Monday, December 30, 2013

My favorites of 2013

Wow! I can not believe that 2013 is almost over and 2014 is on it's way. 2013 was a year full of so much reading for me. I really hope that 2014 will be an even better year for reading. :) Thinking back on the year, I picked some of the favorites that I read. It was really difficult because I came across quite a few diamonds in the rough. :) All the covers have links to Goodreads so you can read the summaries!

End of Series:
Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

This year two of my favorite series ended and so, naturally, those two books are a part of my favorites.
Clockwork Princess was amazing and had me weeping like a baby in the end. The third and last book in The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. I hated to see a good series end but I loved the way it ended. Allegiant was also the third and last book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. While the surprise ending left many readers upset and hurt, it was an awesome book nonetheless. Sure, I cried like an even bigger baby at the end but I loved the experience of feeling for some great characters. If you haven't read these books yet, make sure you do!

First in a Series:


Scarlet (Scarlet #1)The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)

These next books were each a beginning of a series that I plan to keep reading. Scarlet was a great read for me with a nice cover as well. With it's unique take on the tale of Robin Hood and intriguing characters, I fell in love with this promising series. I can't wait to read the sequel soon! The Maze Runner was another favorite of mine. I jumped on the bandwagon a little later than everyone else but just in time for the movie coming out in 2014. I loved the characters and the suspenseful story! I also loved the sequel. I can't wait for the movie and Dylan O'Brien as Thomas! If you haven't read these book series' yet, then try them out soon!

Stand Alone:

EvanescentAlong for the Ride

I start a ton of series and it seems that, most of the time, I have to read books in a series. But, I do love stand alone books every once and awhile and these were some of my favorites. Evanescent was definitely a diamond in the rough and I'm so happy that I found it. It wasn't a long book but it's definitely worth your time and very magical! I also read another of Sarah Dessen's books which are always amazing. Along for the Ride was a great read and had a good story line and awesome characters. I recommend it to anyone!

Favorites in Series:


Origin (Lux, #4)Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)


These next books are a part of some of my favorite series but aren't the last books in the series. I LOVE the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout and this year I was able to read the latest book, Origin. It's not the last book and that was obvious by the cliff hanger. Readers get tons of Damon and Katy, romance, suspense and humor! Dare You To is a part of The Pushing Limits series by Katie McGarry. It's the second book in the series but you don't have to read them in any order. I just recently read this outstanding novel and am so glad that I did. Be prepared for the feels if you do end up reading it! Read both if you haven't yet, you won't be disappointed!

New Series:




The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)
And last but not least, a new series that was published this year! The 5th Wave was on my wishlist and I was completely excited to read it. I was not disappointed and I look forward to reading more of the series!

So those are my most favorite reads of 2013 and I'm so glad that I had many of them. I can't wait for next year and all the books to come! What were some of your favorites of this year?

Vanessa

Six Months Later Review

Six Months Later
Six Months Later
By Natalie D. Richards
Published October 1st, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire
336 pages

4 stars - Interesting!


Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her? 

And why can't she remember?




Review:

Six Months Later was quite interesting and kept me on my toes for most of the book. It had a mysterious feel to it and I enjoyed it very much. 

I enjoyed Chloe's character and how she wouldn't give up on finding out information about what had happened to her. The whole thing that did happen to her was kind of creepy and totally unexpected when the book starts off. The way the book starts off leaves the reader with no clues to what happened to Chloe's mind. I enjoyed figuring out the clues with Chloe and trying to pick out the culprit. Other characters that I loved include Maggie and Adam. Maggie was a great best friend and pretty strong. I definitely felt for her in the beginning. Adam was, of course, awesome. Not only was he very attractive but he was also incredibly smart and nice. There were some characters that weren't as great as they seemed in the beginning and even Chloe's mother was a little suspicious at first. 

All in all, I enjoyed reading this suspenseful book. I was constantly thinking of everyone that could be the culprit and trying to figure out what exactly happened to Chloe. What did happen was kind of surprising but kind of expected. Overall, Six Months Later was an enjoyable read and had suspense, mystery and some romance. Anyone that enjoys a good mystery will enjoy this as well. I recommend you all try this out! 

Vanessa

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Merry Christmas Everyone! Wishing your families a happy day filled with laughter and love. And, of course, many books!! 

Vanessa

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dare You To Review

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
By Katie McGarry
Published May 28th, 2013 by Harlequin Teen 
456 pages

5 stars - Brilliant!



Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"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....
Review:
I just want to say that I am in LOVE Katie McGarry's writing! Pushing the Limits was a fantastic book with wonderful characters that were intriguing and if you thought that was good, you haven't seen anything yet. When I saw that Dare You To was a book about Beth I was, at first, a little unsure. I knew that Beth had some story behind her actions in Pushing the Limits but I never thought to think that her story would be so intense. Dare You To will grab you and hold your interest. I read it in almost one sitting because it was so suspenseful, romantic and thought provoking. 
Dare You To is told from Beth and Ryan's perspectives. Reading about both of them, I realized that they were characters that you could so easily judge if you didn't know their background stories. This is, of course, true with everyone in real life and that is what I loved about this book. It makes you think and realize things about yourself and everyone around you. But, back to the book.
Beth is such a strong female character and the things that she had to go through were definitely tough. But it was awesome to be able to see her grow and learn more about who she is. Ryan was a pretty strong character as well. His problems were obviously different from Beth's but they were issues all the same. Ryan grew as well and definitely learned more about who he wants to become and how he wants to act. I loved the relationship between the two of them and how it slowly grew. It didn't happen over night, it took awhile and they were able to grow together. I also enjoyed reading about Lacy and all of Ryan and Beth's other friends. We see some old friends as well, like Isaiah and Noah. 
I just loved this book and I'm not exactly sure how to express how great this story is. I cried, I laughed, and I held my breath in suspense. Dare You To will make you feel so much and will have you rooting for the characters as they fight their battles. McGarry doesn't disappoint and keeps you wanting more. I can't wait to be able to read the next book because I know it will be fantastic as well. I definitely recommend you read this book now! In fact, I Dare You To. :) 
(Sorry, I had to do it!)
Vanessa


Friday, December 20, 2013

Review: Origin (Lux #4)

Origin (Lux, #4)
Origin (Lux #4)
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published August 27th, 2013 by Entangled Publishing
346 pages

5 stars - AMAZING!!


Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything. 

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on? 

And will they even be together?

Review:

Ahhh! This book was brilliantly amazing! I think it was even better than the previous books in the series and that is what I love. Jennifer Armentrout knows how to please her readers and keep them begging for more. This book had everything! Steamy and romantic relationships, suspense, and a ton of action.

Origin picks up right where Opal left off and Damon is pretty angry. Meanwhile, Katy has been kidnapped by Daedalus and you would not believe what goes on there. I didn't think it was possible but Katy grows even more throughout this book. She becomes even stronger, in more ways than one. Daedalus' actions are definitely questionable and at times made me pretty angry. Damon has gone through so much as well and goes through a ton in this book. But I'm glad to say that the relationship between Katy and Damon grows strong as well. There are some heartwarming moments and some steamy ones as well. I am definitely in love with Damon after reading this book. Then there is Dawson and Beth! Some big things go on between them as well. Again, there are characters that are so annoying and evil and then there are the ones that are amazing. 

We find out so many secrets in this book that are mind blowing, maybe even a little creepy. Origin is full of action and suspense and doesn't ever slow down. I did not want to put this book down and not once was I bored, there was just no way I could be. These characters go through so much and just when you think things will slow down, they don't! The ending is, yet again, another cliffhanger but I am not disappointed. A little scared, but excited at the same time for the next book. All I can say is that Origin was intriguing, entertaining and mind blowing! You won't want to put this one down!

Vanessa

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: Opal (Lux #3)

Opal (Lux, #3)
Opal (Lux #3)
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published December 11th, 2012 by Entangled Teen
382 pages

5 stars - Brilliant...yet again!



No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Review:

I love the Lux series and Jennifer Armentrout! Reading this each book that comes out in this series is always a treat and Opal is no different.

Quite a lot went on during this book and I was not disappointed one bit. Katy really grew throughout this book and you can definitely tell. After everything that happened in the last book, Katy has had to mature and become stronger. And in this book, the surprises just keep coming. Dawson is back, which is wonderful, and Damon is his ever charming self. Actually, Damon grows as well throughout the book. I think I'm always somewhat surprised at how great he can be. There are old characters brought back and some new characters introduced. Katy and Damon really have to decide who to trust and learn how to agree and compromise with each other. Which brings us to the relationship between Katy and Damon. Now that Katy isn't fighting the attraction between them, things definitely get a little steamy. I just love their relationship and I love their characters! 

The ending is a total cliffhanger but the rest of the book is amazing. We find out some secrets, surprises and much more information. I want to say so much about this book but I feel like it'll be a better experience if you know less before you read. Opal will not let you down and will keep you reading through the night. It's definitely a great present for this holiday season. After you read this one, you'll being dying to read the next! 

Vanessa

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Touched Review

Touched (Sense Thieves, #1)
Touched (Sense Thieves #1)
By Corrine Jackson 
Published November 27th, 2012 by Kensington Teen
343 pages

4.5 stars - Awesome!!



Remy O’Malley heals people with touch—but every injury she cures becomes her own. Living in a household with an abusive stepfather, she has healed untold numbers of broken bones, burns,and bruises. And then one night her stepfather goes too far.

Being sent to live with her estranged father offers a clean start and she is eager to take it. Enter Asher Blackwell. Once a Protector of Healers, Asher sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Only by killing a Healer can a Protector recover their human senses. Falling in love is against the rules between these two enemies. Because Remy has the power to make Protectors human again, and when they find out, they’ll be coming for her—if Asher doesn’t kill her first.

Review:

Touched is a different type of book than what I've read. It's intriguing and suspenseful and caught my attention from the very beginning. 

Remy can heal people with her touch and then the injuries become her own, but she doesn't know why she can do it. Her stepfather is abusive but her mother doesn't want to do anything about it and then one night he goes too far. After that Remy is sent to live with her real father. She doesn't know much about her father and what she does know isn't totally the truth. Soon Remy finds others who know what she is because they are different as well. But Remy doesn't seem to be safe anywhere because there are many who will want to kill her for her powers. 

Remy was a good character and one that I pretty much enjoyed. She has had a hard life and what she has to go through throughout the book is pretty difficult as well. She does grow throughout the book though and that is great to read. She learns about herself and about her heritage. She learns more about her mom and her real dad and she matures. Asher was also a character that I enjoyed, partly because of his name, haha. But he was an interesting character and I enjoyed learning about him and his family. 

Like I said, Touched was a different type of book than what I've recently read. I didn't want to put it down once I started and was captivated through most of it. I definitely want to know what will happen next and maybe a little more about the history of the powers that Remy and Asher have. I have a few suspicions about certain characters and how they play into Remy's powers, so I'm eager to see if I'm right as well. Touched is a book that you don't want to miss. Check it out now!

Vanessa

Monday, December 9, 2013

Deadly Cool Review

Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool, #1)
Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool #1)
By Gemma Halliday
Published October 11th, 2011 by Harper Teen
303 pages

4 stars - Very Interesting!



Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren’t enough, now he’s depending on Hartley to clear his name. 

But as much as Hartley wouldn’t mind seeing him squirm, she knows he’s innocent, and she’s the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school’s resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer’s next victim.


Review:

Deadly Cool was nothing like what I expected it to be, it was better. I didn't think it would be too interesting or intriguing but it really was. I found it to be funny with some witty banter and suspenseful as well. There was a hint of some romance but this book focuses mainly on solving the school murder.

Hartley was a funny and pretty smart girl. I enjoyed reading through her perspective and enjoyed watching her solve the mystery. She definitely has some bad luck throughout the book but in the end things go pretty well. I liked her friend Sam and, of course, Chase as well. I would have liked to see a little more between Chase and Hartley but at the same time, I felt the relationship between them worked. The friendship was just that, a friendship. I also thought Hartley's ex-boyfriend was kind of stupid but you can read about him yourself. :)

All in all, Deadly Cool was a book that made me smile and cringe. The investigating parts were suspenseful and some of the things that Hartley finds were disturbing. I enjoyed trying to figure out who the murderer could be but in the end, I was just as surprised as some of the characters. For a first book in a series, Deadly Cool was a great start. I can't wait to read the next book because I want to see the characters again. Entertaining and intriguing, you won't want to miss out on Deadly Cool.
Vanessa

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thimble Down Review


Thimble Down

Thimble Down



By Pete Prown
Published August 1st, 2013 by CreateSpace
373 pages

4.5 stars - Charming Novel!

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review!*


THIMBLE DOWN is a country village where death and malice lurk the quiet lanes. When the vile, drunken Bing Rumple acquires a gem-laden treasure, violence begins to follow him everywhere. Where did Bing find such a precious jewel, and worse, is someone willing to kill to possess it? In this fast-paced adventure, the village bookmaster, Mr. Dorro, and his young companions Wyll Underfoot and Cheeryup Tunbridge are in a desperate race to find the answer—before death comes to Thimble Down.

Review:

Thimble Down is a story for everyone. Its intriguing, charming, and full of adventure and suspense. While Thimble Down is a young adult novel, it could easily be read by all ages. The story captures your attention and doesn't let you go. 

Dorro Winderiver is a Hafling and the bookmaster of the country village of Thimble Down. He was a smart and witty character and definitely different. And, of course, he isn't fully human, just like the rest of the Halflings. He is also the "detective" on the case of the current murder in the village. The characters in this story were charming, some annoying, and just plain interesting. Elves and Halfings and Havlings were mentioned throughout the book, which made it quite intriguing. Thimble Down as like a murder mystery in a magical land. 

The writing really did make you feel as if you were actually there. I loved the descriptions and the reading about what the characters were thinking. There is always something going on and something for Dorro to try to figure out. Thimble Down isn't like any book that I've read before. It's unique and full of adventure. I really do recommend this book for anyone of any age. There is even a list of the names of the characters and the pronunciations of each in the very beginning of the book. That was very helpful because most of the names are, again, unique.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It had just a little bit of everything and was easy to read. If you like mystery then this will be a good fit for you. I found myself thinking I knew who the murderer was and then be wrong. Some twists and turns, but in the end a great book. Plus I really like the cover, it just feels cozy and mysterious. :) Thimble Down is one you don't want to miss!

Vanessa

Monday, December 2, 2013

Review: The Lost Prince

The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)
The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1)
By Julie Kagawa
Published October 23rd, 2012 by Harlequin Teen 
377 pages

5 stars - Amazing Spin off! 



Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

Review:

I loved the original Iron Fey series and I really think Kagawa's writing is phenomenal so I was excited to read this spin off series. I remember reading about Ethan and thinking how cute he was and it was great to be able to read a book in his perspective.

Ethan has definitely had it hard because of the fey and I did feel bad for him. He was also pretty upset with Meghan, his sister, for bringing the Fey to his world in the first place. Ethan is grown up and kind of portrayed as the "bad boy" but he obviously has his reasons for being the way he is. Throughout the book, I so wanted Ethan to be able to understand everything that Meghan did for him and the family. I felt sad that he was feeling left behind and what not but I also wanted him to talk to Meghan about everything. Anyways, Ethan was a pretty cool character and despite now having Fey powers, he was able to kick some faery butt. :) I feel like he does kind of grow throughout this first book but I also think he still has a ways to go.

We are introduced to some new characters, including one that I really adore but I can't tell you about because it would be spoilerish. We are also introduced to some old characters!!! I was pretty excited about this because not only do you get to meet some old friends but also a mysterious cat. It was great to see Ethan's reaction to everyone and to the land of the Faery. We have a love interest, Kenzie, and she's a pretty likable character as well. I'd like to see some more about her though. And then there is Keirran, who I loved just as much as Ethan. He was awesome, a great character and a nice guy. I can't say who he is exactly but if you've read The Iron Knight then you'll know. :)

The Lost Prince was definitely interesting and brought readers back into the world of Faery. It was suspenseful, full of action and adventure and, of course, some romance. Fans of The Iron Fey series will enjoy this book. Ethan's perspective is different than Meghan's but it's one that is welcomed. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next one because I have to know what happens to all my beloved characters! So try it out!

Vanessa

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful day so far, I know I am. I know I'm also thankful for the readers that I get on this blog. I'm so happy that I have my family, dogs, friends, and, of course, books! 

Have an amazing day and be sure to enjoy the presence of everyone around you! 

Vanessa

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lament Review

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1)
Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie #1)
By Maggie Stiefvater
Published October 8th, 2008 by Flux
325 pages

3.5 to 4 stars - Interesting story!



Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .

Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore, plus cover art and interior illustrations by acclaimed faerie artist Julia Jeffrey.

Review:
Lament was definitely an interesting read and was not like anything I've read before. Maggie Stiefvater has a way with words and is able to bring you into the story and make you feel like you are actually there. But while the idea of Lament was interesting and capitvating, I feel like more could have been added to the story. 
The characters were great and I feel like what we learn of them is a great start but I also wish we could have learned more about them. They weren't as full as I would have liked them to be, especially Deirdre, Luke, and James. They were all interesting characters but I would have like to learn a little more about them and seen more of the relationships between them. But aside from that, I was immediately drawn to the characters, especially Luke. Luke was a different type of character but he was charming and, in a way, otherworldly. Deirdre learned quite a few things throughout the book and was able to grow, which I enjoyed. The antagonists on the other hand could have been fuller. I don't think we were able to learn too much about them.
Overall, Lament was a captivating book and I did enjoy reading it. I was pulled into the story and thought that it was definitely an interesting concept. The folklore and the faeries all made for a great story even though there were some things I didn't like about the book. For the first book in a series, I think it was a great start but I hope to see a sequel or another book that gives more detail about the characters' lives. Because, while the ending was good, it was kind of abrupt. Anyways, I think Lament it worth a try and a fantastic read even with it's flaws. If you've read any of Stiefvater's other books, then you'll enjoy this one as well. And if you like faeries and Celtic lore, you'll also find this book to be a treat. Check it out!
Vanessa

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hello!

Hello!! Just wanted to update everyone on what's going on over here. First of all, I'll be putting up some new reviews starting this Wednesday. My Thanksgiving break starts Wednesday, which I'm in great need of, and so I'll be able to write a few more reviews. I've read all these books but haven't had time to write reviews for any of them. 

I can't believe that the holidays are already coming up and soon it'll be Christmas, which means 1st semester will be over for me. I'm looking forward to finding more books and hanging out with the family. But I'll probably busy again once Thanksgiving break is over. 

I don't know what I'm going to read next this week but I'll let you all know once I decide. How about everyone else? What are your plans for Thanksgiving and the rest of this week? Has anyone seen Catching Fire yet? I haven't but that's on my list of things to do this week. I'm also kind of interested in seeing the animated movie, Frozen. Looks cute and entertaining. :)

I'll post soon!
Vanessa

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Scholar Blog Tour!

Hello Everyone! Today I'll be the host for The Scholar Blog Tour. Check out all the information below!

The Scholar
By May Nicole Abbey
Genre: Clean Romance
Publisher: River Valley Publishing (July 7, 2013)

4.5 stars - Fantastic!!

A leap through time. A choice to make. A destiny to change.
Dismissed by her professors, ridiculed by her classmates, Serena Metcalfe is determined to prove the existence of the Samu Aqaru, the powerful stone of the ancient pharaohs – even if it means travelling through time. But her study of Egyptology did not prepare her for the dangers and passions of the real Egypt of 2361 BC. Crocodile attacks, kidnapping, betrayal, murder…and a pharaoh who believes she is a goddess and wants her as his queen. But Serena isn’t about to give herself to a king – not when finding the precious Stone could mean saving the man she loves.
Irresistible playboy Shepseskaf, fated for an early death, and his loyal yet ruthless cousin Pepisenkaura were once the closest of friends, but the right to the throne of Egypt and their rivalry for Serena threaten to transform them into bitter and eternal enemies. Only Serena knows the tragic destiny that awaits, and only Serena can rewrite history…by following her heart.

Review:

I've always found anything to do with Egypt fascinating, so when I was given this book, I was pleased. The Scholar is a fascinating novel full of adventure and good clean romance! I was immediately hooked and found it to be a great read. The authors did a fantastic job with the writing of this book and all the history and the characters were interesting and charming.

I loved the characters, especially Rabu, lol. But, really, Serena was a great character and grew throughout the whole book. I thought that she was tremendously brave when finding herself in another place and in another time period. I know I would have freaked. Shepseskaf, or Shep, was a great guy as well and I really enjoyed learning about his character throughout the book. The relationship between the two was really great as well.

The history tied in with the story was interesting and really made you feel as if you were there. There was suspense and adventure and just a good mix for a very good book. I recommend this to anyone who is intrigued by anything having to do with Egypt. And if anyone just wants a perfectly good book to read, then try this one out! Clean romance, a good story, fantastic characters and set in a place of beauty and mystery!

Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/Scholar-Book-Two-Fall-ebook/dp/B00DTNYO6Q/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1382043896&sr=1-2



Author Bios:

Caroline Gregory and Shawnette Nielson are sisters on a mission. Their goal is to write clean, adventuresome romance stories, full of lovely characters, personal growth, truth, and hope. Although they live nearly a thousand miles from each other, and are both busy with the daily needs of their respective families, they carve out time each night to put fingers to keyboard and write.  Their goal? Twenty completed books. Set all over the world and throughout time, they thrill at the freedom that writing time travel offers them. From Georgian society, to Ancient Egypt, and plans for a western, contemporary, and even a book set in ancient Greece, the possibilities are limitless.
Links:
Twitter: @mayicoleabbey

Vanessa


Friday, November 8, 2013

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)
By Michelle Hodkin
Published September 27th, 2011 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
466 pages

4.5 stars - Intriguing!!!



Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.


Review:

Some of you might notice this book was on my wishlist and I am happy to say that I was finally able to purchase it! I was intrigued after reading the synopsis and let's face it, the cover is amazing. This book is captivating, thrilling, romantic and just a tad bit creepy. 

The synopsis, while intriguing  doesn't leave you with much. I don't know what I was expecting this book to be but I was pleased with what I found it to be. 

I liked the characters, especially Noah. Throughout the book Mara tries to remember what happened the night that changed her life forever and struggles with finding out the truth. I felt bad because there was always the question of whether she was crazy or whether everything that was happening to her was real. She suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which results in nightmares and hallucinations. And while Mara knew she had this disorder, she had to wonder if the nightmares were real or just dreams. It also seems that Mara has some pretty interesting, if not creepy, "powers" and Mara has to struggle with whether or not she believes she has them or if it's just coincidence. 

She had a pretty good relationship with her older brother and I liked how supportive he was. Her parents cared for her but her mom seemed to feel like medication was the answer and was constantly watching her. I could only imagine how difficult it was for Mara and how having to worry about being crazy would be stressful to say the least. Noah was a pretty great character as well but I have a feeling that we don't get to see everything about him in this book. Not only is he incredibly attractive but he is also a little bit different than the average human. I also enjoyed the banter between Mara and Noah. Mara also makes one other friend at her new school, Jamie. I actually really enjoyed Jamie's character and I wish that he would have been in the story a little more. I do think that there is more to his character and I'm eager to see what happens with him in the next book.

This book was definitely different and just really addictive. It's a mix of mystery and suspense and romance and so much more. I finished it in a day and was happy and upset at the same time. The end was such a cliff hanger and I cannot wait to read the next book. I don't want to give too much away because I think that knowing very little before reading this book makes it that much more enjoyable. I found myself wondering if Mara was really having hallucinations or if it what she was seeing was actually real. 

I do recommend that you all check this one out. It's different and intriguing and, in my opinion, a book that is enjoyable. So find out for yourself!

Vanessa

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Darker Still

Darker Still (Magic Most Foul, #1)
Darker Still (Magic Most Foul #1)
By Leanna Renee Hieber
Published November 8th, 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
317 pages

4 stars - Intriguing Read!!



I was obsessed.
It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I'd ever seen--everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable...utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I've crossed over into his world within the painting, and I've seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked--bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.

Review:

This was quite an intriguing and thrilling, if not creepy, book. I've already found the second book in the series and am eager to start it. I really enjoyed the main character, Natalie. She's mute so you read the book through her diary entries. Darker Still pulls you into a world where evil things lurk about and very attractive guys are found inside paintings. You won't want to pass this one up.

Natalie is mute but she isn't stupid, in fact, she's brilliant and incredibly brave. Most of her life Natalie has been treated as if she was weird or dumb until she meets Mrs. Northe, an interesting and different woman, who treats her with respect. But after meeting Mrs. Northe and taking a look at the beatiful painting of a Lord Denbury, Natalie's life changes forever. From then on Natalie enters the world of magic, spirits, evil and love. 

I really enjoyed the characters, especially Mrs. Northe and Lord Denbury. I felt bad for Natalie because of her past and what she's had to go through. But throughout the book, Natalie matures and figures out who she is. She becomes stronger and braver and it was enjoyable to watch her through her journey. Mrs. Northe was incredible and a strong woman, someone I would like to know. The relationships between the characters were great and some very interesting. The whole idea of the painting and the evil spirits was captivating and, at times, creepy. I also enjoyed the diary entries and the articles from the newspaper or the letters from different characters. The whole book felt like something different and something unique. 

Darker Still is definitely a thrilling and unique book that will have you cheering for Natalie and the rest of the characters in their fight against evil. I'm looking forward to reading the next book and finding out what awaits the characters  I definitely recommend you check this book out!

Vanessa

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

An Incurable Insanity Excerpt



Hello Everyone! Today I have an excerpt for you from the book, An Incurable Insanity. Sounds like an interesting novel so check it out below! 



An Incurable Insanity 
By Simi K. Rao
Released October 8th, 2013 by Tate Publishing 
376 pages

Book Blurb:

"In Rao's debut novel, an arranged Indian marriage sets the stage for an intimate look at the exasperating madness of love.... An often intoxicating... will-they-or-won't-they tale."- KIRKUS REVIEWS

Shaan is a recent 27 year old aerospace masters grad, who lands the perfect job in a leading aeronautics and space exploration company in Los Angeles. At the urging of his parents' he goes down the traditional arranged marriage route, leaving behind a lover and a complicated relationship in Los Angeles. As a result, Shaan and Ruhi's marriage has an awkward and uncomfortable start. The begrudging spouses make a pact: Ruhi will stay with Shaan in the United States only long enough to avoid embarrassment from their family and peers. Ruhi, remaining optimistic thinks that she can use this time to try and win Shaan's heart, but to no avail. Follow Ruhi and Shaan on a roller coaster ride as they attempt to be “friends without benefits” and expose their true selves to each other in search of love and happiness.

While An Incurable Insanity provides fascinating glimpses into traditional Indian culture, it is an intriguing love story with universal appeal.



Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several years. The inspiration for An Incurable Insanity came from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community. Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from friends and casual conversations with acquaintances.



Twitter: https://twitter.com/simikrao

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7169786.Simi_K_Rao

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/An-Incurable-Insanity-ebook/dp/B00DRJZ31C


Excerpt

"Here... lunch." She pushed a box towards him.
"I don't want it."
"Why?"
"I feel awkward."
"But you never felt that way before, so why now?" You took me for granted. She stared reproachfully at him.
"It's different now." My perspective has changed. I behaved like a slave master, it's humiliating. He stared right back.
She pretended to appear disinterested, "you can eat it, give it to your friends or throw it away. This is all I can do to pay you back right now."
"You don't have to worry about paying me back. It's the least that I can do to make up for what I've put you through."
Her chair knocked sharply against the wall, as she jumped to her feet. "What? You think that's compensation enough? Nothing you do will give me back what I've lost! Yes, I agreed to marry you because I was blind and innocent! But who gave you the right to destroy my life, especially since you were having an affair and there was no hope for us? You treated me as if I was a disposable object! Why? Tell me why?"
"Yes I know I'm the worst kind of cad! But my hands were tied! My grandfather was on his death bed, I had no choice!" He snapped back gripping the counter till his knuckles turned white.
Walking up to him, she said softly, "Yes you had  a choice. You could have walked away. You could have been a man."


An Incurable Insanity definitely looks like an interesting and captivating novel. Make sure to check it out!

Vanessa