Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Selection

 Hardcover, 327 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
 

ISBN:0062059939 (ISBN13: 9780062059932)

Edition language: English

Series:The Selection #1

 
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
Reading The Selection by Kiera Cass was like... Falling onto a giant bed with a feather comforter.. covered in far too many feather pillows. It felt wonderfully indulgent, comforting. Like I was being papered.. Does that make sense? I felt like.. such a girl! That statement is in no way meant to be a complaint. I loved every moment of it. 


I sank into the story and sighed. Indulging my girly side by imagining each and every beautifully detailed gown. Smiling over America and Mason's witty banter. Holding my breath as Mason made his decisions, shaking my finger at him *in my head of course* as he made wrong ones. And anxiously awaiting how it all played out. 


Kiera Cass created a story that allowed my to not only give in to my girly side, but also fed my need for intrigue and action. Before reading The Selection, I had heard the phrase " The Hunger Games meets The Bachlor. " and I have to admit.. it deterred me... a lot. But having now read the story, I understand the comparison.. and while I am not a fan of the TV show The Bachelor. I understand, and it is actually part of the story that I really enjoyed. 

In the midst of the "game" a war is going on.. and every once in a while. The fighting slips through the castle walls. At times like this I enjoyed seeing which of the "contestants" held their own. Who stood up strong and held their head up as a future queen should, and who crumbled. I also liked that this aspect of the story shows us more of Mason the future King, instead of just, Mason the guy who could have any girl he chooses.

I wouldn't say that the " Hunger Games " feel is super strong in this story.. but a slight vibe is there. In The world of The Selection, the people are broken up into classes, not just the rich and the poor, but they are actually numbered! 1 being the highest and consisting of the Royal family. 8 being the lowest and consisting of the cleaning people and servants. Each level has their part to play. America is a 5, an Artist. But in The Selection changes all of that. Any Caste can participate and have a chance to, not only win the Princes heart, but take her and her family to the top, and become a 1. 

My one real negative.. or more just... what I wanted more of. Was the world building. I was really interested in the castes, and wanted to learn more about them and what each caste's role was. I feel that that part was left mostly untouched, and I hope Kiera Cass visits it more in the next books. 


America never forgets who, or what caste she is, throughout the selection. And it begins to work into her favor... but then.. if I told you how.. I would be giving away too much of the story ;) 

I feel like I could keep typing. I want to spend hours telling you all that I loved about this story.. But basically I just need to tell you - GO READ IT FOR YOURSELF ! 

The Selection is full of romance and drama, if that's not what you like in a book, it may not be for you. But at the same time, it's not what I went in craving, and at the end of the book I was smiling and satisfied. Indulge a little, let yourself sink into The Selection, swoon, laugh, cry.... and watch as it all unfolds. 




Rating 5/5




Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dream Slayer ( Review and Giveaway )


 ( Review AND Giveaway )

Paperback, 312 pages
Published June 25th 2012 (first published May 1st 2012)
ISBN : 1470112299 (ISBN13: 9781470112295)
Edition language: English
Series: The Dreamer Slayer Series #1



When your dreams come true, sometimes you get more than you bargained for...

Natalie Johnson has always dreamed she’s someone else; calm, beautiful, in control. A chosen warrior with a maniacal arch nemesis and a dreamy boyfriend, the type that can make your knees melt and your heart quiver.

Real life is much different. She’s tormented by a bully and endures the sharp tongue of her father, but finds solace in her dreams.

When her bully ends up dead, de ja vu from a dream hits her hard as everything around her begins to fall apart.

Whatever killed Sarah in her dreams is now in reality, hunting her from the shadows. And it wants her dead.

Somehow as the lines between reality and nightmare blur, Natalie must discover hidden strength to pull her friends and family back from the brink of madness.


 Ok.. I know many readers do not care hugely about this aspect, but non-the-less ... COVER LOVE COVER LOVE COVER LOVE!!! Jill Cooper ... Who ever did this cover for you is a genius. I mean seriously. This cover will draw people in and leave then dying to figure out just what magic this story contains. 

Natalie finds solace in her dreams, like I find solace in my books.. then again I find that how I feel when I'm reading, can easily mirror my feelings in a dream.. Sometimes I never want to wake up/ stop reading. 

Dream slayer was an interesting blend of paranormal action blended with a story that was contemporary and full of heartache. It was easy for me to empathize with  real life Natalie and root for her Dream Slayer alter ego. 


That being said I also found my self confused. The dream world and real world would come together at times that threw me. Then again this may just be a personal experience that other readers did not/ will not have. I cannot deny being easily distracted. Though at the same time I wish that the story had held me enough, so that I was unable to get distracted. 


But the characters were so intriguing.. and REAL. By no means perfect.. and that worked for me. That made the story. I really felt like parts of this story read like non fiction.. I mean.. I was in highschool.. and I was .. well.. near the bottom of the totem pole. Natalie and I probably could have been best buds.. though I'd have to get her a good reality check when it comes to not noticing things that are totally obvious >.< 

Overall I enjoyed Dream Slayer. Though I think I will let it settle, and give it a second run through when my mind is feeling less distracted. 


( I feel I should mention, as it may have effected how I felt as I read this story, that I was on new medication that made me groggy. Hence me wanting to re read it. I do not want my opinion of this book to be based on how I felt when I was not entirely myself.  I will most likely re-review it after it's second run ) 


As of right now I will not give a firm rating, because I do not feel it would be fair. However I encourage you to read other reviews on it and see if it strikes you as something you would be interested in. It is a unique story that I honestly feel will resonate with many readers! 

GIVEAWAY ::::::


Jill Cooper has had many items donated to her, and by her for this tour, and I was lucky enough to be able to offer up this lovely necklace and bracelet combo! This is really unique book swag, and I love how it matches up with the feel of the story!


To see more work by Double Designs visit them on their facebook page!


 I'm going to make this super easy. Just comment on this post and you will be entered to Win! Tell me if you've read the book and liked it, if you want to read the book and why. If you love or hate the cover. If the idea of YOUR dream world blending with your reality seems fun, or terrifying! Possibilities are endless. 


Ends 7/24 at 11:59 pm ;)  


Happy reading all !!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

This Is Not a Test

Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin

 It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

I am in the minority when it comes to my feelings about this book. There was so much hype that I jumped at the chance to review it. Ready to dive in to another apocalyptic world where zombies runeth over. Maybe I just latched on to the fact that there was supposed to be zombies in the story. Maybe I didn't pay enough attention to the description of this book. But I was let down. 

There are zombies, and they are terrifying for sure. But they were not really a focal point of the story, in fact, the zombies scenes are few and far between. 

90% of the story is located inside the school. With the strange mishmash of students just trying to survive. And while the situation itself would be intense, I felt like the intensity wasn't played up enough. While the story did pull me along, while I was intrigued and wanted to know how it all worked out... when I turned that last page I felt... disappointed. 

I disliked the characters. All of them. Maybe that's how the readers are meant to feel. I mean, you can't always take a group of people and have at least one likeable one. Sometimes they all are jerks... But when reading a book I have a hard time connecting with the story when I want to smack ALL the characters upside the head. Sloane? I wanted to smack her constantly! That, and give her some happy pills. 
 
Keep in mind that I am not really a fan of contemporary stories, or just basic thrillers. With the lack of zombie action in this story.. that's how it really felt to me. A near future thriller with hints of horror. And it just wasn't my style. 

I'm sure that this story will resonate with many readers. Favorites for some and one that will be recommended all over. But I personally did not love it. The story intrigued me. Kept me moving forward. But overall did not win me over. 

I suggest browsing more reviews. Check out the ones by other reviewers and friends who's opinion you trust ! My opinion is just one of many :) And please don't hold it against me that if it turns out to be a story you love! 

Rating 2.5/5 

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Forsaken


Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: July 10th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
 Series :The Forsaken #1
I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.


Lisa M. Stasse has created a seriously gripping story. Right from the beginning I was intrigued. Alenna was so sure of herself, so positive that she had nothing to worry about and that she would pass the test with flying colors. So when she fails and gets sent to the island, that's a pretty big slap in the face and both she and I started to wonder just what was going on. 

Alenna tries to believe it's all just a big mistake. She isn't supposed to be on the island, someone will come get her, she will be fine. But even after a few hours on the island, and meeting people that are too similar to her, not future serial killers, she realizes she doesn't know what to believe, and who she can trust. 

The Forsaken to me felt like a blend of Lord of the Flies and Maze Runner, with one big exception. I LOVED IT SO MUCH MORE ! I liked the ideas behind both of those stories. Kids living together, forced to survive without adults, surviving both bodily and mental illnesses, defending themselves against each other as the island life takes it's tole and survivors begin splitting off and forming their own "tribes" and "cults", and so much more. 


With Lord of the Flies, I couldn't connect with the characters, 1. They were not my age. 2. They were boys. I felt disconnected from the story. With Maze runner it was also partially that the main character was a guy, - I feel like the story was more geared toward Male YA ( Which is perfectly ok! Just not what I was looking for ) and the creatures introduced were too unreal, so yet again. I didn't connect with the story. 


With The Forsaken, I connected with it all! There is the perfect blend of male and female characters, and though Alenna is the voice of the story, I feel like her voice is strong enough, and the story is intense enough that it will appeal to both a YA female AND male audience. The situations were realistic, even if they were a bit out of the norm and some futuristic. Tribes that have formed a cult following, an illness that is sweeping through the island, flying machines that come and snatch inhabitants up ; never to be seen again. 


There is some romance in the story. But I think it's a little bit expected. Life or death situations, they tend to being it out. But it is NOT the backbone of the story. The other side characters were well rounded and interesting, each having a very distinct personality that made them memorable and ..well.. not so much loveable... but interesting and likeable... at times lol.


I think that this story will go far, that dystopian, sci fy, and adventure lovers alike will enjoy it and it will be one of those books that is recommended often! 


There were only a few things holding me back from giving this book a perfect 5 star rating. 1. One of the antagonists .... didn't really hold my interest. As the cult leader, ya.. he gave me the heebie jeebies. But when I found out who he really was... it didn't really shock me.. because I didn't feel like I was given enough information about him before the wheel, to really have him be memorable ( man.. trying to explain that without too much spoileryness is hard! ) 2. I'm teetering on the edge of saying I wanted more romance... but that may just be because i'm a girly girl at heart lol. One moment I think " MORE ROMANCE " the next, i'm thankful that it was light. So read the book and make your own opinions there :) 


I highly recommend this book. Seriously... go read it :) I need someone to bounce Ideas off of!

Rating: 4/5


Pre-Order it today ! 


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

ReAwakened Cover Reveal!

ReVamped by Ada Adams was a big 5/5 book for me, so it should come as no surprise that I jumped at the chance to be part of book #2's Cover reveal! And guys? It Rocks! 


The red is intense and powerful. The guy on the cover? MMM Love me some scruff ;)

What do you guys think? Have you read ReVamped? What do you think about ReVamped's cover compared to ReAwakened?


Ada Adams will be doing an hour-long live Tweet-chat about anything and everything related to my writing, Angel Creek, characters, non-spoilery parts of the story, etc. on July 5th @ 5 p.m. EST, come by and hang out! :) [Use hashtag #ReVampedChat]. We’re all on different time-zones, so please feel free to leave questions at any other time that day, and She will make sure to get to them eventually.

GIVEAWAY

Every reader who comments on the cover reveal posts will be entered in a drawing for a ARC of ReAwakened! So make sure to leave some comment love! 

ReVamped website: http://www.revampedbook.com/

ReVamped Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/revampedbook


Ada Adam's Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Ada_Adams



Cover Designer: Juliana Kolesova @ www.julianakolesova.com

“ReAwakened” Theme: Blood (hence the cover color).

ReVamped By Ada Adams

Paperback, 300 pages
Published February 20th 2012

ISBN: 1470068982 (ISBN13: 9781470068981)
Edition language: English
Series: Angel Creek #1

I received a copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own :) 

 A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.

It's books like this that make me remember why I accept review requests from smaller Self published and Indie Authors ! You get the ones that you regret accepting, the ones that show potential, and then Ones like this. Ones that come out shining and immediately go to my "favorites" and "Must be shared with the world" shelves !

Ada Adams creates of world of Vampires with a twist. Where Vampires can me made AND born. Where there is Blood Cola and Blood beer, and garlic allows vampires to not burn in the sun. The characters in this story are quirky and lovable, but at the same time.. can kick some serious A** !

Revamped has just enough of everything. Swoonworthy guys ( Some more than others ;) ) Girls that can stand up for themselves, enough sarcasm and witty comebacks to make me chuckle to myself but not feel like I was reading a comedy, and the perfect blend of intense action, and laid back storytelling. I couldn't get enough. 

Throughout this book Dawn grows as a person ( ... err.... as a Vampire ..)  and I found myself growing right along beside her. As she comes into her own and realizes who she is. As she finds out some startling revelations  and grows even stronger for them.

I find myself in fan girl mode when I think of this story now. I banter back and forth with fellow readers as well as Ada Adams herself as she taunts us with snippets from book #2 ReAwakened. Wondering to myself in quiet moments just WHAT is going to happen next. One of the markers of a good book for me is if I still am thinking about it long after I turn the last page. And guys? It's an awesome book! 

ReVamped should not only be on your TBR pile, it should be in your hands... NOW ! 

  Side Note : Has anyone else read this story and found yourself comparing the characters to the Scooby Gang in Buffy the Vampire Slayer? I asked Ada Adams about this and it seems she is a Buffy fan herself! Buffy fans for the win! Can I get me a Spike like character thrown in soon please? ;)

Rating 5

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