Friday, March 29, 2013

This Is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell

For their French class, Emery and Jake got a chance to tutor a class of first graders with french words during their French period. Emery really enjoys it and she connects well with the kids. Jake just wanted to get out of French class, though being paired up with Emery could be a great chance to correct a wrong Jake did last year.

One day when they were doing flash cards of animals, one of the students's father walks in demanding that they let Patrick out of class with him.

As it was against protocol, the teacher led the father, Brian Stutts, toward the office to clear it with the administration.

But he was back in just a few moments with a gun in his hand and demanded his son. Stutts was leaving with his son, even if some causalities had to be made.

However, there were witnesses in the hallway and then the authorities came, so Stutts was stuck inside of the classroom with Emery, Jake, the teacher and 18 first graders.

And when the teacher collapsed, it was up to Emery and Jake to take care of all of the 5 year olds and make sure they didn't upset Stutts, who looked very unstable and was also under the influence of alcohol.

It also mean that Emery and Jake's past was bound to come up since they were working together and were stuck taking care of the kids. Even though it was the wrong time to be hashing out their past, they had to deal with both the past and present problems going on.

Can Emery and Jake fix their problems? Can they save all of the kids with no one getting hurt, and get Mr. Stutts the help he needs? Or will things get even more out of control than they already are? Read This Is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This is a very hard book to read considering what has happened the last few years with school shootings. From the minute I read the synopsis, I got goosebumps. I think other readers will feel the same since today's society has had to deal with this topic more than we want to.

Overall, it was an okay novel. I really didn't care for the blast of the past between Jake and Emery. Yeah, there was history there between them, but I think that if the author just summed it up into one chapter of what had happened and then went into the main part of the novel it would have been better.

I'm glad the reader got to read through both Emery and Jake's point of view. Knowing what each character was thinking was nice to read about because both characters are so opposite of the other.

I think the teacher got the reaction of the kids right, even though I would assume that they would cry more than they really did.

Now, Mr. Stutts. I'm not sure how I felt about him. He has PTSD from being in Iraq for the war, so that was one of the reasons for his reaction and actions in this novel.

I dunno. This book is still a really impacting topic in today's society and it's a good way to get one reasoning over why someone might do this, but I just can't say that I loved the book. Maybe because of the subject, maybe just because of the characters reactions and reasonings... I can't say.

I'm not sure who I would recommend this book to. I can see a lot of parents getting upset if their child brings this book home to read, but I also think it could be a good thing to read for what's happened lately in our time period.

And if you haven't gathered, this book has really stumped me. I'm glad I read it and it's a very short book, but at the same time I think it could have been better.

I applaud McDowell for writing about a horrible subject, even if it didn't impact me the way it should have.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Paradise by Jill S. Alexander

Paisley's one wish is to get out of her biased little town in Texas. She hates being under a microscope and wants to play drums for a band.

Her mother hates that Paisley won't do something else but plays the drums in her marching band. Little does her mother know that she is secretly the drummer for Waylon Strikers band and they are trying to get ready for Texapalooza where tons of high school bands come to play and get a chance for an internship or a job offer from professional band corporations.

The only problem is that their band needs a singer. When Gabe shows up, Paisley gives him one shot and he nails it. Until Gabe, otherwise known as Paradise by Paisley since he is from Paradise, TX, pulls out an accordion  That doesn't bode well for their country rock band, but he somehow pulls it off.

And the band can't be picky right now since they really need a good singer to win the Texapalooza competition.

So now Paisley is secretly practicing with Paradise, Cal, Levi, and Waylon while trying to keep it away from her parents attention. Although Paisley is pretty sure her father has figured it out, but he hasn't said anything to indicate he does.

Things get bad at home when Paisley's older sister, Lacey, decides she's not going to do what her mother wants her to do anymore. Unlike Paisley's decision to tell her mother she wasn't going to sing or dance, Lacey has gone with her mother's wishes and has sang at any performance her mother has snuck her way in.

Now Lacey is going off to college and wants to go for hair and make up, cosmetology  But her mother is going to have a cow and Paisley wants this all to happen after her performance at Texapalooza.

And on top of that, Paradise keeps showing up around Paisley and makes Paisley feel things she's never felt before. All she's ever wanted was to be a drummer - that is her only passion.

But now with Paradise around, things might change as she can't stop thinking about him and gets jealous when he dances with another girl...

Can Paisley have both her drumming career and a life with Paradise, or is she wanting too much and won't get either? And how long can she keep the secret about drumming away from her parents before it explodes in her face? Read Paradise by Jill S. Alexander to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a cute story. Paisley was living a lie after a lie, so I knew they were going to explode in her face by the end of the novel.

The one thing that I loved about this book was Paradise. He came into the band audition as confident as anyone, even though he pulled out an accordion and started playing like it was a guitar and nothing was wrong with it.

And he was very confident around Paisley, even though she tried her hardest to ignore her feelings toward him and only focus on drumming and the band.

There were a few things I didn't enjoy about this novel.

One, the ending. Didn't enjoy that at all and wish it would have ended differently. But in a way, I could have seen it coming if I wasn't focused on the "here and now".

Two, the writing. For some reason, I felt like there wasn't enough description in the book. I had to go back many times just to figure out what happened that I skipped, only to find a few words describing what happened. Some places were very vague and I didn't get a lot of feeling from this book. Just an author telling a story, not describing in detail what happened.

I did like this story, but there were times when I found myself bored or missing a major plot and had to go back. Like I said, I liked Paradise the most and really enjoyed when he was in the scene because he was so confident and never got embarrassed by things that he did.

For anyone who likes music, I would definitely recommend this novel to you. And even though I didn't have the best time with this novel, I think a lot of other readers will really enjoy this book!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hooked by Liz Fichera

This is the first novel in the Hooked series by Liz Fichera.

When Fredricka Oday, also known as just Fred, was offered to play for the boys golf team, she was stunned. She lives on the reservation with her Native American culture. She has no money and her dad works on the golf course as a mechanic - that's how she grew to love the game of golf.

So getting a chance to play on a team where scouts can see her play and she could possibly get a scholarship to go to college in a few years is a great opportunity.

But she knows it won't be easy. She will be the only girl on the team. The only Native American on the team. She is not as rich as the other teammates so her hand me down plaid golf bag, along with other hand me downs, will definitely stick out.

In the end, she says yes, because she loves the sport of golf and wants to go to college with as much help as she can get.

And, as she predicted, no one on the boys golf team liked this idea. Especially Ryan, the best player on the team. Or, he was until Fred showed up. And when Fred took that spot, Ryan's best friend Seth was kicked off, since there wasn't any other room and Seth was the worst player.

To make things even worse, Fred and Ryan are now partners for golf matches. So even though they don't talk to each other and have hostile feelings toward one another, they are forced to work together at every game in order to win.

Fred is just trying to keep out of trouble and have fun while playing golf. But that is hard with everyone around her hoping she will mess up. When she is playing golf, though, she can block anything out and just picture herself practicing at the practice range.

But things are about to get interesting. Seth is not as forgiving as the rest of the golf team and decides Fred needs to pay for taking his spot on the team. And now Ryan is stuck in the middle of his best friend and the girl he is starting to like.

When family problems occur, Fred has to decide if she wants to be part of a hostile environment or stay and help her family. And the issue with liking Ryan as more than a friend might be a factor in her decision as well.

Can her team eventually get over her gender and nationality, or will she be the odd one out the whole time she is on the boys golf team? Will it just be easier if she stops playing and stays away from Ryan? Read Hooked by Liz Fichera to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I loved this book! Native American culture, girl playing in a boys sport, and the sport of golf: three different aspects all wrapped in one novel makes this book very unique among other books in YA literature!

I really liked how Fred was hesitant about joining the golf team, even though she knew what would happen but really wanted to play golf. She wasn't ignorant, she knew what would happen and she thought it out before deciding.

And I think she was really brave in deciding to join the guys team. She really loves the game and wanted a chance to go to college after high school, so she made the brave choice to join.

Even though all of the guys would do pranks on her and make her feel outside of the team.

And poor Ryan. After he finally got to know Fred he knew she wasn't as evil as the team made her out to be, but it was almost impossible for him to be friends with Fred knowing she got Ryan kicked off of the team, his best friend.

I loved the little scenes where they were teaching each other what they were doing wrong when playing golf. And when they met up just to chat because they didn't have anyone else to talk to.

This novel was amazing and I can't wait to read more by Liz Fichera. I especially like that she writes about Native Americans since I'm part Native American and it gives me another viewpoint and aspect of that culture in Young Adult literature.

I think that anyone should read this book and because it is through both characters point of view, guys and girls could like it equally. Although guys probably won't read it as much as girls because of the cover.

And I cannot wait until the second novel in this series! From the snippets I've read, it's going to be a good battle between the two characters! I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of Fichera's works in the future.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

This is the first book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas.

After being in the salt mines of Endovier for a year, Celaena was given an opportunity to get out. Endovier almost broke the 18 year old assassin, so she was game for pretty much anything.

But when the Crown Prince Dorian was the man she was presented with a deal, she wasn't sure if she should take it. Dorian's father has created a competition for someone to be the King's Champion for 6 years and will do the kings biddings and "dirty work".

Celaena, before getting caught and sent to Endovier, was Adarlan's Assassin. She was the most feared assassin in Adarlan and she was such a good assassin that no one knew who she was. They especially didn't know she was younger than 17 or a girl.

So the thought of working for the king made her ill. But after 6 years, she would have her freedom - no more running from the authorities and she wouldn't have to be an assassin anymore because she would get a reward from the king.

After debating with the Crown Prince, they made a deal that she would be Dorian's candidate if she could take leave after 4 years, not 6, when she won. Because she knew she would win against any other candidate - that wasn't the issue.

Now Celaena is living in the castle under watch of numerous guards. But the one guard that is always around and trains with Celaena to get back into shape is the Captain of the Royal Guards, Captain Chaol Westfall.

Chaol does not trust Celaena - not one tiny bit. She is the feared and trained assassin that has no emotions and will do anything to survive, so he keeps both eyes on her and makes sure she can't harm the royal family.

But the more he gets to know Celaena, the more he might have misjudged her. That doesn't stop him from not trusting her, though. And the same is happening with the Crown Prince. Both men are surprised by how much they enjoy Celaena's company. Some times they even forget she's a trained assassin that will kill in a second.

Strange things are happening at the palace, though. The candidates are being murdered by a monster that tears through their skin and pieces are missing. With so many thieves  killers, assassins or hunters in the palace for the competition, anyone is a suspect, even Celaena.

And even though magic has been banned from the world, it seems that there might be someone who found a way to use the forbidden magic.

Can Celaena figure out who is doing the killings? Can she win against the other candidates, especially Cain who keeps getting stronger and bigger after each trial and test? And what will Celaena do if she does become the King's Champion, because she definitely doesn't want to work for the horrible king? Read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I've been wanting to read this book for awhile and I'm glad I finally did! If there are any die-hard fans of The Hunger Games this might be a great novel for you to pick up! It has the same idea: a group of people fighting to the end to a prized title.

Even though this is more science fiction than dystopian, I didn't have any trouble keeping up with the different world that Maas created. It was nice and I loved how Celaena was the complete opposite of the other "proper" women in the novel.

Celaena was by far my favorite character! She has spunk, she talked back, and she is a survivor; she will do anything that needs to be done in order to live another day, even if it means becoming a killer and getting paid to do it.

And the interactions with the Crown Prince Dorian and Captain Westfall are amazing. The reader can tell that she has feelings for both men, but she doesn't know what to do with them or how to act on them. Plus, she knows nothing can come from it since they are located in the palace and she is just trying to get out of it.

Out of the two men, I like Captain Westfall the most. He doesn't say much, a man of little words, but he is always watching Celaena and, because we get multiple narrations in this novel, we know a little of what he is thinking when it comes to Celaena.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and I think other readers will as well. Maybe if the cover was changed to make it gender neutral  more readers would pick it up and realize it's a different version of The Hunger Games, because the cover probably sends guy readers away.

I would definitely recommend this to other readers and I cannot wait to read the second novel later this year! Now I just have to play the waiting game!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Losing It by Cora Carmack

This is the first novel in the Losing It series by Cora Carmack.

It is Bliss's last year of college and she is still a virgin. She doesn't want to graduate as a virgin and let's it slip to her best friend Kelsey, who decides it's time for Bliss to get rid of it.

But going to a bar and meeting a stranger wasn't working. Bliss is a control freak and this is about the furthest thing to being in control.

Just when Bliss was about to give up and go home, she sees a guy reading Shakespeare in the bar. It was attention grabbing enough that she started a conversation and found out that he was extremely attractive and Bliss wasn't over analyzing everything when she was around him.

But reality came back to her right before she lost that pesky problem she wanted gone and she ran out on him.

It would be fine to run out on the guy you were about to sleep with, knowing that you won't see him again, except that the next day at school, first day of class, she walks into her senior class and finds Garrick to be her teacher for the semester!

Now, even though the attraction between them in off the charts, she can't get together with him because of the student/teacher relationship. It's driving Bliss crazy, especially when they agree that they aren't going to be anything but professional toward one another and then end up kissing backstage!

Bliss's ability to act is about to come in handy for real life, because while she says one thing, she says and does another.

It only gets more awkward when Bliss gets the lead in the school play and finds out that Garrick will be helping the students with their parts.

And Bliss's friend Cade gets the male lead in the play, which would be amazing except Cade made a move on Bliss and she didn't return the feelings. Now things are awkward and tense between everyone Bliss cares about.

What decision will Bliss make? Will she choose a professional relationship with Garrick, or a more physical one? And will that mean the end of Garrick's job if they do become an item? Read Losing It by Cora Carmack to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
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.

I really enjoyed this novel! Sure, it's about a topic that is most definitely for older readers, but that wasn't the whole book. Well, not most of it. Really it was about Bliss learning to live a little, be less responsible and start doing things she wants to do, even if it might be against her better judgement.

There were many times that I chuckled throughout this novel. I definitely called the ending and thought it was a pretty predictable book, but it was still cute and it was still about a tough situation that both parties had to decide what they wanted to do.

I did love that Bliss was forced to really choose what she wanted, despite the consequences of her decision.

And it looks like there is going to be another novel in this series - this time about Cade's story! And from the summary, I think it will be a great story. The reader will still get a little more Bliss time since they are best friends, so that will be nice, but I'm really excited for Cade's story!

For anyone who is on a New Adult novel marathon, this would be a good book for you to read. I would say older readers should read it - not younger teens - because of the topic. However, it's not as bad as other NA novels I've read - just seems worse because of the topic.

I can't wait to read more of Carmack's novels in the future and am so excited for the next one in this series!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman

Starting high school is going to be a new experience for Charlie. Middle school was a nightmare. She was friends with Lauren and Ally, who were not nice people and Charlie started to follow in their footsteps until one incident happened that sent Charlie to another school with a new start.

And it seemed to be going well. Charlie met Sydney at orientation and they became friends. Charlie also saw Will, the guy she lived next door a few years ago and they were best friends. Apparently he is back in town and now they go to the same school.

Just when Charlie was getting used to her school and joining the newspaper, a reminder about her past shows up: Nahdi.

Lauren and Ally did a horrible thing to Nahdi and Charlie was caught in the middle, so now that she sees Nahdi again, it seems that her past is catching up to her.

At her new school, sports are the rave. Will and his friend Tyler (who Charlie may have a little crush on) go out for lacrosse even though they hear the team hazes them before putting them on the team.

Charlie's new motto is to stand up for herself and not be bullied into anything, so she tries to make all of her new friends do that.

But with Will joining the lacrosse team, he may be forced to do things he doesn't want to do. And when Charlie realizes that she may have stronger feelings than just friendship toward Will, she has to decide if she wants to be with someone who gives into peer pressure. And she'll have to make a decision to tell the authorities what's going on, even though Will has asked her not to.

What will Charlie do? Will it ruin everything she has worked for at her new school? Read Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a cute novel. It was recommended to me through Goodreads and I had it at my library, so I just picked it up and read it really fast.

Usually I don't read YA books if they are a freshman or younger, but Charlie didn't act too immature for my tastes so I decided to keep reading and find out what happens with this group of teens.

And Charlie is really mature for her age because of the horrible things her "so called friends" did when she was in middle school. Now she's learned to try to stay out of situations that could hurt other people - even though in Charlies case that is kind of hard.

So, overall, it was a cute novel. Not my favorite, but not one that I didn't finish or wish that I hadn't read when I finished it. Just a cute little novel that had a little different plot than other YA novels that I've read lately.

If anyone wants to read a novel about trying to be your own person, not following cliques or popularity, learning when to stand up for yourself, and making friends with the right people, this would be a good novel for you.

I would say that any female teen could read this - even younger ones because Charlie and her friends are just freshmen in this novel, so they could find something to relate to.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

This is the first novel in the Shadowlands series by Kate Brian.

When walking through the woods after school one day, Rory was attacked by her math teacher, Steven Nell. It turns out that Nell is a serial killer and has killed 14 other teenage girls all over the U.S. And Rory is going to be his number 15.

But then Rory fought back - something that most of Nell's victims doesn't do and she is the first one to escape. Now she and her family, her dad and her older sister Darcy, are sent in the witness protection system to keep safe from Nell.

That means no contact with anyone, including the boy that Rory is crushing on, Christopher. But that is also very complicated since Chris had dated Darcy for 2 years before dumping her for Rory.

So Rory and her family are off and end up in Juniper Landing, a tourist place next to the beach. And where there are tons of visitors - a great place to show up without having to have a reason to be there.

Except Rory gets uneasy feelings about the town, and the townspeople. She keeps hearing the song that Nell would hum under his breath. She saw his tan coat in a crowd. Rory does not think that they are safe, but no one will listen to her, so she decides she must be imagining things since she is still terrified Nell will find her and her family.

And the townspeople? Everyone is very interested in Rory, which is unusual because Darcy is the one everyone wants to be friends with. But the two good looking guys, Joaquin and Tristan, seem to always be staring at Rory. And Joaquin keeps flirting with her, as much as Darcy hates him doing that.

But Juniper Landing is not the town that it seems to be upon first impression. People disappear and no one seems to notice it - except Rory. She cares where everyone is going, and she wants answers to the mystery of Juniper Landing.

Those answers are answered, but Rory doesn't like the answer that she is given. In fact, everything starts to fall apart when Rory's nightmare comes to life and Nell has found them. Can Rory fight back again and win against Nell, or will he finally get his number 15? Read Shadowlands by Kate Brian to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
The first thing - this novel is probably the one YA novel that creeped me out so much that I was jumping at the little sounds in my house late at night. The writer did a great job writing this - especially the chapters that were through Nell's point of view.

I really liked this book. It is something different for the YA genre and I enjoyed reading a fresh story line that isn't over written today. Running from a serial killer. Hiding in witness protection. Trying to act normal in an impossible situation.

Rory is a great character. She is loyal, especially when it comes to her family, and she is a fighter, which Nell didn't see that as her math teacher and made her an "easy" target for him to pursue.

There is one very important scene in this novel that I could not get out of my head. I felt like it really happened and I kept getting reminded of it throughout the rest of the novel, so the ending wasn't surprising to me. I was actually expecting it. I don't know if the author meant to do that - to have the reader guess what was going to happen - or if I was just that into the novel and was overthinking because the novel spooked me that much.

Even though I guessed the ending and what was actually happening, I still really liked this novel.

I cannot wait until the second novel comes out and I can find out what happens now that the secret is out for Rory. I think it could go in a great direction, but it will definitely be different than this first novel. Almost like they weren't related at all, but I'm okay with that. I just want to find out what happens soon!

I've read reviews where people either love it or hate it. There really is no in between. And some also said that they were confused on what happened in the book, which I can see how that could happen too. I would recommend it to other readers, though, especially my friends because then we could talk about it to make sure we understand the story line :)

So, yes, I would recommend it to readers and I am sitting on the edge of my seat for the sequel to come out!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

Gemma grew up known as the heavy girl, the overweight girl. Honestly, she didn't really care but when her best friend Addison wanted to try out for the majorettes and made Gemma try out as well, she decided that she wasn't going to be overweight when she had to audition in front of the whole school and get made fun of.

So she lost the weight. Not as much as she wanted, but she was eating better, and she started to feel better in her own skin. It wasn't like she was going to make it on the majorette squad, but knowing she can change her image into something better was a win for her.

Except Gemma did get into the majorettes. Along with Addison. And now Gemma realizes that she has to wear the leotard for their dances. So she lost more weight before the school year started.

Now that she is a junior and in the majorettes, things are changing. She looks better and is part of the "in" crowd, so her former best friend Robert, who she's had a crush on for forever is shunning her and calling her a poser.

And because Gemma isn't so heavy anymore, people are starting to recognize her and acknowledge her, whereas it used to be Addison that was the most popular out of the two.

Gemma also realizes that the friendship between her and Addison is getting very strained, now that Addison isn't the best out of the two.

Things get really tense between them when Gemma and Addison get boyfriends: Max and Carter from their rival school, who are on the rival football team. Gemma noticed Max first during summer workouts at the college, but Addison snatched him up for herself, making Gemma and Carter go out with one another, even though Gemma's not attracted to Carter.

So now Gemma has to watch Max and Addison get romantic, even though there are moments between Max and Gemma. She doesn't want to like her best friend's boyfriend, but she cannot deny the attraction between them.

Things were just looking up for Gemma, but this might make or break her friendship with Addison. What will happen between Gemma, Max, and Addison? Read The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Whoo-hoo! The tension in this book in insane! I do not know how Gemma could stand being around Addison. That girl is the most selfish, spoiled person who stamps her foot when she doesn't get her way, or if that doesn't work, plays dirty and doesn't even seem fazed by her evil thoughts.

I would have ate that girl alive if she went to my high school! And Gemma just took the crap that Addison gave her. She is a saint.

But I really admire Gemma. She worked extremely hard. She did baton lessons for years, and no wonder she was better than Addison and could do more tricks. As much as I hate Addison, I'm glad she bullied Gemma into trying out because then Gemma became more confident and outspoken than she used to be.

And the thing with Max? Hate to say it, but Gemma is at fault for that just as much as Addison. Gemma needs to start saying what she feels and thinks, because a lot of the drama that unfolded between that group could have disappeared if she just told Max and Addison what she really felt.

So as much as this book frustrated me, I really enjoyed it at the same time!

The main reason I read this novel was so I can be updated with Jennifer Echols novels - which I have now read every single one of hers except for the newly released novel that just came out!

Another thing that I've noticed with Echols writing is that she is very open about what she writes. I have yet to read a novel about the same topic of hers. She's dabbled in majorettes, marching band, snowboarding, and so much more. I'm not bored with her novels because they have something unique that I haven't read about before, so she is definitely one of my favorite authors.

I really enjoyed this book and think other teens would too - especially ones interested in majorette or dancing!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Elixir by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is #3.5 novel in the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

My review of #0.5: Daimon.
My review of #1: Half-Blood.
My review of #2: Pure.
My review of #3: Deity.

WARNING - This review WILL contain spoilers from the previous novels. Do not continue reading if you have not read the previous novels, else you will find out exactly what has happened throughout the first four books!

When Alex became the next Apollyon, Aiden wasn't sure what was going to happen. But the minute he saw her eyes, he knew that the girl he was holding was no longer his Alex. Now she was connected to the First, to Seth, and she wanted to be near Seth instead of Aiden.

But Aiden is going to make sure that it doesn't happen. He already knows that Seth is taking over Alex, so they had to knock her out and moved her to another location where she didn't know, while also trapping her in a cell that will keep even Apollyon's from escaping.

Ever since she was put in the cage, though, she hasn't been eating or drinking. It's going on four days and she is starting to weaken.

Then Aiden is confronted with a choice. Apollo is able to kill Alex because she is part of his lineage, and Apollo could do it if he thought it was necessary.

Or they could put her on the Elixir - a liquid made to put half-bloods in a comatose reaction where they become slaves to whomever compels them. Alex has always been afraid that she will become a slave - it is her worst nightmare.

Aiden cannot do either option to Alex, but if they don't do something to dull the connection between her and Seth, she will end up dying while giving Seth the ability to become the God Killer.

No matter what decision Aiden chooses, he knows he will never be able to live with himself again. Because both options break the trust he has with Alex.

Which evil will Aiden choose? Can he forgive himself for what he is about to do to the love of his life? Will his choice end up making the situation better or worse? Read Elixir by Jennifer L. Armentrout to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Wow. This novella was really emotional! This is the first time we've read through Aiden's point of view (for a novella that is) and boy did JLA throw a punch into our stomachs after reading about Aiden's inner struggle with this choice!

I tried to give away as few spoilers as possible - for this novel - and I think I did alright. The gut reaction Aiden had when he was given his two choices was very emotional and I would never want to be put into his shoes right then.

The whole novella was really good and I think JLA did a great job with the whole thing! It definitely helped me since I was left with that horrible ending of Deity so at least I was able to find out what happened after Alex turned 18 and became the Apollyon.

So, yes, this is a short review and short thoughts/reflections, but it was also a short novella so I'm okay with that.

I will say that anyone who has read this series MUST read this novel as it is very important in the series and will probably have a great impact on the next novel. It's free on one website and only $0.99 on Amazon. I got it off of Amazon because I wanted it on my Kindle, so I was okay with spending less than a dollar on it.

One of these days I'm going to buy all of these books in paper versions because I love them that much!

Can't wait for the next novel and anyone who is a devoted fan of JLA needs to read this ASAP!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is the third book in the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

My review of #0.5: Daimon.
My review of #1: Half-Blood.
My review of #2: Pure.

WARNING - This book will contain spoilers from the previous novels. Continue reading with caution!

After what happened in New York with the daimons and the furies, Alex just wants a break from everything Apollyon. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen since her 18th birthday is right around the corner and she will turn into the second Apollyon.

And now she has to go back to classes. Without Caleb. Everyone is looking at her with weird looks - either because of the upcoming Apollyon or because she has been in a lot of incidents lately, but either way she just wants to get away for awhile.

Then Alex has her own personal problems that include Seth and Aiden. Alex chose Seth, even if they aren't technically dating but are just hanging out a lot, but she can't forget Aiden, especially since he is always around protecting Alex from some threatening group trying to harm her.

And Seth is acting very odd. He seems to want to be with Alex, but she can't figure out if he wants to be with her because of the odd connection between them or if he actually likes her, or if he just wants to speed up the process where she becomes the Apollyon.

Everyone is saying that Seth just wants Alex to be the Apollyon so he can be the next God Killer, but Alex doesn't think so. Seth is different around her and actually cares about her, but lately he's been around her step father, Lucian, a lot and that is never a good thing.

The situation with Aiden becomes unclear. Alex can't stop thinking about him, even though she's decided that they can't be together for more than one reason. But the attraction between them is growing stronger and stronger - almost to the point of not being able to avoid it any longer.

Another problem Alex has is Major Telly wanted Alex dead. He's tried over and over to figure out a way to ensure she doesn't complete the transition to being the Apollyon because no one wants the second God Killer to awaken.

And it it wasn't for Apollo, Alex would be dead, after being stabbed. So now she needs to fight for what she has to do, but the deciding factor will but what will happen when she turns 18.

Can Alex figure out what is the right thing to do? What will happen when she turns 18? Will Seth keep his promise to protect her, or will it go horribly wrong? Read Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
It's been awhile since I read the previous books in this series, but I still found myself sucked into the Covenant world with Alex having a difficult life. And I loved it!

There was a lot of down time in this novel compared to the others, but I don't think that was anything wrong. Stories need down time and Alex needed to figure out what she wanted. Sure, she's going to be the Apollyon but she can also enjoy making out with a boy here or there.

So yes, Alex did chose a guy and she did get deceived by another boy.

The part that I really enjoyed during this book was getting to meet more Gods. We met Apollo and Artemis, we read about Poisiden and also met Hades for a bit. It was also very humorous with the Gods when they interacted with one another.

Before, I did have a guy that I hoped Alex would end up with, but now I'm not sure who she should be with. There are good and bad things about both of them and I kinda just want a new hot guy to come in and sweep Alex off of her feet and there will be nothing bad about him. But I know that won't happen, haha.

I really enjoyed this novel and the ending was very interesting... I'm excited to see what will happen for Alex after she becomes the Apollyon and what will occur with Seth as the "God Killer".

If anyone wants to read this, I would definitely recommend that you read the first books in the series. Even after I read them, it took me awhile to get into this world, so I could never imagine someone just jumping in with this book!

For devoted fans of JLA, you must read this book! And for anyone who likes mythology, I would definitely recommend this series!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Tidal by Emily Snow

After getting out of rehab, Willow is going to do better and stay away from the addictive drug that she got hooked on that landed her in rehab. But that's a nice thing to say, hard thing to practice when one is a movie star.

And it really doesn't help that her agent landed her a movie gig as the leading woman actress in Hawaii. Being a movie star is one of the big reasons she started using, but not the whole reason.

However, Willow has no money in her account and needs to get some. By doing the remake of a surfer, she would have the funds to start over and keep clean.

So she goes to Hawaii and works with her surfing coach, Cooper, who is not bad on the eyes at all. But it seems that he might hate Willow on site. Willow doesn't really care because she already tried the love thing once and it went horrible.

But the attraction between Willow and Cooper cannot be denied. It's only a matter of time before they give in and have a fling during the production of the movie.

Except it's turning out to maybe be more than a fling. For both Cooper and Willow.

When a secret comes out about Coopers family, things might change. Especially since Willow also has a dark secret from her past and she wants to make it right. Which might mean that Cooper won't want to be with her after she finds out about what she did three years ago.

What are the secrets that are keeping Cooper and Willow from opening up? Will they be able to jump these hurdles, or will they be overcome by the darkness of their pasts? Read Tidal by Emily Snow to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
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.

Goodreads recommended me this novel so I found it on Amazon for $0.99 and bought it. It was a cute novel and typical of NA novels.

It was nice to read about different occupations than the usual NA novels with the characters being a movie star and a surfing coach. It was typical because of their dark pasts so that was familiar, but overall I thought it was an okay novel.

Willow seemed like a person I probably wouldn't get along with. She was nice enough but seemed to complain a lot. Which, for what she has been through makes sense but she doesn't want anyone to know about it so she acts spoiled and selfish.

Cooper is very successful and has his own surfing business, but he still very quite about his past and observant.

Overall, this was a cute book, but it definitely wasn't my favorite. For anyone wanting another NA novel to read, I would recommend to you.

As far as I know, this is a stand alone novel and there won't be any other novels following it, but that could obviously change at any time. I'm looking forward to reading more of Emily Snow's novels, which I have a few on my Kindle waiting for me to read!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Amplified by Tara Kelly

This is the first book in the Amplified series by Tara Kelly.

When Jasmine told her father that she was taking a year off before starting college, she didn't expect to get kicked out of the house. But that's what her father did so instead of pleading and crying and begging, she packed up her stuff, put it in the car, and started to find a different place to live.

But then her car died. Thankfully, right in front of an auto shop, but she doesn't really have a lot of cash to pay for her car - not when she has to find a new place to live and an opening at a job she can work at to start getting some money.

It didn't help that the jerk who worked at the auto shop - who called himself "Clover" - was rude and kept saying she was a rich girl who could call her daddy.

After that, she looked everywhere for an apartment - some of which wanted a guitarist, which Jasmine just happened to be and that is what she wants to do with her year off before going to college.

The last place she went to check out the apartment was it for her, but there were problems. One, Jasmine is a girl and they want a guy guitarist/roommate. The three guys didn't want any drama. Two, they want a guitarist that has performed live before - Jasmine hasn't done that yet. And three, the bassist is none other than Clover - or better known as Sean.

Jasmine is fighting her way to get this place and this spot in the C-Side band, but she starts leaking lies. Sure, she's live performed before... Not.

When Jasmine gets the spot, she's excited because she finally  has a place and can start making her own life. But then they tell her they have a gig at a local bar in less than a week... Jasmine isn't ready, and it shows during her performance.

Now she is in a bad situation. Will the band kick her out because she lied and obviously can't handle the pressure of being on the stage, or will she be able to get another chance and get over the fear of performing live?

And that's not even getting into the situation she and Sean got themselves in, but it was just so hard to resist Sean's presence and the way he makes Jasmine feel.

What will happen to Jasmine? Read Amplified by Tara Kelly to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I think this could qualify as a New Adult novel, since Jasmine is out of high school, so that's why I labeled it with the New Adult Novel. However, it's not very risque as other New Adult novels that have been recently published, so I still think Young Adults can read this and really like it.

Jasmine is a fighter. After growing up with her father always comparing her to her mother who left when Jasmine was 5 and is now in jail, she has grown a tough skin and always finds a way to fix something, even if it is getting kicked out of her house.

So she fought her way to get the spot with C-Side, even if she lied about certain things. She was good and wanted to be a part of the band because they were good as well.

So I really liked Jasmine because she didn't sit down and bawl her eyes out when things didn't go her way. She made her own way and I really appreciate when characters do that.

While I don't know anything about music, I was able to understand most of what went on through Amplified and even enjoyed reading about Jasmine playing the guitar in front of an audience. She loses herself in the music and I was able to see that while reading about her thoughts when playing. I think Kelly did a great job if she was able to allow me as an non-musician understand what was going on.

And I liked the other band members. Felix was just hilarious, Bryn was annoying, but punctual and the "mother hen", Veta was a hoot and always had  Jasmine's back, and Sean was the quiet but handsome one that kept catching Jasmine's eye.

Another thing I think might attract readers is, yes, there is a romance between Jasmine and Sean, but it doesn't end like you think it will and it's not the main part of the book. The whole point of the book is that Jasmine wants to find a place to fit in and also be able to play her music with a band. She needs a place to stay and a way to support herself to do what she needs to do for her year off of school.

And Kelly did a great job with getting all of that in this novel and making it addictive to read. I thought I wouldn't like it when I started reading and gave myself a limited amount that I needed to read before quitting. Instead, I finished this novel in one sitting!

There is another novel that will be coming out this month, so I will definitely be picking that up to read. I do think that Kelly could have ended it with this novel, but I'm excited to read more about these characters and see what happens to them throughout the next novel!

Anyone who likes music, fighting to do what they want to do, and learning how to get friends and trust others, this is definitely a book for you!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wait for You by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Avery moved from Texas to West Virginia to get away from what happened at home 5 years ago. No one at her college knows the rumors that spread like wildfire at home, and she can finally be at peace - well mostly. She doesn't trust guys and is very much a loner, but she likes it like that.

And she even made some new friends at school - something she didn't have at home after the incident. So life was going well, until she ran into the most beautiful guy she's ever seen.

Cameron Hamilton. And yes, she literally ran into him before class. That was before she ran away from him just as fast.

Only getting away from Cam isn't that easy, especially when he decides he wants to be around some more. So not only do they have the same class together, they were made partners for that class. All semester. And the best part? He's across the hall in her apartment building.

The more Avery's around Cam, the more relaxed she gets around him, which is weird because she is never relaxed around guys. And now she's doing things that she swore she wouldn't do, like to go parties or drink. Because everything relates to that one Halloween night 5 years ago. And she won't go back to that dark place.

But Avery is not the only one that is hiding a dark past. Cam also has a secret he is keeping from Avery, something he is not proud of, but would do again in a heartbeat if it happened again.

When Avery's past comes back to haunt her, she needs to make a decision. Can she confront it and retell it to Cam, who has become a huge part of her world, or will it forever haunt and terrify her to the point where she can't tell Cam, and might lost him for good? Read Wait for You by J. Lynn to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
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.

I put in the title Jennifer L. Armentrout because J. Lynn is her pen name for adult and new adult novels, and I want to make it very clear that I love this author no matter what name she uses! So, yeah, it's the same amazing writer for all of the reviews that I've done for her novels - just to make sure everyone knows that!

I loved this book. Avery is a tough cookie. She went through a horrible ordeal and came out a survivor, if not a little wounded by it.

But Cam - he's hilarious and sexy and protective. He's everything one could want in a classmate/class partner/neighbor across the hall.

So, yes, this is a lot like the other New Adult novels that have been released, but I think the author put enough new content in to make her own novel in this "new" genre.

My favorite part is the Sunday morning breakfasts. That is such a small detail in a college student's life, but the author made it a big deal and it was also the way that Avery and Cam got to relax around one another without a crowd around to make Avery nervous or self-conscious.

Oh! And Raphael! Cam's turtle! Hilarious introduction at the apartments with his turtle. Just little things like that really make this novel come to life and unique, while also having me laugh out loud while reading.

And the dark pasts for both Cam and Avery made me understand the characters even more. But what happened to Avery, after I found out, really made my jaw drop. I knew something along the lines happened, but not that!

So yes, I would recommend this novel to other New Adult readers. It's a must read and I think a lot of people will like the small things that happen between Cam and Avery!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chasing the Skip by Janci Patterson

After Ricki's mother has left again for the umpteenth time, she is sent to live with her father because her grandmother doesn't want to take care of her anymore.

The thing is, Ricki's father is a bounty hunter, so she has to do school online, can't see her friend Anna or her boyfriend Jamie anymore, and is living in a trailer by night, truck by day chasing after teens who skipped their court date.

Not exactly the ideal life for a 15 year old.

And it's not exactly the glamorous life for her since she doesn't really know her father. Ricki's been living with her mother and whatever boyfriend of the week she has, while her father has basically ignored her until recently.

Things start to get interesting, though, when her father goes after Ian, the 17 year old car jacker. Ricki is curious about him, plus he's not hard to look at either. It also makes life intriguing when he keeps getting away from her father at every opportunity.

And Ricki wants to know more about Ian, despite her father's objections about talking to the "skips". Ian has a lot of viewpoints about life that are different than Ricki's, which make Ricki question how she should view life.

When Ricki has the choice of helping Ian or her father, she has to decide how she wants to live her life. And who in her life is the right person to trust and care about the most, since basically everyone keeps leaving Ricki to deal with herself on her own.

Who will Ricki choose: Ian or her father? Read Chasing the Skip by Janci Patterson to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Hmm. The context of this story was very appealing. A girl traveling with her father to snag court date skippers to bring them back and get money for it.

But for some reason, I just couldn't relate or understand Ricki. Yes, I know her mother just upped and left her alone, making her go to her grandmother's house and then finally staying with her dad, so she feels unwanted and unloved by everyone. But she has someone taking care of her. She's not completely alone.

And Ricki keeps wanting to go to her mother in California, but if her mother left her, why would she want to go find her? I would want to stay as far away from the woman that left me with only a note. And not even any money to buy food or take care of the bills.

But that's just me.

And her fascination with Ian? I can see that, in a way, but why would anyone want to be with a fugitive? I guess it must be the bad guy thing going for him. But if my father was chasing after him to take him to court, I doubt it would go anywhere since he was wanted for jail...

Again, that's just my viewpoint.

So, yes, I liked the idea and overall aspect of this book, I just didn't really enjoy the book itself  even though I did finish it. Some readers may enjoy the whole book, but it just wasn't for me.

If you are looking for a book about adventure and traveling, this could work for you. There's nothing horrible in the novel, so any age could read it, especially since Ricki is only 15 in here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

This is the second novel in the Ruby Red Trilogy series by Kerstin Gier.

My review of #1: Ruby Red.

Not even a week ago, Gwenyth found out that she, unlike her cousin Charlotte, has the time travel gene in her family. And Gwen has no idea about any of the historical information she should know, liker her cousin likes to point out.

So now Gwenyth is stuck with Gideon, the male time traveler who infuriates Gwen, even though he's a great kisser. Kissing or not, he is a pompous male who thinks he knows best about everything and likes to ignore her, until he wants to snog a bit with Gwen. Then they get along just peachy.

But now Gwen is stuck going in the past for 4 hours a day using the chronograph, the device that sends them back into time with a particular date in mind. Which is also the second chronograph created, the first having been stolen by Lucy and Paul, the other time travelers before Gwen and Gideon.

And no one is trusting Gwen with any of the information because they think she is going to betray them to unforseen events that came from Lucy and Paul stealing the first device, but also because she "stole" Charlotte's spot at being the time traveler.

Like Gwen really wanted it.

Thankfully, Gwen has Leslie, her normal human friend who is very resourceful at finding information on the internet, so Gwen has been getting a little bit of info, even if it isn't necessarily the right information.

And strange things are definitely happening because many occasions that they travel back in time, it seems that others are expecting their arrival.

One good thing has come from this, though. Gwen gets to see her grandfather again, Lucas, who died a few years ago. And they have devised a plan where he will find out information  and each time she travels to get in her quota of travel for the day, she will see him and gather all the information that she can about her traveling gene.

However, the count, the first person with the time travel gene, is very interested in Gwen and wants to know her more. Gwen's not happy about that though, because the count gives her a horrible feeling. And she swears that he tried to choke her and talked to her without speaking.

But the count gives some interesting news about Gideon that has Gwen doubting everything she's known for the past week as a time traveler. And she's not sure what to think anymore. What will Gwen do with this new information? How can she possibly do what she's supposed to do if she can't trust the one person who will travel with her? Read Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I finally got my hands on this book! And I only have to wait 8 more months for the conclusion of this series!

On the one hand, I really liked this book because Gwen is trying really hard to figure out what is going on, despite everyone keeping her in the dark about the secret of the time traveling gene and what they are planning to do with the chronograph.

But on the other hand, I felt like not a lot went on and Gwen should just refuse to help until she gets the answers that she wants. She's not a very docile character and she needs to start vocalizing what she is thinking and make sure that she starts getting heard.

So I liked it and I thought it could have been better. What I'm really curious about is how this series is going end since there is only one more novel to come out before the conclusion is revealed. It doesn't seem like we have enough information to go on in order to finish this series, but I will be excited to find out come October when the novel is released.

For anyone who likes books about time travel and set in the past with, at least for me, some pretty accurate historical subjects, I would definitely recommend it to you. However, I would say that reading the first novel would be something to consider as this book does start exactly where the first one ends. It will clear up any confusion.

So yes, I had ups and downs with this book, but I will be a dedicated reader and read Emerald Green when it is released to find out what will happen for numerous parts of this book!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

This is the first novel in The Coincidence series by Jessica Sorensen.

Callie is extremely excited to go to college and get away from everyone who has made her life a living nightmare since seventh grade. She dresses gothic with black eyeliner and fingernail polish, along with baggy clothes and a bob haircut.

But when she gets to college, she is able to be herself again. She is slowly learning to trust other people, especially Seth, her best friend since she started college in the summer and so did he.

Kayden is ready to go off to college to get away from his parents. Sure, he had a great life in high school with his friends as one of the popular football players and he got a scholarship to go to college, since he father won't spend a penny for him now that he's not in his house now.

But both Callie and Kayden have a dark secret in their past. Callie found out Kayden's the last night of high school when she went to a party to find her brother, and instead saved Kayden from getting beaten by his father in the back yard. And from the looks of the scars on his chest, it didn't look like it was the first time it had happened either.

Callie's secret is only known by Seth, and he had to work his way to find out what exactly happened to her.

As it happens, Callie is the one person that saved Kayden on that night at the party, but he never got a chance to say thank you. When they bump into each other at the same college, Kayden didn't recognize Callie at first because she is wear color clothes and her hair is longer. She doesn't wear black all of the time and her clothes actually fit instead of being baggy on her.

There is no reason that Callie needs to hide at college. The nightmare is at her house and at high school.

Slowly Callie and Kayden start to become friends, though Kayden is the only boy that Callie has known where she will let him touch her without flinching too much.

When they both go back home for the holidays and face their demons, things are starting to become alright for them both. Until they have to face the person responsible for the nightmares they face every night. And something horrible is about to happen to one of them that might go far beyond where it should... Read The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen to find out what will happen to these two haunted characters.

My Thoughts/Reflections
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.

I've had this book for awhile on my Kindle after buying it for $0.99 on Amazon and I'm really glad I got around to it! This is a great novel and had me on my seat every chapter!

Callie, Kayden, and even Seth have dark pasts. Kaydens the reader finds out right away but Seth's and Callie's are a little harder to figure out because they don't want to talk about it, but they finally come out and say what happened to them to make them leery to trust other people.

I understood exactly what happened to Callie before it was revealed, so I was expecting how she acted around Kayden. However, her character developed so much throughout the novel and I was very happy to see her trusting other people by the middle of the novel.

And Kayden. He was always trying to impress his father, but the more he did, the madder his father got over some small, tiny detail that didn't even matter. So eventually he started to things he wanted to do, especially when he went off to college and didn't have to see his father every day to hear criticism and get punished.

But I have to say, that ending. Man! Sorensen left us hanging and yearning to find out what happens next, because that is not a way to end a novel! It was such a horrible scene and it better be resolved in the next novel, because I have to know what happens!

Both of the characters grew a lot throughout this book and I really liked it! I think other novels who love New Adult novels now would really enjoy this story and will need the sequel right away - just like I do!

So yes, I recommend this novel for older readers and I will definitely be reading this series, even if it is a little bit more charge than my usual $0.99 on Amazon for eBooks, haha!