Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Darkest Part of the Forest Review

The Darkest Part of the Forest
The Darkest Part of the Forest 
By Holly Black
Published January 13th, 2015 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
328 pages

3.5 stars - Pretty Good Book!

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Let me start off by saying that I haven't read too many of Holly Black's books but those that I have read I have enjoyed. I have read The Spiderwick Chronicles and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. The books were magical and interesting to me right from the start. The Darkest Part of the Forest was one of my anticipated reads this year and the synopsis paired with the cover grabbed me right away. Sadly, the beginning of the book didn't pull me in as much as I would have liked it to. I'm not saying that the book wasn't good because it definitely started picking up near the end. It just seemed like something was missing. Maybe it is because this is a stand alone book and the characters and story could have been explained more with another book.
Despite a few issues that I had with the book, it is still an interesting and fascinating read. I have always been interested in books having to do with the Fae and Holly Black didn't disappoint in bringing them to life. They were creepy and fascinating all at once. The townspeople were even a little different. Especially Hazel and Ben's parents. The parents are more artistic and definitely fit in with the world of the Fey. Hazel and Ben are both different as well and have always been involved with the strange world. 
The characters were interesting and I really enjoyed the relationship between Hazel and Ben. They almost always shared everything and they really did have a great relationship for siblings. Hazel was not who she wanted to be in the beginning but by the end she figures out what she wants and who she is. Ben does the same thing as well. I love when there is character growth in any book but especially a stand alone. 
The ending of the book was where all the action kicked into gear. It was suspenseful and kind of creepy. But it was also gripping and I didn't want to put the book down. I HAD to find out what happened to the characters. All in all, The Dark Part of the Forest was an intriguing and fascinating read. There were a few bumps along the way but once I really got into it, I couldn't put it down. Check it out if you love a good fantasy!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Alienated Review

Alienated (Alienated, #1)
Alienated (Alienated #1)
By Melissa Landers

Published February 4th, 2014 by Disney Hyperion
344 pages

4 stars - Great Read!

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. 

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. 

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.


To be honest, I really haven't read too many books about aliens. I've read and loved the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout and I really enjoyed Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave, but for some reason I haven't read any others. I wasn't really sure if I would enjoy Alienated and I'm not even sure why I thought that. Luckily I did enjoy this book and I thought it was a pretty interesting idea. I liked the idea of the aliens coming into contact with humans during a time period that is not far into the future. It makes it seem almost realistic.

 Cara is a very driven and smart student and she is chosen to host a L'eihr exchange student. Cara really isn't too sure about hosting an alien in her home but the free ride to her dream college is definitely worth it. The only problem is that not everyone is on board with the whole idea of letting the L'eihr student into the town or the school. This includes Cara's friend and boyfriend as well as most of her classmates. I thought Cara was really strong for being able to stick up to her boyfriend and classmates. She wanted to stick to her beliefs about the issue and find things out for herself. She did all of this even when people started harassing her and her family. I know for a fact I would have gotten pretty upset with everyone around me if I was in her shoes. But she handles things pretty well. 

Aelyx is a pretty interesting character as well. We get to read things through his eyes as well as through Cara's and it was thought provoking to see Earth through an "alien's" eyes. It really makes one appreciate what we have here, like the seasons for example. I enjoyed watching Aelyx and Cara both grow in their thoughts and beliefs. They both learned things about each other and who they are. 

The ending is definitely suspenseful and I cannot wait to see what will happen to these characters. I feel like Cara and Aelyx both have to be really brave to go on with their responsibilities. Alienated is a quick and entertaining read and I was flying through it. There is suspense, romance, comical situations as well as emotional ones. I would recommend to readers that enjoy aliens and sci-fi with some regular teenage drama in the mix. If you haven't read anything like this before, then now is your chance!! 


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ugly Love Review

Ugly Love
Ugly Love 
By Colleen Hoover
Published August 5th, 2014 by Atria Books
337 pages
New Adult

5 stars - AMAZING! 

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly. 


After having read a few of Colleen Hoover's books it seems to me that she can do no wrong. Seriously! I have really enjoyed her books and Ugly Love was no exception. I don't even know if I can adequately describe this amazing novel. There is so much to be said but I also feel that you shouldn't know too much before going into this book.

I didn't know too much at all before I read this. I just figured it was another one of Hoover's and picked it up. I'm pretty glad that I just jumped in because I was completely enthralled with trying to figure everything out. Ugly Love is told in Tate's perspective which describes everything that is happening in the present. It is also told in Miles' perspective which actually takes place in the past. I loved that Hoover wrote the book in this fashion. It really helped me understand what Miles was going through and how he became the way he is in the present. 

Tate is such an awesome character. She is kind and caring and I love her attitude. She isn't perfect because she is real. She gets confused by her feelings and doesn't always know what to do but I was right along with her. 

Miles is a complex character and has such an interesting past. He doesn't seem like a great character in the beginning and when we see him through Tate's eyes. He is aloof and focused on his career. He doesn't ever want to talk about his past or his future. But as the book goes on we get to see more of his true self come out. We also get to see more of Miles' past and there really are no words for it. I don't want to give anything away but I just felt for Miles. I felt so bad for him and really came to love his character. 

The ending of this book is filled with so much emotion and Hoover made me cry (once again). I love the way that everything wraps up. Ugly Love is definitely a little heavier but there are some wonderful moments throughout. I have to say that Colleen Hoover might be one of my favorite New Adult authors because she makes these books and characters so easy to connect with. Check it out if you haven't yet!


Monday, February 9, 2015

On The Fence Review

On the Fence
On The Fence 
By Kasie West
Published July 1st, 2014 by HarperTeen 
296 pages

4 stars - Fantastic Read!

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.


Since last year I have seen so many good reviews of this book and I was dying to know what all the fuss was about. I was finally able to borrow this book and was completely pleased with the story and the characters. I don't really read too many YA contemporaries so I am very happy when I find one that is very enjoyable. On The Fence is one of those enjoyable books that isn't too heavy but, at the same time, leaves you thinking. 

Charlie is a sixteen year old girl that lives in a home filled with guys. She loves her brothers and beating them in almost any sport. She doesn't think of herself as a normal girl though because she isn't one for all the lace, makeup, or shopping at the mall. She would much rather play some sport with her her brothers and her neighbor, Braden. 

Charlie's character and I are complete opposites in the fact that she is really great at sports and I am really bad. :) I wasn't able to completely connect with her on that level but it didn't stop me from enjoying her character. I enjoyed the fact that I was able to learn new things through her character. :) Charlie is like every normal girl despite what she thinks in the beginning. She's a good friend, sibling, and daughter. I enjoyed seeing her grow from the beginning to the end. She doesn't have her mother with her to teach her everything about being a woman and I could just feel for her and her confusions. She did have some great support though.

Charlie's brothers were awesome and they each had their own personalities that added to the book. Some of my favorite parts were the fence chats with Braden and Charlie. I really loved their relationship, especially as the book progressed. 

On The Fence is a quick read and incredibly easy to get into. The characters are really what make the story and I was so happy to have been able to read it. Check it out soon!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins - Cover Reveal!!

Hello Everybody!! I am so excited to be able to help reveal the cover for Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins. I am absolutely in LOVE with Kaidan Rowe and cannot wait for this book to be published later this year! Can you believe this cover?! Isn't it beautiful? You can find some more information about the book below.

Sweet Temptation Release Date - September 8th, 2015

(Available in ebook and paperback)

Sweet Temptation Blurb:

Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it. 

Until he meets Anna Whitt—sweet, smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she has a certain power over him, one that makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve. 

Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives as the influencers of sin, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the demons’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.

Sensual and swoon worthy, this companion volume to the acclaimed Sweet Evil series from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, told from the perspective of the irresistibly sexy and mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into his struggle, his intense connection to Anna, and most of all, the true emotions that drive him.


And here is a giveaway that Wendy Higgins is holding! Click on the link and it will take you to the rafflecopter. Here is a picture of the bookmarks that Wendy is giving away! Aren't they awesome? 

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Ensnared Review

Ensnared (Splintered, #3)

Ensnared (Splintered #3)
By A. G. Howard
Published January 6th, 2015 by Amulet Books
384 pages
Kindle Edition



After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She's determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles . . . and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world--a parallel dimension filled with mutated and violent netherling outcasts. In the final installment of the wildly popular Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that's gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But if they succeed and come out alive, can everyone truly have their happily ever after?


Ensnared was such a stunning and beautiful conclusion to the Splintered series! I started Unhinged and finished it in two sittings and then immediately jumped into Ensnared. I just couldn't believe that cliff hanger at the end of Unhinged and this book picks up a few months later. 

Alyssa has decided to finally embrace her madness after her mother, Jeb, and Morpheus are taken away from her. She spends a few months where her mother once spent years. She practices her Wonderland abilities and forms a plan to get back what was taken from her. 

I loved that Alyssa was finally able to embrace her madness and figure out who she is and who she wants to be. She grew a lot throughout the first two books and this time she learns the rest about herself. She even learns more about the Red Queen and her father. But through it all Alyssa doesn't give up. I enjoyed watching Alyssa learn how to use her new abilities and figure out her relationships with the people around her. 

Jeb and Morpheus are both back and trapped in the same world...together. Jeb and Morpheus have such an interesting relationship and I enjoyed watching the two work things out. Jeb is not the same as he was when he was in the real world in more ways than one. His mindset is different and he is more upset and bitter with everything that has gone on in his life. While I understood where he was coming from and even felt bad for him, his attitude kind of got on my nerves at times. He was very upset with Alyssa and that's understandable but he didn't really want to hear her out either. In the end he does grow and come to realize who he really is and who Alyssa really is. He sees things from Wonderland's perspective and I love who he comes to be at the end. 

Morpheus is such an interesting and complex character as well. He doesn't really change too much in his actions or thoughts but at the same time he kind of does. He starts to become a little more human in a way. He is, at times, hard to figure out because you never know what he is going to do or what he really means. He is still apart of Wonderland and definitely crazy but we start to see his affections for Alyssa grow as well as his thoughts for others. I loved seeing him interact with Chessie and hearing his love for Wonderland. His relationship with Alyssa grows because she is finally able to admit that she does share affection for him. And let's not forget about that future that was seen between the two of them. :) 

Besides are familiar characters we learn a little more about the ones we didn't know too much about. Alyssa's mother and father for example. Her dad is so awesome and it is great to learn more about his past and the part that his family plays with Wonderland. Alyssa learns that she does have more family than just her immediate one. She also learns more about Red and it was interesting to see Red's reasons for her actions. 

Ensnared was such an intoxicating, compelling, and suspenseful read! I cried tears of sadness and joy and I could NOT put this book down! I finished it way to fast and was sad to see one of my favorite trilogies over. The ending is amazing and scary all at once. There is action and romance and awesomeness. :) I absolutely loved this trilogy and I can't wait to see if Howard writes any other intoxicating books. Check it out now!


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #13

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

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)P.S. I Still Love You (To All The Boys I've Loved Before #2)
By Jenny Han 
Expected Publication is May 26th, 2015

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of makes it so amazing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Unhinged Review

Unhinged (Splintered, #2)
Unhinged (Splintered #2)
By A. G. Howard
Published January 7th, 2014 by Amulet Books
387 pages
Kindle Edition

5 stars - AMAZING! 


Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.
I read Splintered last year and I was excited to be able to visit the world of wonderland once again. A.G. Howard is such an awesome author!! The Splintered trilogy is one of my absolute favorites in the whole world. But really. Howard is able to create a crazy and exciting world that no one would be able to resist. Her characters are complex and unique. This twisted world of Wonderland is one that everyone should read!

Alyssa has been in Wonderland once and was crowned Queen but decided to leave that crazy world behind and stay in reality with her best friend and boyfriend, Jeb. Unhinged picks things up a year after all the chaos and excitement that took place in Splintered. Alyssa thought she would be able to live a normal and sane life but she soon realizes that Wonderland will not leave her alone (Morpheus included). Alyssa learns quite a bit about herself in Unhinged and she learns more about her Wonderland and the people close to her. Jeb is back as well and is slowly climbing the ladder of success with his art. He cannot remember what happened on his trip to Wonderland with Alyssa but he does know that his feelings for her have progressed. Morpheus is in the real world now and causing trouble as usual but he really needs Alyssa’s help because Wonderland is definitely not how she left it. I won’t spill too much but just know that the relationship between Alyssa and Morpheus progresses throughout this book as well.

There is so much that we learn throughout this sequel and it is exciting and interesting. We learn more about Alyssa’s mom as well as her father. We learn more about the enemies out there and Alyssa’s future. There is much going on and the ending is quite the cliffhanger but you are all in luck because the last book is out now! I’ll admit that I finished this book in two sittings and immediately moved on to the last book. The characters and the feelings that they give are incredible. Reading Howard’s books of Wonderland is like being transported to world itself. These books are captivating and I cannot give them enough praise. Check it out now!!


Monday, February 2, 2015

Heir of Fire Review

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)
By Sarah J. Maas
Published September 2nd, 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
562 pages

5 stars - AMAZING!!


Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
Wow. I cannot even begin to describe the feelings that I had after finishing this wonderfully written book. There are no words that would do justice so bear with me while I try to explain my loves, likes, and dislikes. :) 
If you have not read the first two books in the series, then do not read any further! Unless you want to be spoiled I would recommend reading the previous books first. 
Heir of Fire picks up somewhat where Crown of Midnight left off. We are introduced to all our old friends and enemies as well as some new and exciting characters. We have a few different viewpoints that we read through including Celaena, Dorian, Chaol, Rowan, Aedion, Manon, and Sorscha. Quite a bit there but Maas executes their individual thoughts and voices perfectly. I didn't once get tired of reading through other characters eyes because there was always something going on with each one.
There is so much to be learned about Celaena in this book. We watch her grow and really figure out who she is. We learned before that Celaena is actually the lost Aelin and should really be a Queen so it is obvious that we haven't seen all the sides to her yet. Well be prepared to watch Celaena really find herself in this book. There are many memories and secrets about her childhood that are revealed and they are so interesting. She figures out more about her Fae powers and how to control them. Celaena just goes through so much but I loved that she was able to overcome just about everything that was thrown at her. She didn't do this on her own though.
Rowan Whitethorn is a Fae Prince and answers to Queen Maeve. He also trains Celaena in wielding and controlling her Fae powers throughout the book. Rowan is definitely not a cuddly kind of Fae and is harsh and rude at times. But he is also powerful and loyal to the causes that he believes in. He doesn't give up and has gone through quite a bit considering that he is pretty old. I loved the new relationship that Celaena was able to build with him and the fact that it wasn't actually romantic. It was a friendship that is strong and sure to last throughout the next three books. 
Dorian and Chaol are back as well but not really on speaking terms. Chaol kind of irritated me throughout the book because he didn't really seem to make up his mind. He was unsure of his feelings about Celaena's Fae abilities and Dorian's magic. This meant that Dorian was kind of left alone to figure out his magic! Luckily Dorian did have some help from a healer, Sorscha. So Dorian and Sorscha form a relationship of sorts and it was nice to actually see someone there for Dorian and to see him happy. 
Chaol was not left alone either and ends up forming a sort of alliance with Aedion Ashryver. I'm not going to tell you who he is but he does have something to do with Celaena and isn't quite what he seems. Aedion is a great character though and incredibly loyal. :) 
While we have the people going against the King we also have the people working for him. Manon Blackbeak is the heir of the Blackbeak coven of the Ironteeth witches. I really enjoyed reading things through her perspective. She is a witch and one similar to the one we met in the last book. She is cunning, strong, and ruthless because she was raised that way. She befriends a wyvern named Abraxos who is incredibly cute and loyal as well. But it also seems Manon is not all she seems to be. 
There are so many wonderful and horrible characters that you will be introduced to when reading this book and I loved that! I didn't ever get bored reading about them and their obstacles. Everyone grew so much throughout this book and there was a ton going on with them. There are more secrets and horrible creatures and the future is rocky. The ending was such an emotional roller coaster. Major events take place and certain characters put their lives on the line. I cannot wait for the next book because I HAVE to know what will happen to them. Maas has done such an incredible job at creating this wonderful yet horrifying world and the characters and creatures that inhabit it. I felt as if I was really there and I was also able to connect with so many characters. 
If you haven't read this one yet, then you need to do so now!

*Synopsis and book cover from*