Thursday, January 31, 2013

Exile by Anne Osterlund

This is the second novel in the Aurelia series by Anne Osterlund.

My review of #1: Aurelia.

After finding out who was trying to kill Aurelia, she decided that she was going on an expedition through her country to get to know the different tribes and lands. She defied her father by not marrying the man he chose for her and took control of her own life.

And beside her is Robert. The man she kissed. The man she yells at, all of the time. But Robert is her companion - her friend - and one of the few people she trust now-a-days.

The expedition is not the nicest trip she's ever had. In fact, she's been taken more times than she can count, and is still finding herself in danger of being assassined - even though she found out who was trying to kill her before her trip.

One of the groups she gets captured by surprisingly has her mother located there - a mother she has not seen in 14 years.

Even though she wants to get to know her mother again, the trip is what is important, and she won't let Robert leave without her.

Robert is having conflicting feelings. He wants to protect the Princess, but knows that he is not capable of doing that. He wants her to be safe, but as long as she is on this expedition, safe is far from what she will be.

And is also starting to fall in love with her. Which can't happen because she is the royal princess, even if she is currently exiled from the palace by defying the King.

So both Robert and Aurelia take it day by day, but soon Aurelia realizes that she needs to face the problems at the palace rather than running away from them. However, they find out who is trying to kill Aurelia again, which makes going home a bit of a problem...

Will Aurelia be able to go back to Tyralt and take her royal place again? What will happen with the attraction between Aurelia and Robert? Who is trying to kill Aurelia, yet again? Read Exile by Anne Osterlund to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This book ended just where the first novel ended, which was nice for me since I read them back to back. And I really enjoyed where this book went. Aurelia has shown once again that she is not the spoiled princess that most are claimed to be.

She gets dirty and takes the blame for the mistakes she's made. She also wants to know the people of her country, who are ruled by her father and one day, by her.

Also, attempting to be assassined is a lot for a person to handle, but Aurelia gets back up and fights back, which I very much admire about her.

My favorite part of the novel is when she is at Robert's family's house and is working on the farm. Who would have thought that a royal princess could milk a cow?!

I guessed who was trying to kill her through this book, so the ending wasn't a surprise.

What was a surprise was how the book ended as a whole! Is there going to be another book? Cause that was not a final ending! There was too much left open and I need to know what happens next. Does anyone know if there will be another book to wrap everything up?!?

Other than the ending being what it is, I really liked this novel and enjoyed how both Robert and Aurelia developed from the first novel. The trust between them only grew, which made their decision choices a lot more wiser than in the first novel.

I would recommend this to any female reader, as it mostly focuses on Aurelia. For those that want a strong lead female character who isn't afraid to get in a bind, this book would also be good for you to read. I would advise that you should read the first novel first, though, as it will make it a lot more clearer when reading this novel.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

This is the first novel in the Aurelia series by Anne Osterlund.

After her older brother passed away and her mother ran off away from the kingdom, Aurelia has had to fend for herself against her father - the King's - moods and the dislike she gets from her stepmother, Elise. Good thing she has Malory, her step-sister, to keep her company without hating Aurelia on site.

When Robert comes back to the kingdom, he's doing so under false pretenses. The princess's life is in danger, which 3 attempts on her life by poison or "accidental" tears in her horses saddle. Robert has come back to find out who wants to kill the Princess.

Aurelia has no idea about the attempts on her life, but when Robert starts to act suspicious, she knows something is going on. Robert was once a close friend of hers before he moved away with his family. Now, she still wants to view him as a friend even though there's an air of mystery around him.

But Aurelia is no shy princess. She knows her town like the back of her hand and finds out that someone wants her dead. For what reason, she can only guess, but now she wants to find out who would risk killing her.

That's when they devise a plan together. They are going to get the suspect, the attempted killer, out in the open and find out who has hired him to kill Aurelia.

But when the truth finally comes out, it is not what either Aurelia, Robert, or even the King suspect.

Will they be able to find the assassin in time before he kills Aurelia? Or will it be too late? Who is this mysterious killer? Read Aurelia by Anne Osterlund to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I've adored Osterlund's other novels and wanted to complete my reading history with her first two novels. And I gotta say, Osterlund is an author that has surprised me! Not only because I enjoy her novels, but because she has written 3 different settings and types of novels that have nothing related to her other novels.

That is a talent! And she makes each world so real that you would never guess that she has dabbled in contemporary, historical, and science fiction genres!!

Okay, on the the review of this novel.

I really liked Aurelia. She is going to be the ruler of her city one day and is making sure she will be the voice of the people, rather than a rule of a city. She wants to help the people who contribute and keep the city alive instead of punishing them with more taxes, etc.

She also knows what she wants and goes for it, whether it defies her father, the King. She is the only one who gets away with it, though that's not why she goes against her father. She just wants to do the right thing.

I enjoyed that this book wasn't all about the romance between Aurelia and Robert. Yes, there was a small portion, but mainly it was about Aurelia's love for her city and trying to find out who was attempting to kill Aurelia. And the historical aspect was very refreshing for me to read a YA novel in a historical setting.

This is the first of a two part book series, which I just happen to have the second waiting for me to pick it up.

While I did enjoy this novel, I found myself comparing it to the last two of Osterlund's novels that I really loved and found it lacking. However, if I would have read it by publication date, I might have seen that Osterlund's writing has improved throughout the years to make her latest release the best she has written so far.

For anyone who wants a strong female character who is bound to do what is right, with a historical setting, this would be a great novel for you to read!

Monday, January 28, 2013

When in Paris... by Beverley Kendall

This is the first novel in the Language of Love series by Beverley Kendall.

College is the time to start fresh for Olivia. High school was horrible because her classmates would start rumors about her throughout those 4 years. Olivia dealt with it, though, and pushed it aside. Now, at college, she can be her own self and room with her best friend, April.

Also, the prospect of going to Paris for her French class was very appealing as well.

Until her high school crush walked through the door. Zach treated Olivia like a leaper in high school, never trying to be nice or friendly toward her. From the moment he saw her in high school, he acted as if she was never there.

So the idea of spending the next four years in college with him was not the happiest thought she had.

But they now have a class together and will need to get over their differences - whatever they may be since Olivia has no idea why Zach hates her - because their roommates (Troy and April) are best friends, so they will be spending a decent amount of time with each other.

And the moment Zach saw Olivia in his French class, he knew he couldn't keep staying away from her. He's been attracted to her since he saw her in high school, but because of family reasons and betrayals he made himself stay away from the one girl who was forbidden from him.

But now they are in college and are adults. Plus, he's not anywhere near his mother and aunt, so they wouldn't really have to know if he got together with Olivia - because he has sure been thinking about hooking up with her for too many years to count.

There are difficulties, though. One includes his ex-girlfriend who doesn't understand the meaning of "broken up" and keeps calling.

Things change, though, during the trip to Paris. They decide to live for the moment, though Zach and Olivia's idea of living for the moment are a bit different from each others.

With the crazy schedule of football practice, play rehearsals, homework, ex's, and family, the two have little time to spend with each other. But when the big secret of why Zach avoided Olivia in high school came out, along with the stalkerish girlfriend comes to blows, things between the two might be unmanageable  Can Zach and Olivia fight the problems between one another, or will it be too much to handle for both of them? Read When in Paris... by Beverley Kendall to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I found out about this novel because Beverley Kendall followed me on Twitter and I saw she wrote a New Adult novel! Very glad she followed me, because I really liked this eBook novel!

Also, just a forewarning, this is a NEW ADULT novel, which means that it's a little bit more mature and graphic than a YA novel but not too racy like an adult novel. Mainly, New Age (NA) novels are set in college and are about characters who are starting to grow up, but still do things that are immature.

I really liked Olivia. She is very tough for going through high school knowing that ridiculous rumors are spread about her and she didn't fight against any of them - just let them continue even though they were all false.

As for putting up with Zach, who she had a crush on but also hated, she had to have been very strong willed not to go up to him and demand answers after being treated like that for four years. I know I would have wanted the answers right then and there.

And Zach is very sweet. Yes, he was a jerk to Olivia, but he did what he did because of his family. And he is always wanting to make everyone else happy so he tries to do what he wants, even though he goes against his father and goes to a non top-ten college for football.

I also liked the way the novel was written. It wasn't sunshine and butterflies for the two, but there were big problems that kept getting in the way between them and they definitely fought about things they disliked. It was very realistic.

So, yes, this was a great eBook to buy on Amazon for $0.99. Thank you, Kendall, for somewhat introducing me to your novel!

Because this is a New Adult novel, I do recommend this book for older readers who don't mind reading about sexual topics - because there are quite a few scenes in here for an older audience. And this is told through both Olivia's and Zach's viewpoint, but I think this would be more suited for female readers rather than male. However, I think both might appreciate this story, so the more readers the merrier!

This is the first novel in a series, but the second novel will be about April and Troy's story rather than continuing Olivia and Zach's story. So stay tuned for that novel in November 2013 and read this novel if you want a cute romantic but problem filled novel! :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Salvation by Anne Osterlund

Growing up with his immigrant Mexican father who just got his U.S. Citizenship, Salva has grown up with the thought of succeeding at everything that he does. And he has been very successful.

Salva has taken the football team to state and won. He has the highest GPA in his class, making him valedictorian. He's taken the hardest classes and has passed every single one of them. He will go to a college and get a degree, from the persistence of his parents.

He will prove to his father that he was successful and will get an education that will mean something.

Senior year should be easy. But with a schedule mishap, he now has to take AP English - a class that is taught by a teacher nicknamed "the Mercenary". That name is not to be taken lightly. Salva has found himself getting an F for the first time in his life and he must do everything to make sure this class won't ruin everything he's worked so hard for.

And that's where Beth - the walking disaster - comes in. For some reason, she's able to get A's in the Mercenary's class. She may be a disaster who can't keep anything in the right spot, can't walk into a room without spilling papers everywhere, or losing things left and right, but she is very smart.

Smart enough to want to go to Stanford and might have a chance at getting in.

And now Salva is going to have to ask someone for the first time to help him.

Since Beth was 13 years old, she has had a crush on Salva. Too bad he has never looked at her before, or since, she obtained her crush.

Over the years, she's gotten used to it. Sure, she still gets twinges when he's around, but it's not as bad as it used to be when she was younger.

The moment Salva came to talk to her about the AP English course, Beth thought a joke was being played with her. The most popular guy at school is now talking to her. Not just talking to her - asking her for help in their class. She wants to say no, but after he says please and seems so depressed, Beth couldn't say no to him again.

So now Beth is working with Salva. And she's  having a great time just hanging out with Salva. He's a great guy, smart, kind and is very protective of his family and friends.

Life at home isn't the greatest for Beth, so getting to know Salva has been a blessing. And since she is working her tail off to hopefully get into Sanford because she doesn't have all of the money in the world, she's a little leery on letting him in to hurt her again - even if he didn't know about the first one.

But their lives are very different from one another and not everyone likes the idea of the two of them hanging out. The thing is, though, Beth becomes more open around Salva and Salva starts to wonder about what he really wants - because Beth makes him question everything.

Can things work out for the two of them, or are they destined to follow the paths that their peers vision for them? Read Salvation by Anne Osterlund to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Wow. I really, really enjoyed this novel! I've read one other novel by Osterlund and enjoyed that as well, but this one was really amazing for me!

The characters are minorities in a school that makes them the majority. Salva is a Mexican American and Beth lives in a trailer, hoping that there would be something to eat when she gets home. I think this alone is amazing because it shows a different lifestyle that people live through everyday and isn't really depicted well throughout YA fiction.

Also, both students are determined to get out of their town and make a name for themselves by going to college and getting the degree they need to have a life outside of the little town. Neither of them slack and are very dedicated.

The home lives for both of the characters made my heart wrench for them. To be around people who either judge them too harshly or ignore them completely is hard and doing that for years can really effect a teenager.

So yes, I absolutely loved this novel and I think that all teens should read this! It would really show the reader how the "other side of the tracks" looks and how life goes for people in these situations. Also, both Salva and Beth are narrating the book, so I think guys could like reading this book as well.

I just ordered the other two YA novels from Osterlund that I haven't read yet because I really like her as an author and I'm looking forward to see what the other series is about.

Another great thing about this book? It's a standalone! No sequel :) Everything is in this novel and I think Osterlund wrapped it up very nicely.

So go read this! I think you'll really enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gravity by Melissa West

This is the first novel in The Taking series by Melissa West.

It's the year 2140. A lot of things have changed, including an invasion against the Ancients - otherworldly people who participated in World War IV. Otherwise known as aliens.

After most of the population died, a treaty was formed between the rest of the humans and the Ancients: they will stop fighting if the humans will allow the Ancients to "take" certain supplements from the humans when they are asleep.

It's called The Taking.

And the one rule is: never peek.

When 17 year old Ari lost her patch - a smooth cloth that clings to the persons face, not allowing them to move, see or feel - she has to go through the Taking very much alert.

And she couldn't help but peek...just a little bit.

Turns out, her Ancient is none other than Jackson Locke - a classmate who competing her for the top spot in  Force Training.

He's supposed to be human, but he is very much not. Instead of reporting Jackson to her father, the Commander, Jackson talks to Ari and she realizes that another war is about to occur. So either Ari helps Jackson stop the war, or she jump starts it by telling her father.

Now Ari is between two worlds, trying to figure out which way is the right decision for everyone she loves and cares about.

But the government doesn't see it the way Ari does, and they go to drastic measures. Ari needs to decide what to do, but either way she will get hurt in the end by losing someone she cares about.

Can Ari find a way to save both humans and Ancients? Or will another war wipe out all of mankind this time? Read Gravity by Melissa West to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Another alien novel! Seems this is going to be a topic to write about now? Not that I'm complaining - I really love the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout and will definitely take more sexy aliens.

This novel is a little different though. It's dystopian and more "governmental" than some others, making it almost realistic because the reader can see this happening with the amount of detail West put into the description of the world in 2140.

Ari is amazing. Growing up as the Commanders daughter, she got no slack and was expected to one day take her father's places as the new Commander. She got up every morning to fight and train with her father, making her one of the best in her class as a Force Training.

She also has a clear head and can see both sides, rather than her father who only sees the world where humans are concerned.

So yeah, I really liked Ari. She stood up for what she believed in rather than what was expected, and I really like female roles that do that.

Jackson is very mysterious and kept a lot of information to himself, making it hard for Ari to trust him. Even at the end of the novel he was still being mysterious! Which is a little aggravating after awhile!

This was definitely set up to be part of a series, and I'm glad because I want to go back to this world and see what happens after this ending! (Read it if you want to know the ending :P)

Unfortunately I have to wait until August 2013!! Way too long for me, but I will get it as soon as it's released.

If you want a governmental, dystopian, alien filled novel to read, this one is for you. I would highly recommend it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Deceiving Destiny by Nadège Richards

This is the second novel in The Bleeding Heart Trilogy series by Nadège Richards.

My review of #1: Burning Bridges.

Now that Echo and Ayden are running from the king, everything is a little more intense than it used to be. And that was when they were sneaking around!

The king is destroying Echo and Ayden's home, now that she has broke his laws by seeing a Hunter and is also not the king's biological daughter. Everything is upside down now and Echo is only just seeing the beginning of a revolution.

When her and Ayden run away from New Haven, they get a group of followers as well. Many are friends of Ayden's who he grew up with, but all of them have decided that Echo is their leader. She is the Princess, though she doesn't think that way, and what she says goes.

Well, all but a few who have decided to hate Echo for their own personal reasons...

It is decided that they will go to another town ruled by another king to try to get his rule as their ally. The more to revolt against Echo's pretend father, the more they might win against this war of power.

But along the way, Echo is having visions and dreams of a mystery man. The only thing she knows about his is the color of his eyes: amber/gold/yellow. The dreams seem so real to Echo, though, and she is very disturbed by the feelings she gets when she wakes up.

She doesn't know what these visions mean. She doesn't know who the man is, but he sure knows her and secrets that she couldn't have imagined herself.

There are many complications on the way to the other land, and with a group of children and adults, it becomes a struggle to keep going. But Echo is able to keep everyone afloat and figure out a way to give the hope.

But will they make it in time? And will they get the help they need, or will their travels and hardships be for naught? What is happening to Echo? What do the visions and events mean? Read Deceiving Destiny by Nadège Richards to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I was given this eBook by the author to edit and review, since I also did the same for her first novel, and I'm glad I got it! It started right where Burning Bridges ended and even though it's been a few months since I read the first novel, I dove right back into the story without problems to continue Echo and Ayden's story of fight and survival.

Also - side note - I have to say that I LOVE the cover of this book!! Kudos to the artist!

Okay, back to my thoughts! I really think Ayden and Echo's character developed in this novel compared to the first.

Echo is a very caring person and hates the thought of hurting anyone, but when it comes to survival and protecting the ones she loves, she's now realizing that she will do whatever it takes to keep them safe. Even if it means a troubled conscience later.

And the banter between Ayden and Echo is adorable, as always, but now that they are in love with each other, they do it out of habit and to keep the other in line, rather than fighting the attraction between each other.

Of course, not everything is butterflies and sunshine - especially when Feven and Adamo come into the picture. They seem to have a grudge against Echo for obvious reasons and it's always interesting to read about those characters in regard to Echo.

Again, the ending leaves the reader wanting more, but it's not necessarily a cliff hanger. More of the next chapter in the series, so while the reader doesn't know what's going to happen, no one died or anything extreme happened at the end to curse the author for making me wait so many months for the conclusion to the story line.

So yes, I enjoyed this story and really got into it. Wish it wasn't so short! Can't wait for the third, and final, novel in this series to come out in April 2013!

For anyone looking for a dystopian novel about a war and fighting to survive, with a twist a mystery and forbidden love, I would recommend you pick this up ASAP. I would pick up the first novel first, though, so you have the complete story. Also, for the month of January both novels are only $0.99 on Amazon! So hurry!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

The summer before college is going to be great for Whitley because she gets one last hooray with her father at his condo near the lake. She's also getting away from her mother who is always complaining about her ex-husband, even though they've been divorced for 6 years now.

But everything changes when Whitley and her father don't go to the condo. Instead, he drives her to a house in a suburb.

Where there's a woman hugging her. And two teenagers in the background...

Apparently Whitley's dad is engaged, and didn't think to tell her about that BEFORE driving to the house.

And the other bad part? The son of his fiance, Nathan, just happens to be the guy she got drunk with and slept with at his graduation bash...

Can you say awkward?

So now Whitley is stuck living with her father and his new family, has an almost step-brother that she slept with and might still have feelings for, a new younger step-sister that wants to be just like Whitley, and an almost step-mother that notices a lot more than Whitley's real mother and father.

All she wanted was a summer of drinking and hanging out with her dad, who she only gets to see once a year. And some input on what she might major in college from her father would also be nice. But for some reason, he is "too busy" to hang out with her anymore. She hasn't seen him all summer.

When people start taking photos of Whiltey in drunken circumstances then post them on Facebook, where her father gets tagged in them, things are about to get very intense. Whitley's relationship with her mother, father and Nathan might not make it through the summer...

Read A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger to find out what happens!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I think I've become a fan of Kody Keplinger! I need to read her third novel before I make that official, but her other two novels are great and I loved them!

So, the book review. Whitley would not be my friend. Well, she doesn't "do" friends, so it would be problematic, but she's very dramatic and a partier, which I'm not.

I do have to admit, though, that I might have acted childish and upset if my dad did what Whitley's dad did to her. Actually, I would have threw a fit the moment I found out instead of waiting til the end of summer and got it off of my chest, because I wouldn't be able to keep it to myself.

The thing with Nathan was a little odd. But they met before they found out about each other and their new "living" arrangements, so it wasn't too weird. Just a little.

I almost feel bad for Whitley. I can't blame her for acting out and being a partier, for not having any friends, because of her life style for the last 6 years. Dad left, mom starting being a pain, older brother moved to the west coast - it's a lot for a 13 year old to go through.

Overall, I liked this book. I liked the way Whitley opened up, especially to Bailey, her younger almost step-sister. She couldn't say no to the girl and started to become protective of her.

And Harrison. The gay hot guy that Whitley suddenly found herself becoming friends with. He was a hoot and was very good for Whitley.

So yes, I liked it and while I may not have loved every aspect of it, the message was good and I grew to love it by the end of the novel :)

Now I just need to go find the third novel that I haven't read and see if Keplinger is an author to keep!

I would recommend this novel for older teen girls because there is content in here that might not be suitable for younger girls.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

This is the first novel in the Just One Day series by Gayle Forman.

Before going to college, Allyson goes on a Europe trip for teens to experience new things. Her whole life has been mapped out, ever since she saved a classmate at the age of 13 when he was choking and she used the Heimlich maneuver to save him.

Right then, she was destined to be pre-med and become a doctor just like her father. Before, Allyson would never argue with her parents - she just wanted to make them happy.

On the last day of the trip, she was supposed to go to London. When she was presented with an unexpected opportunity to go to Paris (since her group couldn't go due to strikes), Allyson does the most unexplained thing - she goes with this boy would offered to be her tour guide.

Allyson just met Willem the night before, when she went to see him perform a Shakespearean play on the streets instead of an assigned play that was part of the tour.

So Allyson runs off with Willem for the day in Paris and finds herself starting to fall in love with him. She knows around 10 things about him, but the feelings she has for him are overwhelming.

When she wakes up the next morning, she wants to spend another day in Paris with him, but finds that he has left her. In the middle of Paris, all by herself.

She finds her way back to her friend and makes the trip back to the U.S. in one piece except one: her heart. That stayed in Paris with Willem.

But off to college Allyson goes where she doesn't find any excitement in her classes or life. Previously an A student, she ends up with a C grade point average first semester. When presented the opportunity to change her major, Allyson starts to act like a living person again and realizes that she may need to start doing what SHE wants to do instead of what everyone else wants her to do.

And one of the things she wants to do is get answers regarding Willem. Because, even though it's been one year since she saw him, Willem is always on her mind.

One year later, Allyson goes back to Paris. She wants answers and is going to try her hardest to get them. But how will her trip go? Will she get all of her answers, or was the trip worthless and a waste of time? Read Just One Day by Gayle Forman to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I am a huge fan of Forman's previous novels If I Stay and Where She Went, so I was excited to hear about this book and get my hands on it.

For some reason, though, I didn't connect with this novel. At all.

Allyson, or Lulu as she was called for a little bit in the novel, would not be my friend, sorry to say. She was too timid and uncertain at the beginning of the novel, did a RANDOM act by going to Paris with a COMPLETE stranger, fell in love in ONE day, and then was heartbroken when she went off to college for a WHOLE year.

Obviously by all of the caps above, I have some problems with this novel.

If Allyson was a rebellious natured person, I wouldn't have a problem with anything I wrote above. But she was a rule person, went by the book. Then goes to Paris with a COMPLETE stranger?!? No. Sorry. I don't care how much someone wants to change from their previously life, I would NEVER go somewhere with a guy that I just met and knew next to nothing about.

But I stuck with this novel because I had an ending in mind that I thought would make everything that happened throughout this novel that I disliked better. However, I found the ending, lacking and frustrating. It has potential, but the cliff hanger ending didn't float my boat.

There were times that I thought I could like Allyson. She decided to stand up for herself instead of having her parents control every aspect of her life and she decided that she was going to do what she wanted to do. But then she would do something stupid again to make me dislike her.

There is a sequel coming out October 2013 and I think it might be through Willem's viewpoint, so answers could be answered that readers would think about during this novel. As of right now, I'm planning on reading it when it releases, but we'll see what happens when it finally comes in October.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

This Beautiful Thing by Amanda Heath

This is the first novel in the Young Love series by Amanda Heath.

Going off to college is going to be a new start for Teagan. As the youngest of six, she has been the baby and has been treated like such her whole life. Her older twin half-brothers, Caden and Jaden, have taken it to their mission to keep any male away from their baby sister.

But Teagan has had enough of that and wants to meet guys. She just didn't expect to find one while she was very drunk and at a house party. Nor did she think she would almost sleep with him, and then escape in the morning, while not finding out what his name was.

Then she comes to find out that he is none other than Jaden's best friend, Declan Sage. One of the hottest guys on campus.

Now she has a dilemma - date Declan even though she knows Jaden will be furious or keep her brother's thoughts in hand and stay away from his friend. The only problem is, Teagan can't stay away from Declan, and the same is said for Declan's feelings.

Declan is not a player, but he usually doesn't feel a connection with the girls he's hooked up with in the past. But when Teagan slips through his fingers after that one night, his mission was to find her and make her his, because he can't stop thinking about her. And that has never happened to Declan before.

Little did he know that the girl he is obsessed with his is best friend's baby sister. Only she is no baby and sets his blood on fire.

They make each other crazy mad, but also crazy about each other. There is no separating them, even with the thought of Jaden finding out. They are just going to keep it away from Teagan's large family as long as they can and enjoy being with one another.

However, something happens that might split Declan and Teagan up for good. Something that will devastate them beyond anything they have ever felt before. Will they be able to overcome all of the obstacles and stay together, or will their romance be short and sweet? Read This Beautiful Thing by Amanda Heath to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
So, just a forewarning, this is a NEW ADULT novel, which means that it's a little bit more mature and graphic than a YA novel but not too racy like an adult novel. Mainly, New Age (NA) novels are set in college and are about characters who are starting to grow up, but still do things that are immature.

I bought this novel as an eBook on Amazon when it was $0.99. I liked it well enough, it was very NA and was mainly about Declan and Teagan having a secret relationship. Nothing else really happened until the very end when it split the two up after a traumatic experience.

The one thing that really got to me was the errors in this novel. I almost went and started to correct them since I've edited books in the past. Misuse of words, misuse of punctuation, typos - it was all very messy to me.

But I worked through it and read the whole novel, from start to finish in one sitting and thought it was an okay novel.

I especially liked that Teagan and Declan didn't always agree. It was a real relationship and boy did they fight each other. Screaming matches and miscommunication. The whole works. But they found a way to make up and see what the other was trying to say in the beginning.

There is another book coming out in this series. I'll have to wait and see if I want to get it. If it becomes cheap again through eBook format, I might buy it but I won't be spending over $2 for the next book.

For older readers who want to read about rough relationships, I would recommend this to you. Younger readers, I would wait a little while before grabbing this book to read.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Being the rebel of the town is a hard job, but Meg does it well. She's got bright blue hair, tattoos, and dresses a little under the preferred requirements. She has to work for her parents at their breakfast diner for free, and can't wait to get out of dodge and go to college.

After a stupid stunt where Meg, her friend Tiffany, Eric and Brian snuck onto the bridge where two students years ago died, they got caught by a new officer who doesn't take crap from any of the kids.

To punish them for their stupid stunt, Officer John After decides to take away their spring break trip in FL and make them stay in town to follow the ambulance crew, the fire department, and the police department to write a report about the safety of following the rules.

Meg's hatred toward John cannot be described, but then, come to find out, John is only 19, just two years older than Meg herself!

Meg gets tagged with following John around for the week with the police department, and after a few nights they start to understand each other a little bit more.

But both Meg and John have dark pasts, secrets that they are keeping from each other. And as they start to get closer and closer, those pasts are catching up to reality and how it has influenced their daily routines.

John has decided to stay in their small town, working as an officer to help people in need.

Meg wants to run away from her hometown as soon as graduation is finished.

But with their attraction toward one another, how can they decide to go separate paths without finding out what is between them? Or will their dark pasts interfere with what could happen between them? Read Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Sigh, Jennifer Echols. Thank you for this book! I loved it! I loved Meg, I loved John, I just loved it.

There aren't many YA contemporary's out there that have a "bad" girl and "good" guy (yes, they are quoted, because they aren't necessarily the good and bad that you might be thinking).

Meg is a drinker, does pot, and breaks the rules. But she has a reason and doesn't care if she gets into trouble. John needs to follow rules, and he's been pretty good at doing that until he meets Meg. Then things start to go downward for him, but not necessarily in a bad way.

The back stories of Meg and John are amazing. They are so torn up by what has happened that they can't see too far into the future. But when they are faced with those ghosts, along with the ghosts of the future and not being with each other, they have to figure out which one they need to conquer.

And the romantic chemistry between the two? Yeah, that was good too, even when they were denying their feelings.

I labeled this a NEW ADULT novel even though it is and it isn't. There are some steamy scenes, but nothing too racy. Just enough to get your heartbeat racing!

I am a huge fan of Echols, so I was really happy that I liked this book as well. It's a standalone novel, so no waiting for another book to find out the ending and I think it has a lot of great lessons that young adults could learn from.

I'll have to see if I need to read any more of her novels - I've read quite a few, but I still think I'm behind.

I would recommend this to older teen girls who want to read a contemporary novel about dark pasts and bright futures.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

This is the first novel in The Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan.

Kami is never alone. She communicates with another person. A guy named Jared. Ever since she can remember, she will have full-on conversations with Jared. He is the guy that knows her the most, who knows what she is feeling and what she is thinking.

But that's because Kami and Jared can read and talk to each other through their minds. They've never met.

Until the day the Lynburn's move back to her town, Sorry-of-the-Vale.

The she meets Jared. And things become very weird. Yes, they still have their link and can read each other's mind. Yes, they still latch on to the other, mentally, when they need someone to steady them.

But in person, they are awkward. Jared has this feeling to protect Kami, but he does not want to touch Kami. It's too much, and it's a very complicated relationship.

They can count on each other, though, through thick and thin. Or so Kami thought...

Someone is killing animals and people in their town. Kami isn't sure who would do something like that. Many of the townspeople are blaming the Lynburn's - bad things happened when they were in the town years ago and now it's starting up again.

As much as Kami doesn't want to think Jared could have anything to do with it, he is a Lynburn. And she really doesn't know exactly what Jared is capable, because they have the ability to hide what they are thinking from one another as well.

Come to find out, they have even more of a connection than they thought. And now others are trying to sever that link - in the "dead" kind of way.

Can Kami and Jared get used to knowing each other in person, or will the link make it too hard for them? Who is after Jared and Kami - trying to kill them? Read Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
There was some love and hate toward this book. But it was evenly spaced out to the point where I didn't put the book away and quit, but I didn't race through it either.

I love Kami. She was a great character, a reporter, and dug all the dirt on the subject that she was interested in at the time. She didn't take no for an answer and she always pursued until she felt she had all of the information.

I didn't like the way Jared acted. I was all for Jared and Kami getting together after all of these years and to start dating. I mean, what more do you want if you can read the other's mind? NO SECRETS!! Plus they have a connection - it just makes sense to me.

But alas, that isn't the way it worked out.

Now, there is other stuff in this book that I didn't talk about in my review. I did it for a reason, so if you've read the book and say this is a horrible review since I missed a lot of the main plot, I completely understand.

I was going to read this book and then be done with this series. However, when I finished it, the ending!!!

Gah, the ending!

It hooked me in, it shocked me, and made me want more. So now I will be reading the second novel of the series when it comes out because I HAVE to know what happens now. I'm hooked and gutted, waiting on a string until Untold comes out in August 2013.

For anyone who is looking for a bit of magic, mystery, unrequited love, and supernatural, I would recommend this to you. It takes a while to get into the novel, but I think it was worth finishing because he got me over the fence of hating/loving!

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Girl by Paige Harbison

Being the new girl sucks. Being the new girl at a boarding school senior year? It's horrible. Plus the fact that she took the place of another girl who went missing the previous year didn't make for a very good start to this huge change in life.

But she didn't want to disappoint her parents - they've been sending applications every year until she finally got in.

Now that she's at Manderley Academy, though, the thought of going back to FL where everything is familiar and normal is very tempting. But she's sticking it out for the year - what could possibly go wrong?

Well, one, the roommate, Dana, hates her on sight. Dana used to be roommates with Becca, the very popular, very pretty girl who disappeared right before the previous year.

Two, everyone at this preppy school thinks that she wants to be Becca. They have the same hair color, the same room, so of course she wants to be like the one person at the school that she hasn't met.

And three, no one - NO ONE - calls her by her name. They all think of her as "the new girl" and for some reason that's the only thing she's been associated by.

Finally, Max Holloway. He makes her feel all sorts of feelings. The problem? Max is Becca's boyfriend - well before she disappeared. So now she has to stay away from Max because everyone will think that she wants to be Becca even more.

But no one knows the drama that happened between Becca, Max, and Max's best friend Johnny. Not even Max and Johnny. Only Becca, and she's not around to tell it.

So now she has to take the consequences of Becca leaving and make her parents happy, while also trying to fight her attraction toward Max, which is a little difficult because it seems that Max might like her as well.

What will the new girl do? Can things get to a point where she might get her own identity, or will this whole senior just be a time where she wished never happened? Read New Girl by Paige Harbison to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Goodreads recommended this book to me so I thought I would try it. It was alright, not the best thing I've read, but there were some things that really interested me.

First, the way everyone acted around Becca. I think everyone at Manderley Academy was very boring before Becca came, because they treated her like a celebrity. She made the party a party and everyone loved her for it, even though they never knew the real Becca.

Secondly, this is told through first person, so the main girl, the new girl? We only see her name once in the book, at the very end. Because it was told through first person, I never realized that no one called her by her name - not once. When I read her name, I was startled and had to remember hard if I had seen it throughout the book, but I hadn't. The reader basically generalizes the girl as the new girl because that's what the author wanted us to do.

And lastly, this was told by Becca and new girl's point of view, giving the reader a chance to see how the previous year was when Becca was the new girl. Both girls are very different from one another, yet there is something there that makes them unforgettable for the students at Manderley Academy.

So this book was okay. There were points where I rolled my eyes or thought it was annoying, but I think the storyline was really good and the author did a great job depicting new students coming into a shadow of a celebrity figure.

For anyone who wants a mystery plot line while also reading about a strong willed female character, I would recommend this to you!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Charade by Nyrae Dawn

This is the first novel in the Games series by Nyrae Dawn.

For three years, Cheyenne has been dating Gregory, who has been in college for the past year. Chey sees her and Greg getting married and having the normal life.

But that was before she walked in on him cheating on her with another college student. On the first day she came to school.

Now Chey is stuck at a college she only picked because Greg was there, and she most definitely broke up with him after she found out he was cheating.

And she might have also indicated in her anger that she was already seeing someone, to get back at Greg. The only problem is that she knows no one on campus.

When she sees Greg fighting with a hard core, don't give a care guy outside of the coffee shop, Chey decides to ask the mystery  man to pretend to be her boyfriend. She'd even pay him, since she now has more money than she knows what to do with.

But she misjudged Colton. Sure, he needs the money to help his mother pay the bills while she's slowly dying from a disease, but he's not desperate that he would pretend to be someone's boyfriend. He doesn't do commitments - even if they are fake.

However, he can't get the dark haired, rich girl out of his head. There is something about her. Chey doesn't act like a spoiled rich girl. She makes comments that rich girls don't. And she doesn't take Colt's crap, which is something he's not used to very often.

After witnessing Greg harass Chey, Colt ends up taking her deal. Only after awhile it's not a charade to make Greg jealous. Now Chey is going with Colt to see his dying mother. He's taking care of her and not getting paid to do it.

Will their charade end up a real thing? Or will they just play the game until they both get what they want? Read Charade by Nyrae Dawn to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
So, just a forewarning, this is a NEW ADULT novel, which means that it's a little bit more mature and graphic than a YA novel but not too racy like an adult novel. Mainly, New Adult (NA) novels are set in college and are about characters who are starting to grow up, but still do things that are immature.

This is an eBook that I bought on Amazon, and I'm really glad that I purchased it for $2.99 instead of only sticking to free eBooks!

Chey is one tough cookie. She walks in on her boyfriend cheating on her and decides to find a way to make him pay rather than sulk around all year at a school she didn't want to go to. That takes guts. Plus she didn't forgive him right away like most females do, so I admire her for that as well.

And she had a lot of problems when she was younger, so seeing her as a strong woman was really encouraging. Going from nothing and a mother who loved to party more than take care of her daughter to a rich life can get to a person's head, but Chey was always grateful for what she was given after living with her aunt and uncle.

And Colt. Good old Colt. He may have tattoos and hangout with the crowd that drinks too much and is around drugs, but he is an amazing guy. He goes to see his dying mother and spends time with her. He loves her and wants to do anything to get her better, but it's not possible. So he wants to stay with her as much as he can before she passes.

He's an amazing guy, no matter what he wants others to think.

So yes, I really liked this novel. It was about strength, both mental and physical for both of the characters. And the reader was also able to get into both Chey's and Colt's head as it was an alternating viewpoint throughout the novel.

There is also going to be another novel in this series, but will be following a different character, Adrian, who was mentioned a lot throughout this novel.

I would recommend this novel to other, older, readers! I was skeptic getting the eBook but I found that I couldn't put it down. I will definitely be reading the second novel, and will be looking for more of Nyrae Dawn's novels!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wrecked by Anna Davies

After her parents accident on their home island, Miranda and her brother Teddy have stayed with their grandmother on Whym Island for the last ten years.

There is a legend, a curse, on Whym Island that is you say the sea witch's name while on a boat in the ocean that she will get revenge and take the souls on the boat.

When Miranda and 7 of her friends were on Miranda's boat, one of the passengers said Sephie and before the night was out, 4 of her friends died in a boating accident and 3 were severely injured before the life rescue came.

But Miranda was miraculously saved. She got caught in the cable underwater and she remembers someone saving her, carrying her out of the water and onto shore. She should have died with her best friends and boyfriend, but for some reason someone saved her.

Life on Whym Island wasn't easy before the boating accident, but now that she was one of the survivors and it was her boat that caught on fire, she is even more outcasted than before. Miranda has no friends now, she can't talk to her grandmother or Teddy because they are getting the social outcast stare, so Miranda is just keeping her thoughts to herself.

That is, until she met Christian, who just happened to be the one who saved her from the accident.

And Christian has a secret that he's keeping from Miranda: he's a betwixted, part human, part merman. When he saved Miranda, he took a soul from Sephie and now she wants revenge.

Either Christian takes Miranda's soul to make up for her mistake or Sephie will take Christian's soul. One way or another Sephie will have her soul to add to the many souls in the ocean.

But when Christian meets Miranda and starts talking to her, he realizes that he is getting feelings for her.

Can Christian do what he is supposed to do, or will he disobey Sephie? And can Miranda trust Christian with all of his secrets, or will the secrecy tear them apart? Read Wrecked by Anna Davies to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This book I did finish it, which was a plus because there were a few times where I just wanted to call it quits. But I stuck through it to know the ending, since I don't think it's part of a series.

I don't know. The writing, for one, was not my style. There would be two lines of dialogue and then half a page of narration, of observance and I'm more of an action and dialogue reader than a ponderer.

Plus Miranda was ready to run away from everything because it wasn't going her way. There were a few moments where she talked back and fought against someone, which I liked, but being docile and timid is not a quality that I like in my lead characters.

Christian was alright as well. He was confused being on the surface rather than in the water, so I'll give him a leeway because of that but he didn't fight very hard overall.

I'm going to have to say that this book is not for me. I was intrigued by the synopsis, but overall it turned out to be a good that I enjoyed at all.

And the ending is something else. I won't say that it was horrible, because it wasn't. It was just different than most endings that might cause it to be hated by many readers.

So yeah, I didn't really like this book. There were some parts that peaked my interest enough to read a full two pages in a row, but otherwise it was a snooze fest.

But anyone who wants to read a twist on merpeople, you might enjoy this novel. It's also in alternative viewpoints between Miranda and Christian, though Christian doesn't have many pages of narration.

It is also the author's debut novel, so maybe for her next one I'll pick it up and see if she changes her style.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

For two months, Sarah has been keeping a secret from her best friend, Brianna: she has a huge crush on her boyfriend Ryan.

It doesn't matter that Sarah liked Ryan first. It also doesn't matter that Sarah talked to Ryan first or held his hand first. Brianna took charge when she saw Ryan talking to Sarah, not thinking that Ryan might like Sarah, and declared him her boyfriend.

Brianna wanted Ryan so she got him.

So now Sarah is a bystander in their relationship. She's happy for them, but being around them hurts her heart because she really likes Ryan. Has liked him since the eighth grade.

But she has been quite during these two months and has been a great best friend to Brianna.

Brianna, the girl who tells Sarah what to do in order to look "doable" rather than beautiful. Brianna, the girl who has been Sarah's best friend since kindergarten.

Then the unthinkable happened: Ryan kissed Sarah. Ryan, Brianna's boyfriend and Sarah's crush, kissed Sarah. And now all Sarah can think about is doing it over and over. But then she feels guilty because Brianna is her best friend and she has a hard life at home.

The guilt is eating inside of her but she can't deny the attraction her and Ryan have together. And it's not just the attraction, but the connection they have. Conversation doesn't seem like a chore with the two of them, but flows easily. They have a great time.

Brianna thinks that she's in love with Ryan, which destroys Sarah. How can her and Ryan break apart that love Brianna feels?

Can Sarah and Ryan be together, or will Sarah's friendship with Brianna win out and she will have to watch the two lovebirds be together even longer? Read The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Hmm. I've had good luck and bad luck with Elizabeth Scott. Loved one of her books and hated another, so I wanted to give another go at her work.

And this book got a 3 to 3 1/2 stars, so it landed in the middle.

On the one hand, I liked it. I liked the scenes between Sarah and Ryan. They were adorable and bittersweet rolled together.

But on the other hand, I was frustrated. Brianna is a brat, plain and simple. I could never be friends with her. I couldn't believe how she downgraded and judged Sarah and Sarah just took it thinking it was Brianna being a friend! Definitely wasn't.

Also, Brianna was bio polar, or so I thought. She would go from sad and crying to happy and laughing in a matter of seconds. Too much whiplash for me to keep up with her.

So, basically, I liked the forbidden romance between Sarah and Ryan, but hated Brianna. Take out Brianna and this book would have been perfect.

Of course, if that actually happened then this book would not be the torture chamber that it is.

I have an opinion on the whole, "like another guy when he's unavailable and doing something naughty about it before the situation is fixed" but it's conflicted and contradicting of itself so I'm not going to go there. It is a topic that has been written about many times and numerous authors go at it different than others.

Now that I've had a good, a bad, and an okay novel from Scott, I suppose I'll need to go find another one of her novels to see how I like her works. Get one that is more dominated to actually figure out if I like her novels or not!

For anyone who wants a fast, guilt ridden novel to read, this would be right up your alley! For readers who despise mean girls and girls who get stomped all over by best friends, I would kindly suggest you stay away from this novel.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Erin grew up on a horse breeding and racing farm in Kentucky and her grandmother expected her to go to college for a business major to take over for her grandmother.

Instead, Erin went to college in New York to major in creative writing - she wants to be a writer, not a horse racing owner. When her grandmother found out this, she took away the money for Erin's college and gave it to the stable boy, Hunter, who is now going to be the new "heir" to the horse farm.

Hunter, who Erin has gone to school with and seen at home for 6 years. Hunter, who has been Erin's enemy ever since her mother died. Hunter, who is now very attractive to look at, but still easy to hate...almost.

When her grandmother took the money away, Erin was bound and determine to find a way to make it through college and get her novels published. She worked numerous jobs to pay for her housing and food, and kept up her grades to keep the academic scholarship she received, paying for her classes.

By far her favorite class was the creative writing course for honor students. But on the day everyone was to discuss her story, in walks Hunter, the person she wrote about in her story.

Throughout the semester, then, Hunter and Erin wrote stories about one another. Some romantic, some hurtful, but they always had a character that resembled one another.

Erin is running herself thin, working at the coffee shop too many hours to make enough  money for the college payments while also trying to get great grades in all of her classes. She has no time for a social life, nor does she have time to fantasize about Hunter, but somehow she does.

Because as much as she says she hates Hunter, and as much hostility he sends her way, there is a connection between the two of them that they can't deny.

There are secrets between them, though; secrets that might destroy what they could have before it has even started.

Can Erin survive the semester, let alone the 4  years without her grandmother's help? Will Erin and Hunter be able to get over the bad history between them to see if they could have something special? Read Love Story by Jennifer Echols to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I enjoyed this novel. It was different, a new age novel meaning for older teens who are in college or around that age. And I liked how it was about a rich girl going broke because she was fighting for something she wanted instead of just having it handed down to her.

Erin really wanted to become an author. Sure, she was good with horses after being around them for 6 years. And yes, working as a stable boy while also knowing how to spot a winning horse was something else she was good at. But writing novels was in her blood. She loved to read and write novels and has always dream of having her own novels published at a famous publishing house.

So I was all for her disobeying her grandmother to do what she wanted, despite being cut off from her grandmother's fortune.

She even left all of the expensive things at home, knowing she won't be able to afford them in New York.

And Hunter. Man did I enjoy the scenes with Hunter in them! He is very smart, wanting to do well in his classes since he's also on a scholarship. And the way he acted when Erin was around was entertaining because he tried to be angry at her and hostile, but ended up wanting to help her as well. He was very concerned for her when she wasn't eating right, but got angry at her when she refused his help.

There were some parts, though, that made me shake my head and things I didn't like. Erin was very compulsive and jumped to conclusions. For wanting to be an author, she sure had a narrow mindset and didn't think of other options.

And the ending. The ending bugged me. Echols left it open, it wasn't really concluded... I dunno, it seemed abrupt and unfinished, and I really like finished novels. So that could have been better, but maybe Echols will come back to this story later on and add more. I think I would be okay with that action!

However, I'm a fan of New Age novels and I've always enjoyed Jennifer Echols novels, so I was really happy with this novel. I think I could have liked it more, but overall it was a great read!

I would recommend this to any teen girl. Even though they are in college, it doesn't get graphic so I think that younger teens could appreciate reading about college without it being to mature for them.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is the third novel in the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

My review of #1: Obsidian.
My review of #2: Onyx.

WARNING - There may be spoilers from the first two novels in this series. Proceed with caution!

Katy is a hybrid - human who now has alien powers thanks to Daemon healing her and transferring a part of himself to Katy's DNA. Which is not the best thing that has happened because now Daemon and Katy are connected together. And that also means if one of them dies, the other will too.

Not exactly the relationship they wanted, but there's nothing they can do about it.

Besides their connection, and their budding romance now that they are both admitting their insane attraction to one another and are starting to date, there is a ghost who has walked back into their lives: Dawson - Dee and Daemon's twin (triplet?) brother.

Only this isn't the same Dawson the Black's remember. He's more reclusive and solidarity. And he is on a mission to get his one true love out of the clutches of the DOD - no matter if it costs his life in the process.

And with the recent death of Adam, Dee's boyfriend, things are very tense around the West Virginia area. Especially since Dee is not talking to Katy, because Katy did sort of spare the life of Adam's killer, Blake, and was a little bit responsible for Adam's death in the first place.

But Blake has come back with a proposition: he can get Beth back, along with his friend Chris from the DOD, but they all need to work together. Which is a problem since everyone wants to kill Blake for the events that unfolded around Adam's death.

So while they are all planning a rescue plan, Katy is also trying to keep her alien powers under control and is practicing them so she won't slow the aliens down. She doesn't want to be a hindrance to them; she wants to help them.

However, things are not going as planned and Katy has a suspicion why. As much as she trusts and loves Daemon, there are some things she can't tell him because it would cause him to murder Blake.

Will the rescue mission work? Can they get both people of out the DOD's clutches and everyone will live happily ever after? Or will something go wrong and another person will be lost from Katy's life? Read Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Why?!? I cannot handle this cliffhanger!! I need to find out what happens next - like now - and it better be good and not bad news!!!!

Seriously?! The last 4 pages had me in shock, terror, sadness, anger, and the LAST PAGE?!? I was crying. It was heartbreaking. My heart broke and I have still not gotten over the shock and utter despair that I feel right now.

Okay, okay... I need to breathe and wipe away my tears and talk about my thoughts of the WHOLE book and not just that horrible ending.

I absolutely and ridiculously love Jennifer L. Armentrout. There, I've said it. I've read 7 of her novels and have starred every single one of them 5 stars. And I've read all 7 of them in the past two months. That is pretty impressive for my ratings!

This book went above and beyond what I could have expected from this series. Now that Katy and Daemon admit their attraction for one another, there's less hate-hate relationship going on and more kissing and steamy romantic scenes. Don't get me wrong, I love both of those scenes so it was a win/win situation for me.

I loved the scenes with Daemon, Dawson and Katy. Katy was able to chip away Dawson's remorse and bring out the old Dawson a little bit, which made Daemon happy. Extremely happy and he was more than willing to reward Katy in a certain way...

So yes, I loved this book. The ending was a torture chamber. Knowing what was going to happen but not being able to take my eyes away from the book and reading each excruciating word was amazing and heartbreaking.

And now I have to wait 7 whole months until the next one comes out. That is going to feel like forever. I'll have to go through my favorite scenes over and over to make me happy again.

If you haven't read this series, or even this author, you are missing out!! I don't know what else to tell you. This series is amazing. This author is amazing. If you want great characters, great writing, and a great story line, please pick this up!!

In the meantime, I'm going to go build a time machine and fast forward to July so I can continue this roller coaster of a ride in the Lux world! ;-)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dream Chaser by Angie Stanton

Willow is a daredevil and everyone knows it. She is the head cheerleader of her squad and the best flyer of them all. Whenever her coach wants to do a new, risky fly, Willow is the first to volunteer and the first to perfect it.

But when she has a horrible fall that opens her eyes to the dangers she is facing, Willow realizes that she is terrified of flying now. Even just thinking about what she needs to do from 15 feet in the air sucks the breath out of her and she runs the other way.

So after quitting cheerleading and flying, she gets a new opportunity: join the musical production that is directed by a Broadway choreographer. Before cheer, Willow was an amazing dancer, and everyone in her town knows it. So with connections, Willow gets an audition and was able to find enough of that dancer inside of her to pull out a successful audition.

That landed her the lead female role! The only bad part? Her male lead is none other than her ex-best friend Eli, who she used to dance with before she quit 3 years ago. And their parting was not the best, making them hostile toward one another. It's going to be a little difficult dancing with him when neither of them trusts the other.

And it's not the candy and sunshine Willow thought when she got the lead female role. The other female dancers are extremely jealous that an outsider got the lead, so they are not helping Willow learn the new dances or trying to be friends with her.

Also, since she up and quit the cheerleading squad right before Regionals, her friends from the squad aren't talking to her either.

It seems the only person who is taking to her is the new director, Tyson Scott, who is way too gorgeous to be working with a bunch of snobby high schoolers.

Once Willow finally proves that she can sing and dance better than anyone else on stage does she get rid of the tension between everyone and they finally start to perform like a family who can trust one another.

And since Willow and Eli have to get along and get over the hostility that happened 3 years ago, Willow realizes that she might have feelings for him that are more than friendship.

But when an unforeseen event changes part of the play, Willow has to overcome her fear. If she doesn't, it will ruin the whole play and ruin everyone's chances at Broadway.

Can Willow get over her fear and perform the way she's supposed to? Or will the suffocating fear make her betray and disappoint everyone she has come to care about on the stage? Read Dream Chaser by Angie Stanton to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a cute novel. I haven't read too many high school stories about dance/musicals, cheerleading or flying, so it was something new for me that I haven't over read before.

Willow is a runner. When things don't go her way, she tends to run to a new scene and completely shuts out the previous failer. And she is a perfectionist - when she is given a task she will do it all night until she has it down pat.

But she could run away from Eli and that past if she wanted to be in the musical, so she was forced to come face to face with it in order to get the lead role.

I could not imagine falling 15 feet in the air to nothing but mat and landing the wrong way, so I completely understand her fear of free falling again after that horrible accident. I got so angry and frustrated with everyone who wouldn't listen to her explain why she could cheer again. The trust was gone and the injury that she got might have healed, but the feeling she had when she fell was like nothing she every experienced before. I don't blame her for quitting cheerleading.

I really liked the way the author described her losing herself to the dance and feeling what the dance represented. I'm not a dancer, but that description helped me understand what dance was like for Willow.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. There were times that I rolled my eyes in annoyance or thought something was immature, but overall I think the author did a great job depicting high school trends along with the fear that one gets after a close incident.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys musicals or plays and cheerleading, along with overcoming a fear that hits directly home to a person.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton

This is the second novel in the Gods & Monsters series by Kelly Keaton.

My review of #1: Darkness Becomes Her.

WARNING - This review will contain spoilers from the first book! Be forewarned before reading any further!

Everything changed for Ari when she went into New 2 (New Orleans after a massive hurricane blew through 13 years ago). Sure, Ari was a freak outside of New 2 with her white/silver hair and teal eyes, but in New 2 she is normal - it's were all of the weirdo's are.

But that's not the weirdest thing. Ari found out that she is a direct relative of Medusa, the gorgon, whom Athena cursed centuries ago for her beauty.

And every female in Ari's family will have a daughter and die on their 21st birthday, when the curse comes into full effect. Except Ari is even more unique than her ancestors because she is starting to be able to control her curse at the age of 17.

Now Ari is learning how to fight and to control her curse to prepare to fight Athena. Because Athena took her father and Violet, the 8 year old who is fascinated with Ari, not frightened.

With the help of the Novem, the original 9 families who bought New 2 and have fought Athena 13 years ago, and her adopted family, Ari is trying to find information on how to defeat Athena while also trying to find a way to get rid of this curse.

Ari is also having to figure out how she feels about Sebastian, a warlock vampire who seems more distant toward Ari after finding out she will become Medusa in 3 1/2 years.

But when Ari meets Athena again, she's not nearly ready to defeat her. She just started training and learning about the Olympian history, so figuring out the way to defeat the Goddess of War is low on her learned list.

Can Ari figure out a way to kill Athena? Can she save her father and Violet from Athena's realm, or is that an impossible feat for Ari since she cannot get a handle on her curse yet? Read A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I really enjoyed the first novel in this series, finding that I loved the different characters and what "species" they were, creating a very entertaining and information load novel. It was no different for this sequel!

Now that Ari knows what she is, she is determine to fight not only Athena but also herself and what she will become. But the first thing on her to do list is to get her father and Violet back, because both of them have never judged Ari, nor treated her like a monster when they found out what she was.

This novel did not disappoint in bringing randomness like the firs novel. Ari had to go to school to learn more about Athena, plus she went to another realm to Athena's turf and confront her.

I will admit, there were some parts I had to re-read just to make sure I understood exactly what was going on and other times I had to re-read because I could believe Keaton did that to her characters, but overall it was a great sequel that answered questions from the previous novel. But only to add more questions at the end of this novel.

I'm not sure if this is the last book in the series? I have a feeling that it's not because of the way this novel ended and the unresolved issues still to come. And I rarely say this, but I want more of this world and more of Ari learning about her curse! So far on Goodreads it just has these two novels listed as the series, but I'll keep my eyes out for installments!

I would definitely recommend this to other readers. I would state that I think everyone should read the first novel first, though, because this novel starts right where the first one ends. But it's a mix of topics that I think any reader could grab on to and and enjoy this novel.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

This is the first novel in the Gods & Monsters series by Kelly Keaton.

Ari has always been different than everyone else. She grew up through foster homes since her mother left her at the age of 4, and some foster homes were worse than others. The current home is pretty fantastic because Bruce and Casey are bail bondsmen, so they go after the perps who don't make it to their court hearings. So now Ari can defend herself, whereas she wasn't able to when she was younger.

But the one thing that is the most unique about Ari is her appearance. She has white/silver hair to her waist and teal colored eyes. Those two features get her attention that she does not want.

However, when she goes to New 2, (what we know as New Orleans, but after a stage 2 hurricane demolished it and was slowly rebuilding), to search for answers about her parents, Ari is not the only weirdo around. In fact, she blends right in with other people who have abilities that humans do not have.

And now Ari is having to fight for her life. She gets attacked by a man that, after she wins the fight and stabs him with is own knife, he turns into dust when he dies. Ari knows that is not normal, but she doesn't trust too many people to figure out what exactly that means.

When Ari gets into New 2, she is fortunate enough to find a ride by a 12 year old named Crank. And she is staying with Crank and her friends, Violet, Henri, and Dub, along with her brother Sebastian. And each one is different from the average kid Ari grew up with.

New 2 is run by Novem, a group of nine people who are not quite human. And now they want to meet Ari. She's a little hesitant to meet more strangers, considering she was attacked not too long before she got into New 2.

But when Ari is told that Athena, Goddess of War, wants her, things just start to get crazy. Who knew supernatural beings actually existed? And for some reason, all of them want Ari on their side. They know something about her that she is ignorant of, and she is determined to figure it out.

Why does everyone want Ari to be on their side? What is so special about Ari? Will Ari choose the right side, or will her decision costs thousands of lives? Read Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Wow! This book has a ton of subjects in here (look at the labels to see all of the crazy supernatural topics)! I knew that there had to be mythology roaming around because of the series name, but this novel surpassed my expectations for how much I would like it!

One thing that I was really intrigued about in this book was Ari's current foster parents profession: bail bondsmen. I think that would be an interesting subject to write about in regards to a teen's viewpoint, and even though the author didn't get too much into that, I still find it very interesting and it also helped Ari become a stronger and more resilient person.

While this has mythology in it, it is also a dystopian novel because New Orleans got destroyed by a massive hurricane. Also, Ari was born in 2009 and is now 17, so it a few years in the future.

I think Keaton did a great job with this novel. There were so many characters to keep track of and so many different plot lines that were barely discussed that I'm surprised it wasn't a massive amount of information jammed into this book. But somehow it worked enough that I kept up while reading and didn't get confused...well not to much!

I'm really glad that there is another novel following this, because it is about to get extremely interesting now that Ari knows what she is and why everyone wants her on their side. I'll more than likely have to spill it for the next novel's review, but for now you will have to read the book to find out what she is!

My favorite character, aside from Ari, is Violet. She's quite, has a likiness to reptilian animals, and loves wearing masks. She's a hoot and a half and, come to find out, she was a key character to the major ending scene! So I'm even more eager to find out what happens.

I think this book could be liked by multiple readers, because there is so much subjects in here. So I'm going to say that anyone who likes supernatural or mythology stories will really enjoy this novel, and so far there are two novels in the series - both published - so no waiting? Unless there is another following it? I'm not sure, but I'll try to find out as soon as possible!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

This is the first book in the Of Poseidon series by Anna Banks.

Going on a trip to FL with her best friend Chloe, Emma was enjoying her time before starting senior year in high school.

But after a horrible accident where a shark attacked Chloe and killed her, Emma no longer wants anything to do with the water or the ocean, even though she lives in Jersey and is very close to the shore. And despite the fact that she met the most gorgeous guy in FL, who seems to be living in Jersey now? It seems he is since she runs into him at school. And has all of her classes with him...

While he may be gorgeous, Galen kind of scares Emma. He reminds her of that day in FL and he is also a little bit strange. He says things in an awkward manner and doesn't know the term "boundaries".

Then Emma finds out she's not who she thought she was. It turns out that Galen and his sister are the Royals of Syrena, also known as merpeople who have fins and live in the ocean. And it seems that Emma might be one of them as well. She has the violet colored eyes, strong skin, a temper - some of the signs that she's one of them.

Only she has white hair and pale skin. All Syrena are olived tone skin and raven black haired.

And Emma is even more unique than the Syrena: she can talk to aquatic animals. That is the gift of the Poseidon, the enemy of the Syrena's.

So now Emma is trying to figure out how to grow her own fin, while also fighting off the attraction she's starting to feel toward Galen.

On the other hand, Galen knows exactly who Emma is after seeing her order the shark away from her after Chloe was attacked. No one but the Poseidon can order aquatic animals and since the bloodline died away with a missing daughter, Galen is shocked to see Emma do something so rare.

Now, even though he feels the pulse between the two of them, meaning that they might be mates and attracted to her, he has to teach her how to get her fin and prepare her for his world, because once he can get her ready, he is going to have to hand her over to his older brother Grom. They need to mate and connect the two groups together to stop the war between Syrena and Poseidon.

Only he's finding that the thought of Grom, or any other male, touching Emma sets him in a rage to physically hurt someone. And there are some complications with Emma's transformation...

Can Emma figure out how to get her own fin? Will Emma and Galen resist the temptation to be together, when Galen knows that can never happen? Or will they have to be forced apart so Grom can mate with her? Read Of Poseidon by Anna Banks to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Merpeople! I haven't really gotten into this genre too much, maybe because I don't know how to swim so it sort of frightens me. But I really enjoyed this book and find that merpeople aren't so scary :)

I think, under the circumstances, that Emma took the news of being non-human very well. And the fight scene with Rayna, Galen's twin sister, was very intense since they are stronger than humans and had to work to injure the other person.

It was very entertaining to read about how the merpeople were transitioning into the human world. There were phrases and slang terms that they needed explained and their opinions of our culture were similar to other cultures around the world, so it made me chuckle a few times.

Galen was very determined to stay with Emma on land and teach her everything about his world. Even though he is a Royal and is the merman to work with human problems, he sort of became a human himself when it came to Emma. He certainly had the possession trait figured out!

I do have to say, though, that I did call the ending. There is a plot line where an unknown Syrena is tracking Emma; Galen can sense an unknown presence near Emma's house and footprints are seen in the sand going to her door. I figured out who it was about halfway through the novel, so I thought it was very predictable.

However, Banks left us on a cliffhanger!! Which is no surprise, but ahh!! And now I have to wait until May 2013 to read

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read about merpeople and about secrets, about forbidden love and about a kick a$$ girl who doesn't listen to a guy claiming to be a prince. It was a very good story and I will be anticipating the sequel when it comes out!