Friday, March 29, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday (1st one!)


Alrighty. So, we haven't really done this meme before... BUT, it seemed cool, and we're on Spring Break so we thought we'd give it a try!

this week's question
Tell us about the most emotional scene you’ve ever read in a book – and how did you react?
our answer
Well, usually we don't read books together unless they're very controversial in terms of the ratings the book might be receiving. We read this book once called The Last Mother's Day. We can't seem to remember who it was written by, but in the book the girl who had witnessed the suicide her mother committed was around five or six years old.She couldn't really understand what was going on at the time. Anyways, it was Mother's Day, and the daughter had made her mother a card in school. When she came home on the bus, she couldn't find her mother. She searched in every room, until finally she heard water running and opened the bathroom to find her mother hanging from the showerhead. In terms of our reaction, we completely shut down and cried for about an hour and a half. We hugged each other the whole time, we did not finish the book actually. In fact, we kind of went on a "reading strike" for about a month and two weeks. It was just a terrible scene that no person should ever have to experience - not to speak of just reading it...

&

TOUR STOP: I Kissed A Dog by Carol Van Atta


Author: Carol Van Atta
Series:  Werewolves of the West (#1)
Release Date: October 20th 2013 
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy

Overview

Chloe Carpenter isn't like other women. She can communicate with animals. A gift she unwrapped following one of her frequent dances with death.

   In her otherwise wacky life, she's finally found a semblance of sanity working at the Plum Beach Wildlife Park, where her unique talents can make life or death differences for the animals in her care. That semblance is shattered when a new veterinarian roars into the park in his spiffed up sports car and sets his golden gaze on her. If she had her way, he'd roar right back out.

  Problem: He's her new coworker and he's saved her life twice - in the past twenty-four hours.

  Zane Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Pack of purebred werewolves, has a job to do - figure out who or what is mutilating the young men of Plum Beach.

  With orders to find the woman who talks to animals, he accepts a position working alongside the fiery Chloe Carpenter, a female who ignites his interest far more than he ever expected. Remarkably, she's the one elusive female with potential to bring meaning and passion to his empty existence.

  Problem: She despises him.

  Together, they're forced to unravel a mystery of supernatural proportions, a murderous mystery with eternal implications for everyone. In the process, they discover opposites really do attract.

  Major Problem: Zane is pledged to another woman, and she'll do anything to keep him from Chloe.


Author Bio
Like most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12. (somewhat frighteninShe has contributed to several popular inspirational anthologies and devotional books, and lives in the rainy wetlands of Oregon with one terrifying teen (another in college) and a small zoo of animals. She is taking an undetermined hiatus away from inspirational writing to delve into her darker side. It is rumored that this genre-jumping occurred after Carol discovered two suspicious read marks on her neck, and experienced an unquenchable urge to howl at the moon..
g illustrations included), and had a creative writing piece published in her high school newspaper (about David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs LP). Yes, she’s an ex-80’s rocker chick. 

Carol's  Website / Goodreads / Facebook 
Buy 'I kissed a dog'
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: December 1st 2011
Pages: 281
Read in: 2 days

Overview

ONE OF THE BOYS

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.


But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?

Catching Jordan was a hilarious, flip-side novel about football, friendship, family, expectations and love. The novel is told from the point of view of Jordan, a teenage girl in her senior year of high school. Jordan also happens to be the quarter back on the Hundred Oaks football team. The guys on the team respect her as their captain and quarterback. Jordan's a hard worker that knows the odds are against her given than she's a female, aiming high for a scholarship on football to her dream university, The University of Alabama. This, however, is all threatened when a new guy comes to town named, Ty. He's got his eye on the ball, Jordan's position, but most of all - Jordan.

I thought Jordan's character was developed lovely! Sure, she was a tomboy for the most part, but there was some girly girl in there. The whole girl-playing-football aspect of Catching Jordan totally made me fall in love the novel even more. I loved the transition she went through when Ty came to town. She struggled with insecurities about how she looked, what she did, and how other people saw her. This was a great contrast from her previous mentality. 
That whole love triangle that went down ... no - just NO. It didn't feel right. Ty, I understood, but the whole I've-always-loved-you vibe coming from the other guy didn't sit well with me. The triangle, as a whole, felt a bit forced. Don't get wrong, I wanted things to work out for Jordan, but it seemed that every event that happened was constantly fitting together in this huge puzzle, that sort of the made Catching Jordan a bit predictable. I also noticed a chapter in the book that I believe, was supposed to be a journal entry? It looked like an attempt at poetry. I didn't find it very poetic...
Catching Jordan was a cute, funny, exhilarating, and breezy read that'll have you giggling right through the book, from the jock-like immature guy jokes, right down to the hand holding and stolen kisses.

                                                                         

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TOUR STOP: Review: The Crimson Hunt by Victoria H. Smith



Author: Victoria H. Smith
Release Date: November 8th 2012
Pages: 340
Read in: 3 days


Overview

College junior Ariel Richmond is working on year three of Project Normalcy.

Her house reeks of keggers past and her bestie is just a slight bit vulgar. But the thing is—they both aid in making life refreshingly uneventful.

So much for hard-earned mediocrity when Luca Grinaldi appears on the scene.

Luca’s sudden presence on campus is hard to ignore. Those bright eyes act like a beacon to unsuspecting females, and with features like his, he’s got to be moonlighting for GQ. Luca hopelessly captivates Ariel with his confidence and charisma, but the mysteries surrounding him make him nearly untouchable. And just when Ariel grows close enough to unlock his secrets, a tragic event sends her life in a downward spiral.

That steady life is no longer an option and allies quickly become scarce. The mysterious Luca seems to be the only one willing to help her—but with that trust comes the burden of his secrets. He has a dark mission of otherworldly proportions, and is willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes to see it completed.

Gone are the days of simply maintaining normalcy, and if Ariel isn’t cautious with her trust, so soon may be her future.

*A free review copy was provided for my review*

The Crimson Hunt was a thrilling read that'll take readers on a ride they'll never be prepared for, with its wild  plot twists, turns, and twirls, The Crimson Hunt proved to be one of the most promising reads I've had in a long time.

The Crimson Hunt is centered around the life of a girl named Ariel and her best friend Piper. When she was young, her life and family had been destroyed in catastrophic fire. Now, Ariel is a junior in college with problems that any normal college-enrolled student can expect. Hard classes, bad grades, tardiness, and relationship issues (if in one). This all changes when Luca comes into the picture, a mysterious, utterly frustrating, HOT, closed-off, intelligent, stoic, HOT guy. From his arrival to the last page, Ariel's life is turned upside down and chucked out of this world! 

The plot twists! Ermagherd. I wasn't expecting any of what took place in this book to happen! Judging from the cover, and the overview I was expecting some paranormal like things to pop up and stay, but Sci-fi?! I just wasn't expecting it. If there's one thing I can say about this book - it's that it was not under any circumstances a predictable read. The characters in this book were beautifully developed from their individual insecurities, treasures, and deepest desires to their hilarious sarcasm, threats, and comebacks. (Piper was my favorite!)

First things first, I didn't enjoy Ariel's character and personality as much as I would've liked too. I wanted to see more backbone and sass like her best friend, Piper. I felt her personality was all over the place, and I just wanted one solid reason to hold on, to explain why I should love her character, unfortunately, I didn't. I would've loved to learn some more about Ariel in between the huge leap that took place between the childhood fire that had occurred and preparing for her next semester classes as a junior in college. I thought the book started off really slow, at some points I found myself struggling to keep up with the characters, and events that were going on, but like I said before, Luca *swoon* gave the book a kick-start and got it running.
Isn't that right Luca? ;)
SAWOON <3

To sum it all up, The Crimson Hunt was a heart-racing, jaw-dropping, check-my temperature kind of read, that started off a bit slow, but in the end, made up for the wait. If you're looking for a revolutionary read that'll make you rethink what a paranormal romance should read like, read The Crimson Hunt.





Link up with the author!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

ARC Review + ARC GIVEAWAY: The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison


Author: Mette Ivie Harrison
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: May 14th 2013
Pages: 400
Read in: 5 days


Overview
Ailsbet loves nothing more than music; tall and red-haired, she's impatient with the artifice and ceremony of her father's court. Marissa adores the world of her island home and feels she has much to offer when she finally inherits the throne from her wise, good-tempered father. The trouble is that neither princess has the power--or the magic--to rule alone, and if the kingdoms can be united, which princess will end up ruling the joint land? For both, the only goal would seem to be a strategic marriage to a man who can bring his own brand of power to the throne. But will either girl be able to marry for love? And can either of these two princesses, rivals though they have never met, afford to let the other live?

*Free review copies were provided to us by the publisher/author*

 
Status. Power. Magic. Family. Insecurity. Deceit. Love. These 7 aspects proved amazing in developing the novel that was The Rose Throne. The Rose Throne was a paranormal romance that takes place, for the most part, in the kingdom of Rurik. In Rurik there are two forces that coexist, the neweyr, and the taweyr. Neweyr controls the earth, life, and nourishment of  the land, while taweyer revolves around anger, death, and willpower. Women are supposed to wield neweyr and men - taweyr. However in Rurik, taweyr is favored above all, and is taxed so that King Haikor is able to remain the most powerful among all others. The Rose Throne is told from the alternating perspectives of two princesses - Ailsbet of Rurik and Marlissa or Issa of Weirland. When a centuries-old prophecy surfaces, both princesses will struggle to keep secrets hidden, love avoided, and their deepest desires contained.
What I loved? Hmm... Let's start with the loads of originality Ivie Harrison dumped into this book. Kudos! I mean; whenever I read a book with a princess it ends one of two ways, a marriage or some happily ever after where the prince and the princess ride into the sunset, kissing. This didn't apply to The Rose Throne, and frankly, I was happy about it. The plot twists were soo crazy! I wish I could further explain my thoughts, but I'm working on keeping this review spoiler-free. Which, as of now, is proving to be the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. All I will say is to: "Think of the most unexpected event that could possibly occur, then square it, multiply it by infinity  and square it again. " That unpredictable. What else was there? Sorry, the correct question is "What wasn't there?" Insta-love! I just wanted to hug the book to my chest, and skip happily around my house. The princesses in the book, didn't meet a guy, glance at him, and fall in love. NO - not Ailsbet and Issa. The traditional way was used, you know, the whole getting to know each other, and oh, I don't know - HAVING AN ACTUAL CONVERSATION. The imagery, and enormous amount of detail put into the descriptions given by both princesses gave me an insight into Rurik and Weirland. From the green, lush landscapes right down to the ancient castle in Rurik. Before I forget, I should mention that The Rose Throne was overall, a fast-paced novel, that had suspense building up to the climax from the  very first page!
In all honesty - it's the blurb. The blurb does The Rose Throne a great injustice. Just reading the overview on the back cover/Goodreads gave me the slightest inclination to move on to some other book on my Suggested Books List. However, after reading The Rose Throne I knew it should be the exact opposite. I wasn't a fan of the relationship, if you can call it that, that developed between Ailsbet and Lord Umber. It felt so rushed and forced!  Although I found myself liking their relationship at some points in the novel, it just felt parasitic. As if Lord Umber was getting more out of the relationship than Ailsbet was. Also, the love interests, as a whole, weren't really doing it for me. I would've much rather preferred both princesses single.
The Rose Throne is a paranormal romance that proved to be so much more than just that. From the unpredictable plot twists, to the stolen kisses, and straight down to the self-preserving deceit, The Rose Throne proved to be the ultimate read.



Link up with the author!


I have a very special surprise for you guys! Courtesy of Egmont USA and the author, Mette Ivie Harrison (author links listed above.) Enter below for a chance to win an ARC copy of The Rose Throne. (US/Canada Only please!)
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[Bookish Issues]: A RANT: Should book covers be released more than a year before its publication date?


WARNING: I apologize for the caps, and my French, and if I offend any of you beautiful, wonderful, amazing people who read this. Because I love you all truly, and jealousy can be flattering sometimes, right?! *Silence* Okay, here goes nothing ....

Okay, that's it. 

Someone show me the hidden cameras, because there has got to be a freaking joke going on. A joke that has apparently gotten popular among the publishers/authors of novels being released in 2013 - or if I dare say, 2014?! A WHOLE YEAR?!  
So then, answer for me this one question ... why the heck is the cover already up?! Is this supposed to be some way for readers to want the book more? Because I think that publishers might want to take into the consideration the emotional turmoil people are being faced with. By people I mean humans, readers, bibliophiles, addicts that are trying slowly to ease of their addiction ... or not. Seriously.
Maybe I'm overreacting, but let's see if I can make my point of view more understandable, shall we? Let's say I just up and decide, one day, that I want to be a freaking armpit licker for a living. That's like putting all the delicious armpits out there in front of me, and telling me "No, you're only allowed to lick them until six months from now!" No - just NO. It's just not fair.
The not having the book part, I mean.
If this comparison was not relevant in any way to my argument, then I apologize. But, my point is VALID. I'm getting really frustrated seeing all these amazing authors that are releasing beautiful book covers to their wait-an-eternity-to-be-published books. And ... I - we, I mean - want to have these books in our hands, but we can't. I feel like anytime this happens, publishers are saying something along the lines of "Silly rabbit - er reader -, you have to wait 3 more years to read this!" You think that's funny, DO YOU NOW?! 
It's just down right WRONG. Inhumane. I DON'T KNOW! Call it what you must. NO ONE DEAR SUGGEST ENTERING GIVEAWAYS. BECAUSE THAT MY FRIEND, IS WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING!  Rafflecopter hates me, First Reads giveaways hate me, Library Thing giveaways hate me, LUCK HATES ME. So you know what LUCK?!

 And then you know what pisses me off?! Not pisses me off - but irritates me to the point where the The Book Thief's got nothing on what I plan to do to anyone who gets a book I want before I do. When people GET ARCS - no not ARCS, because I get them sometimes, maybe three times every one and a half to two months - BUT WIN ARCS EVERY WEEK. Then, they make a blog post in which they talk about how excited they are to have the books they've received. WELL GUESS WHAT? I'M JUST FREAKING ECSTATIC. Sometimes, I just look at those posts and cry while typing some really nice comment like "OMG, I'm so jealous. You're so lucky. Keep me posted, okay?" But, what I'm really calling them are book whores. I'm a book whore, too. It's hypocritical, really.  
 I should clear up the fact that I'm totally happy for you, if you've received ARCS, or get them every week, but if your luck is just out of this world ridiculous, then YES, THIS PART OF MY RANT IS ABOUT YOU. Want to know what really TICKS ME OFF, though?  When you finally get the book, and it wasn't what you expected. Now, I don't mean you being disappointed or anything along the lines of disappointment. I'm talking - ruined your whole-week-boring, you didn't-even-finish-the-book kind of thing. So then you're just there like:


Okay, so I'm calming down, now... I think I'm going to bring this rant to an end. I'm terribly sorry if I've scared you, or angered you, or made you uncomfortable about your amazing luck.
Today's lesson kids, is that it is NOT okay to release covers up to one or more than a year before a book's publication date. It's irritating, quite honestly.All in favor of sending me to the loony bin, say I? (I secretly hope no one reads this, because then I'll just seem really psycho. And I swear sometimes I act normal... sometimes ...rarely ... never.)





Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cover Reveal: Awakened by Kriston Johnson


Author: Kriston Johnson
Series: The Legends Of Elyndia, #1
Release Date: April 25th 2013 
Genre: YA Fantasy

Overview
Can fighting for the right side be the wrong thing to do?

Draven, the tyrant ruler of Elyndia for the last one thousand years, searches for the one who can fulfill his prophecy.


The Paladins, an elite band of warriors sworn to protect their way of life at all cost, search for the one with the ability to bring their world crumbling down.


An innocent girl, tormented by demons only she can see, lives on the brink of insanity and longs for a life of peace.


When seventeen-year-old Jade Rosenberg reads from an antique book, she has no idea she just read an incantation awaking her inherited power. But when opposing—and equally terrifying—groups invade her home, she learns she is descended from an enchanted realm and a member of a powerful race thought to have been hunted to extinction. 


Ripped from her world, Jade is forced to seek refuge from those who want her dead. She is given one of two options and the time has come for her to make a choice: assassinate their sworn enemy…


Or sacrifice her soul.


Author Bio
Kriston Johnson lives in Southwest Washington with her husband, teenage son, and miniature Australian Shepherd. Her home rests at the fringe of an old growth forest that she insists is the home of Jason Voorhees. Her husband thinks that’s a ridiculous assumption, because everyone knows it’s really Bigfoot. Every summer Kriston participates in the annual pilgrimage to Faerieworlds, a real life faerie realm here on Earth, and has an unhealthy obsession with Star Wars, The Vampire Diaries, and Iron Man. Awakened is her first novel. You can visit her online at www.kristonjohnson.blogspot.com.

Kriston's  Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Friday, March 1, 2013

ARC Review + GIVEAWAY: Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead
Published on March 1, 2013 by Albert Whitman Teen

Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything --who he is, where he came from, why he's running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or "Hank" and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of--Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead's remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home
*DISCLOSURE: Free review copies were provided to us by the publisher // author*
If you've ever had that one person you can always confide in, that one place you can go to clear your head of all the hectic thoughts flying around your mind or even that one action you can perform that makes everything seem ... not worth all the hassle; then you're like Henry David - or in this case, Hank. Being Henry David  was about a teenage guy named Hank. One day, Hank wakes up in Penn Station around midnight with little to no memory of who he is, where he is, or how he got there; the only thing he's able to truly claim as his is a copy of Walden by Henry David. Throughout the novel, Hank struggles with his identity, as well as, memories and feelings that arise pertaining to his past. These feelings and memories lead him closer to who he used to be. But when you can't look back, or look left or right for help, the only way to move, is forward. And who better to help him on his journey then Henry David?

I loved the frustration and eagerness that Armistead was able to portray in Hank's character. He was so close to the truth, yet so far. Each time he conjured up something from his past, he'd evidently hit this brick wall. The fact that his frustration was able to be felt by me, was proof of the amazing job Armistead did in developing Hank. Although Being Henry David was a contemporary novel, I found it oddly thrilling. In a way, Hank lives his life on the edge! Normal people start off their day where they left off yesterday, but for Hank, it was a clean slate every day. Not knowing where he was going, and who he'd be going with was an aspect that I grew to love about Being Henry David. What I loved  about Armistead's writing was the perspective in which the reader (ME) is given. Hank was cautious, yet confident, lonely, but strong. As he builds new relationships, and establishes trust, Hank's thoughts are shown to be hilariously analytic and a bit judgmental.

I  didn't dislike this aspect of the plot, but I wasn't sure what to think of the fact that Hank was having conversations with the dead author of Walden, Henry David. 
Being Henry David was a though-provoking, contemporary YA novel that will thrust you into the life of Hank, a far-from-average teenage guy, working a little harder to work toward remembering who he  is.  This tale of rediscovery sprinkled with a whole lot of spontaneity  will make readers question what it really means to live.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Website // Goodreads // Twitter // Facebook
I have a very special surprise for you guys! Courtesy of Albert Whitman Teen and the author, Cal Armistead (author links listed above.) Enter below for a chance to win a new print copy of Being Henry David. (US/Canada Only please!) a Rafflecopter giveaway