Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rival Love by Natalie Decker


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Rival LoveTitle: Rival Love
Author: Natalie Decker
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Series: ? (I think so...)
Rating: Four Trees
THE PREMISE
Skylar Fletcher is a proud Harris Academy Bulldog! She has everything she’s ever wanted: a perfect boyfriend, great friends, and her dream college waiting for her in the fall. But nothing lasts forever. Skylar's world shatters when her mom decides it is time to move and drags Skylar, kicking and screaming, into Bobcat territory.

At Delmont High School, home of the Bobcats, Skylar has no friends and is often bullied. To make matters worse, her home life sucks thanks to all-star quarterback Caleb Morgan, nephew of her mom's live-in boyfriend.

At first Skylar and Caleb want nothing to do with one another. But they soon discover they're not that different after all--and each is harboring a secret attraction to the other. But can a Bulldog and a Bobcat ever really be more than friends? And are Skylar and Caleb willing to risk everything to find out? Rival Love is a debut young adult contemporary romance from Natalie Decker.


MY THOUGHTS
Rival Love is definitely one of those cute books that's a quick, fun read, perfect for when you need something on the fluffier side. 
The book starts out with our main character moving into her new home in the enemies territory.... *DUN, DUN, DUUUUNNNN*
As a teenager I can sympathize with Skylar and the fact that her mom is forcing her to move her SENIOR YEAR! I completely understand Skylar's point of view and why this would be such a traumatic experience for her. I'm pretty sure most people would have that problem. 
On the the hand, I completely didn't understand Skylar's mom. The fact that she moved in with her boyfriend and forced Skylar to switch schools and never understood why this was such a big deal bugged me. I didn't like how oblivious her mom was and it really brought the book down for me. 
The one other negative thing I have to say is the fact that the secondary characters are kind of unrealistic. Skylar loses all of her friends from her old school because they are so mad that she switched to the rival school, like huh?! That was waaaayyyy too extreme. I also thought the  bullying Skylar underwent was over the top. I've never known any school to be so competitive and mean especially when they could be gaining a huge asset to help out their own teams. 
I did really like Skylar's and Caleb's relationship. I love the whole enemies to friends trope and I love how it played out on this book. 
I also thought that the author did a fantastic job with the switching POV. I felt that the voices were recognizable and unique so I didn't feel confused when I was reading. 
I also loved the sports aspect and how Skylar was a swimmer. That was definitely fun to see how it played into the book. 
I did find the ending to be a bit rushed. All of a sudden all of this stuff is going down and it feels kind of like WHAT?! 
I will definitely be checking oh the next book because I am so curious as to what might happen next. 
I would recommend this book to people looking for something light and fun. It was definitely perfect for the mood I was in!
MY RATING:


Natalie Decker is the Author of Rival Love. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!

Author Links:
http://adayintothewriter.blogspot.it/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7487891.Natalie_Decker
http://www.twitter.com/NatalieDecker07
https://www.facebook.com/natalie.decker.716





$10 Amazon gift card + ebook of Rival Love (INT)

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Emergent

Waiting by Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!
This post highlights a book that I am dying to be released!!
THIS WEEK I'M WAITING ON:
Emergent
By Rachel Cohn





Emergent (Annex , #2)Zhara, the First. Elysia, her clone. On the surface, they are identical. But looks can be deceiving.

When Zhara plays, she plays to win. She thought she had escaped the horrors of Doctor Lusardi's cloning compound. But the nightmare is just beginning. Elysia has taken everything from Zhara-a softer, prettier version of herself and an inescapable reminder of all she's failed at in her life. Now the man Zhara loves has replaced her with Elysia. Zhara will get her clone out of the way, no matter the cost.

Elysia has finally learned the truth: she has a soul. Her First is alive. She knows it hurts Zhara to see her with Alexander, but she can't give him up. The genetically-perfected Aquine has chosen as her as his life mate, and their days together are limited.

Elysia can't remain in the Rave Caves off the shores of Denesme forever. Revolution is brewing on the island paradise. Hundreds of soulless clones remain imprisoned like Elysia once was, slaves to the whims of their owners-wealthy human inhabitants of the island. As a group of clones and humans, led by Alexander, plot an insurrection that will turn Denesme's world upside down, Elysia knows her place is fighting by his side. Terrible sacrifices must be made to defeat Denesme's twisted regime. But even the greatest losses cannot prepare Elysia for the ticking time bomb built into her own programming...

RELEASE DATE: September 2nd, 2014
Why I'm waiting:: Truthfully I wasn't a fan of the first book... but I'm curious to see what happens... SO I really want to check this one out!

What are you waiting on?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stolen Dreams: Review

Title: Stolen Dreams
Author: Christine Amsden
Genre: NA, Fantasy, Romance
Series: Cassie Scot #4
Rating: Five Trees

THE PREMISE
Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

MY THOUGHTS
Cassie Scot has become a series which I can safely say is a favorite of mine. Each time I pick up the newest book I think that it can't be nearly as good as the previous one, yet somehow Christine Amsden manages to amp it up with each new book. 
In this final installment in Cassie's life, the reader sees Cassie reach new heights as a character and make choices that reflect her character perfectly. 
I completely loved the romance in this book and I was so happy with how things played out in this book! 
In each book I'm amazed at Amsden's expertise at throwing in twists that I would never see coming. So many of the predictions that I made prior to reading this book were completely wrong and made me admire Amsden's skills as a writer even more. 
I have to admit that there were several sections where I feared up (partially because it's the last book) but also because of the way that Amsden wrote. At this point I felt as though I knew all of her characters and that their decisions personally effected me. 
I also really liked how not every character got their happy ending. There was a lot of death and tragedy that made the story realistic for the reader. 
Sitting here writing my review and rereading my notes for the book feels so sad. There is so much more I have to say about this book, yet half of it is extremely spoilery and I don't want to say anything to give away what happens. 
So I'm going to leave it on this note. This book (along with the rest of the Cassie Scot series) was a roller coaster. I laughed, I cried, and I grew closer to these characters than any other book I've read in the past few year. (Which is really saying a lot. I read A LOT of books) I am so glad that I was introduced to the world of Cassie Scot and have become a huge fan of anything that Christine Amsden writes. Cassie Scot is without a doubt in mind one of the best fantasy series I've ever read and I can't wait to read the stories that the author plans to publish about some of the other characters. I don't think I will ever be able to give this series enough praise. 

Buy Links


Print Release Date: October 15, 2014
Audiobook Release Date: TBA

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($100 Amazon Gift Card) Code
(For some reason I can't get this to pop up on my blog so here is the link!)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c888753/


The Cassie Scot Series:
Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.




Author Bio


Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Social Media Links:

Website
Blog
Twitter
Google+

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Trust Me, I'm Lying

Waiting by Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!
This post highlights a book that I am dying to be released!!
THIS WEEK I'M WAITING ON:
Trust Me, I'm Lying
By Mary Elizabeth Summer




Trust Me, I'm LyingJulep Dupree is a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at a swanky Chicago private school. When she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep's carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel.














RELEASE DATE: October 2014
Why I'm waiting: As of this moment this is all the summary there is! (I'm writing this in January) So there might be more out now, but I am DYING to read this one! It sounds fantastic!









Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I would give to people who have never read Steampunk

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC IS: Top Ten Books for readers new to Steampunk


Leviathan (Leviathan, #1)The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes, #1)The Friday SocietyEtiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)The Unnaturalists (The Unnaturalists, #1)Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk RomancesSteampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange StoriesThe Falconer (The Falconer, #1)A Conspiracy of Alchemists (The Chronicle of Light and Shadow, #1)
1.) Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld~ Maybe my favorite book EVER! The Leviathan world is epic! It is one of the best steampunk books I've ever read! I adore this book so much. I think anyone who wants to start reading steampunk should start off with this book.
2.) The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason~ Going into this book I was apprehensive. It sounded like a fantastic book, yet I never thought it could be pulled off well. I absolutely adored this book and I can't wait for the next one to come out! A must read if you love steampunk or want to try it out!
3.) The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress~ Admittedly, I am only half way through at the time I am writing this post, but so far I LOVE it! The three main characters are fantastic and it is a great example of awesome steampunk! Definitely a great read! (So far!!)
4.) Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger~ This one is a bit more midle gradey, but it is definitely a fantastic steampunk novel. I really want to read Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, too!
5.) The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross~ This is another fantastic book! I love the entire series! (Still need to read The Girl with the Windup Heart!) It has great steampunk aspects and the series only gets better!
6.) The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent~ Another fantastic steampunk novel that is super unique! Love the world for this one!
7.) Corsets and Clockwork by Many Authors~ Honestly some of the stories in this anthology weren't that great, others were fantastic! Definitely a great steampunk read!
8.) Steampunk! by Many Authors~ Another really fun steampunk anthology!
9.) The Falconer by Elizabeth May~ While this novel has a more minor presence of steampunk than the other books on this list, it was still a fantastic story! I absolutely loved the entire book!
10.) A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz~ This is actually a book I've yet to read, but it looks like it should be fantastic! Hopefully it will be another great example of steampunk!

Are there any steampunk books that you would recommend??

Friday, August 1, 2014

Mafia Girl: Review

Mafia GirlTitle: Mafia Girl
Author: Deborah Blumenthal
Genre: YA, Crime, Contemporary, Romance
Series: None
Rating: 2 trees

THE PREMISE
Gia's father is the head of a powerful mob in New York City. Since Gia is the "don's daughter", as she feels the need to consistently remind the reader, she is living the high life. After Gia and her BEST FRIEND Ro get pulled over for speeding, being drunk, and potentially being high, Gia falls in love with the cop. *DUN, DUN, DUN*
Gia also has to deal with everyday matters like running for class president and being featured in Vogue! Yet she juggles it all using her awesome connections and friends.




MY THOUGHTS
I don't know if you can tell from the summary of the book that I wrote, but my thoughts on Mafia Girl are not all that positive.
I picked this up hoping it was going to be a light, fun read, maybe even something that could pull me out of my reading slump. Instead I got a book where I was forced to reread passages in order to understand what the heck was going on. There were several times when Gia was doing something and then BOOM something completely different was happening at a different place and I didn't even realize the setting changed. So then I would go back and reread the passsage two or three times trying to make sense of it all.
For example:
So when he grabs my hand, I follow him into the laundry room.
Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One.
The door to my room flings open and me dad x-rays me so hard I can practically feel the burn.
Do you see my point? At first s'hes in the laundry room and then BAM it's her bedroom. I was feeling so confused...

Another thing about this book that I hated was Gia 's need to label every single person in the entire school with some type of derogatory term.
...what I'll say to the a**holes at Morgan to get the to vote for me...
Man, I would totally vote for her if she was at my school she doesn't seem stuck up or nasty at all! Gia truly believes that she is better than every single person in her school... BUT then at the same time she hates herself a little bit. She was constantly calling herself a slut and her friends also referred to her as such.... (which confused me even more because she didn't seem the least bit slutty....)

Basically in Gia's perfect the world, EVERYTHING revolves around her. Her friends think she is so amazing! When she first tells them about running for class president the response she gets is is immediate. The tell her how freaking amazing she is and how she will win. Which I mean is cool and everthing, except for the fact that she's a  absolute jerk towards the entire school. How could you possibly win with that kind of reputation?

I would also like to point out that Gia is a stalker. After being puller over by a cop, who she refers to as Officer Hottie, she proceeds to have her friends hack things in order to find out where he lives, where he goes when he's off work, and even his entire back story. Because ya know, that's not creepy at all!!!
When she meets up with him at this bar (after sneaking out of her house) she proceeds to give him her number and tells him that he should call her... (Can we also please note that she went to a bar that was full of cops and managed to use her fake ID to buy beer and wasn't caught...)

It's been one week, sixteen hours, and thirty seven minutes or so since I've last seen Michael. I check my phone every time I inhale to see if he might have broken down and called.

So after he still hasn't called her she finds him again, where she once again completely freaks both him and the reader out.

I wake up at night thinking about you, Michael.
(There is one point where he calls her and they jusr sit there silently and listen to each other breath... How creepy can it get?)

 There were several other places where there were inconsistencies in the writing and with the characters. At one point Gia complains about not having Michael's number where only pages before he had just texted her asking to meet up and she had replied. Gia also kept talking about how Ro was her absolute best friend with Clive at a close second, yet I can barely remember any sections focusing on Ro. It was all about Clive and his terrible life where his parents don't love him. (I also found this hard to believe. I can't believe his parents would just leave him around like that and act as though he was inconsequential... The author tried to make a valid reason for there actions, but it didn't make much sense to me.)

I also completely don't understand how Gia can constantly talk about being a straight A student and then do what she does. I also thought her dream seemed a bit out of place... ***Highlight this next part to see a spoiler*** I don't get why she wants to go to law school. I completely don't see her motivations or why her dad would be so happy about it. I also don't understand how she'll be able to get into law school with her arrest record.... I don't understand her plan....

Mafia Girl had potential, yet I found it to be lacking in so many aspects. The characters were weak and the plot was basically about Gia and Michael's epic romance. There were other events (like Vogue and the school election along the way) but in the big picture it didn't really matter.

I really wish that before picking up the book I had read reviews for it so that I wasn't so surprised. Mafia Girl just wasn't the book for me.

MY RATING: