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Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel
After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.
This year, it is my turn.
My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.
But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.
Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…
Publishes in US: November 11th 2014 by Entangled: Teen
Genre: YA dystopia
Source: Entangled: Teen via Netgalley
Series? Yes The Book of Ivy #1
The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #2) Expected publication: November 2015 by Entangled Teen

Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog


    I wanted to read Book of Ivy because Ivy sounded like the strong and take charge character that I would like, and the type of post-apocalyptic type setting with the devastation to the nation and how things have changed for teens and everyone for a matter of fact in this town. The two ruling families and the arranged marriage, plus our insight going in that Ivy was to kill Bishop and tip the scales of power. 

   Ivy actually was a little less decisive than I would have thought, but it just made her a more real and believable character, She is still strong and loyal, she just had extensive plans with her sister and dad on how she was to act and how to try and pull of the murder. But then Bishop isn't what Ivy expected and that enough would have been enough to make her question but then plans start to go astray from what they'd devised and Ivy isn't as good at planning ahead and thinking how these changes should in turn change her actions. 

    Bishop surprised me in so many ways. From his gentle nature with ivy to his deep desire to know who she is. His beliefs are more similar with hers than I ever why'd have thought and I enjoyed their conversations and debates so much. I liked that he didn't have expectations of her and how hard he tried to get to know her and supported her. His Sternberg is so covenant than his dad's and all his own matching with the bishop that ivy slowly let's on and instead of pretending feelings they turn deeper and real. Things she sees as well as what she sees from bishop and what could happen if his ideals and ideas for their society if they could come to pass. Out really confused ivy and the plans that she took on her shoulders of her dad and sister and she behind to wonder how much she blindly followed his ideals and how much of her passion is her own.

    The family aspect is present and we find ought there are more lies and manipulations than I could have beloved but I also got to see that there is more behind the two leaders and the kind of society they want. Both have so many wrong beliefs as well as wrong ways to carry out  their good intentions.

     The way the book ended broke my heart. I know that she was so torn and that she had no good choices, but I just wish that the romance between her and Bishop didn't have to encounter this roadblock. I was so high on them and it was a delicious burn as they got to know one another. But I am so eager for the next book because reading the synopsis tells me one important thing that I can look forward to. 

Bottom Line: Slow burn romance with a plot I enjoyed a lot.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you believe in arranged marriages under any circumstances?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)
Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1) by Kiersten White
Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.
But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.


Publishes in US: August 31st 2010 by HarperTeen
Genre: ya paranormal
Source: library
Series? Yes Paranormalcy #1

Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: site, Twitter and Facebook


    I've been wanting to read this since it came out and I saw good reviews for it. I am just now making time to get some books from the past few years of blogging that I know that I have missed out on, and for the most part it has been a great experience. 

   The world building in Paranormalcy is good, simple enough but it has many supernaturals that add to the world. Evie herself has grown up in the agency after bouncing from foster homes. They took her in when they realized she saw through a glamour (outside appearance) to the real identity and look of the supernatural below. She has always thought of herself as human, and the work she does tagging other paranormals as helpful to the world in general. 

   But a prophecy and a new guy, the likes of which Evie has never seen in the paranormal spectrum before shows up and things get a lot more action packed and adds in twists. Lend, the new guy, seems so sweet, and he marvels that Evie sees who he really is and they both really enjoy spending time together. 

    There is also a fairy Reth who Evie used to have a special connection with, that Evie used to love but now just is scared that he is trying to take her heart. Things clear up a bit when Evie realizes that she has someone much like her but that the two differences in the prophecy could mean one for her and another for the mystery gal. 

    I really enjoyed the romance and Evie's general outlook. She has never been to school, only watching a popular tv series about the "normals" that she loves. Her best friend is also a paranormal, she is like a mermaid and they have her in a tank. She speaks through a computer generated software and they have many laughs as she tries to say curse words and all that comes out it is bleep. 

    I flew through this one and will be sure to read the next to see what will happen with Evie, Lend, Reth and the others I got to know in this book. 

Bottom Line: Good and fast paced paranormal.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
If you could be a paranormal creature, what would you chose.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Exclusive Giveaway and Blog Tour for The Demon Catchers of Milan Book Two: The Halcyon Bird by Kay Beyer

Her site

The Halcyon Bird – The Demon Catchers of Milan #2

Mia has settled into her life with the Della Torres — Milan’s premier demon-catching family, accompanying them to exorcisms and even learning some way to be useful in the family trade.
Then Bernardo comes into her life, handsome, well-mannered, someone who makes her forget her impossible crush on Emilio, her cousin.
But always lurking in the background is the demon who possessed Mia once before, and who has not given up on possessing her again–this time for good.
—This answer is formed from just how I would respond to a question from the crowd at a reading—some parent sitting beside their obviously distressed teenager, who is too shy to ask for themselves, and who clearly has a fight of some kind ahead of them—with depression, or gender, or disability, or something. The parent asks, “Do you have any advice for young writers?”—clearly meaning the kid sitting beside them.

Yes. I do.

First of all, write. Write because it will save lives. I don’t mean metaphorically. I mean that if LeGuin hadn’t written A Wizard of Earthsea, Craighead George hadn’t written Julie of the Wolves, (even with that ending she wasn’t satisfied with) and Austen hadn’t written Mansfield Park, I’d probably be dead. Write so that people who look like you or feel like you or both can see that you’re doing it, and be inspired.

Second, don’t worry too much about writing what you know, unless you can’t find any books about what your life is like. If you’re the first Sherman Alexie, that’s amazing and enormously important. If no-one has ever heard of what you live with, write about it. But also write what you want to write, because it’s really important for us to see people of all kinds doing different things—Native writers writing about bunnies in space, disabled writers like me writing about demons, writers who are fighting eating disorders writing about pirate ships.

Yes, you heard me. I’m disabled. You can’t see it. I have fibromyalgia, and RSI in both hands (mostly healed). And maybe you’re disabled, too, and people can’t see it. Or they can and they act like Martians around you. Don’t let it define you: find the workarounds. My hands didn’t work so I figured out how to use speech software and convinced a very sweet boyfriend to build me a computer that could run it, back in the days when desktops were king and had really noisy components that interfered with soundcards. Educate people. Learn how to choose friends of good character and keep them, and create a cheering squad for yourself (make sure you cheer each other on—see friends of good character).

Take care of yourself. For one thing, each day take a look at the good things you do; recite them to yourself, to learn your worth in a concrete way. Today, for example, I wrote some blog posts that I hope will inspire people. I told my daughter I loved her, I held her, I taught her how to turn on her tiny new flashlight. I helped a martial artist in my aikido class learn a new technique. I set a dinner date with an old friend who’s going through a divorce. Doesn’t matter how small. Recite it, remember it. Teach yourself your worth: it is there, waiting for you. It’s hiding in your everyday actions.

Remember the important stories. When I was first disabled at twenty-nine I remembered how my great-grandfather went blind as an adult. He suddenly couldn’t see, and he had to ask his ten-year-old son to take the wheel of his Model T. He didn’t take this lying down, though. He invented gadgets around the house, built them by feel, to make his life easier and lessen his dependence on his wife and children. He also invented a prototype Braille typewriter that’s in the town museum in Marion, Iowa, where he lived. This story from my family inspired me and probably saved my life. Think of the stories you know, about the people you’re descended from, or the people you admire. Pick the ones that inspire you. Re-tell them to yourself and others.

Take care of your body. Everyone can move in some way, even if they need help to do it. Do something you love. Learn what foods make you feel good, keep you healthy and strong, and taste good, and learn to make them. For a long time I couldn’t really do a lot in the kitchen, so a friend made up recipes with really simple prep that tasted amazing, and I learned how to improvise from them.

And write. Write to learn how to be a better writer, to ease your heart, to bring light into the world, to help us all face our fears.

Okay, thanks for reading. Feel free to get in touch with me at my blog, “The Real Money’s In Poetry,” over at Have a wonderful day!

Giveaway is for: The Halcyon Bird by Kay Beyer
Open to US/Can
If under 18, must have parent's permission.
No Purchase Necessary
Open: 11/19-12/2
The Sponsor: Egmont
Winners will be chosen by giveaway host and notified by email. They will have 48 hours to respond.
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-If you win a review on your blog and/or amazon is appreciated but not required.

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Waiting on Wednesday, WoW

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. I also feature books that may have already released, but I am anxiously waiting to read.

This week, I'm featuring:
Wishes and Dreams
This heartfelt digital original short story by Lurlene McDaniel features many of the same characters connected to her poignant contemporary novels "The Year of Luminous Love" and "The Year of Chasing Dreams." 
When Ciana Beauchamp awakens from a dream about Jon Mercer, her initial happy thoughts are muddied by the reality that they haven't talked in months. Indeed, Ciana has no idea where Jon is. Her emotions are confused as she both longs for him and is infuriated with him. 
Jon has put distance between them. He's off riding broncos on the rodeo circuit. But the miles don't stop thoughts of Ciana from swirling in his head. He knows he must come to a decision about what to do with his life if he is to reconnect with her. 
Lurlene McDaniel offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of two people who are deeply in love but must overcome their pride to come together again.

Releases: May 13th 2014 by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's not you: It's me: Did not finish pile

It's not you: It's me, the short and tweet version:

I have done this several times on my blog. Books that just don't work for me. I know my reading style pretty well, and I can tell whether I will like the book or not accurately about 80-90% of the time. If I finish a book, then there are aspects of that book that I enjoyed. I never talk about the author in a negative way, I only say what doesn't work for me. Normally if I finish a book, I give it at least 3 stars, meaning that I liked it. For these, it just wasn't a good fit for my stylistically, but since these were sent from the publisher, I decided to give it a try.

All of these books will be or have already been offered for giveaway in hopes of finding a reader that will love them and hopefully review them.

Karen at For What It's Worth and Mary at The Book Swarm occasionally post twitter-style reviews. Karen calls hers Short and Tweet, and I am going to borrow that review style here.

Stolen (Heart of Dread, #2)
Heart of Dread Stolen by Melissa De La Cruz- haven't had a chance to read the first one

Alistair Grim's Odditorium
Alistar Grim's Odditorium: too strange for me and mg feel

Stray by Sussman: too high fantasy for me

The Fall
The Fall by Griffin: I don't do much horror, so too scary for me.

The Invisible (Brokenhearted, #2)
The Invisible by Kahaney: 1st book wasn't the greatest fit for me.

    That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.