Saturday, August 31, 2013

Stacking the Shelves, The Sunday Post Mailbox Memes

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews,  check it out and sign up  here
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.
What I read:
He Speaks to Me: Preparing to Hear From God
source: bought
The Politically Incorrect Wife: God's Plan for Marriage Still Works Today
source: bought
Origin (Lux, #4)
source: bought
The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)
source: netgalley

Last Week on the blog:
All Our Yesterdays (Cassandra Chronicles, #1)
source: disney hyperion for review
Love Hurts
source: netgalley
Just Between Us
source: author / Kensington for review
source: bought

My week: Good. Yard sale this morning, and I have been helping my mom with her new mary kay business.

What are you reading? Any of my books new to you or have you read any of my books? If so, what did you think?
Also, feel free to link up your blog and mailbox post.
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Cover Reveal: Water by Heather James

Water by Heather James

Water pooled around my feet, rising at an alarming rate. I stared---panicked---at the palms of my hands, willing the water gushing out of them to stop as miraculously as it had begun.

I only sneezed!

Jasmine is struggling to control her new powers, causing floods and fires with an accidental flick of her wrist. In a desperate attempt to master at least one aspect of them, she travels to the Brizan Realm, where she comes closer to discovering the truth about her parents than ever before. But not everyone wants their secrets revealed.

Alone, powerless and, for the first time in her life, afraid, Roxy has only one thought occupying her mind: escaping Cinaer's clutches before it's too late. Her flight will take her across the ocean, but not in the direction she is expecting. Before she can try and get back to Brae, she needs to rescue herself.

Despite being on opposite sides of the world, the girls soon find themselves closer than ever.

Heather James

Fire is available now from Kobo B&N
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.
Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.
Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.
All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.
Publishes in US: September 3rd 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA Science Fiction, time travel
Source: Disney for review
Series? Yes. No info about 2nd.

Buy it: Amazon / BN / IndieBound

Find Chrisint online: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog ~book trailer

    I loved this book, and it is a well done time travel novel. I was deliciously confused as everything wove together.
    As far as Em. I knew that the world outside was falling apart, and I just wanted to know why she was witholding information and what got her locked up in the first place. She has an intense voice, and I connected with her because I saw good in her, a desire for freedom, and this sacrificial nature that I really admire. 
    Finn was amazing. I loved their bantering and the chemistry between them. I also liked that there was a history there not just some kind of instant attraction. There was also the time and conversations shared while they were locked up together. As the story progresses you really get to see the depth there, and I love Finn more and more. There is a depth to him, and how he is with his family and with Em makes my heart flutter. 
    At first, when it jumped to Marina, there was a startling contrast of normalcy. Marina is worried about a boy, and giggling with her friends, and I was so curious to see how it all connects. James is her neighbor and the boy she is in love with and has for years. Her support of him, and their history together was sweet to learn about and it became all so important later on, but I had no idea how as I was reading it. 
    Cristin knows how to write a staggering romance, the stolen moments together on both side and things like a hand just the right amount of high on the thigh were all things that made me sigh. 
    As the story unravels I begin to question everything I thought I knew, and examining characters I thought I loved because of pieces of each story that were revealed. And I can't believe it took me as long as it did to connect some of the dots, especially with the Finn clue. But it was still just so emotional and hard to see both sides of the story. It was pretty hard to reconcile the two parts of the story at times, because I didn't see the transformation as slow as it was, it was just the stark contrasts, and that made the story all the better though. 
    By the way, this is one of the most complex and unique love triangle circle jumbles that I have read but since it is two points in time, it makes me love it and my heart was divided because of everything I knew. But it was all so believable. 
    The ending is shocking, bittersweet and heartbreaking. But it wrapped up everything well. Even though I will jump at the chance to get back into this world, I wasn't left with that gaping, can I hurl this book because there is no way that its ending like this, and I am thankful for that. Though I will say that I was a little curious how some of it resolved with a few of the events, but I think I have pieced it all together, and I know that is no flaw on the book but on my reasoning. 
    Great world building, superb romance, characters I loved and felt for, and beautifully woven together. 
Bottom Line: Intense roller coaster of action, breath taking romance and intrigue.

Books similar to :(links go to my review) Pivot Point by Kasie WestParallel by Lauren Miller Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Could you sacrifice yourself to save those you love?
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: Love Hurts by Beverly Scudamore

Love Hurts
Love Hurts by Beverly Scudamore
Mel's best friend Dustin is her dream guy, but she lost her chance with him last year and now he's seeing someone else. Enter Colter, the handsome new guy in school who is definitely interested in her. It's just the thing Mel needs to get her mind off Dustin. Before Mel realizes it, she's spending almost every waking moment with Colter, even skipping volleyball practices and nights out with friends.
When Colter gives Mel a ring, alarm bells start ringing, and Mel worries that maybe they're moving too fast. But every time Mel tries to cool things down a bit, Colter latches on even tighter. Mel can't bring herself to leave him. But she is beginning to wonder what lengths Colter will go to if she does.
Publishes in US: Published sept 2nd 2013 by James Lorimer & Compan
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: Netgalley
Series? No

    Love Hurts is a quick but weighty story. Ultimately I wish it were longer, and the characters and the events would have been more fleshed out. 
    I liked Mel, the main character, she was smart and a typical ya narrator. Though the writing felt off at times, like it was more of an essay or something rather than a flowing narrative of events like I am used to. It just brought me out some of the language that seemed too adult or formal. Overall though, I liked her voice and her story. 
    I am not sure if the point was that Mel realized there were issues with Colter earlier and tried to get herself out before the typical time that it happens in books with abusive or negative relationships, or that the crescendo just wasn't as fleshed out as it could have been. I did like the clues and "mystery" surrounding Jillian, his previous girlfriend though it made it easy for me to spot what the eventual outcome would be. 
   The secondary characters were interesting. I liked that it had diversity with being not from the USA, and with Dustin being on the reserve. The chemistry and build up between Mel and Dustin was actually one of my favorite parts to the story and I never really fell for Colter, which I think is usually an element present in abuse stories, because then we see what the narrator sees in him, and why it can be harder to give them up, which is how it goes in real life lots of time though. 
    But I really appreciated the courage that Mel had, and that she didn't isolate. Although she hid some of her doubts and questions about Colter, she also shared a lot more than most do, and that is important model for girls and women to see and hope that they could do and stand up for themselves in a negative relationship. 
    I also wished for more with the ending. Sometimes I think that open endings are perfect, but it just didn't quite do it for me with this one. 

Bottom Line: Important topic with good narrator but needed more to the story.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever lived with a relative?
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

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

This week, I'm featuring:

Releases:  November 5th 2013 by Balzer + Bray

What are you waiting on?

My current big giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Got Great Giveaways?

I am hosting Got Great Giveaways from while Kathy is taking a break from hops and features.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: Just Between Us by J.H. Trumble

Just Between Us
Just Between Us by J.H. Trumble
Seventeen-year-old Luke Chesser is trying to forget his spectacular failure of a love life. He practices marching band moves for hours in the hot Texas sun, deals with his disapproving father, and slyly checks out the new band field tech, Curtis Cameron. Before long, Luke is falling harder than he knew he could. And this time, he intends to play it right.
Since testing positive for HIV, Curtis has careened between numbness and fear. Too ashamed to tell anyone, Curtis can't possibly act on his feelings. And Luke--impulsive, funny, and more tempting than he realizes--won't take a hint. Even when Curtis distances himself it backfires, leaving him with no idea how to protect Luke from the truth.
Confronting a sensitive topic with candor and aplomb, acclaimed author J. H. Trumble renders a modern love story as sweet, sharp, and messy as the real thing, where easy answers are elusive, and sometimes the only impossible thing is to walk away.


Publishes in US: September 24th 2013 by Kensington
Genre: YA Contemp
Source: author/publisher
Series? No

Buy it:
Barnes and Noble

Find J.H. online: site   twitter   facebook  blog

    Luke and Curtis had my heart from page one. Just Between Us has these beautifully crafted characters that have strengths and flaws making them realistic and making me cheer for them as well as feel right along with them. J.H. has a way of writing relationships that make you fall in love right along with them, and understand their trials, feel their highs, and tingle with anticipation of what will happen next. 
    This is a timely book on HIV, and Curtis is just like everyone else, he made a few bad decisions, but they caught up to him. And it not only drastically changed his life, but the ones of his family and the boy Luke who fell in love with him, and stuck by his side even when he finds out the risk to him and what changed Curtis's life. The medical facts seem well researched but they don't beat you over the head with them, we learn as Curtis learns about it. 
     But if you think this is only an issues book you will be missing out, because at the core, it is a love story. Showing that love doesn't matter race, gender, illness, it just happens. There is a spark, and a lot of tension that preceded their relationship, but I loved every part of it. The stolen words and glances made this semi-slow build and finally into a ignition towards the end. 
    Another aspect about this that I loved was the family involvement. While neither family was perfect or whole, each had one supportive parent, and their relationships with their siblings made the story shine. While Luke deals with his dad who at first is not at all accepting, they later form a tentative relationship, and watching that grow and change as well as Matt's comments to spur their dad on was pretty awesome. 
    I should note there is an age difference. Its only three years but Luke is in high school and Curtis is in college. It didn't bother me because they had things in common and it's like a freshman with a senior to me. There are also some pretty steamy scenes, nothing too left field for the ya genre, but might make some uncomfortable. I personally loved every second of it, and it made me love the story even more. 
    Everything isn't all roses and chocolate between Curtis and Luke, they get in some pretty intense disagreements and they both do some pretty hurtful things to the other, but to me, it makes it more realistic. It is gritty, but I think that all that happens can be chalked up to hurting teens and not knowing how to handle such a huge thing in their life. 
Bottom Line: Emotional and realistic journey of a young man who discovers he is HIV positive and the one who falls for him regardless.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you know anyone with HIV?
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Review: Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This is a stand alone novel that is an adult spin-off
of the Lux Series You do not need to read a Lux book to read Obsession and vice versa.
He’s arrogant, domineering, and... To. Die. For.
Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.
Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something... unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.
Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter


Publishes in US:
Genre: NA/Adult Paranormal
Source: bought
Series? No, but should be. Spin off from the Lux series

Buy it: Amazon   Barnes & Noble
Find Jennifer online:Site Blog | Facebook Goodreads | Twitter

    I really enjoyed this spin off, though I will make sure that you are forewarned this is a NA/Adult novel, and there is much more sex found in this one than in her YA Lux series. I just don't want any of my readers to be surprised. 
   But speaking of the steamy, wow, does Jennifer know how to write a scene. I loved Serena and Hunter and when they finally came together, it was pretty awesome. There is this intense build up and seeing them learn to care for each other and the building of trust, because even though there is chemistry and lust at first, I need for there to be more, and wow was there. 
    Serena and her friend Mel got themselves mixed up in the alien world and Mel is murdered for what she saw and heard, and Serena is in danger because Mel told her about it. And then Hunter, who was working for the DOD is assigned to protect her.
     What I enjoyed the most was having my eyes opened to the alien culture even more. While reading the Lux series (which isn't required, but seriously, it's Jennifer, why wouldn't you want to??) I thought that Arum were all inherently evil. While Hunter makes it clear that he has a dark side, we also see that he is capable of loving, caring and that definitely makes him not all evil. While he needs to feed, and Luxen are the choice "food" he can actually feed without killing them, but they usually don't give incentive for that to happen. 
     The Arum were actually created to basically police the Luxen, because as we see more in depth in this one, they have more of a bad side than we saw with the Blacks. 
     The ending was good, and wrapped everything up well, although I would love to see more of Serena and Hunter. 

Bottom Line: Steamy and fast paced spin off from the Lux series that made me question what I thought I knew about aliens.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever thought someone or thing was all bad to have your eyes opened? 
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Giveaway and Interview: Troop by Tina Chan

Troop by Tina Chan
Life is harsh for Kristi. She's the only Accident living in a world of Perfects. More often than not, she feels like a blemish on an otherwise utopian society. And her life is about to get worse. The government has arrested her adoptive parents and her brother goes missing. To top things off, Kristi somehow gets dragged into the mess and now she's a wanted fugitive...
Troop is less than he seems. Teachers love him. Colleges want him. Students revere him. There's even a hot girl after him. Life couldn't get any better than this, right? So, why doe she feel like he's a devil in disguise as an angel?
Tina's Site

interview with Blkosiner's Book Blog
--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
Life is tough for Kristi. She’s an unintended child—but she’s more than she seems. Troop hides a secret: he’s less than he seems.
--How did you get the idea for the story?
I often wondered what is the definition of “perfect.” Whenever it feels like I finally “perfected” something, I will discover a few days later more improvements could be made. Then I imagined a world where “perfect” was the standard and the idea just kind of took off from there.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
--What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar kind of read,set-up or style)
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
My Most Excellent Year, written by Steve Klugar is definitely one of my all-time favorites. Reboot by Amy Tintera is an awesome, fast-paced dystopian book that I recently discovered. I always make time for reading J

--If a fairy godmother told you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
Oh man, that’s a toughie! Probably Centauri-Earth from the book Shades of Earth written by Beth Revis.
--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
I usually like to listen to music when I write. I love relaxing dubstep music or any songs without too many words (I find lyrics distracting sometimes.) Sail by Awolnation is always on my playlist.
--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Super speed all the way!
--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
I love reading, running, playing racquetball and listening to music. I mess around with the piano once in a while too.
--What is one thing you would tell your 15 year old self?

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?

Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate?chocolate
Edward or Jacob?
Hockey or soccer?soccer
Ebook or paper?paper
Salty or sweet?sweet
Beach or mountains?beach
Phone call or email?email
Early bird or night owl?Night owl
Dog or cat?dog
Messy or neat?Messy (but I want to be neat)

Ninjas or pirates?Ninjas!
Blkosiner's Book Blog Giveaway
-Fill out Rafflecopter to enter
-Ends on 9/15/2013 11:59 pm EST
-If you win a review on your blog and/or amazon is appreciated but not required.

*If, for whatever reason, the Rafflecopter widget does not appear, you can click on the link where it says rafflecopter giveaway and it will show up, sorry for the inconvenience.
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