Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (12): Splintered


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Splintered by A.G. Howard
Published: January 1, 2013

I'm almost done with this book and have really been enjoying this unique and original take on Alice in Wonderland. I'm a huge AiW fan, and there are so many elements to Splintered that I love, so that makes me very happy. Plus, the cover is gorgeous.

Splintered

I think of his watercolor paintings: darkly beautiful worlds and gothic fairies weeping black tears over human corpses. His depictions of misery and loss are so poignant and surreal they break the heart.
 (page 121)
 
Goodreads Summary:
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Review (18+): All In


All In (The Blackstone Affair, #2)
All In by Raine Miller
Part 2 of the Blackstone Affair
November 9, 2012
Raine Miller Romance
Source: NetGalley (for honest review)
Genre: Adult Romance including graphic sex scenes (18+)
Goodreads Summary:
The second part in The Blackstone Affair series! Looming danger. A love worth fighting for. A man who’ll go all in.

Ethan Blackstone has a problem on his hands. He’s broken Brynne’s trust and she’s left him. He’s unwilling to live without her and isn’t giving up—he’s dead-set on getting his beautiful American girl back. The passion between them was explosive, but the secrets they hid from each other are dark and chilling and are powerful enough to destroy their shot at a life together. With political threats now directed at Brynne, Ethan is running out of time and he’ll need to gather all his strength and agility to protect her from the dangers that could take her away from him forever. Will Ethan be able to save Brynne from a past that keeps her locked in fear? Will he ever feel the warmth of her touch, the solidity of her trust again? This is a love-struck man who is willing to do whatever it takes to possess the heart of the woman he loves. He’ll go to any lengths to protect her. He’ll go all in.

Here is the fiery story of what happens when two people surrender to a love so great it can heal the scars of the past and give way to a life of pure, rapturous ecstasy.
My Review:

All In picks right up where Naked left off. This time around, the prologue is from Brynne's POV but the rest of the book is from Ethan's POV. I love male POV books. I find them really interesting, because, well, I'm not a male. I also have a husband and three sons, so I am surrounded by males on a daily basis, so it is fun to look into their psyches. I appreciated the honesty with how Raine tried to approach Ethan's POV, his feelings were right there on the surface and his alpha male was apparent. I liked his protective nature. Although, I must say he seemed to regress into a pubescent boy at times...okay, most of the time. Can you say sex-on-the-brain much?

This book gave us more glimpses into Brynne and Ethan's pasts. Oddly, we found out more about Brynne than Ethan, even though it was his POV. These tidbits were interesting and all, but just like in Naked, they left me wanting more. The relationship still seems shallow to me. This is especially true when you assess the sheer amount of sex they have. I mean, don't these people have jobs? Ethan is in charge of security for the Olympics and the Queen for goodness sake! Dude, keep your pants on and get to work. Brynne seemed like a walking contradiction at times, and I don't completely get her. But I did get their relationship, shallow and physical as it is at times.

What I did like and wish, again, there was more of, were the secondary characters. There are some great friends and family members in this book that we don't get to experience nearly as much as we should. I think pulling them more into the plot would really help to deepen the novel and, honestly, make Brynne and Ethan a lot more interesting.

By the end we are left with another cliffhanger, although I wasn't too distraught by it. That may have to do with my only moderate feelings toward the characters and the book. What I was more annoyed by was that the plot development in this book was quite weak. It really didn't feel like a whole lot went on. Once again, this is a quick read. I will likely still read the next book once it comes out, but it's not at the top of my list.

3 STARS

Book Review (18+): Naked


Naked (The Blackstone Affair, #1)
Naked by Raine Miller
Part 1 of the Blackstone Affair
August 24, 2012
Raine Miller Romance
208 pages
Source: NetGalley (for honest review)
Genre: Adult Romance including graphic sex scenes (18+)
Goodreads Summary:
Brynne Bennett is living the good life. An American art student at the University of London and part-time photographic model, she’s putting her life back on track with school and lots of hard work. When ultra successful London businessman, Ethan Blackstone, buys her nude portrait, he isn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer. He wants Brynne in his bed and makes plans to keep her there no matter what. His dominant nature captivates and ensnares despite the demons she carries inside her. But there are secrets in this relationship. Huge ones. Can Ethan free Brynne from the past that has marked her? Will Brynne let him or will the specters tormenting her resurface to destroy them both…
My Review:

This book had a lot of potential. The main characters were certainly interesting and intriguing. First, we have the elusive Brynne, who has a secret she's hiding, but a body that she isn't (as she is a nude model), and a father who thinks she's in danger and needs to be protected. Enter the mysterious Ethan, who is a security professional, but that has nothing to do with his instant attraction to Brynne. Well, I think a certain nude photo had something to do with that initial attraction.

The book is told from Brynne's POV (although the prologue is Ethan's POV). We are quickly drawn into the passion of their attraction and their ensuing relationship. We also get glimpses of each of their pasts and the nightmares that haunt them. Yes, the sex scenes are steamy. Yes, they have some interesting non-sexual interaction that deepens their interest in one another. But unfortunately, this moved a bit quickly for me. I wanted more from their relationship than sex. I wanted more from their conversations than somewhat stilted dialogue. I wanted to feel more depth to their relationship, because you can sense that they want to start professing their love to one another really quickly, but I wasn't feeling the love, just the lust, and maybe a deep caring. I know it was more of a novella than a novel, but I still think there could have been more.

Bottomline: This is a quick read, with adequate character development and moderate plot development. The sex scenes are steamy, if that's what you're looking for. But I will say I read this quickly and had a hard time putting it down. I found the story and characters interesting enough to want to continue the series.

3 STARS
 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

In My Mailbox & Stacking the Shelves (13)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi of The Story Siren, where bloggers share the contents of their mailbox - books bought, borrowed, received - and get to know other blogs.
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Stacking The Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Purchased:
Splintered   Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)
 
Splintered by A.G. Howard
Endlessly by Kiersten White
 
For Review:
Recalled (Death Escorts, #1)
 
Recalled by Cambria Hebert
 
Audiobooks:
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)   The Scar   The Winter Sea
 
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Scar by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko
The Winter Sea by Kearsley
 
For My Kindle:
Sempre   Find You in the Dark (Find You in the Dark, #1)
 
Sempre (Forever) by J.M. Darhower
Find You In The Dark by A. Meredith Walters

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Audiobook Review: Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
December 1, 2009
Little, Brown, and Company
563 pages
Source: Personal Audible Purchase

Goodreads Summary:
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.


Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
My Review:

Narrator Review:
I previously read this book, but wanted to re-read it before the movie comes out in February. I chose to go the audio route this time around, and am so glad that I did. I must say I really liked the narrator for this audiobook. He brought the accent to Ethan that I was hoping for. I'm a Californian, so I loved the Southern accents the narrator brought to the telling, because I'm terrible with making up accents on my own (they all end up sounding like a pathetic blend of British and Australian), so his were so much better. If anything, the audio-version is worth it if only to listen to the Three Sisters and their banter. To hear their scenes acted out was hilarious and brilliant. I couldn't help but laugh out loud. The audio-version also adds some of the sound effects described in the book (for example, rain and wind, objects breaking, etc.) as well as the songs from the book, which are actually sung by a separate artist. I plan to continue listening to this entire series on audio.

Book Review:
As for setting -- I love the lush, gothic, mysterious, small-town, Southern world that Garcia and Stohl created. They made me feel like I was right there in Ethan's world, in the midst of Gatlin County, with its eclectic mix of colorful characters. While the descriptions could be a bit repetitive at times (eg, numerous references to the War Between The States), I certainly got the picture of this town that Ethan grew up in, and how a simple act like Lena moving into town could quickly disrupt the stability and consistency these people had established. In addition to the small Southern town, you also get the Caster world and all its magical and mysterious glory. I loved getting wrapped up in both these worlds.

As for characters -- Our hero, Ethan, is a great guy. He's not the bad boy or the bully, which is a refreshing change in how boys can frequently be depicted in books. I have three sons, so I certainly hope there are more options for them out there than rebel, bully, or recluse. Our sidekick, Link, is the loyal best friend everyone wants, who always has your back. I really liked these two boys. Our heroine, Lena, is a bit of a mental case at times, but dealing with the pending doom of her Caster-hood and whether she'll go light or dark when she turns 16 - well, I think I might be a mental case too. I also loved all the secondary characters. There was such an eclectic mix, with people I liked and didn't care for, but all of them had depth. Oh, and I shall repeat, the three sisters are a riot.

As for storyline -- The pacing could be slow at times, but along with that I felt like I was really able to get a deep feeling and sense of what was going on. I feel like I can't go into a more profound description here because there's so much going on, with lots of spoiler potential, and you really have to appreciate the build-up of the story. But Garcia and Stohl do a great job of turning over stones just when you are in need of another answer to the many questions swirling around.

Bottomline: This is a great start to a series set in a mysterious world coupled with two people in love, but struggling with the age-old question of whether two people in love from different worlds can truly be together. This is a lengthy series for those who appreciate depth to your stories and characters. I took off a 1/2 star just for some minor repetition issues I had.

4-1/2 STARS
 
Check it out here:    Amazon    --    Goodreads

Friday, January 25, 2013

Feature & Follow (10): Late Night Reading

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #120

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by both Alison Can Read and Parakunkee’s View. This is a great way to gain blog followers for book bloggers, follow other blogs, and get to know each other. Each week a different question is posted by our hosts and we get to answer. You can find more info about this meme here.

Q: What is the last book that kept you up late into the night to finish it?

I tend to read late at night anyway, but the last books I loved and didn't want to put down were: Vain by Fisher Amelie and Snow Bound by Elizabeth Kirke. I loved both these books for different reasons and had to finish them quickly. They are definitely a couple of books I recommend checking out.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Review: Jar of Dreams

Jar of Dreams
Jar of Dreams by Liz Flaherty
January 14, 2013
Carina Press
Source: NetGalley (for honest review)
Genre: Adult Romance (contains some sexual situations)
Goodreads Summary:
For as long as she can remember, Lucy Dolan has been jotting down her hopes on slips of paper and saving them in a pickle jar—her jar of dreams. It was the first thing she saved when the beloved family diner went up in flames, and it's safely buckled in her beat-up minivan when she lands in Taft, Indiana, to start over. She rents a room and goes into business with her landlady, but then Gert's nephew comes charging in to "rescue" his aunt.

Boone Brennan will be damned if he'll let Lucy take advantage of Aunt Gert, who raised him and his sister. Believing that she's just passing through, he's deeply suspicious of her—despite the sparks that fly between them.

Just as Boone and Lucy are starting to open up to each other, a series of fires throws Lucy under suspicion. Boone wants to trust her and his feelings, but with the whole town against her, will he stay by her side? Or will Lucy move on and find another place to make her dreams come true?
My Review:

Aunt Gert raised Boone and his sister Kelly after their parents died when they were children. She also raised Crocket, Boone's best friend; the three of them growing up together, then going in different directions after high school. But all three are still protective of Aunt Gert. Enter the mysterious Lucy, who was actually referred to Aunt Gert by Crocket, but has a cloud of suspicion over her according to Kelly. Kelly's suspicions initially rub off on Boone until he starts to get to know Lucy, and they start to develop feelings for each other. But the suspicions never quite leave, especially when Kelly won't let them go, and questionable circumstances continue to arise. What follows is a great read about a community and an emerging couple.

One of the things I enjoyed about this book was the small town feel of it. Taft, Indiana is someplace you wouldn't mind your car breaking down in the middle of. There is a family feel about the community that I loved. The characters themselves are great. Boone and Lucy have both been dealing with devastating loses from their pasts, and I liked watching how they helped one another, but also found ways to help themselves and not completely rely on someone else fixing their problems. I liked watching their romance develop and through the writing felt their feelings. I love that even the secondary characters all have backstories that are referred to, making you feel even more a part of their lives. They aren't just cardboard cut-out background pieces. I wanted to eat lunch at Gert's café, get my gas for my car at Sim's, eat dessert with Boone, Lucy, and Crocket, and attend the church picnic with everyone.

The storyline itself went beyond just a budding romance. There was coping with loss, rebuilding trust, reconnecting friendships, forgiveness, and, of course, falling in love. There are also other minor romances and potential romances going on that I wouldn't mind reading about in the future. The ending definitely left me with a lingering hope for more from these characters. These are definitely characters you grow to love. My only issue was toward the end when the suspicious circumstances were dealt with. The fix was a bit too easy and not quite realistic, though I could understand how a small community would want the best for its members.

Bottomline: This is a well-paced, sweet romance, full of enough depth to make the characters and situations real, yet enough hope and heart to make you fall in love with the them and their community. I thoroughly enjoyed this read.
 
4-1/2 STARS
 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting (& Wishing) on Wednesday (12): Insomnia


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop, hosted by Pen to Paper, where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves. For more info on this meme, go here.

(The Night Walkers #1)
Expected Publication Date: June 8, 2013

I love the cover for this book, and the blurb sounds super interesting. This is definitely going on my wish list. Did I mention I love the cover?

Insomnia (The Night Walkers, #1)

Goodreads Summary:
It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

In My Mailbox & Stacking the Shelves (12)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi of The Story Siren, where bloggers share the contents of their mailbox - books bought, borrowed, received - and get to know other blogs.
STSmall_thumb[2][2]
Stacking The Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

This is two weeks worth of books. My work schedule last weekend was too crazy to post something, so I deferred my post and combined it for this weekend.
 
Won from For What It's Worth, Team Kilt Giveaway:


 
Annotated Copies of the Entire Shade Series by Jeri Smith-Ready!!!
(I love all the annotated tabs - super cool!)
 
Won from Michelle Shouts Random:
Breathe (Breathe, #1)

Breathe by Sarah Crossan
 
For Review:
Snow Bound (More than Magic, #2)   Open Heart (Farsighted, #2)
 
Snow Bound by Elizabeth Kirke
Open Heart by Emlyn Chand
 
From NetGalley:
 Jar of Dreams   Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
 
 Jar of Dreams by Liz Flaherty
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
 
Audiobook:
Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)
 
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
 
 For My Kindle:
The Proposal     A Love by Any Measure  
Running BarefootExclusively Yours (Kowalski Family, #1)
 
 The Proposal by Katie Ashley
A Love By Any Measure by Killian McRae
Running Barefoot by Any Harmon
Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey
 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Feature & Follow (9): Favorite Villain

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #120

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by both Alison Can Read and Parakunkee’s View. This is a great way to gain blog followers for book bloggers, follow other blogs, and get to know each other. Each week a different question is posted by our hosts and we get to answer. You can find more info about this meme here.

Q: Who is your favorite villain from a book?

The villain I find completely repulsive, and still would not want to associate the word "favorite" anywhere near her, would be Carol, Emma's abusive aunt from Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan. Seriously, she's an absolutely horrible character with no redeeming qualities. I can't wait for the last book in this amazing series, Out of Breath, which is supposed to come out in June!

The villain I find compelling in that odd-sort-of-way is Warner from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (and even more so in Unravel Me and Destroy Me). He's a villain with a backstory and intriguing qualities. After reading Unravel Me and Destroy Me, I'm feeling drawn toward the dark side, lol. Oh the choices! Team Adam vs Team Warner? I really don't want to wait until 2014 for the last book!
 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review: A Year at 32 September Way


A Year at 32 September Way
A Year at 32 September Way by Mary Ylisela
November 4, 2012
Createspace Publishing
246 pages
Amazon Summary:
What happens when five people from three different countries move to the same apartment building in Italy for one year? One thing's for sure--their lives will never be the same. Meet Carlisle, Nicolette, Josh, Charles, Eva and their landlord Senor Benedetto as they spend a year at 32 September Way. Whether they hope to find something in Verona or wish to leave something behind, the City of Love manages to change each one of them in ways they never expected.
My Review:
 
This book started awkwardly for me, as it jumps between each character in what I can best describe as mini-chapters. But what was awkward at first, I quickly found that I enjoyed as I got to know each character. I went from being overwhelmed that I would never remember who was who, as there are several characters, to quickly knowing each character intimately. In this book, we meet several characters who (mostly) spend a year in Verona, Italy, living at Senor Benedetto's apartment building.  
Marcello Benedetto: the older Italian owner of the apartment building
Apt 1 - Josh and Nicolette: the California couple from the movie industry
Apt 2 - Carlisle: the writer from Washington
Apt 3 - Charles: the English banker
Apt 4 - Eva: Marcello's young German girlfriend
Each character has decided to spend a year in Verona for very different personal reasons, each bringing along with them their own past that will play into their present. During this year long look into their lives, we get to watch them not only grown as individuals but watch them meld into their own little community.
 
What I really enjoyed about this book was that it felt like a great character study. We flip though each character in circulating segments, but these little tidbits really helped me get to know them on a deeper level, working to understand them and care about them on an individual and group level. The characters are not perfect, and I don't agree with all their choices. But the author does a great job pulling the reader into their lives. It was a refreshing read and made me feel like I was in a soap opera, minus the bad acting and outlandishness. Their circumstances were realistic (perhaps outside of the fact that they could all afford to live in Italy for a year) and most were empathy-inducing. By the end the author made me feel like I had really been a part of this group.
 
The only thing missing for me was more dialogue. I love good dialogue and feeling a part of the conversation rather than being told what happened. While there is some decent dialogue, I feel like there could have been more. The author would frequently describe how the character was feeling or thinking or even what was occurring without just letting the moment be played out for the reader. However, I will say that despite this, the author still did a great job making me feel like I was right there with each character, feeling what they felt, seeing what they saw.  
 
Bottomline: This is an engaging, character-driven, well-paced story. The story pulled me in quickly as it absorbed me into the lives of these characters. I really enjoyed this read.

4 STARS
 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting (& Wishing) on Wednesday (11): Perfect Scoundrels


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop, hosted by Pen to Paper, where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves. For more info on this meme, go here.


by Ally Carter
Publication Date: February 5, 2013

I loved Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals, and can't wait to see what happens with Kat and Hale next. If you haven't started this series, you should. Check out the GIVEAWAY I'm having for the first two books of this series.

Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society, #3)

From Goodreads:
Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of lovable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want.

No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir-this time, Hale might be the mark.

Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy
Check out the Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals GIVEAWAY I'm having!
(click here)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (11): Dare You To


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Dare You To by Katie McGarry
(Pushing the Limits #2)
Expected Publication Date: June 7, 2013

I loved Pushing the Limits, so when I got the chance to read the ARC of Dare You To (Beth's story), I jumped on the opportunity. PTL is a hard act to follow, but I'm excited to see if Katie can match or surpass it.

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)


Her words slice me open. I'm not that bad.
No, I'm not kittens and bunnies, but I'm not that bad.
(from ARC @ 13%)


Goodreads Summary:
"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...
 
Check out my current Giveaway:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Heist Society & Uncommon Criminals Giveaway!

I really enjoyed the first two books of the Heist Society series by Ally Carter. They are fun, exciting, entertaining, and fast-paced. Through them we get to live in the world of heists and cons, but also get to know some amazing characters, Kat and Hale in particular, who have so much more to them than meets the eye. This is a great series for teens and adults alike. Plus, the covers are fantastic.

I'm super excited that the third book in the Heist Society series is almost here. I can't wait to find out what this group does next! 
 
Perfect Scoundrels is coming out on February 5, 2013!!
 
Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society, #3)
 
GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate, I have (gently used) copies of both Heist Society (book 1) and Uncommon Criminals (book 2) up for grabs. If you haven't had a chance to start this series...what are you waiting for?
 
Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)   Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2)

Just complete the Rafflecopter below & Good Luck!


Book Review: Unravel Me



Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
February 5, 2013
Harper Collins
465 pages
Source: ARC
Goodreads Summary:
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.
My Review:

If you haven't started this series, YOU MUST! Tahereh Mafi simply blows me away with her writing, her characters, and her story. Plus, she is super sweet in person. So quickly go out and read Shatter Me, but then I suggest saving the novella Destroy Me (Warner's POV - sigh) for after Unravel Me. I think I liked that order better (just my opinion).

In order to avoid spoilers, this will be a short review, so what I really want to say about Unravel Me is ... WOW!!! I mean, Wowie Wow Wow!!! The middle book in a trilogy isn't always the best (let's be honest). But this book blew me away. It had more surprises than I think Shatter Me had. These poor characters were put through the ringer, physically and emotionally. I can't even imagine how the trilogy will end, but I cannot wait for it.

Ms. Mafi is an amazing writer. I loved being in Juliette's head. Her prose and ramblings helped me feel all her emotions. I loved Kenji and James - such great guys and their interactions added so much more to the story. And what can you say about Adam and Warner? - oh these guys can't catch a break! I mean seriously, how much can these people endure? My heart is all kinds of a mess over these boys.

Bottomline: This is one of my favorite series, not only for the amazing characters and storyline, but also for Tahereh's genius writing. I am all aflutter, sitting on pins and needles, waiting desperately for the last book. Thank you, Ms. Mafi, for these amazing books!

5 STARS
 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Entangled Publishing is looking for bloggers!

This info was pulled from Kate Evangelista's blog - all of the info you need to know about getting onto Entangled Publishing's review list. Thanks for the heads up Kate!


Calling all bloggers!

Calling all bloggers!

Entangled needs you! *points at you*

Be part of The List.

Here's what you need to know:

One of my awesome publicists at Entangled is compiling a list of bloggers.

Here are the requirements:

Do you have a blog?

Do you love to review books?

Do you want access to books before they release?

If your answers to these questions is a resounding "YES" then you're the right blogger for the job.

We want you! Now's a great time to join The List.

If you want to be a part of The List, here's what you have to do:

1. Add Til Death to your Goodreads TBR pile:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16129271-til-death

and

2. Leave the following in the comments section:

a. Your Name

b. Your Blog URL

c. Your Goodreads Name

d. Your Email Address
Source
Additional Option: URL to your blog post about this call for bloggers.

Priority will be given to those who help spread the word by creating a post on this call for bloggers on their blog. *smiles*

Don't miss this exciting opportunity.

Be part of The List today.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Audiobook Review: Fins Are Forever

Fins Are Forever (Fins, #2)
Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs
(Fins #2)
June 28, 2011
Harper Collins
Source: Personal Purchase
Goodreads Summary:
On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mergirl, true, but signing the renunciation will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being-human thing once and for all.

Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, the waves start to get rough. Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form, when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?

The seafoam on the raging surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up—Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her own dreams?
My Review:

Narrator Review:
The narrator's voice matches what I imagined Lily's voice to be in my head almost perfectly. Lily sounds like the teenaged mermaid that she is. Her male-voice transitions could be better, but they were still okay. I enjoyed the audiobook and plan to listen to the third book as well.

Book Review:
Fins are Forever picks up one week after the first book, Forgive My Fins, ends. Lily is facing new dilemmas as she tries to decide what she is going to do about being the royal successor of Thalassinia or not. She and Quince are happily together, yet Lily faces new dilemmas, particularly in the form of her cousin Dosinia and her predicament with her kingdom.

I liked the continuation with Lily and Quince's relationship. He's such a stand-up guy, and I love that they are able to embrace their feelings for each other. But I also appreciate that they have to face real challenges together, and really think about their future. I also like that Lily has to honestly deal with her standing in her kingdom, and what the consequences will be depending upon whether she renounces her throne or not. There are very real challenges to be dealt with, and I liked how they were approached. I also liked how the issues were dealt with all the way up to the very end.

Bottomline: This is a cute, clean, well-paced book (and series) with great characters; perfect for the YA audience (or older, since I'm not a YA myself). Whether you read the books or listen to them in audio-form, they are quite enjoyable. I'm looking forward to the last book.

4 STARS