Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: White Hot Kiss By: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book Description:
One kiss could be the last. 

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses. 

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever. 

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul. 

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.
My Thoughts:
I have attempted other books by this author before and one series I read 1 book and did not finish the series due to it being so close to another series by a different author. Then I attempted the first 2 books of another of this author's series and couldn't finish because the 2nd book was all about "I-love-you-but-I-can't-have-you-but-I-want-you-oh-baby-oh-baby" and I just lost interest in it and it was 85% eye rolling. So, I kept hearing about this book and people telling me "Bekah, you need to read this! you need to read this! give this one a chance" well I did and regardless of the cover of the book it was better than I anticipated.

The overall plot was interesting and new. I hadn't ever come across a story about gargoyles and so this was awesome in that aspect. Plus a "good vs. evil" the overall idea was new and I loved it.

Now the main character Layla is half demon, yet half gargoyle which makes her enemy to both sides and yet NOT enemy either which creates a nice conflict and the fact that she is raised in a house of gargoyles who taught her all her life that demons were bad-which they are-but not entirely which was super fun to read about it and see what was really "bad" and what wasn't. However Layla isn't what she seems there is a lot of questions about her and her past in regards to her paternity and what not then she comes across a sexy hot demon named Roth who is and isn't what he appears to be. As they as characters progress you end up really liking Roth as a character and a person.

There is a love triangle...sort of but not really there is always this undertone of forbidden love on all 3 sides and it's crazy so if you like steamy scenes (NO SEX) and love triangles this is it.

I really enjoyed the overall story and what new things Jennifer L. Armentrout brings in this new series. I look forward to book 2 and hope its not an eye rolling disappointment.

Sexual Content: moderate (PG-13 with lots of sensual scenes and steamy close encounters with making out)
Language: moderate
Violence: moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: moderate

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars By: John Green

Book Description:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
My Thoughts:
This is a VERY popular book and I finally got around to reading it because I kept hearing things about it. It took some young women from my church to get me to finally sit down and read it! First things first. Did I cry...nope. Everyone I've talked to told me they sobbed and cried like a baby when reading this story. I got a LITTLE misty eyed but I didn't cry. I can totally see what people cried though. it's a very heart warming story and you become attached to characters almost from page 1.

The story is about a girl named Hazel who is is in remission from problems with her lungs that have left her lungs weak and so she will always need the aid of an oxygen tank wherever she goes. She as a character (to me) seemed very bitter with life and what has happened to her, I felt like she secluded herself due to her illness and withdrew herself from life and people other than her parents and even then I felt like she kept them at a distance because she knew that death would always be lurking for her.

Hazel hates going to support group, that is until a guy-a very cute guy-won't stop staring at her, name Augustus or Gus.

Gus is also in remission from bone cancer that took part of one leg. He is the most uplifting and happy guy there who regardless of what life has thrown him gives and takes from life at its fullest and as a reader you just fall in love with him. He is pure awesomeness.

As Gus and Hazel interact the character development on Hazel's side was subtle and well written you could see her grow and change because a boy saw her differently instead of seeing her "handicap" or "illness."

It truly is a wonderful story and I can see why people gravitate to it. It's a coming of age, and a coming to terms, and a live-life-to-it's-fullest story that draw people in.

However I do warn people (or young adults) that there is some content that may be inappropriate. just be aware.

Sexual Content: moderate (PG-13,with the understanding that 2 characters sleep together-once, some innuendoes from a hormonal side character)
Language: moderate (PG-13)
Violence: mild
Drugs/Alcohol: mild (there is a character who is a drunk)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book Review: The Winner's Curse By: Marie Rutkoski

Book Description:
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

My Thoughts:
LOVED THIS BOOK! LOVE LOVE LOVE! LOTS OF LOVE FOR THIS BOOK! I will own a hard copy of this book. All I can do is gush on how much I LOVE this book!

As I was reading this book I kept getting the feel like it was a new version of Captain Blood (By: Rafael Sabatini) for YA and I LOVE that story. It starts out kind of the same which is why I was automatically hooked. A girl buying a male slave?! AWESOME! And the male character hates her for it! and things evolve and then events happen that cause them become more involved with each other which leads to certain things like....LOVE then the whole world is literally turned upside down and things/places are switched. HA! I know you are soooooo interested now.

I would freaking highly recommend this to anyone because it's so fun and sweet and clean and has everything you could want in a book. I think what did it for me was the fact that in the beginning of the book it reminded me of Captain Blood. If only someone would do a remake for Young Adult. *SIGH* some day....

ANYWAY the book. I don't know what more to say other than that without giving too much of the book away. I loved it. I truly loved it and bought it in hardback so I could have it forever. only bad thing, IT'S A BLASTED SERIES! GAH! now I have to wait for book 2...a whole year. great. just dandy... BOO!

Sexual Content: moderate (PG)
Language: mild (that I remember)
Violence: moderate
Drugs/Alcohol: mild

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review: Unraveled By Julie Daines + GIVEAWAY!

Book Description:
When sickness swept through Bronwen’s family, it took the life of her father, brother, and sister, and left her permanently crippled. On the stormy eve of her sixteenth birthday, a faerie-witch gifts her a pair of enchanted shoes. Bronwen slips them on and is healed--but only when the shoes are on her feet. Her grace and beauty catches the eye of the king’s son--Urien, a handsome young man who prides himself on having everything perfect.

When Rhys, an old acquaintance and Captain of the Guard, recognizes Bronwen, he threatens to tell Urien her secret. Desperate to keep her deformity hidden and not to lose the love of handsome Urien, Bronwen quickly finds herself tangled in a web of lies and deceit. After all, she can't wear the shoes forever.
My Thoughts:
*sigh* such a sweet, good, wholesome, loveable book! where to begin!

This story is about finding what's right and good about oneself and not having to rely on perfect to make you right for someone. This beautifully written tale about a girl who lost to use of her legs due to a sickness that kills her family except herself and mother but leaves her scarred. She is left without the use of her legs, she gets around with a crutch but because of that she finds herself undesirable. Until one day a fairy leaves some ugly shoes that when worn makes her able to walk.

When Bronwen finds out that she can walk, her mother finds it appropriate to take her to court and be presented in order to find a suitable husband. Instead Bronwen finds herself catching the eye of the prince.

There are SOOOOOO many aspects I absolutely LOVED about this book. I LOVED the fact that Rhys and Bronwen clash heads all the time yet it's he who saves her all the time. I loved how gentle the prince is towards Bronwen and how well the author turned events to make your heart be ripped out of your chest. I loved the ending.

I just wish there was MORE STORY! this was SOOO GOOD I didn't want it to end! I wasn't ready I wanted MORE, more story, more character development, more everything! I loved it all! It was just too quick of a read!

However my ONE critique is Bronwen although I get it, I felt didn't deserve the guy she got. nope, and when you read it you'll understand. Do I understand that this book is about find what perfection really means? yes, do I understand we need a character with this flaw to get the message across? yes, but I became so attached to certain characters I found myself defending them in the end! I really liked certain characters, really. That's how good this book is!

HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this book! I love this book so much you'll have to buy your own cause I am NOT giving mine away! :)

Sexual Content: mild (some kissing)
Language: mild/none
Violence: mild (some sword fighting)
Drugs/Alcohol: mild/none
Meet the Author:

Julie Daines was born in Boston, Massachusetts, raised in Utah, and educated around the world. As a high school student, she spent her summers hiking the deserts of southern Utah, drawing inspiration from the various plants and animals to write children’s stories and legends. 

She studied Zoology and Secondary Education at Brigham Young University, paying her way through college by performing live reptile demonstrations at the university’s life science museum.

She spent eighteen months living in London where she studied and fell in love with English Literature, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and the fellow who ran the kebab store around the corner. 
After editing for other authors, she decided to take up writing again--this time in the young adult genre. She feels qualified to write for teens because, as a young adult, she mastered the art of drama. Oh, and she has some skulking around the house.
Julie is a member of SCBWI, the League of Utah Writers, and Utah Children’s Writers. She frequently attends conferences where she has won a few awards for her writing, and is part of a superb writer’s group.
You can connect with Julie by:
Twitter: @Juliedaines


Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review: Moth and Spark By: Anne Leonard

Book Description:
A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.

Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.

Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.

My Thoughts:
This was NOT what I was expecting. The story-Great! The romance-eye rolling... I knew there was going to be romance I didn't exactly know or understand that this was a ROMANCE novel.

This novel is written from duel perspectives, mostly Corin's and I did like that. The world building can be a little slow at first and a bit dragging but the author did a great job of making sure you understood everything about her world and what is going on. She made sure you understood each character and their part in the plot and their back story.

The romance was a bit ridiculous in my opinion, and too fast it was disappointing. Corin and Tam are all over each other within 24 hours of meeting and after LITERATLLY five days they are in love and eternally committed to each other by taking vows and making promises which made it all too fast and really disappointing, and I gagged a few times and did a TON of eye rolling. So much for character development in that arena. And what's with all the sex and innuendos! totally took away from what could have been an EPIC romance, in my opinion.

The story starts off with an amazing bang as revelation of a prophecy involving freeing the dragons from the emperor comes about which complicates everything in Corin's life, his quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country. Prince Corin has been chosen to release the dragons from the Empire and free them from bondage, but even though they've given him some of their power, they didn't give Corin much or any of their knowledge. Which complicates things. Yet, what was interesting was no one, not the dragons or their riders seem to know what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control. huh. weird.

Tam started out sooo interesting, she was smart, strong, stubborn, beautiful, curious, and we later learn that she is a Seer-COOL! However, I felt she lost all sense of herself when it came to her romance with Corin.

So Tam and Corin try to work together in order to save their kingdom of Caithen from oncoming war.

Overall the fantasy side of the story was GREAT and well written! It had everything, prophecy, power, mystery, war, political intrigue. it was awesome! The romance killed it for me.

Sexual Content: heavy (lots of sex initiated from the female character)
Language: moderate (PG)
Violence: moderate (PG)
Drugs/Alcohol: moderate (PG)

*Thank you to Viking publishers for mailing me a copy of this book to read for an honest review.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Review: Sing Sweet Nightingale by: Erica Cameron

Book Description:
Mariella Teagen hasn't spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella's life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.

My Thoughts:Well this was a fun book! Demons, dreams, nightmares, soul stealing, years of slowly destroying someone, sounds fascinating?! I KNOW! it was so cool to read something a little different then my usual world saving books, instead this is saving one person at a time from being sucked into a world that is slowly killing you.

This is a story of dream demons that make a deal with you that if you give up something important to you then you can continue to enter this amazing dream world each night. What that person doesn't know that the more they continue going to this dream world the more they slowly drift out of their world and their lives and not really know it.

This story is just that, a boy named Hudson, who was able to save himself without realizing it before it was almost too late (because he loved something MORE than this dream world). He starts having dreams of some girl who lights on fire and won't utter a word as the fire consumes her. When he moves to some place he accidently finds this girl, a girl who doesn't talk.

Mariella has been entering this dream world every night for years. She has fallen in love with a guy she meets there every night to talk and sing for.

This story is about saving someone from a situation they don't understand or realize they are in.

Overall: It was fun, fascinating, wonderful, and not easy to put down! I enjoyed it!

Sexual Content: mild (some kissing)
Language: moderate (PG)
Violence: moderate (some mild fight scenes in the beginning, and in the end)
Drugs/Alcohol: mild/none

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Book Description:
Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

My Thoughts:
Let me just go ahead and say it... I. did. NOT. cry. there. I said it. Nope, I didn't. Am I heartless? no, just didn't make me cry. It was utterly and completely sweet, and beautiful and I loved the story.

I was immediately drawn in the story of these 2 amazing friends that have a bond closer than sisters. Their friendship is endearing, and heartwarming and I wish I had a friend like this growing up! I didn't meet my "kindred spirit" till I was older in my late teens then in my early 20s. (wow did I just age myself? weird.) Anyway. The author did an incredible job of connecting you with these 2 friends in ways you may least expect it. I was so drawn in about everything regarding their friendship.

When Olivia discovers she's sick everything goes bad...rapidly for her and her illness. It was fascinating how the author was able to put in so much rapid decay and hardship on a person's body and the spirit of one person going through treatments, with the knowledge that it may or may not work. The reality of what happens in such situations was really well done.

I LOVED the soft and sweet underlining of romance that happens throughout the book. The book was mainly about Olivia, Zoe and their friendship and it was sweet and beautiful. I loved that romance didn't solve the problem nor did it help. It was just...there and I liked it. A lot.

Overall if you are in for a heartwarming, sad, sweet, story this is it!

Sexual Content: moderate (a character goes after a guy and they start making out the intention of having sex-but don't actually do it)
Language: heavy (F words-understandable at times but unnecessary in others, more than I prefer)
Violence: mild
Drugs/Alcohol: moderate (am underage party where underage characters drink and some even get drunk)