two.

What about you? What book has the most attractive prose you've ever read? or the most fantastic character development?

(Be a dear and follow others on the hop!)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Don't Fall by Rachel Schieffelbein

In this contemporary retelling of Rapunzel, seventeen-year-old Anya leads a secluded life in a house on the edge of town with her adopted mother. She doesn't go to public school, doesn't even have a best friend. But Anya doesn't seem to mind. She has her books, her photography, and her daydreams and would do anything to please her mom.
Until one day at the library, the only place Anya is allowed to go alone, she takes a picture of a beautiful boy. Before long she's lying to her mom, and sneaking out to meet Zander. But Zander wants more than a secret romance. If Anya wants to be with the boy of her dreams, she's going to have to risk her relationship with the only other person she's ever cared about.
Awwwww, this book is so adorable! Even better, the novel is exactly what is says it is. It's a light, no muss- no fuss Rapunzel retelling. I have no idea what i'm going to say in this review because there isn't anything for me to really analyze or dissect. it just is what it is. 

I enjoyed Anya and her original naivete, I love the detailing in her character, what her favorite color is, what her hobbies are, what she looked liked as a child....everything is just so perfect. It's done in this novel, without being overdone.

the ending is contemporary fairytale too. Further, I understand Anya's complex feelings for her mother. I understand that need to please some one who will never be pleased. One day, I hope to have an ending like Anya.

And maybe, a guy like Zander too. I mean, he takes her out for cupcakes.... I could would definitely go out with a guy that would buy me cupcakes and go stargazing..... and kissing in the forest.

but I digress. 

All in all, if you're looking for a halt the presses dystopian this is not your novel. 
BUUUuuut, if your looking for a pleasant page turner, with shades of Rapunzel, this is definitely for you. 
I give it four stars.

Add it to your Goodreads list!

Torn Away

You can purchase the book here:

About the Author:
Rachel Schieffelbein

Rachel grew up in a tiny town in Minnesota. She still lives there, with her husband and their four kids. She coaches high school speech and theater, rides Arabian horses, reads as much as she can, and writes stories.

Find her here!

Click the button below to view the other lovely ladies' posts!

This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review, as a part of YA BOUND book Tours. 
It didn't in any way influence my opinion of the book.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Liebster Award!

This award is given to those who have less than 300 followers. You're suppose to give 11 facts about yourself and then answer 11 questions that the person that nominated you asked, and then you nominate other bloggers. I was awarded by Casey at Story Notions. I don't know what questions I'm going to ask yet, or who i'm going to pick, but I'll update this post when I do.

The Rules:

  •  List 11 facts about yourself. 
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by whoever nominated you. 
  • Ask 11 new questions to 9 bloggers with less than 300 followers. 
  • You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you. 
  • Go to their blog and tell them that they have been nominated!

Eleven facts:

  • I love animals I have a cat, four dogs, and three horses, plus, I count my grandmother's two dogs and three cats as my own as well. We really do love animals, and all but two of our animals are rescues!
  • I'm training to be a silhouette artist. You know, like the ones at Disneyland. It's grueling work, and it isn't easy, but practice makes perfect!
  • I have a part-time job as a medical biller
  • I'm going to college for art - I'm just getting my gen eds done at the moment
  • I miss my Nanny. My grandmother died in September and I miss her so much I cry when I make scrambled eggs sometimes or see something light blue.
  • My dad is my best friend. He always gives me hugs and tells me he loves me! He takes me places I need to go, and he helps me out when i'm struggling emotionally. 
  • I have a stuffed unicorn collection - they're adorable. Who doesn't like unicorns?!
  • My first book review was a really, really, really negative one.
  • I'm working on being less of a harsh critic.
  • I love Disneyland. I would live there if I could. Dole whips and churros everybody!
  • I'm going to ALA in just a short month! I went to BEA once, but ALA is superior, so I go to ALA instead.
Eleven Questions to Answer:
When did you start blogging? And why did you start?

I started book blogging in 2010. I started because my little sister's best friend joked "You should be one of those people they list on the back of the books, you'd be good at it." We laughed and continued eating our mexican food. But I got really sick at summer camp and her words kept bouncing in my head. With all my sick downtime my dad thought it would be a good thing for me. 
We knew nothing about blogs or anything, so I started out with a really tiny website. The thing just grew from there!

What's the last book you reread? And why did you reread it?

I last reread Doon by Carey Corp and Laurie Langdon. I reread it, because I felt like rereading a book with romantic Scotsmen in it. (with a strong female character.)

Favorite TV/movie? (that isn't based on a book)

The Amazing Spiderman, definitely. OH, or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Although, I guess both of those are based off of comic books. I'm just going to pretend that these qualify. If they don't, then I'd say The Mentalist is my favorite show. 

Book/series that changed/influenced your life the most.

The Shadowed Unicorn by Shiela Kelly Welch. It was the first book I picked up on my own and I actually got up at 3 in the morning to finish reading.  Also, it was a library book, so my first library book is important to me as well.

Fandoms you're apart of and your 'favorite'.

Oh, gosh. Agents of Shield, Marvel in general, Doctor Who, Supernatural, Sherlock, Harry Potter, Warehouse 13, Percy Jackson, Fullmetal Alchemist.... I think those are my major ones. I don't think I have a favorite. Harry Potter was my first real fandom, so perhaps that's my favorite just for sentimentality's sake.

Hogwarts house. 

Ravenclaw. Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure! CAW CAW!

Weird reading habits or needs to be able to read?

Pretty much just a book. Although my favorite thing would be my favorite homemade blanket (ITS  SO SOFT) and a bunch of pillows.

Favorite book that was, at some point, 'required reading' for any reason.

Where The Red Fern Grows. It makes me cry, everytime, and it is so beautiful. it was required reading in fourth grade and it was amazing.

What is your OTP(couple you most like/want together)? And what is your NOTP(two characters you should never be together romantically, in your opinion)?

I have so many OTP's that I'm not sure I have an OTP anymore. Ed and Winry evokes some pretty strong OTP feels, but I don't know, there are a lot of others.....OH!! FItzSimmons is definitely one of my top OTP's. They are just so adorable together. Or, Jane and Lisbon. I've always wanted them to be together and now they are. but my NOTP - is flat our Harry and Hermione. It just shouldn't ever happen. Ever. NOPE.

Do you like ebooks? How often do you read one? Do you have an ereader?

ebooks are ok, I read a few a week probably, I have a kindle. but I mostly read netgalleys and things of that sort on it. I get a lot of freebie ebooks on it.

What author, whose alive, do you most wish to meet and why?

J.K. Rowling. She's influenced millions of lives, including mine. I think she's a genius author and I would like a glimpse in to her infinite mind....

Waiting on Wednesday #2

I'm doing something a little different this wednesday!

I learned that I have an icky hospital visit tomorrow, but the good news is, when that happens, my dad takes me to my favorite place to eat, and then the bookstore.

I like just wandering in and seeing what catches my eye, but what books would you recommend?

I'm kind of in a summer book kind of mood, but i'm game for just about anything.

I'll be listening to your suggestions!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best. Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home. 
Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain. 
Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.
The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me. I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

Wow. I didn't know quite what to expect when I decided to participate in the tour, but this wasn't it. In a good way.

One thing that's immediately notable, is the darkness. This novel is potentially the darkest I've ever read. but it had a light at the end of the tunnel and it had it's tissue moments.The book was wonderfully written, with great, varied cast of characters whom brilliantly brought the focus of the novel up to the front.

The focus of course, is emotion. (Which I wasn't expecting when I picked it up.)
and boy, is it wrought with emotion.

mostly low emotions, and whew! some spicy ones involving Cole, her guard and love interest. I adored some of the fuzzier moments. here's an teaser from one of my favorite fuzzies:

Heavy clouds, pregnant with water, drip, drip, drip down the windowsill. Zeus lies on the floor. I guess he was too hot on the bed overnight. Cole wraps around me, his warm breath caressing the back of my neck each time he exhales. We're so close, but at the same time, not close enough. While he's pressed against me, I trace the outline of his arm with my fingertips. His skin feels like silk, but it's firm at the same time. A sigh escapes his lips. I wiggle around some, and eventually he stirs, releasing his grip. He grumbles something like an apology and rolls over. Dang.         I shake him. "Hey, I hate to have to wake you, but you better get your butt in gear or you'll be late for roll call." I take the opportunity to touch his hair and rub my fingers down his faded haircut. He moans. "I'll never get up if you keep doing that." Oops. 
Cole is somewhat of a wild card. He enters, and leaves the stage with all the other characters at the end of the novel, without ever revealing exactly who he is and why he's been ordered to protect Lexi. I might have some guesses for that last question, but I'm not willing to believe until I see for sure.

I loved Lexi's unwavering determination to survive (something which she lacked at the very moment we met her.) and I LOVED ZEUS. He's an adorable, gawky dog, who steals the spotlight on a few occasions. He certainly stole my heart!

My only hangups for this novel:
 1) It was so so so dark. I have depression issues, so I had to put it down a few times to recoup myself. Although the novel ended on a good note, a LOT of bad things happen to Lexi throughout the novel.

 2) Cole, freakin Cole. Why was he so cruel in the beginning? How did Lexi come to terms with those past behaviors? I suppose it was just in case the Commander was watching, but his unexplained back story leaves a little to be desired. (perhaps a novella some where could help with this.) His transition from cruel guard to loving rebel was a bit blurry or rocky. What made him make those decisions when he did?

anyway, the good absolutely outweighs the bad I think. One of the best moments written in this book, is Lexi's relationship with Alyssa. I can't give you any other deets on that, because it would be too spoilery. But ultimately, even with the sadness and depression themes, I give it four stars.

Have you ever read a really depressing book, that totally made you bow down and respect it anyway? (or love it anyway?) (it's okay to respond with TFIOS, I understand *pats your back* mightier beings than you have been struck down with that one.)

Add the book to your goodreads!

Torn Away

Buy the book here!

About the authors:

Abi Ketner

Is a registered nurse with a passion for novels, the beaches of St. John, and her Philadelphia Phillies. A talented singer, Abi loves to go running and spend lots of time with her family. She currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, triplet daughters and two very spoiled dogs.

Melissa Kalicicki
Received her bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in 2003. She married, had two boys and currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Aside from reading and writing, her interests include running and mixed martial arts. She also remains an avid Cleveland sports fan.

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