Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #15

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 ! 



This Wednesday I am wishing for a book that has not been released yet. It's expected publication is May 5th of this year. Super excited because the cover looks so amazing! What is on your wishlist this Wednesday?

The Novice (Summoner, #1)
The Novice (Summoner #1)
By Taran Matharu
Expected publication is May 5th, 2015


Synopsis from Goodreads.com

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review - Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)
Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
By Stephanie Perkins 
Published July 16th, 2013 by Speak 
372 pages
Paperback

5 stars - AMAZING!! 

Quote:
“For the two of us, home isn't a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” 


Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome √Čtienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?


Review:

This was such an amazing read! I'll be honest, I don't usually seek out contemporary reads. I enjoy contemporary YA but I much prefer paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction. Basically anything that takes place in a world unlike our own. But I absolutely love it when I find a contemporary novel that I really enjoy. Anna and the French Kiss was a book that I had been neglecting to read. I think it was all the hype that kept me away from it. For some reason I ended up borrowing it from the library as well as the other two companion books. It took no time at all for this book to grab my attention. I had so much fun reading it and I was just so in love with the story! I cannot believe that it took me this long to read it! 

Anna and the French Kiss is such an amazing contemporary. It is a realistic setting that Stephanie Perkins has made feel magical. It was such an experience to read because of the characters. I adored St. Clair and Anna as well as the rest of the group. Each character had his or her's own personality and I loved each one. The relationship between St. Clair and Anna was my favorite part of the book. They were friends first and it was great to see two people have so much fun together. Aside from watching their relationship grow it was also nice to see them grow as individuals. Anna and St. Clair grew up and figured out who they are and what they want to do with their lives. 

I'm having a difficult time correctly putting into words how I feel about this book and why you should read it. So I'm just going to say that it is now one of my favorite contemporary YA's. The story is a mix of fun times as well as some touching and serious moments. Stephanie Perkins brings readers to a magical setting in Paris with lively characters that won't soon leave the mind. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more from her! Check this out now if you haven't! 

Vanessa

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Book Spotlight - Magno Girl by Joe Canzano

Hello Everyone! Today I am hosting a book spotlight for the Magno Girl virtual book tour! Find out more about the book and author below!


Magno Girl
By Joe Canzano
Genre: Comic Urban Fantasy

Book Synopsis:

When a Manhattan pizza maker is found dead in his own dough, Magno Girl enlists the aid of her biker ninja boyfriend to help solve the crime – and quickly discovers there’s more to the pie than meets the eye, including a sinister plot that spans the globe. 

Magno Girl leaps into action. After all, she can fly, she can fight, and she can use her fearsome superpower, the “Gaze of the Guilt,” to bring a hardened criminal to his knees. But the road ahead is hard. The city’s other superheroes despise her, and the cops don’t want her around, and her own mom won’t stop spitting out advice about marrying a “respectable guy” and trading in her crime-fighting career for a baby carriage—but is she attracted to “respectable guys”? And is she interested in emotional commitment? And will finding real love be her biggest challenge of all? 


Welcome to the world of Magno Girl, a wild and absurd place filled with humor, action, and romance.


Author Bio

Joe Canzano’s interest in stories started at the age of three, when his mother read him Peter Rabbit. Unfortunately, his grandfather shot Peter and shoved him into a pot, convincing Joe at a young age to never write a story about a fuzzy animal.

Through his school days, English was the only subject that didn’t put him to sleep. He has a BA in English from Rutgers University.

Joe once wrote a 10,000 line epic poem about an upscale madam and the secret agent who falls in love with her. He figured this would take the literary world by storm since there was nothing like it on the bestseller lists. He soon discovered there was good reason for this. As one editor said, “Epic poetry ain’t what it used to be.” Well, crap. Joe decided to write something else.

Joe’s hero is Wile E. Coyote because he keeps on trying, no matter how many times a big rock falls on his head.

Joe’s short stories have been published in the following places: Akashic Books Online, Happy Magazine, The Chrysalis Reader, The Wisconsin Review, Studio One, Pearl, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Quercus Review
Joe is a rock and roll singer, songwriter, and guitar player, and his stories and style are influenced as much by the Ramones and Lou Reed as they are by Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain, Elmore Leonard, Christopher Moore, and Tom Robbins.

Joe’s publishing company, Happy Joe Control, has several other novels to be released in the near future.


Links:





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Video Review - Legend by Marie Lu

Hey Everyone! Here is my first video review on BookTube. I talk about Legend by Marie Lu and all my love for it in this video. Thanks for watching!

The link - Legend Review Video

Monday, March 16, 2015

Review - These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)
These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
By Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Published December 10th, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
374 pages

4 stars - Great Read!

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive -- alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth. 

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.





Review:

These Broken Stars is a book that I have been wanting to read for awhile and now that I have I'm not too sure how I feel about it. I really did enjoy the book and the characters but I wouldn't say that this is one of my top favorites. I feel like it was just very hyped up for me and then it didn't meet my standards. Nonetheless, I still give this book 4 out of 5 stars because the plot and characters were pretty interesting.

This is a science fiction love story that some have called Titanic is space. But this book isn't solely based on romance. This is a story of much more. These characters are stranded on an unfamiliar planet that is empty save for them and a fallen ship. They have to learn to trust each other and survive with each other in an environment that they are unused to.

Lilac LaRoux is a princess of sorts and the daughter of the richest man in the galaxy. She is seen as spoiled and bratty - only thinking of the latest gossip and herself. But a look into Lilac's head and readers realize how unlike that girl she really is. She's different and see's people differently. She has had to learn to be this way but while on this planet she learns more about herself.

Tarver Merendsen is a Major in the military and well known for being a war hero. He's not from the high society that Lilac is from but she still manages to catch his eye. He lived a different and simple life compared to Lilac but both of them must learn to work together if they want to survive.

I really enjoyed reading through both perspectives and watching both characters grow individually and as friends. They don't really get along at first but they soon realize that they both need each other. I loved how their relationship progressed and how they were able to see more about each other than they did before.

I can't say that I have read a book like this before and for that I applaud Kaufman and Spooner! The whole hyperspace and terraforming topic was very interesting. I'm glad that the next book lets readers learn more about the colonists on the terraformed planets because that was something that I had been wondering about. This book focuses more on what this unfamiliar planet holds and how Lilac and Tarver grow as individuals. The ending was kind of surprising but also kind of fast. There was something that was missing but I'm not sure what it was. Nonetheless, this was an enjoyable read and I would recommend to science fiction fans and anyone interested in a different and captivating read. :)

Vanessa

Friday, March 13, 2015

Review - Champion by Marie Lu

Champion (Legend, #3)
Champion (Legend #3)
By Marie Lu
Published November 5th, 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
369 pages

5 stars - Such an AMAZING conclusion!!

*WARNING!! - This is the LAST book in the trilogy and there will be spoilers for the first two books in this review! Do not read if you have not read the first two books!!*

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?


June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.
 

Review:

As I type this review I continue to be overwhelmed by the feelings that reading this book and trilogy have stirred up in me. I finished this series just a few hours ago and I honestly have no words to describe how I'm feeling. All I know is that this trilogy has to be one of my new favorite series let alone dystopian series. Each book is a 5 star book for me and the characters will forever be with me. I laughed, cried, and huffed in frustration. Marie Lu really knew what she was doing when she wrote Champion and the trilogy as a whole.

There is so much that has gone on throughout the first two books and Champion is no exception. There is a ton of action and suspense. The character growth throughout this book is also, I feel, tremendous. I think what really grabbed me throughout this trilogy was the fact that these characters leave an impression. Day, June, Eden, Anden, Tess, the Patriots, even Ollie! They all contribute something to the story.

This book picks up around eight months after Prodigy left us with broken hearts (at least mine was broken). Day has Eden back and while Eden is getting better, Day is not. June is in training to be the Princeps-Elect and learning to work in a more political position than she's used to. Day and June have not seen each other during these months but then something comes up that brings them back together. The Colonies are planning something and it the Republic is not safe from their plans.

I don't want to say too much and spoil things in case there is someone out there that hasn't read these amazing books yet. Old characters that we love and hate are brought back as well as a few new ones. Day and June really figure out who they are in this conclusion and I loved that the most. Anden and Tess are other characters that grow and mature as well. The characters and readers learn more about the Republic and the Colonies as well as the other countries. We learn why The United States broke apart and we see how things might come to change.

The ending of this book completely brought me to tears. My younger brother had already warned me that the ending was kind of sad but I was still surprised by it. Don't get me wrong, I think that the ending made sense but I was still heartbroken in a way. I was even just sad to have to say goodbye to these new friends that I had made. To the characters that I fell in love with and that I learned to love. This last book was definitely a roller coaster of emotions for me but I am so happy that I was able to experience them. If you haven't read this book yet, then you are definitely missing out! From someone who waited so long to read the series, I really recommend you check it out.

Vanessa

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review - Prodigy by Marie Lu

Prodigy (Legend, #2)
Prodigy (Legend #2)
By Marie Lu
Published January 29th, 2013 by Putnam Juvenile 
371 pages

5 stars - AMAZING SEQUEL!


*WARNING!! - This review will have spoilers for the the first book in the series! Do not read if you do not want to be spoiled!*

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic's most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots - a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games? 


Review:

Wow. Prodigy was such an awesome sequel and second book in a series. I'm sure that most of you have experienced reading those second books that just lack something. You've read them, right? The second books sometimes drag because the characters are all apart and having to learn things about themselves. There usually isn't too much action because we are sometimes introduced to new ideas or worlds. Prodigy was not like that at all.

There was no lack of action in this sequel. It was exciting and suspenseful just like the first one. June and Day still interact with each other and continue to grow. June and Day may have gotten away from the assassination and all the soldiers but the work isn't over. Eden is still somewhere out there and they need help to be able to bring him home. So they turn to a group of people that Day has been turning down for quite some time. The Patriots. Well the Patriots expect help with their new plan in exchange for the help in finding Eden. This is where all the action comes in. :)

I won't say too much in case there are others who haven't read this book yet. I will say that Prodigy is just as enjoyable as Legend. The characters are really what make the series for me. Each one is just really interesting. We learn more about Thomas, Kaede, Tess, Anden, and June and Day. Each one grows in their own way and that is always a fun thing to watch. The relationship between June and Day is a little strained because of everything that is going on and some of the people around them. They are still just teenagers and it is interesting to see how they handle situations that are stressful and worrisome. Both of them are still trying to grieve the loss of their family members. They are feeling many emotions and I just feel for both of them.

I could talk about June and Day all day but I won't make this review too long. The ending made me tear up a little and I was extremely glad that I had Champion on my shelf. There are so many feelings that I felt at the end and being able to jump into the conclusion was just what I needed. So far this series is definitely a 5 star series. The characters are amazing and I absolutely enjoy watching them grow. It's also really interesting to learn more about the Republic and the Colonies. Marie Lu explains their history in an interesting way that really holds my attention. I cannot wait for the next book! If you haven't read this book, then do so now!!

Quote - "He is beauty, inside and out. He is the silver lining in a world of darkness. He is my light."

Vanessa

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March 2015 TBR

Wishlist Wednesday #14


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 ! 


\
I really really want to buy this and read it! I love The Lunar Chronicles and learning more about Levana will be really interesting! 

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)
Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)
By Marissa Meyer
Published January 27th, 2015 by Feiwel & Friends 
222 pages



In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?


Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now. 

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dead Money Run by J. Frank James Excerpt

Hello Everyone! Today I have an excerpt from the book Dead Money Run by J. Frank James. This book is the first book in a series and is in the action/adventure, crime fiction, mystery, and thriller genres. Check below for an excerpt and to learn more about the author and series!

There are currently 4 books in the Lou Malloy Crime Series by J. Frank James: The Run Begins, Dead Money Run, Only Two Cats, and Blue Cat In Paradise.


The Run Begins is the prequel to the Lou Malloy Crime Series:
Lou Malloy is 18 years old and ready for the world... but is the world ready for him? His brother Sam has left and his sister wants to move to Florida with the family. Malloy is having none of it and on a wild moment decides to hop on a rail car, unsure of where he is going. The important thing is that he will no longer be in Kansas, but the problem is that he doesn't have any money. Henry Lowe, who is in the same rail car, offers Malloy the deal of a lifetime... All he has to do is help Lowe rob a casino in Georgia. With the promise of a big payday, Malloy throws in with the scheme and seals his fate forever.


What starts off as a quick way for Malloy to get a share of $15 million turns into a run for his life. Malloy learns the hard way that nothing comes easy when you’re alone and your life is about change forever…
Read how Malloy survives against all odds in J. Frank James’s next Lou Malloy novel Dead Money Run.
-------------------------------------------


Dead Money Run (Lou Malloy Crime Series #1)
By J. Frank James
Published August 26th, 2013 by Createspace
306 pages

Reviewed by BestThrillers.com:

On the day Lou Malloy is to be released from prison, the warden calls him for a private meeting. “Ten percent of fifteen million is a lot of money,” the warden tells him. He’s probing Lou for the whereabouts of the $15M that was stolen from a casino 15 years earlier. Lou, however, doesn’t bite. He’s got big plans, which include finding the person who killed his sister while he was in the joint. 

Enter Hilary Kelly, a 20-something beauty who gives Lou a motorcycle ride from the bus station. She claims to be a student, but Lou is far too wise to fall for it. After crashing in Hilary’s trailer, Lou soon finds her .38 Smith and Wesson and discovers she’s a private investigator who knows something about his sister. 

Hilary a great character, and loaded with memorable lines: “Lou, sometimes you can be the nicest killer I have ever known.” Alas, she and Lou were made for each other - he likes to think of himself as a "compassionate killer." 

Fans of James Ellroy and Elmore Leonard are going to love James’ ingenious capers, devious characters and wry humor. The entire book goes down like a strong yet smooth shot of bourbon.  

Will Lou reclaim his money, or will he be lured into one last big score? And who killed his sister, anyhow? To James’ credit, the answers will surprise you. This is one crime novel well-worth finishing.


---------------------------------

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

The warden was a small man, but dressed neatly. Everything about him was neat-from his hair to his shoes. He was almost too neat.
“So what are your plans, Lou?”
When I walked into the room, the warden turned over a little hour-glass full of sand. We both watched it for a few seconds and then looked at each other. This was the first time I ever met the man. What did he care about me now? Since he never cared before, I figured the man was just looking for information. Perhaps he wanted to give me a warning. I didn’t say anything.
“Do you ever think about time, Lou?”
“After fifteen years, what do you think?” I said.
He smiled and said, “Most valuable thing we have and no one seems to mourn its passing until it’s too late.”
I had nothing to say to that. Conversations with a prison warden came with a lot of maybes. While in prison I trained myself to watch a man’s hands. If he rubbed his hands in a washing motion, he was lying. If he messed with his fingernails, he wasn’t interested in the conversation. The warden was rubbing his hands as if he had touched something distasteful.
“I haven’t given it a lot of thought, Warden Edwards.”
“Call me John, Lou. We’re friends now,” Edwards said while rubbing his hands in a determined kind of way.
So now we were friends. I wanted to tell him he was a liar, but my better judgment stopped me. Probably a good way to delay my release-things get lost, papers go unsigned. Things happen.
“Okay, John,” I said.
“You know, we never found the fifteen million,” he said.
“I didn’t know you were looking for it.”
I watched his eyes flicker briefly. I seemed to hit a sweet spot.
“No, Lou. You misunderstand,” he said as he caught himself. “There is a reward for the recovery of the money. Did you know that?”
Edwards said it more as a statement than a question. I said nothing and waited. Edwards shifted in his chair and started to rub his hands again.
“It would be in your best interest to tell them what you know.”
“Who’s the ‘them’ John?” I asked.
“They’re the people looking for the money.”
I thought about that for a few moments. The statement covered a lot of ground.
“Since I didn’t take the money in the first place, I don’t have anything to tell them. They need to ask the people that took it,” I said.
Edwards was smiling now and he stopped rubbing his hands.
“There are some people that think you do.”
“I can’t help what people think.”
“Ten percent,” he said.
“Ten percent of what,” I said.
“The money, Lou. Ten percent of fifteen million is a lot of money.”
“I hadn’t heard about that,” I said.
“Yeah, it seems the Indian casino had insurance. The insurance company that paid off on the claim put up a ten percent reward for the return of the money. A million five is a lot of money.”
“I hope they find it,” I said.
Edwards blinked his eyes signaling he was moving on to something else.
“Sorry to hear about your sister,” he said. “I understand they are doing all they can to find her killer.”
Edwards was a real card and running out of things to say. On any other day, in any other place, he would be dead or wishing he was.
“Thanks, John. Your words are real comforting,” I said and returned my gaze to the little hourglass and the sand as it accumulated on the bottom.
I had nothing else to say except make him happy. Make them all happy. Just one big happy group sitting around smiling at each other; happy, happy, now let’s just get the money and spread it all around and we can go on being happy. In the meantime my sister lies in a hole feeding worms. I had money on the worms being real happy. No word on how my sister felt.
Edwards looked disappointed when I didn’t add to our conversation.
“Lou, it might be a good idea for you to help them find the money. It could be a big windfall.”
Now we were getting somewhere. Just like all the rest of the treasure hunters, the miserable bastard was just in it for the money.
“Windfall for who, John? Me or you?”
As if tasting a lemon, Edwards twisted his face and, at the same time, waived his hands at an imaginary fly.
“I’m not sure what you mean, Lou. I’m just trying to give you a head start. If it was my decision, you would still be with us. Fifteen million dollars is a lot of money to lose.”
“It still is,” I said.
I sat and watched Edwards shift in his chair some more. We had nothing left to talk about. I could feel him working out in his mind how he was going to present his failure to get a lead out of me on the money.
“So, what are you going to do now?” Edwards said.
Finally, I had enough.
“Leave. Isn’t that what we all do?”
His smile vanished. He knew he was wasting his time on someone who had maxed out. He also knew he couldn’t hold me. There would be no parole violation with the threat to re-incarcerate me. No work release effort to rehabilitate me. Just a new suit made in the prison cut and sew area and a hundred bucks was the sum total of it. That probably hadn’t changed since the 30s. I wondered if Al Capone wore the suit they gave him when he got out.
We were both looking at the little hourglass of sand now. The sand had drained from the top of the glass to the bottom. Suddenly, as if being shot out of a cannon, we both stood up. Edwards stuck out his hand. I turned and left the room. I didn’t shake his hand. I didn’t want to touch him.

---------------------------------------

About the Author:

J. Frank James is the author of crime thriller novels. His crime fiction books are gripping and suspenseful with readers being unable to put them down once they get into them. Jim has a passion for writing, and he certainly has the knowledge and experience to write realistic crime thriller novels, thanks to his extensive background in law. Jim attended law school, where he was a member of the law review. He even went on to pass the state bar and started his own law practice that specialized in complex litigation.

Jim’s experience in law helps lend credibility to his crime fiction books. Not only that, Jim has traveled extensively and gains inspiration for his crime thriller novels from his travels. Some of the countries that Jim has visited include Peru, Brazil, Italy, Greece and countless others. From observing other cultures and gaining new experiences, Jim is able to infuse new life into his books and develop believable characters that readers can identify with.

At present, Jim has published four crime thriller novels in the Lou Malloy Crime Series: The Run BeginsDead Money RunOnly Two Cats, and Blue Cat In Paradise. They offer the readers just enough information to keep them guessing and trying to solve the crimes until the end of the books when they are actually revealed. Jim’s books are also fresh and unique takes on crime as well, though. They are not the same whodunit type books that have been done over and over again. By infusing his personal travels into his books, Jim creates characters and atmospheres based on just enough truth to be relatable.

Jim’s books have everything in them from robbery to prison to family. They have hard and soft elements simultaneously to really capture the life of a hardened criminal who is still very human and struggles with the same emotions as the rest of society. At the same time, Jim gives the reader perspectives from private investigators to balance out the story.

Jim’s books even have a hit of romance when his characters come to care for each other as more than just friends. Then, crime and love mixes to create a dynamic atmosphere that is even more complicated than ever before since characters care not only for each other but for their other family members as well. Jim has an amazing way of incorporating various elements into his latest crime novels to create thrillers that readers cannot get enough of, which is perhaps why all four of his books so far carry on one from the other to continue the same story concerning the hardened criminal who did 15 years in prison, Lou Malloy and who comes to be his partner, private investigator, Hilary Kelly. The two of them go it together to create gripping stories that keep readers coming back for more.

To learn more, go to http://www.jfrankjamesbooks.com/

Connect with J. Frank James on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.


Amazon:






Goodreads:





Monday, March 9, 2015

Review - Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)
Legend (Legend #1)
By Marie Lu
Paperback 
Published April 16th, 2013 by Speak 
305 pages

5 stars - AMAZING!!


From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths...

Until June's brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect.

In a shocking turn of events, the two uncover what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.


Quote - "Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time." 


Review:

This book has been out for quite a few years and up until this month I had not picked it up. I hadn't even thought about reading it! Can you believe this? I'm not sure why I thought I wouldn't like it. Maybe I just wasn't that into Dystopian back then? My two younger brothers read this and immediately started asking me to read it as well. They were in love with the series and were so excited. I knew then that I couldn't put it off any longer. I am so glad that my brothers got me to read this because I have definitely been missing out on some awesome characters! 

So,yes, I gave Legend 5 stars. This book didn't take me too long to get into. In fact, I was drawn in at the first page. Day and June are both awesome characters to read through. I loved how they had different voices and each brought something to the story. Legend takes place in Los Angeles, California in the Republic of America many many years in the future. The United States is divided into the Republic of America and the Colonies. Our main characters reside in the Republic where life is nowhere near the American dream for most. 

June is the Republic's prodigy. She scored a perfect on her Trials which made it so that she would live the "best life possible." She's incredibly attentive and spots so many details that many wouldn't. I loved reading all the details that she was able to bring to light about the areas and people around her. She's always loved the Republic and she believed in what she was fighting for. Her dream was to be in the military for the Republic and fight against the Colonies and Patriots until her older brother, Metias, is found dead in a dark alley. Everyone is telling her that the murderer is Day, the most wanted criminal in the Republic, and so she goes after him. She leads the investigation and tries to catch Day so her brother's death can be brought to justice. But once she's on the street June learns things about the Republic's poor and less fortunate citizens. She also learns more about her brother's death and finds out that not everything or everyone is who they seem. 

Day is the most wanted criminal and he's good at what he does. He's fast and agile as well as smart. After failing his Trials Day ends up where all the other kids who fail end up. But he ends up escaping and hiding on the streets with an orphan girl that he met when he was younger, Tess. Together they try to take care of Day's family while not getting caught. It's just the two of them until they find June and then everything changes. Day was such an interesting character, just like June. He has an older and younger brother that he loves and would do anything for. Reading about his past and his family has you feeling for him and hoping things turn out right. But, like most dystopians, a happy ending isn't that easy to get your hands on. 

I absolutely loved the characters in this book (most of them, at least). There were a few characters that I had suspicions about and I'll have to see if they are true in the next two books. The way the United States turned out was pretty interesting. There are plagues going around and the Trials determine your future. Good scores get you into a higher education and better career with better resources, while bad scores put you into a working middle class of sorts. I always love reading about the different ways in which America can change and Legend was no exception. 

So, yes, I am definitely glad that I finally read this book! If you haven't read it yet, then I would definitely recommend that you do. Fans of dystopian will love this trilogy for sure. :) 

Vanessa 

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Bella Chronicles - The Adventure Begins Book Tour

Hello Everyone! Today I am glad to be hosting the virtual book tour for The Bella Chronicles - The Adventure Begins... by Erica Leigh Austin. Check below for my review of the book as well as information about the author!

The Bella Chronicles - The Adventure Begins...
By Erica Leigh Austin
Genre: Fiction/Children/YA
Published November 2014 by Chadwick Publishing

4.5 stars - Such a fun read!


Bella the Shih Tzu is in the throes of her great escape, searching for the loving home she’s always wanted.  She hears someone cry out that there’s a dog in the street!  Bella immediately puts her escape on hold and springs into action as she frantically tries to save the dog…but she can’t find him. What will Bella do???
The Bella Chronicles: The Adventure Begins brings to life the journey of an extraordinarily smart, wonderful, and special dog named Bella as she wills her way to find a home full of love and warmth – and food! Told from Bella’s perspective, The Bella Chronicles is a warm and loving piece of literature that pet lovers’ and children alike have been awaiting…
 The Bella Chronicles: The Adventure Begins is the first in a heartwarming, humorous, insightful and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who have always wondered just what it is that their little pets are thinking.

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Review:

I have only read one other book that shares the thoughts that run through a dog's mind. The Bella Chronicles...is such a great read! I really enjoyed reading Bella's thoughts and finding out what happens when we humans aren't looking. :) I have two dogs of my own so many of the things that Bella did made me think about the things my dogs have done. This is a book for all ages that will keep you intrigued and have you laughing quite a few times. 

Bella is such a cute and brave dog! She really sounds like what one would think a Shih Tzu would sound like. I loved reading the conversations that she had with other dogs, cats, and even a squirrel. Each character had their own personality and the thoughts of the dogs were similar to the thoughts that we have every day. 

This book has humorous, suspenseful, and cute moments throughout. The ending will have you holding your breath for Bella and her friends. A quick and enjoyable read for sure! If you love animals (especially dogs), then this is the book for you. 


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Author Bio:

Erica Leigh Austin was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the Pacific Palisades.  Both of her parents – all three of them, actually – were teachers and Erica was blessed to have grown up in an artistic, intellectual home.  Her summers were filled with club volleyball and serving as big sister and role model for her younger sister, Jenny.  Erica attended the University of Michigan, where she studied English and starred on the Wolverines’ Women’s Volleyball team.  After college, she returned home to obtain her MBA from Loyola Marymount University.  While studying at Loyola, Erica worked at the iconic Gladstone’s Seafood Restaurant “where Sunset meets the PCH.”  Erica’s studies then took her abroad to France.  There she immersed herself in the art and culture of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan locales.

Currently a highly accomplished professional in healthcare IT, Erica lives happily in the Venice Beach area.  She enjoys yoga, spending time with family and friends, and pushing Bella the Shih Tzu around in her stroller (Bella is too lazy to walk more than 20 feet).
She is pleased to introduce you to her dog, Bella the Shih Tzu, in this first installment of The Bella Chronicles.  Learn more about Erica at www.ericaleighaustin.com.


Web and Social Media Links:

Author Website: ericaleighaustin.com/bellachronicles.com

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ericalaustin @Ericalaustin

Find the book here:



Thursday, March 5, 2015

February 2015 Wrap Up

It is already March but I thought I would do a February Wrap Up anyway. In this post I will share the books that I read in the month of February as well as what I rated them. I didn't read as much as I would have liked to but it was definitely more than January. :) What books did you read in the month of February?


The first book that I read in February was Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover.

Ugly Love
Ugly Love

By Colleen Hoover
Published August 5th, 2014 by Atria Books
337 pages

5/5 stars!


I absolutely adored this book! This is was one of Colleen Hoover's latest New Adult books last year. Last year I started reading Colleen Hoover's books and now I can't stop. She is such a fantastic author and I have loved everything that I have read by her. I cannot wait to read more of her books in the future. Click on the title to be taken to the Goodreads page.



The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat FriendThe DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend 
By Kody Keplinger
Published September 7th, 2010 by Little Brown/Poppy
280 pages

4/5 stars!

I finally read The DUFF!! Ever since this book has been published I had been hesitant to read it. Not sure why. Then the movie trailers were released and my attention was caught. I haven't been able to see the movie yet but I can tell that it is not too similar to the book.

I really did enjoy this book and Bianca was such an interesting character to read through. It was definitely a funny and touching read!



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

4/5 stars!



 Another great standalone! This was such an enjoyable and fast read that had me wishing for summer. :)

Find my review here - On The Fence by Kasie West.


Fangirl
Fangirl 
By Rainbow Rowell
Published September 10th, 2013 by St. Martin's Press
445 pages

5 stars!


Rainbow Rowell is another amazing author! I have only read one other book by her but her books are always being raved about. Fangirl was one that I had wanted to read right when it came out but I just didn't get to it. I finally did this month and I was so happy with the outcome. The characters are funny and real. They grow throughout the book and they figure out who they really are. If you haven't read a Rainbow Rowell book, then I would definitely start with this one!



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

3.5/5 stars!




This one was highly anticipated for me but I didn't love it as much as I thought I would. That's not to say that it wasn't enjoyable because it definitely was. I guess I just had too high of expectations for it. Read my review for more of my thoughts!

The Darkest Part of the Forest Review



Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)
By Susan Dennard
Published July 24th, 2012 by Harper Collins HarperTeen
388 pages

4/5 stars!


This book was definitely interesting and I cannot wait to read the next two in the series. Enjoyable characters and a quick and easy read!





Unremembered (Unremembered, #1)

Unremembered (Unremembered #1)
By Jessica Brody
Published January 28th, 2014 by Square Fish
352 pages


4/5 stars!

Unremembered was definitely an interesting read. Seraphina is thought to be the only survivor in a horrible plane crash but she doesn't have any physical injuries. She is totally fine, health wise that is. She can't remember anything. She doesn't know the year, her name, her age, if she has any family, or if she was even on the plane to begin with. But she does have abilities that no normal human can have and there is a mysterious guy following her around. He tells her he knows her and that they were once in love. But when she can't even remember who she is, who can she really trust?

I cannot wait for the next book in the trilogy. I'm pretty sure that the last book just came out too. If you like romance, science fiction, and suspense, then check this out! 


Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)
By Sara Raasch
Published October 14th, 2014 by Balzer + Bray
416 pages

4 stars! 

This was the last book that I read in February and I absolutely loved it! It took a little while to get into but after a few chapters I was hooked. It is definitely a fantastic fantasy and such a great start to the trilogy! Snow Like Ashes includes a fierce female lead that is strong in many ways. I loved that she grew throughout this book and cannot wait to see her in the next two books. There is a love triangle but once you meet both guys you can't help but fall for them. An interesting plot line, romance, action, and a shocking ending that I didn't see coming! 


Vanessa