Monday, April 29, 2013

Anything But Ordinary by Lara Avery

When Bryce wakes up in the hospital, she knows that she was in a diving accident. It feels like it might have been a few days since she hurt her head in the pool, but she comes to find out that it was 5 YEARS!

Her little sister is now 17 years old. Bryce herself is now 22 years old. She missed her high school graduation, she missed going to the Olympics and getting gold medals. She missed going to college and graduating with her Bachelor's Degree.

She missed a lot of things.

And worse? Her boyfriend Greg and her best friend Gabby are now engaged to be married.

Everyone moved on without her. They continued her lives while she was in a coma for five years.

Everyone was surprised when she woke up. Because her injuries should have made Bryce be a coma forever.

Now Bryce is doing the unthinkable. She is walking, talking, and functioning after a few mishaps. She wants to get her life back in track again. And she has the help of Carter, the med student who has been watching over her for five years.

Carter has become her crutch, someone she can talk to because she can't talk to anyone else. Everyone else has either moved on or is expecting her to be the same Bryce she was five years ago.

But Carter just listens to Bryce and is there for her.

Things get really weird, though, when Bryce keeps having visions. But the visions aren't always about Bryce. Sometimes she has visions about other people. Things that have happened sometime during the last five years. Things that Bryce should have no way of knowing what happened because she was in a coma.

Somehow she does know. And this gift does not come without a price.

Just when things are starting to get better for Bryce, she gets another shock. Can Bryce survive this surprise, or will it be too much for her after everything she's been through? Read Anything But Ordinary by Lara Avery to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a very intriguing book. I was first sucked in when I read the summary, and it only got better when I started reading the novel.

I really liked the topic of diving and going to the Olympics. I found it refreshing and something I haven't read a thousand times in a YA novel. And Bryce knew that she was good; she wanted to win at least one gold medal, if not two by the time she was 22.

The idea of waking up after 5 years of being in a coma is scary. To wake up and realize that not only is she supposed to be graduated from college, but she is legal to drink and gamble? That is a bit much to process for anyone.

I think Bryce did a great job adjusting though. And the recovery she did! For being in one position for 5 years, she was able to start walking and moving around like normal in a remarkable time span!

I really liked Carter. He was always there for her and never asked questions. He looked after her and wanted to protect her. Even though he has seen her for five years, he never made assumptions about her after she woke up.

And the ending. It's gut wrenching. So bittersweet. I'm almost  unsure if I actually liked this book when I think about it as a whole. I mean, I do like this book and there is a great message in this novel, but at the same time... Very sad and heart breaking. I almost want another novel but in Carter's viewpoint to see what happens after the ending scene.

Overall, really, really enjoyed this book! Did not see a few things and other things were very obvious. I would definitely recommend this to other readers because there is a lot of different topics in here that could appeal to a variety of readers!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is the fourth 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.
My review of #3: Deity.
My review of #3.5: Elixr.

WARNING - This will contain spoilers for all the previous books in the series! Proceed reading with caution!

Aiden has taken Alex off of the Elixr, and now all she wants to do is find her Seth, her First, and give him what he wants - her power.

Just when she was about to escape and try to find Seth, something triggered inside of Alex. When she saw the rose pendant on her necklace, all of her memories with Aiden came rushing back. And with Seth screaming in her head, she was finally able to find a way to sever the connection with Seth, bringing back the old Alex.

Now Alex needs to learn how to fight with her new found powers - since she's not crazy with Seth in her head or doped up on the Elixr, she can finally see what she has become: the Apollyon.

And she is also able to be with Aiden finally. With a war going on between Half-Bloods, Pures, the Gods and mortals, no one cares if a Half-Blood and a Pure date right now.

But dating is not the only thing on Alex's mind. She has to figure out how to stop Seth and Lucian from destroying the world. And they will, once Seth connects with Alex and is able to take her power. Then he will be the God Killer.

It also doesn't help that every God Alex has come across has tried to kill her. With Alex gone, the fear of the God Killer won't exist. Except now no one can kill Alex, save for Seth and her God relative Apollo. But that doesn't mean that can't rough her up a little bit...

Alex is on a mission to figure out how to stop Seth from being the God Killer. She is running from Seth only to kill time in order to find the answer.

And she does find the answer. But it's not what she wanted. In fact, it's the farthest thing she ever wanted to happen. Because it will be the end to either her or Seth. One cannot be alive when the other has the transfer of power.

So Alex will have a big decision to make. And it won't be an easy choice, because there will be lives lost and loved one broken. But she will need to decide soon, because innocent people are dying every day.

Read Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout to see what happens!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I freaking love Jennifer L. Armentrout! I really do! I say this all the time and sound like a broken record, but she is amazing and writes the best worlds to get sucked into. The whole journey Alex and her friends traveled took me into another world where Gods were avenging something and daimons were feeding as often as they wanted to.

So, the book. I really like how Alex has grown. Sure, she was always thinking that everyone was with Alex because she was the Apollyon when really they were with her in order to make everything right. But for the most part, she learned how to hold her tongue and not lash out insults... well most of the time.

And we got to see Caleb again! I was so excited about that! He talked some sense into our dear Alex a few times, which she definitely needed and was too stubborn to listen to anyone else.

One of my favorite scenes in this novel was when Alex was fighting against the war machines outside of the college they were traveling to. She just snapped and her fifth power came into focus. She was so angry and protective that she didn't need to think twice about using her power - she just did and it was an amazing scene to read!

And the ending! We find out who Seth is related to, via the Gods and it was a shocker. I had no ideas ahead of time who it could be, because I knew it would be revealed sooner or later. But the way the God was revealed - amazing.

I cannot wait until the next, and final, book of this series comes out in December! I want to know how everything ends! Although I'll be sad to see this series concluded... It's a vicious cycle.

Obviously anything written by JLA is a high recommendation from me. I would say that you should read this book in order from the beginning to fully understand what is going on. But why wouldn't you want to read all of these books?!? Go! Now!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines

This is the first book in the Perfection series by Abbi Glines.

When Woods sees Della at the gas station, not understanding how to put gas in her vehicle, he knew that he was going to have a one night stand with her and would remember every minute.

He just didn't know that she would stay in his mind for months afterward. Nor did he think that he would imagine being with Della when he was with his future fiance, Angelina.

And the one thing he did not see coming is Della coming crashing into his personal life. Because now that she has come back into his life a second time, he's not sure if he will be able to let her walk away again.

A one night stand was not on Della's to do list, but she is just starting to get out in the world, so she supposes that it's okay. Besides, she has other things on her mind; like where her next place of sleeping will be. Or where she is going to be able to get the money to find somewhere to sleep.

But when things go wrong at her current stay in Dallas and she needs to leave fast, one of her co-workers sends her to his condo in Florida. Tripp just wants to make sure that she is safe and is near his friends because he knows that they will take care of her if she needs it.

Trouble comes, though, when Della realizes that she is back at the place where she had the best one night stand of her life. And then she finds out that he is going to be her new boss at the country golf course.

Yep, things are about to get interesting. Because once she sees Woods, everything from that one night comes rushing back to her. And boy, was that one of the best nights of her life.

However, she finds out that he is about to be engaged. After the last encounter she has, Della knows not to get in that situation.

And Della has her own problems to deal with. Because when certain things are said or done, an attack is triggered. And Della is transported to the days where she was locked inside with yelling and confusion. To the days where she needs to get past, because she will not turn into her mother.

The connection between Della and Woods is too hard to ignore, but if Woods doesn't do what his father insists, everything Woods has worked for his whole life will go up into smoke. Now, though, Woods is wondering what exactly he wants in life. Maybe it's Della. But first, he will have to figure out his life and get past the walls Della has put up. And Della has to figure out how to escape her dark past.

Can things work out between Della and Woods, or will they forever be trapped in their own personal hells? Read Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines 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've pretty much decided that anything by Abbi Glines is a must read and buy no matter how much it costs because it will be awesome. This book was well worth the wait and the money I spent from the minute I clicked on the available link to buy on Amazon!

I got this and finished it in 3 hours. I didn't take any breaks and I flew through this novel, loving every minute of it!

I've got to say, this is a very dark and edgy book. The situation that Della went through makes my skin crawl. I could never imagine going through that. She may think she is crazy, or will be, but I think Della is very strong and amazing.

This book is not for the faint of heart. There is a lot of sexual scenes in here, very descriptive. A lot of language and it really suited for older readers. But it is very emotional and very heart wrenching.

All in all. For older readers, this is an amazing book! I would most definitely recommend it to other NA lovers out there and for any Abbi Glines fans this is a must read!

And Woods. Oh, Woods. What to say about him. He is definitely different than what we were introduced to during the "Too Far" series, but that's what I like about point of view novels. We got Blaire and Rush's thoughts about him in their books, but Woods is definitely a lot different than what they perceived him to be. And honestly? I really liked Woods. He was always trying to make everyone else happy, but realized that he wasn't happy with his life. The struggles he had really showed how much he wanted to change, and what he really wanted in life.

And the ending! I cannot wait to see what happens in the next novel! I had an idea what might happen with Della and Woods, but this ending brings all kinds of possibilities!

Amazing novel! So glad I got it when it was released and finished it! Now I just have to wait until the next one :-/ I would most definitely tell other older readers to read this and hope that everyone enjoys it as much as I did!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hidden by Sophie Jordan

This is the third novel in the Firelight series by Sophie Jordan.

My review of #1: Firelight.
My review of #2: Vanish.

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

Even though Jacinda got away from the Hunters and wasn't forced to go to the laboratory  they did take Miram, Cassian's younger sister. And while Jacinda and Miram are not friends, she's not going to leave her there going through tests and experiments the rest of her life.

So instead of escaping to her new life with Will, she, Cassian, Will and Tamra are off to save Miram. No one has ever tried to escape IN before, so this out to be interesting.

The plan is simple: Jacinda will be the "captured" draki, she will find Miram when inside, and then everyone else will come rescue her.

Only that's not how things worked out. They started to experiment on Jacinda right away. And she also got to meet a unique draki - one that has metal spikes on his skin and who doesn't talk to any of the other draki's.

Just when Jacinda was giving up hope on Will, Cassian and Tamra to save her, they swoop in and cause quite a mess for the Hunters.

The good news is that everyone - even the other captured draki - get out. The bad news? They are stuck with the gray, spiky draki. And it seems that the Hunters are able to track them more easily now. Turns out, Miram had a tracking device implanted inside of her while she was captured.

So now Jacinda and everyone else need to get ahold of their pride and find a way to get the tracking device out of Miram before the Hunters find them.

But there is another problem. Once they get through this mess - if they get through this mess - Jacinda will need to pick who she wants to be with once and for all: Will or Cassian. She has reasons for being with both guys, but there is only one that she will pick.

Can Jacinda save her pride, along with figuring out which guy she is meant to be with for forever? Read Hidden by Sophie Jordan to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
The end of this series is here! I can't believe it! I flew through all three of these novels. Doesn't seem like it should end just yet...

I enjoyed this book. Not as much as the others, but that is because I had my own feelings on how things should end and it didn't go the way I wanted it to. Yes, I"m keeping this spoiler free, so I'm not going to tell you how it ended to make me sad. You'll have to read it for yourself and then figure it out!

Overall, I'm glad on how things ended. There was a lot of action and one particular plot line really shocked me.

Actually, quite a few plot lines surprised me on where it went during this last book.

I really think Jacinda grew a lot character wise throughout this series. At first she was spoiled and was treated like a princess because she was a special draki, but she soon got over her needs and realized that there are bigger things out there than what she wants or needs.

And Tamra. I had such a hard time with her. She drove me crazy! But in the end, she grew up as well, which I was very grateful for.

I'm not going to talk about Will or Cassian because that might give away something in this book and I'm bound and determined to keep this spoiler free!

So, overall, good. I would suggest this series to other readers wanting to read about a different world and if they want to read about dragons. Great series and definitely love Sophie Jordan's YA novels as much as her adult novels. Will there be any more upcoming YA's from her?!? I hope so!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vanish by Sophie Jordan

This is the second novel in the Firelight series by Sophie Jordan.

My review of #1: Firelight.

WARNING - This will contain spoilers from the first novel! Continue reading with caution!

When Jacinda decided to go with Cassian, leaving Will behind in his little desert town, she was heartbroken.
But when she was confronted by his hunter family, one of whom saw Jacinda manifest into her draki, she knew they were in trouble and were about to manifest.

Only Tamra started to manifest. She's never been able to bring her draki out and everyone thought she was a defunt draki. However, it turns out she is one of the rarest draki's - a shader. She brings a mist and any human who touches it loses their memory of whatever the draki wants them to.

Now Jacinda and her pride are safe from the hunters because Tamra made them forget about knowing any of them. She even made Will forget about Jacinda, which tore a hole in her heart knowing that he will not come looking for her again or he won't recognize her if she sees him again.

When they all get back to the pride, things are extremely different. Jacinda used to be the most prized possession. Now, no one will talk to her except her sister and Cassian. Tamra, on the other hand, is treated like royalty and is learning how to be a shader draki.

Because Jacinda betrayed the pride, she is under surveillance and is treated like a traitor. Also, she is starting to get the feeling that the alpha of the pride, Cassian's father, only wants to have Jacinda start breeding more fire-breathers. And the two candidates for that job would either be Cassian or Corbin, his cousin and someone who makes Jacinda's skin crawl.

And Cassian has been spending a lot of time with Tamra, now that she is a rare draki and all. Maybe the chance that Jacinda once had. But she's happy that he might be interested in Tamra, since she's had a crush on him for years. On the other hand, he's always around and she feels something toward him that she thought she could only feel for Will.

Then the impossible happens. Will remembers Jacinda and everything they mean toward one another. Which is impossible since he was surrounded by the mist Tamra created. But with the draki blood in his system, he is more than human, even if he isn't fully draki.

Now Jacinda has to decide who she belongs with: Will or Cassian. And if she chooses Will, she will have to leave her friends and family behind forever. Before she can decide though, hunters find her and another draki. When the other draki is captured, she has to return and save her, otherwise she will never be found again.

Read Vanish by Sophie Jordan to find out what happens!

My Thoughts/Reflections
So glad I had this book! I flew through it - basically finished it in one sitting.

I have to admit this: I'm team Cassian. I loved him and Jacinda and want them to be together rather than her and Will. There less whining and complaining when she is with Cassian, and he is always trying to protect her. I just think they are better together than her and Will, but that's just my thoughts.

And Tamra. I had such a hard time with her in the first book because she was always "poor me, I never get anything". Well, I still have a rough time liking her because now she has this rare draki ability and now she's like "look at me, look at me!" and still treats Jacinda like she's trying to take her spotlight.

I dunno, for some reason she rubs me the wrong way and I don't know how Jacinda can stand living with her.

But there were times when they got along and I didn't roll my eyes when she was in the scene. Like when they got to fly together for the first time. I really liked that scene.

During the book, someone was following Jacinda, but she couldn't see them. I definitely knew who it was and why she as doing it, but the ending did throw me for a loop. I didn't see it coming and am very excited to continue reading to see what happens.

I doubt my happily ever after of Cassian and Jacinda will work out, but a girl can hope right?

So far I'm really enjoying this series, with the exception of Tamra, and the books are very easy to read and they fly by when there is action scenes.

I would definitely recommend this series to other readers, but I would strongly recommend that the readers read the novels in order. This book started right where the first book ended, so it might be confusing to start out of order for readers. Now, on the next one! :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

This is the first novel in the Firelight series by Sophie Jordan.

Jacinda is not a normal 16 year old girl. A major difference is that she is a draki, a descendant of dragons where she can shape shift from her human body into her draki skin. But even in the draki world she is unique because she is a fire-breather, the first one born in numerous generations.

So she has always been watched by the leaders in her pride. And she is also expected to mate with the "to-be" alpha of her pride, Cassian. Even if Jacinda doesn't want to be with Cassian, she is expected to try and get more fire-breathers in the pride, by having children.

But when Jacinda and her friend shape shift into their draki's during the daylight, she gets a punishment worse than death. A punishment so horrifying, that her mother takes Jacinda and her twin sister Tamra away from the pride.

And they go to a town in the middle of the desert, where Jacinda has a hard time changing into her draki. She needs moisture and mist - not dry humid air where she is slowly suffocating and can't feel her draki most of the time.

But she can feel it when she is around a particular person: Will. Who also happens to be a hunter, a person who kills draki's for a living. And he is also the hunter that let Jacinda go when she manifested into her draki the day at the lake.

With Will, she feels her draki come to life. For some reason, she is attracted to Will, and so is her draki. She can't control her feelings and she almost manifests when she is around him. Which would be horrible, since Jacinda knows he will kill her if he finds out what she is.

Things are about to get complicated, though, when Cassian comes and finds Jacinda in her town. He wants her back. Not because she is a fire-breather, but because he misses having her around. But Jacinda can't go back to pride, not if they want to clip her wings.

And Jacinda also has to worry about Will and his family of hunters. Because the more she is around him, the more risk there is of him learning her secret. But Jacinda is not the only one with a secret - Will is also hiding something from her. Something that could put Jacinda in a horrible situation.

Can Jacinda find a way to be with Will even though she is a draki? Will Jacinda have to choose between her life with Will or Cassian? Read Firelight by Sophia Jordan to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I have always had a fascination with dragons, so I was extremely excited when I found these books and that the series was complete! Of course I had to get it and, with no surprise, I loved this first novel!

There were times that I got annoyed with Jacinda or her sister Tamra. Not everything is life or death if they don't have the right clothes (Tamra) or if they don't have any friends (Jacinda). I do have to say, Tamra was not my favorite person. The amount of complaining she did drove me up the wall and I just wanted Jacinda to slap her.

Thankfully, it was Jacinda's point of view, not hers. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to finish this book!

I was slightly confused as to who Jacinda liked: Will or Cassian. I got the impression she didn't like Cassian but when he came back for her, she said she could vision herself with him at the pride. Maybe this ending will be more complex than I thought when I first started reading!

Also, I definitely knew something was up with Will. He couldn't be just a normal hunter - not with the strong attraction Jacinda felt for him from the moment they met. So I was glad that happened, because now Jacinda really needs to decide what to do between the two men in her life.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book. I read Sophie Jordan's adult romances, so I knew I would like her writing style and had no hesitation picking up this book!

The best part is the trilogy is over with and I have the second book in hand! No waiting after that horrible cliff hanger and I can delve right into the next part of the story!

I would definitely recommend this to readers who like fantasy aspects, especially dragons. I think it's more suited to female readers because it's Jacinda's story, but I really enjoyed it and think other readers will too!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Love Game by Emma Hart

This is the first book in The Game series by Emma Hart.

The game started at a house party. Maddie's friends, Kay, Megan, and Lila, wanted to give playboy Braden a taste of his own medicine: play the player. And Maddie is the nominated person to play him. She has one month to make Braden want to be her boyfriend, profess his love to her, and then she can hump and dump him.

At the same party, Braden's friends Aston and Ryan made a similar bet. They bet that Braden couldn't get Maddie to fall in love with him and sleep with her. He had one month to prove to them that he could get any girl to fall in love with him, even Maddie.

So now the game begins for both Maddie and Braden. They are confident they can get the other to fall for them.

But what they didn't count on was starting to like each other. They both need to keep reminding themselves that it's just a game, and after one month life can go back to normal.

And Maddie has one more incentive to keep herself away from Braden: her brother Pearce. She wants nothing to do with guys that remind her of her brother, and Maddie's first impression of Braden reminds her of Pearce.

However, after getting to know him better, she realizes he's not like Pearce. And that is a bad realization because now she has less motivation of staying away from Braden.

When Braden and Maddie find out that they have been played by the other, though, the feelings that they started to get might vanish. Because how can they believe the other person if they say the love them if they were just playing a game with their friends?

Can Maddie and Braden shrug off the betrayal they feel about the games, or will their "relationship" end when they find out the truth? Read The Love Game by Emma Hart 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 saw this on Amazon for $0.99 and after reading the blurb, had to buy it because it sounded amazing. And it was! So glad I bought this! I have now fallen in love with this author and bought two more of her books for $0.99! :)

I really liked Maddie. She has a dark past and it has come to haunt her in California. She just wants to get through school and keep her nose out of trouble, but her friends decide to spice up her life with this challenge to get Braden to fall in love with her.

And throughout the whole game, she has to keep reminding herself that she can't like Braden. Also, she really makes him work for the little things - like her phone number. It was very funny that a guy like Braden, who could get any girl on campus in his bed, had to fight like crazy just to get Maddie's number.

Like I said, I liked Maddie a lot!

And Braden knew that getting Maddie to fall in love with him would be a challenge. She's not like other girls on campus and he might actually need a whole month to achieve his goal, but he had no doubt that he would succeed.

The premise of this book was great. Both characters were trying to fool the other in a game. And funnily enough, the friends of Braden and Maddie had no idea they were challenging their friends at the same time to do the same thing. It wasn't a set up, just a very big coincidence.

Like I said, I really, really liked this novel and cannot wait to read about the next two characters in the sequel (I'm hoping it's Megan and Aston's story!!).

I will also be playing catch up to read her other novels that have already been published! For anyone who likes New Adult, this is a must read! And the price is amazing for an eBook, so I would definitely recommend it to readers!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Everything changed for Ellie when she got a random email from a stranger asking if she could watch his pet pig, Wilbur. Even though she knows she shouldn't chat with a stranger on the Internet, the other person seemed down to earth and someone she didn't know. Conversation was smooth between them, and Ellie could tell this other person things about herself that she hadn't told her best friend.

When Graham sent the email to the wrong person, it was a chance for him to make a friend who didn't know he was a movie star. They didn't exchange emails - only their locations. Ellie in Maine and Graham in California. Two ends of the world, colliding through email.

Fate was meant to be for them to meet when the location of Graham's new movie got invaded by bugs. He suggested the small town in Maine where Ellie lives. He wanted to meet Ellie in person and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Right away, though, things were going wrong. Graham knew Ellie worked in an ice cream/sweet shop. When he saw a girl with the name tag "Ellie", he knew it had to be the "eoneill" email address he has been talking to.

Only he found out that it was Ellie's best friend, Quinn, with one of Ellie's work shirts on.

And even though they finally met, things were better than email, but also worse than talking through email. There are just some things one can say through email that are more uncomfortably said in person.

Also, life is full of surprises. Now that Ellie knows Graham is a famous teenage movie star, the context in the emails seem almost childish.

But his celebrity also poses a problem for Ellie. Because her and her mother have a dark secret from their past that they need to be kept a secret. If Ellie keeps hanging out with the famous movie star, she is bound to get noticed and get found by the one person they are hiding from.

Now Ellie has to decide if her past being uncovered is worth spending time with Graham, or if she should avoid him at all costs and wait out his stay in Maine while he shoots his movie. One thing is for certain, things are about to get very interesting and truths are about to get uncovered during Graham's visit to Maine. Find out what happens to Ellie and Graham in This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I've reading Smith's early novel, The Statistically Probability of Love at First Sight, and absolutely adored it, so when my library got this copy, I snatched it up and fell into another world that she created.

This was a very cute novel. The lives of Ellie and Graham were complete opposite of one another, yet they were able to find a way to become friends through the Internet, and then even closer when they met in person.

Granted, it took awhile for Ellie to open to up to Graham, but she had a very dark and long past that always hovered over her and her mother. Plus, she didn't want to make her mom worry any more than she already has been for the last 17 years.

The one thing that I absolutely loved about this novel was Graham's pet pig, Wlibur. One, who has a pet pig? Besides Brittany Murphy in Uptown Girls, but that doesn't count. I love how it was such a random topic to start a conversation between two strangers. Maybe that's why they chatted for so long online. Either way, adorable!

There were some things I could have done without in this novel. I especially didn't care for the reaction Ellie's friend, Quinn, had when she found out that Ellie had a big secret she wasn't telling her, along with the fact that she kept her pen paling a secret as well. I mean, not talking to her for that long? Ellie had a good reason for keeping a secret - especially because it wasn't entirely Ellie's secret to keep!

But that just reminds me how teenage girls are and makes me happy that I'm not in high school anymore.

So, yes, I enjoyed this novel. I think other fans of Smith's will enjoy this. Also, any teen interested in acting, going to college, or just wanting to read a story between two teens wanting to make a new friend would really enjoy this book.

Plus, it's written through both Graham and Ellie's point of view, so both girls and guys could enjoy this novel!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Broken at Love by Lyla Payne

This is the first novel in the Whitman University series by Lyla Payne.

After Quinn messed up his knee, his goals and dreams of being a professional tennis player went out the window. And not to mention his Russian tennis playing girlfriend as well. She dumped him the day he found out he couldn't play tennis anymore.

So now he off at college. At first it was just to party, but now he wants to get a degree and try to prove to his father that he can take over his company one day. Unfortunately, his father has never given Quinn the time of day to listen to him, let alone think that he could run his 500 fortune company.

During the tennis world cup matches, him and his step-brother devised a game. Well, really, Sebastian created it because he is blackmailing Quinn with pictures he got when Quinn was in a bad stage.

For every game, Quinn would have to get a girl to fall in love with him, and then dump her before the next game. While Quinn may have been enjoying the benefits, he was getting bored with the same routine and the same girls.

But then Sebastian picked Emilie, and she is definitely not an easy girl to ensnare in his game. In fact, Emilie wants nothing to do with Quinn and knows that he is a man-whore since he just dumped one of her sorority sisters recently.

And even though Emilie knows this about Quinn, she slowly lets him in. Especially because he understands her paintings, which not many do. Including her parents, who say if she doesn't go to school for pre-med or pre-law, they will take away her funds and she won't be able to stay in college.

Even though both Emilie and Quinn are starting to fall for one another, they still have dark pasts that might get in the way of their relationship.

And when Emilie finds out that Quinn did the same routine to other women, she wonders if anything that happened between them was real, or if it was just a game to win over a girl. Because Quinn won Emilie' heart, but he might lose her with the game he is playing.

Will Quinn and Emilie be able to overcome their dark pasts and be together, or is it too late? Can Emilie forgive Quinn for playing her, or was Quinn just playing a game all along? Read Broken at Love by Lyla Payne 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've been wanting to read this book for awhile and finally just paid the $3.99 price on Amazon because I was too impatient to wait and see if it would lower. And so glad that I did!

Quinn was in a bad place with his step-brother, which makes more sense for why he did what he did with all of the girls during the tennis matches. But he never expected to fall in love with one of the girls he had to make fall in love with him.

And I adored Emilie. She tried to fight off her attraction to Quinn knowing that he is a player and breaks hearts. But they had a lot in common and she found out that he is not as cocky as he plays.

I really liked about this book that Emilie fought for Quinn and not the other way around. It's nice to see the female character go after what she wants instead of pinning away for the guy that broke her heart. Granted, I really like seeing the guy go after the girl, but I also like the girl going after the guy.

So while I did like this book, I also thought there were some flaws. There were times that I just didn't feel like finishing it, which is never a good thing.

But overall, I'm glad I gave in and bought it. It looks like it's the first of a series - I wonder who the second book will be about? I may end up having to buy it as well just to see what Payne writes about next!

For anyone wanting a different scenario in a New Adult novel, I would definitely recommend this book!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Faster We Burn by Chelsea M. Cameron

This is the second novel in the Fall and Rise series by Chelsea M. Cameron.

My review of #1: Deeper We Fall

*I received this as an eARC by the author in exchange for a review.*

After being abused by Zach, Katie realized that people are not who they seem or act sometimes. Which is definitely true for Stryker, the bleached hair, lip and eyebrow pierced friend in Katie's circle.

Katie knew she didn't want to be in a relationship, but a friend's with benefit arrangement never hurt anyone. And that's what Stryker was for her. Whenever she wanted sex, he was more than happy to oblige.

But there was something about Stryker that got under her skin. It was just him and his sister Trish. No other family. He had a really dark past that he didn't want to talk about, so Katie didn't mention it. But she did invite Stryker to her home for Thanksgiving.

That turned into a disaster, though, when her mother insulted him and didn't like him based on his appearance.

Stryker knew that he and Katie weren't meant for each other, but that didn't stop him from wanting to protect her when she needed it. Going to her family's house for the holidays was also a bad idea, but he wasn't known for his smarts.

And he did try to stay away from her, but there is an undeniable attraction between the two of them. Even more than just the physical attraction they give into. They can easily talk to each other and have similar tastes in things.

When a close family member of Katie's dies, Stryker is put in the middle of Katie's life, and he does so with ease. Which scares the living daylights out of him, because it's always just been him and Trish - no one else.

Just when he realized how much he truly cares about Katie, he does another stupid thing to ruin a good thing in his life.

Can he make it right with Katie, or will it be too many strikes against Stryker? And will Katie figure out what she wants in life, or will she just keep floating through, hoping that the answer will come to her? Read Faster We Burn by Chelsea M. Cameron 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 was so excited to get this book as an eARC from the author! I really enjoyed the first book and was curious to see how Katie and Stryker got together. A hookup relationship was not what I was expecting, given that Katie was in a serious relationship with Zach during the first novel!

And I love how Cameron wrote Stryker. Yes, he has bleached hair and a lip and eyebrow piercing. Yes, he has tattoos. No, he's not a jerk. He is just trying to live his life with little complications. Well, that was before he met Katie, the pink tornado that came into his life.

Katie is a mess after everything that happened, so she just wanted a release from life and the horrors of what she went through, which I completely understand. And Stryker was willing to be used - had no problem with that. But when real feelings came into the picture, both of them were scared to death.

One thing that I do have to say is how often they missed classes. It was A LOT! I'm  surprised they still had decent grades with how much they missed!

Overall, I really liked this book. I'm not sure if I like the first one more or less, but it's always difficult to compare sequels when it is about different characters.

I also really appreciate how Katie dealt with Stryker and his "bad decisions". She wasn't like most girls who felt betrayed and didn't speak to the guy for so many weeks and then miraculously forgave him afterward because she missed him. No, Katie took 1 minute to think it over and then said, "screw it", it was a mistake and made sure that Stryker was okay.

That takes some dedication and instant forgiveness in my book.

This book will be released April 20, 2013, so just a few more days before everyone can purchase this eBook! If you love New Adult novels or Cameron's other novels, this is a must buy! Definitely a different route she took in the NA genre, and lots of events that take place in this one novel! So glad I got an eARC (Thanks again Chelsea!) and can't wait to see what else she will write in the future!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Deeper We Fall by Chelsea M. Cameron

This is the first novel in the Fall and Rise series by Chelsea M. Cameron.

Going to college is a fresh start for Charlotte "Lottie" Anders. She went to the same college as her twin
brother, Will, and doesn't know a lot of the students there, so she can start over.

Except her past is coming back to haunt her. Namely, the Parker brothers, Zack and Zan.

They are both responsible for Lottie's best friend, Lexie, getting into a car accident two years ago and made her forget everything, even her best friend. Now, Lexie will never be able to go to college, fall in love again, get a job. She will just be a little girl in mindset.

So when Lottie realizes that the two people she hates the most in the world is at the same college as her, and even living in the same dorm building as her, she was extremely mad at life.

And even worse? Lottie's new roommate, Katie, is dating Zach, the worst of the Brother's of Doom. Zach has always given Lottie the creeps rather than had her panting after him. But the opposite could be said about how Lottie feels about Zan. Even though he was the one who was driving when the car accident happened.

With the help of her brother, Simon (Will's roommate and friend), and her new coworker, Trish, Lottie has been able to somewhat avoid seeing Zan.

But only for a little bit. Lottie realized that she's always thinking about him, wondering what he is doing and what he does when they aren't in the same room. But how can she have feelings for Zan knowing what he did?

Zan has had a crush on Lottie since he first saw her in grade school. Just when he decides to finally talk to her, he ruins her life and the life of her best friend. Now he's just watching from afar, wondering "what if" and wishing that he was a different person.

And even though Zan knows Lottie hates him, he still finds ways to talk to her and be around her. Even though it's wrong, Zan is always wishing that things were different between the two of them.

Secrets come out and friends get hurt. Can Zan and Lottie ever be together, or is their past too strong to overcome? How can they possibly find common ground if, when they look at each other, the past is staring them straight in the face? Read Deeper We Fall by Chelsea M. Cameron 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've read this book twice now, and definitely loved it both times! I think what I loved the most was Zan's point of view. He knew that he could never have Lottie, but that didn't change his feelings toward her or what he wished could happen.

Zan is really quiet, so I'm glad Cameron wrote in his perspective as well. Then the reader got to see what he was thinking, not necessarily what he was saying out loud.

And the inner struggle Zan had was agonizing. He had this secret that two people knew, and not the people he wanted to know. Plus, he had to live with Zack, be related to him. That in itself is torture. Zack is a jerk and definitely acts like a spoiled boy who gets away with everything.

I had a little bit more trouble with liking Lottie than Zan. Yes, she was going through her own inner struggle on dealing with Zan. Yes, he caused the accident that injured Lexie forever. But the blaming game? Not good for anyone - especially after two years. That can ruin a person's life.

I also really liked that the deep dark pasts of the characters involved the other person. It was more of a struggle to overcome because they had to deal with the past, present and sometimes the future.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I think other New Adult lovers will like this as well. I think it's a little darker than some other NA that I've read, but that's just me.

For anyone wanting an edgy, dark, but "light at the end of the tunnel" New Adult novel, I would definitely recommend picking this up!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Undeclared by Jen Frederick

This is the first novel in the Woodlands series by Jen Frederick.

*I received this as an eARC by the author in exchange for a review.*

During the four years of high school, Grace Sullivan wrote to Noah Jackson, a Marine in combat. What started out as a class assignment lead into a close relationship where Grace and Noah told each other things they never talk about to anyone else.

But when Noah left the Marines, Grace thought that she would finally meet the man that she fell in love with during the four years. However, Noah stopped communicating with her for two years.

So Grace was thrown when she saw Noah at Central College during her junior year. Even though she was excited to finally meet him, her anger came out at him for ignoring her for two years. Two years in which she expected him to call, write, or come see her.

She already had enough of her plate at school, not knowing what to major in and knowing if she didn't find something soon, her uncle would stop paying for her education. But she was too scared to go to the Fine Arts program to show them her photography. Adding Noah into the mix was going to be a lot to handle right now.

And Noah knew that he would not be in Grace's good favors. In fact, Noah knew that even though he'd been in the Marines, which is hard work, getting Grace to talk to him again would be 10 times harder than what he endured in the Marines.

But Noah has a life long goal. And Grace is the last thing on his list. He doesn't want to be her friend. He fell for her and thought of her so often during his being a Marine. He knew no one would ever be like Grace and didn't want to try to find anyone else.

So when they first see each other, things are difficult. Noah has perfected the art of covering his feelings. And Grace has no idea what Noah wants, so they try to be friends. But that doesn't work well and they finally let the other in, seeing that they both want to be in a relationship because the feelings from two years ago didn't fade. Not really.

But can Grace let Noah back in? She doesn't want to get hurt again by Noah; it took her a long time to get over Noah when she was talking to him via snail mail. How hard would it be if he broke her heart after she left him in in person?

Can they re-salvage their relationship and gain the trust back? Read Undeclared by Jen Frederick 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 LOVED this book! It is so much more than the New Adult novels that I've been reading, yet exactly the same!

One thing that I absolutely loved was that Noah was in the Marines. When he came back to go to school and see Grace, he knew he had to get himself back as a civilian and not a soldier, which took a lot of time and patience. He learned to contain his emotions and appearance, except when he was around Grace.

And even though Grace was financially stable because of her rich uncle, she had no clue where she was going in life. She couldn't even pick a major; how could she decide if she wanted to give Noah another chance?

Another thing that I loved was Bo, Noah's best friend and fellow Marine soldier. Bo didn't think Grace was good enough for Noah, and made his thoughts very clear. Bo was usually very silent, but when he wanted to say something, he made it clear what his thoughts were.

I think Frederick nailed it about being a college student. It's hard figuring out what one wants to do for the rest of their life. I remember a lot of students going to their senior year and realizing they don't want to do the career they've been majoring in for the duration of their college years. So I can completely understand Grace's struggle with career/major options.

A third thing I loved about this book was that Grace was a student worker in a library. I did that for four years and that's why I became a librarian. Reading the scenes where she was at work brought me back to those years and made me smile.

And snail mail. Who does snail mail anymore? And who would keep contacting one person whom they've never met for four years with snail mail? That alone should be given an award, because most lose the time, patience, and ambition to keep up with that!

I was lucky enough to get an eARC by Frederick after being introduced to her work via Twitter. (And thank you so much for letting me read it! So glad I didn't have to wait longer!) This eBook will be released May 1 - under a month! - and I think it will be a really big hit among New Adult book lovers. It's very edgy, but also realistic.

I would most definitely urge other NA readers to grab this book when it becomes available! And I want more by Frederick already! Her writing kept me reading into the middle of the night and I was very sad when the book had to end.

So, May 1. Just a little under 3 weeks. Mark it on your calendar and buy this eBook!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

This is the second novel in the Beautiful series by Jamie McGuire.

My review of #1: Beautiful Disaster.

When Travis Maddox was 3, his mother passed away. Before she died, she made Travis promise him three things, one being that when he found the right person, he would fight for her, no matter what.

But the Travis in college doesn't do relationships. He only has one night stands and enjoys living the bachelor way.

The minute he sees Abby Abernathy, though, everything changes. He can't get her out of his head. Not because she is a model or any of those reasons, but because of what he sees beneath the surface. He knows that Abby is not who she is pretending to be, and Travis wants to find out who she really is.

But Abby is definitely not like the other girls on campus. She wants to stay as far away from Travis as she can. Fortunately for Travis, Abby's best friend, America, is dating his cousin and roommate, Shepley, so Abby is at their place quite a bit.

When Travis goes to a fight, he makes a bet with Abby - he won't let his opponent touch him. If he succeeds, Abby will stay at his place for 1 month. If he fails, he has to go 1 month without sex.

So Abby ends up staying at Travis's place for one month and they become closer. First, Abby was just a really close friend, but he can't deny his attraction toward her. And Travis is getting bigger ideas for their future - together.

Abby and Travis's relationship is anything but easy, though. Because of Travis's jealousy and big future ideas, there are just as many times they are apart as they are together.

But when they go to Vegas to win money to get Abby's father out of debt, things hit rock bottom. Travis was only thinking about their future when he was debating about becoming a fighter, but Abby could not live that life.

And as much as Travis tried to talk to her, he might not be able to get through to her and win her back. But Abby is his life, the one that his mother told him that he needs to fight for. And Travis will do everything he can to get the One back in his life.

Will Travis and Abby always be a beautiful disaster, or can they find a way to be together, through every obstacle that comes in their path? Read Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire 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.

Technically, this is the first novel written through Travis's point of view, not the second in a sequel.

I have been waiting for this book to come out since I first heard about it! And boy, it did not disappoint! I loved reading Travis's thoughts about how he met Abby and what he thought about during all of the times he and Abby weren't together.

I wouldn't say that I liked this novel better than BD, but with equal amount of love and adoration. Both characters have captured my heart and never gave it back to me.

One thing that I absolutely loved was the scenes with Travis and Shepley. Shep knew exactly what was going on with Travis and made sure to give Travis some crap about it as often as he could.

And the scene at Travis's place when they were playing poker? Priceless!

But the one thing that I loved above everything was the epilogue. It went further in the future than BD!! We got to see what happened with Abby and Travis years down the road, rather than what we read in BD!

That was the best surprise of this book. That. Scene.

I love this book. I love this author. So of course I'm going to recommend this to anyone I talk to. I wouldn't say that one would need to read BD before WD, but it would probably be better. They could both be standalones.

LOVED it! So glad I got it! Can't wait for more by Jamie!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Soulbound by Heather Brewer

This is the first novel in the Legacy of Tril series by Heather Brewer.

Kaya has grown up living with the Unskilled - humans who known nothing about the Barrons and Healers who are in a 100 year war. But Kaya knows enough about them since her parents are both Barrons.

The only problem is that Kaya has not been introduced to that world. She has been told that she is a Healer by her parents, but because her mother and father are both Barrons, they broke the rule where they could not marry one of their own. It needs to be Barrons married to Healers.

Because her parents did that, they have been hiding with the Unskilled and have made sure that Kaya has stayed out of trouble.

But when a Graplar comes into her town, a creature that's soul purpose is to kill humans, and kills Avery, Kaya's best friend, the location of Kaya and her parents was revealed. Now, Kaya got an "invitation" to go to the Shadow Academy to be trained as a Healer. Only in the invite, it basically said that if Kaya doesn't go, her parents will pay the punishment.

Now Kaya is stuck in a place where Healers are snobs and Barrons are cocky. She has a guard, since Healers are not allowed to fight and are "weak" unless they have a Soulbound or a Bound where they can protect their Healer.

Kaya is not having it. She wants to learn how to take care of herself instead of waiting for someone to save her in a fight. But that is against Protocol. No one is willing to teach her how to protect herself, except for maybe one person.


But for some reason, Darius, who is the only Unskilled at the Academy who trains all of the Barrons to fight, seems to hate Kaya on sight. And Trayton, Kaya's Bound who she is to be with at all times in case he gets hurt and needs Kaya to heal him, won't help her because it is his responsibility to protect Kaya if she is in trouble.

Somehow, though, the Graplars are able to come inside of the walls protecting Shadow Academy. And Kaya keeps getting caught by them. She will find a way to defend herself, even if it is against the law at Shadow Academy.

But can Kaya find a way to protect all of the ones she's come to care about at the Academy before it is too late? Read Soulbound by Heather Brewer to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I have not yet had a chance to read any of Heather Brewer's novels, but I really loved this first novel of her new series! I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but after reading the synopsis about a girl wanting to find someone to train her to fight, I knew I would like it!

And I just have to say, once I met all of the characters I knew exactly where this was going to go. Especially because of the tension and the intensity with both male characters in Kaya's life, I knew exactly what was going to happen and I was waiting at the edge of my seat for it to occur.

But to have it happen on the last page?!? Gah, it just about killed me. I cannot wait until August to find out more of Kaya's adventure! Should have waited until closer to August before grabbing this and falling in love with this storyline.

So, as you can see, I really did like this novel. Actually, I liked it more than I thought I will.

Kaya is a great character. She knows she is a Healer and is anxious to learn more about Healing, but she also wants to learn how to protect the ones she loves. After seeing her best friend get attacked in her village  she never wants to be defenseless again.

And the love interest in this book! I definitely have a favorite and hope it goes in that path because I think they were made for one another.

Now I will have to look into Brewer's other series to see if they are as good as this novel. Maybe I will get a new favorite author!

I would definitely recommend this novel to young readers and try to explain the amazingness of this book to them! Can't wait for the sequel to come out!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

This is the fourth, and final, novel in the Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

My review of #1: Beautiful Creatures
My review of #2: Beautiful Darkness
My review of #2.5: Dream Dark
My review of #3: Beautiful Chaos

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

Ethan remembers jumping off of the water tower to even out the balance in his world, knowing that he is sacrificing himself and leaving everyone he loves behind. But when he wakes up in the Otherworld and is reunited with his mother, he realizes that he hasn't "moved on" and still has some unfinished business.

Mainly, getting back to Lena. Because Ethan finds out that he wasn't supposed to be sacrificed, but it was written into the Caster Chronicles recently.

And Ethan found out that there is a way to go back to Lena, Link, Amma, everyone he cares about.

But first Ethan has to fight the inner battle inside of himself: does he want to leave his mother again after just being reunited with her? He's missed her this past year and wants to have everyone he loves alive and with him. But he must make a choice, and soon.

After deciding to go back to being alive, Ethan has a very hard task ahead of him. It's not easy becoming undead - otherwise everyone would be coming back to life.

There are certain things Ethan needs. Some are in the Otherworld. Some are back in the plane where everyone is alive. Ethan has to figure out how to get all of the items needed, find the path to the Far Keep, and tear his page out of the Caster Chronicle book. Sounds easy, right?...

When Lena gets a sense that Ethan is around and is communicating with her through the crosswords, Lena is on a mission to get Ethan back with her, no matter the price. Because even though the balance is in order, Lena needs to have Ethan with her in order for everything to be right again.

So when she is faced with the impossible mission to get the Book of the Moon, she starts planning and goes to no lengths to figure out how to give Ethan that book, even though he's in a different universe than she is.

And even though everyone is doubting that it is really Ethan communicating with her, Lena has no doubt and doesn't care what the others say. She will find a way to give Ethan what he needs and will hope that everything will work in their favor to bring Ethan back.

Because without one another, Ethan and Lena will not be whole again, no matter what universe they live in.

But there are a lot of obstacles ahead, for both Lena and Ethan. Can they both overcome the issues to come, or will it be too much to bring Ethan back to Lena? Read the epic final conclusion of the Caster Chronicles series, Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Such a great conclusion to this series! I'm so glad that I re-read them again after they were all published! Now I can say that I experienced this amazing world that Garcia and Stohl created about overcoming impossible obstacles to be with the one you love.

As I've said before in the previous book reviews, I just love the way that the authors made this though Ethan's point of view. It's refreshing from the other novels I've been reading and it's nice that even though Ethan isn't just a normal Mortal, he's still not the most supernatural being in the book.

I did like in this book that we got to read Lena's viewpoint a little bit. Let's the reader get inside of her head and see what she thinks for a change, instead of just Ethan's.

I thought everything was wrapped up very nicely with no loose strings by the end of the series, which is always a plus in my book.

One thing that I'm curious about in regards to the movie that they previously released is how things will go from book to movie for the upcoming novels. There were some things that were different in the first movie that wasn't in the book, which could cause for complications for the next movies if they decide to continue to make them.

I thought that this book was the most serious one, yet I found myself laughing out loud the most out of all 5 novels. I saw a bit more humor than the previous books, so that was a nice touch.

Overall, great novel and great series! So glad I decides to re-read them and was even shocked by some events that came to be in this last novel.

I would definitely recommend this whole series to teen readers and it will be at the top of my verbal recommendation list if any of my teen patrons at the library ask me for my opinion!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

This is the third novel in the Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

My review of #1: Beautiful Creatures
My review of #2: Beautiful Darkness
My review of #2.5: Dream Dark

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

Ever since Lena made her decision on her 17th moon, things have gotten a bit hectic for the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina.

For one, the water in the lake is all dried up. Another, they haven't gotten rain in forever and now they are having a drought where it's over 100 degrees outside.

But it's not just Gatlin that is getting hit with the strange weather. All over the world, locations are going into an "end of the world" feeling where things that aren't supposed to happen are.

And it's all because Lena chose which Caster she wanted to be: both. She chose to be herself and is now both Dark and Light Caster, making her have one green eye and one gold eye.

Ethan has been feeling weird ever since the night she chose. He has a feeling that someone is following him, but he can't see anything. And he's been having dreams. Not the normal visions he usually has with Lena, but more of someone trying to get him.

Also, Ethan has been forgetting little things. Like his birthday, his home phone number, etc. His favorite meals and drinks no longer taste appealing and he's eating things he used to hate.

Something is wrong with Ethan, and he needs to figure out what it is soon. Because with Abraham and Sarafine trying to keep the Balance out of order, he needs his wits together.

Along with Macon looking for John Breed, Abraham is too, and he thinks Ethan knows where John is. But when Ethan doesn't know, Abraham destroys the town of Gatlin to find him.

Which means that the people Ethan loves is in danger from creatures they can't even see. Now Ethan has to figure out where John Breed is, who the "One that is Two" is so they can sacrifice themselves to balance the order again, and find out what is wrong with himself and why he is forgetting things everyday.

But when everyone finds out who the "One That Is Two" is, convincing them to sacrifice themselves is going to be a lot harder than they originally thought. Because it is going to affect everyone in town, and everyone Ethan loves.

To find out what happens, read Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Garcia and Stohl just get better and better with these novels!

Yeah, I still have to read them slower than I would with other YA novels, but that's because there is a lot of information in these 500 page books. However, I really like them because they are so different than the other YA novels I've read, so I'm okay with going slow.

The way the authors tied everything together was amazing. I did figure out who the "One That Is Two" was before it was revealed, but only barely.

And the ending! Let's just say, I'm extremely glad that I have the fourth, and last, book available to read right away, otherwise I would have been majorly mad!!

I do have to say, though, that Lena and Ethan just can't get a break. They haven't really been together in forever and even when they are, the whole mortals and Casters can't touch thing is going against them. I hope in the end that the authors find a way for them to be happy, otherwise this whole series will be for nothing!

But yeah, I really liked this novel. It was slower than the other novels in the series so far, but every series needs a slower book to get everything in line for the ending.

I would definitely recommend these novels to other readers, and I can even recommend them to guy readers since Ethan is the narrator of the book! No sappy feelings about liking a guy - this time it's Ethan trying to find a way to be with Lena!

However, I would say that everyone needs to read these novels from beginning to end in order because otherwise ya might be a little confused and won't be able to see little hints throughout the series.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dream Dark by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

This is a novella, #2.5, in the Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

My review of #1: Beautiful Creatures
My review of #2: Beautiful Darkness

WARNING - This will contain spoilers from the first two novels of the series! Proceed with caution!

With all of the confusion and chaos that happened during Lena's 17th moon, everyone was oblivious to what
happened to Link, Ethan's best friend. Even Link himself didn't know what happened until it was too late.

Link got bit by John Breed, who is part Incubus and part Caster. And when Link got bit, he turned into a weaker, but still potent, version of John Breed, making Link Quarter Incubus.

Now Link is going through major changes. All of the girls are going to start drooling over him, he has grown into his skin and has definite muscles he never had before, is most definitely strong and fast, can see long distances and hear like a dog, and can smell subtle smells he never thought existed.

And now Link he can stand a chance with the one girl who was out of his league: Ridley, Lena's cousin who is a Dark Caster and stole Link's heart a long time ago.

But with these changes means a lot of things are going to change. Sure, there are some benefits, but Incubus's have a hunger. Not for food, but for something stronger. The Ravenwood Incubus feed off of human blood. But some can feed off of emotions or dreams.

What will happen to Link? How can he keep this big secret away from his protective and crazy mother? Read Dream Dark by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl to find out what will happen to Link in this Caster Chronicle novella!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a very short novel, just 41 pages long, where the reader got to see what happened to Link in a little bit more detail, which I appreciated because he had the biggest change of all from the 2nd novel.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was nice to see Link's home life and how hard it must be to live with Mrs. Lincoln and her crazy theories. And I think Link needed a change in his life with all of the Caster business going on around him - he was bound to get caught up eventually.

Not much to say about this because it was so short. I'm glad I got it, though I think $1.99 is a little much to pay for a 41 page novella... That's just my opinion anyway.

It isn't needed to be read in order to appreciate the series, but I do think readers will like reading Link's side of things for a change of pace of Ethan's.

So overall, good, but not as good as the Beautiful novels in the series!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

This is the second book in the Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

My review of #1: Beautiful Creatures.

WARNING - This book will contain spoilers from the first novel. Proceed with caution!

Now that Lena's 16th birthday has passed and she wasn't forced to choose between being a Light or Dark Caster, Ethan thinks that everything is going to go back to the way things were.

Except it isn't. Not by a long shot. In fact, the more Ethan tries to hangout with Lena, the more distant she becomes. She won't even Kelt with him - talk to him with her mind. She is completely cutting herself off from Ethan and won't tell him what is going on.

So Ethan decides to give her the space she seems to want and gets a job at the library to work with Marian and learn more about Casters and Mortals.

While at the library, he meets Marian's new "intern", Liv. And she is an intern, only she's interning to be the next keeper of the Caster Library, not the Gatlin library.

Things look bleak for Ethan, though, when he sees that Lena is hanging out more and more with Ridley and a new boy in town, John Breed. And John's not just a summer thing - he appears to be an Incubus, but can walk into the sun without getting burned like a Caster. All Ethan knows is that he doesn't like Lena being around two obviously Dark Casters when she is fighting inside herself if she is light or dark.

But the more Ethan tries to talk to her, the worse things get.

Then other strange things are happening. Ethan is having visions of the past again, only it's not through his ancestor, but through the Ravenwood Incubus's. First it was Abraham, the first Ravenwood Incubus and later he was seeing visions about Macon, Lena's dead uncle.

And somehow Ethan's mother is also in his visions, giving Ethan a different side of his mother that he had never seen before.

Even though Ethan and Lena aren't on speaking terms, that doesn't stop Ethan from trying to help Lena make her decision about choosing the Light or the Dark way. Ethan is definitely a part of her decision, if only he can find a way to get through Lena's defenses and really talk to her.

With Sarafine trying to get Lena on her Dark side and Ethan trying to convince Lena toward the Light, Lena has some tough decisions to make. And Ethan just hopes that he will be able to survive and stay alive long enough to talk to her.

What will Lena decide to do? Will Ethan's feelings about Lena change after everything she put him through? And will other supernatural forces and beings get in the way between Lena and Ethan before he can talk to her? Read Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Even though I find myself drifting throughout some parts in these novels, I'm still blown away by the imagination and creativeness in the books Garcia and Stohl have created!

One thing that I am really enjoying about this series is that it is through Ethan's point of view. Not many YA books are told through a guy's point of view and I'm actually really liking this different narration.

And the second thing I really like and think is unique is that Ethan is the lowly human, the Mortal, in this story, yet we get to read through his point of view. Many times it's through the supernatural character that we read through, so this is another thing I found enjoyable.

I have to give Ethan props. Even when Lena was pushing him away and saying she doesn't want to be with him anymore, Ethan didn't give up on helping Lena. He wanted to show her what she could do with her choice and was very persistent on trying to help her and find her when she was in trouble.

I did enjoy the moments between Liv and Ethan, even though many readers are probably a "team Ethan+Lena" fan. There was just something about the way they acted that had me smiling when Liv and Ethan were hanging out.

I was very curious about John Breed. He seemed possessive of Lena, but it was obvious they weren't together, together. Just protecting each other.

So, yeah, I did like this novel and thought the ending was again vague like the first one, but I have two more books to go through so I won't have to wait long to read what happens next!

I would definitely recommend readers to read this series, but would suggest they read them in order to fully understand the storyline. And guys can definitely read this book since it is 100% through Ethan's point of view.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

This is the first book in the Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Nothing changes in the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina. Ethan can attest to that. He can't wait to get out of this traditional town that is more focused on what happened in the past than what will occur in the future.

But the minute a new girl comes to town, everything changes. Gatlin doesn't get new comers. In fact, the last new person was when Ethan was in 3rd grade.

And it's not just a nobody that comes to town, but Old Man Ravenwood's niece  Macon Ravenwood hasn't been seen by anyone in town - he stays locked up in his house. So when Lena Duchannes comes into town and is in Ethan's class, things are about to get interesting.

The Ravenwood family has a unique story, or at least the story that the locals tell. It's said that her whole family are witches and cast curses left and right.

All Ethan knows is that he is fascinated by Lena. She is not like any girl he has ever met before. She dresses differently than the girls at school, she knows all of the answers in their English class because she reads all of the time. And she doesn't try to gain attention from all of the guys, even though everyone can't take their eyes off of her or stop gossiping about her.

But Ethan finds out that Lena really isn't like other girls. In fact, she's extremely unique from everyone who lives in Gatlin.

Lena's family are casters, people who have unique abilities and can cast spells or curses. And on their 16th birthday, they are either casted to the Light or the Dark. But for Lena's family, they don't get a choice of going good or evil, but will be forced to be whatever the moon decides for them.

Lena's birthday is coming up soon. And she is getting more and more nervous about being forced to be Dark. Ethan won't allow that. He will make sure that she will go to the Light. Only Ethan is a mortal, just a mere human who has no say over the caster business.

So the two play a waiting game and try to find a way to not get casted by the Dark.

However, other players are coming into the game. One of the darkest Casters wants Lena on their side, and will stop at nothing to get Lena. Because once she becomes Dark, there will be nothing stopping the two of them.

What side will Lena end up on? Will Ethan be able to keep her safe, even though he's only human? Or will the choice be inevitable for Lena? Read Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I've read and done a review about this book two years ago, but just recently re-read it and decided to do a different review for it. The one I did previously was when I first started this blog and didn't really have a system, so there were spoilers and I wanted a non-spoiler one for readers to read.

Again, I really enjoyed this novel. I did go watch the movie they made, which was another reason I read this again and found the differences from the movie and the book, but both were really good.

One thing that I had forgotten since the last time I read this was that the whole book was in Ethan's point of view. I really enjoyed reading about what the main guy was thinking and how a human would perceive information about a supernatural issue.

I really enjoyed reading about this small, southern town ways. I live in the Midwest and there aren't any traditions that have been kept, so reading about Gatlin and their strange ways of reenacting the battle from over 100 years was interesting and something I'm not familiar with.

I'm also glad that I read this novel again because there are things that are different from the novel that will be more helpful when I read the next 3 novels in the series.

For anyone who is interested in supernatural topics such as magic, along with reading about an old style town that can't get out of the past, this would be a perfect book for you. There are times where it is a lot of description and not a whole lot of action, but overall I really enjoyed it and can't wait to find out what happens next in this series!