Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

The Forever Song (Blood of Eden, #3)
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa
Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?
With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.
Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.
In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.


Publishes in US: April 15th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA para
Source: Harlequin Teen via Netgalley
Series? Blood of Eden #3
my reviews:
#1  The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa 
#2 The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound  Book Depository

Author stalk away: site  series site   twitter   facebook  blog 

    I wanted to read The Forever Song because I loved the first book in the series, and can't wait to see the culmination of the work and world building in this final installment. Allie really got to me and with her loss and heart set on vengeance, I'm eager to see how this will ultimately transform her even further and what surprises Ms. Kagawa has up her sleeve for us readers. 
    While I enjoyed the first part, I feel like a lot of it was repetitive. Allie is giving in to the monster, rationalizing her way into becoming numb and shutting down every last bit of her humanity to forget the pain and don a devil may care attitude. Which, I know, is not going to last. This book has ultimately been about her overcoming, putting others and greater good ahead of what she desires. It has been a story of her feelings, of not letting the darkness win, and of light in the dark hopeless world that she was born into. And while I understand where she is coming from with trying to let the monster take over, and give it to the hunger and the chaos--she has seen a lot and been through a lot of pain including watching the boy she loved die. So, we get a lot of her internal monologue and some banter with her and Jackal to keep things entertaining. 
     Of course she has her breakthrough that she still has that spark in her and that she doesn't want to give her life to the darkness, and it really was the powerful and first turning point of the story. The scene could not have gotten to her on a deeper emotional level, and it made me cheer to see her turning around and back into the character that I so admired. 
     The Forever Song had a lot of travel, dialogue and in it, some action thrown in. It also held some surprises and twists. One of which I almost knew for certain, I just wasn't sure how it would happen and what would trigger it as well as Allie's response. But I think that one of the things that left me the most satisfied besides seeing Allie prevail and begin to change not only herself but the world one step at a time was Kanin's story arc. He has done so much that he regrets, but he always was trying to be about balance once he saw the way he'd messed up. He would feed from a human and then stack their wood and leave them meat for a day. He tried to mentor and teach Allie what he knew. He cared for Jackal no matter how far to the left of Kanin's views he went. But I love his ending--the balance, his peace and a way for redemption.
     I think that it wrapped up well and I can't really place many complaints on the story besides maybe repetition and my frame of mind. I cannot think of a better way for it to end and I am not sure why I didn't completely fall for it like I did the first book.   

Bottom Line: Content with the wrap-up, but felt repetitive at times.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you want to live as a vampire? 
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

The Probability of Miracles
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.
A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page


Publishes in US: December 8th 2011 by Razorbill
Genre: YA Contemp
Source: library
Series? No.

Buy it:  Amazon Barnes & Noble  IndieBound  Book Depository

Author stalk away: ~site

    I've wanted to read Probability of Miracles for quite some time now, and am pleased to finally get that chance. Ever since falling in love with Lurlene McDaniel's books when I was younger, I have been attracted to any stories with cancer or illnesses, so of course the synopsis caught my attention. 
   This is more than a story about cancer though, it is a journey of family, accepting that sometimes life deals crappy hands and deciding how to live the life that you have. It is also a different kind of protag. Cam is a Samoan, which is a culture that I don't know much about, and glad to read about. She grew up at Disney, the Polynesian resort, and as a Disney lover myself and member of vacation club, I loved the backdrop of the setting before they head off to Maine looking for their miracle. Cam is also fiery and sarcastic, and I love her brand of humor. She is pessimistic but then learns to hope and wants to help her family who believes in miracles while she doesn't. 
    Her mom is a non-traditional but she is involved in Cam's life, and supports and loves her and Perry, Cam's little sister. I loved Cam and Perry's banter, light hearted for the most part but they have some real conversations. 
   As for Asher and the romance. I very much enjoyed it, and that it didn't revolve around her illness. He saw her whole person and they helped each other to live more than they thought they would or fuller than thought possible. There are some hot and also fade to black scenes. 
    The ending was fitting but sad. I wasn't completely satisfied right as I put it down, but looking back I think that the real miracle was the closeness she got with her family, the time that she wasn't thinking about dying and being sick and finding love with Asher. 

Bottom Line: Sarcastic main character going through a hard time with her illness goes on a journey that brings her closer than ever to her family.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you believe in miracles?
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stacking the Shelves, The Sunday Post

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews,  check it out and sign up  here
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

What I read:
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)
source: simon teen
Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)
source: library
Red at Night
source: free on amazon
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden, #3)
source: harlequin teen via netgalley
James: Mercy Triumphs (Member Book)
source: bought

Infinite Sky-- thank you Simon UK/ Simon Teen
Learning to Drown thank you Simon Teen
call me by my name  thank you Simon Teen
educating Simon, thank you kensington

Last Week on the blog:
Don't Look Back
Source: Disney Hyperion for review
Of Darkness and Crowns (Goddess Wars, #2)
Source: sent by author and bought
The Here and Now
Source: Random via Netgalley 
Open Road Summer
Source: Bloomsbury via Netgalley

My week: Busy, but enjoying the good weather. I had to miss my daughter's field trip because of my knee and feeling like a guilty momma. But they are going with my mom to visit family and I have the weekend to me and Allan.

What are you reading? Any of my books new to you or have you read any of my books? If so, what did you think?
Also, feel free to link up your blog and mailbox post.
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Giveaway and Guest Post: Prime Deception by Carys Jones (Int)

 Sunkissed by Carys Jones
Dawn Summers is dying. It’s 1853 and as the seventeen year old continues to fade away she has visions of the father she never knew, urging her to fight for her life.
In the small village of Fandova the only medical care is in the form of the mysterious Dr. Moralus who has a known penchant for bloodletting. Thomas, Dawn's fiancé, is warned against inviting his intervention, but feels he has no choice, he pleads with the doctor to save Dawn’s life…whatever it takes.
Whatever it ‘takes’ has some consequences neither of them expected. Now, it’s a hunt to the death, with both Dawn and Thomas determined to win.
Embedded image permalink
Prime Deception-- comes out 7.4.14!
When Lorna Thomas is found dead in her car everyone believes she killed herself. But the day after her death Lorna was set to sell a scandalous story to one of Britain’s biggest tabloid papers. For six months she had been the Deputy Prime Minister’s mistress.
Will Lorna’s secret die with her? While her family try to move on and come to terms with her death one person refuses to believe that Lorna killed herself. Her twin sister, Laurie is convinced that Lorna was murdered and she’ll stop at nothing to prove it, even if that means teaming up the very man her sister had been having an affair with…
Website - www.carys-jones.com
Guest post with Blkosiner's Book Blog

My Ten Favorite Ways to Procrastinate
In an ideal world I’d write solidly pretty much all day long. But there are just so many temptations pulling me away from my laptop that some days I struggle to just focus on taking the words from inside my mind and capturing them on the screen. So I shall share with you the ten main offenders for robbing me of precious writing time;

Grey’s Anatomy

My equal devotion to both McDreamy and McSteamy is a constant distraction from writing. I love watching Grey’s, there is something about the drama of life saving surgery that is impossible to ignore! I own all the seasons on DVD and regularly re-watch them when I should be writing…

Walking Rollo

Rollo is my beloved dog and I think that I enjoy going for walks more than he does! I live near some woodland which is really nice to go walking in and take in the abundance of nature. It also gives me an opportunity to clear my head. I do some of my best thinking when I’m out walking with Rollo.

Girly Lunches

If a friend calls up suggesting an impromptu girly lunch I can never turn them down! I love spending time with my friends. I’ve grown up with them all and we are like a little family. Seeing them always brightens up my day.

Final Fantasy

I adore the Final Fantasy franchise and have just bought the latest installment in the series. The games are amazing but so immersive and they require a lot of time and dedication, which I happily commit to but sadly it is often at the expense of my writing!

Animal Crossing New Leaf

Animal Crossing is just so addictive! Every day you have to log on and tend to your village through watering plants and helping out your residents. I easily lose an hour a day to my little town! I feel bad if I neglect it for too long and so delay writing to go catch virtual fish…

Bath Time

Having a bubble bath is easily one of my favorite things to go. I love lying back in the bubbles and just letting all my troubles of the day drift away. In the evening, when I should be finishing off my writing I’m usually switching my computer off early so that I can indulge in a long, luxurious bubble bath! The more bubbles the better!

Cups of Tea

Being British I love my tea and my days are centered around them. I regularly stop writing to go and make myself a nice fresh cup. I like to curl up on the sofa and watch one of my other procrastination causes; Grey’s Anatomy!

The Internet

Idly browsing the internet became such a big problem for me in terms of drawing my focus away from writing that I had to disconnect the computer where I write from the wi-fi system completely. I shut myself away in my study and can only write on my laptop. I have another computer downstairs which is connected to the internet where I can do virtual window shopping to my heart’s content!

Household Chores

Don’t get me wrong, household chores are extremely important. I’m very much a tidy house, tidy mind sort of person. But a day spent hovering, washing and polishing my house is a day spent not writing. So as essential as cleaning may be, it does force me to procrastinate from my writing.

My Kindle

One thing that can keep me away from my own stories is a really great story written by someone else. Usually I read only at night before I go to sleep, but if a story really grips me, my reading time bleeds in to my day and instead of writing my own stuff, I’m hungrily reading through a fantastic story! But reading wonderful stories also helps as it inspires me to want to up my game and create memorable books of my own!

Blkosiner's Book Blog Giveaway
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Don't Look Back
Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.
Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.
But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?
Publishes in US: April 15th 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: YA contemp
Source: Disney Hyperion for review
Series? No

Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBookstore

Author stalk away: Site Blog Twitter Facebook

    I wanted to read Don't Look Back because I love Jennifer Armentrout as an author, and pretty much anything YA and NA she writes goes automatically on my wishlist. (I can't speak for adult stuff, since I haven't for whatever reason tried them yet.) While the mystery feel isn't always my favorite as far as genre, I would be intrigued by the synopsis even if it wasn't JLA because the memory loss is always a topic that catches my eye, and especially more so that she wakes up and discovers the life that she lead she didn't much like. I wanted to put together the pieces of what made her change from the Sam she used to be into one that was a mean girl and seemed to contradict her natural sense of how to treat people. 
    I got caught up in her story, like her trying to make her and her best friend's disappearance make sense, as well as the obvious different of the Sam that wakes up with no memory of the past and the one who was there before the accident. Her family is super surprised along with her friends and boyfriend at how differently she is looking at life, treating others, and it brings her and her brother Scott closer, as well as his friend Carson. We realize that they have a history together, and there is obvious chemistry and attraction between them. It is the only kind of semi cheating that I can deal with because I never got a good feeling with Del, and it is almost like two different Samanthas. 
     I had my suspicions about what happened to Samantha and Cassie, some of them were affirmed by the pieces of memory and also visions that Sam keeps having and others seem to lead me away from my thoughts. But Jennifer always manages to throw in things that I didn't seem coming. Really, she had me suspecting everyone from Sam herself to the mailman (not really, but I think that I suspected everyone in the book at some point.) To have such a confused narrator, everything is thrown into question and with such a personality change, it also ostracized not only herself but the other characters.
      She keeps me so entertained from her snarky wit to her flawed but relatable characters, smoking hot guys that have a deeper level than just the looks and charm, and her fast paced stories. The romance was great and I liked the friendship aspect that they built as children and the complicating factor was the middle time where she was a mean girl. 
      The ending took me by surprise but I appreciate that it showed that the truth came out, character growth in Sam, promise of hope in the future for healing, moving on, but still remembering a hurting girl who died too soon.
Bottom Line: Great mystery from an unreliable narrator. Throw in some humor, hot romance and flashbacks you have this amazing book by Jennifer.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think you could ever live a life you'd hate if you woke up with amnesia?
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