Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











Of River and RaynnFrom Goodreads: They found me when I was five; a little girl sitting on a bench in Grand Central Station, soaking wet, asking about the rain.

I remembered nothing about how I got there, or who my parents were. I couldn’t even remember my name. I was tagged, labeled and doomed to cycle through state care for the next twelve years; moving from one family to another. They all rejected me as the dreams began to come, the memories began to return, and things around me began to explode.

Now my mind is full of a world of shadows, things that my heart pleads with me to be true, that I hope are only fantasy. That the disturbing past I see is not mine.

When I sleep I hear whispers of magic, and of evil queens, and a world that exists alongside our own. Things that could never be. But, there is one thing I know to be true. That there was a boy who was torn from me. A boy that I know means more to me than a brother, or than a lover. But what he is to me, I am not sure. I hear him cry for me in my dreams, I hear people call him The Catalyst.

I know I need to find him.

I wouldn’t have tried, if I would have known that finding River would have made all my dreams turn into a haunting reality.

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I have been waiting with bated breath for the release of this novel for a while now, as Rebecca Ethington’s interactive website, riverandraynn.com, piqued my interest way back in June, involving me in the story even before the novel even released. Ethington’s unique way of bringing the story to life captivated me from the get go, and this new wave of interactive storytelling is definitely something I’d like to see more authors begin emulating. Told through a series of videos, journal entries, and social media updates, potential readers were given a glimpse into the world of River and Raynn, the main characters in the novel—a story that, until today, hadn’t actually released yet. This allowed readers like me to meet the characters as Ethington envisioned them, hearing their voices and seeing their emotions and expressions as I viewed cryptic portions of their story.  It also allowed me to actually interact with both River and Raynn via social media… and I fell in love. With River. With Raynn. With the dark nature of the story. This—this interaction—is what bringing a story to life is all about, and I truly loved the novel before I ever opened it thanks to Ethington’s ingenious interactive website. I nearly popped through the roof when River responded to a tweet I sent my followers about how much I loved him. And while I know the story itself is fiction and the characters are actors, the interactiveness of the site and the actors portraying the characters blew my mind and had me continually coming back for more. So. you can image that when I received an ARC of this fabulous novel a few days ago, I tore into it immediately.

I’m extremely excited to note that Ethington’s captivating interactive storytelling moves seamlessly from the web to the pages of her novel, and going into the story I already felt connected to the characters. Yet, one does not need to take part in the interactive website in order to understand it—the web interactions are completely optional and everything you need to know is in the book, but if you want an experience like no other, I highly suggest you visit the interactive site, too. For me, it made having River and Raynn’s story in front of me, in book format, an added bonus, and I love how it is told through alternating first person narratives from River and Raynn—just like the interactive site.

But rest assured, even with all the information online leading up to this fabulous book’s release, I was still surprised by events in the novel as it indeed went in a completely different direction than I expected it to, and lovers of fantasy novels and world building are going to absolutely adore the parallel world that Ethington creates as the story unfolds. Truthfully, I’m not really a fan of fantasy or otherworlds, I’m more of a contemporary paranormal lover myself, but I was floored by the revelations and events Ethington creates in this novel, and all I can say is, you need to read it.

With magical ties, great evil, a fantastical world, a smidgen of romance, and many dire, dark circumstances, this novel is a gem that is sure to leave you wanting more. The characters are realistic and well written, and living their story alongside them is both harrowing and exhilarating at the same time. I really, really enjoyed the novel, and I am excited for more to come–especially as the interactive journey continues with more in-depth videos to come with deeper insight into each chapter of the novel! Four and a half stars.

4.5 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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Meet my book boyfriend, River:

Watch the official trailer:

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Far From YouFrom Goodreads: Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice.

The first time, she’s fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that’ll take years to kick.

The second time, she’s seventeen, and it’s no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina’s murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery.

After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. Mina’s brother won’t speak to her, her parents fear she’ll relapse, old friends have become enemies, and Sophie has to learn how to live without her other half. To make matters worse, no one is looking in the right places and Sophie must search for Mina’s murderer on her own. But with every step, Sophie comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina and about the secret they shared.

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Recovering addict Sophie witnessed the murder of her best friend, Mina, but no one believes her when she says it wasn’t a drug deal gone bad. Forced into rehab for a second time, dealing with her grief on her own, she vows to find the truth, and find the truth she does…

I felt like the narrative style of this novel really allowed me to get to know both Sophie and Mina on a much deeper level, one I wouldn’t have reached had this been delivered in a straightforward, start to finish style.  Instead, Sharpe takes the reader back and forth between the past and present, sometimes jumping back years, and other times mere months, all while showing the reader the ins and outs of the Sophie’s experiences.  We watch Sophie recover from a car accident that leaves her in constant pain, see her friendships and love life evolve, and experience her drug addiction alongside her, and know that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, there was no drug deal gone wrong, but rather a plot to murder Mina, stemming from events three years in the past. And I just fell in love with this narrative style.  I felt like I was a part of the story, not just an outsider looking in, but a real person on the inside, and that made it a wonderful read that I just couldn’t put down.

Now, I wasn’t ready for the love relationship between Sophie and Mina, but it is actually a perfect fit that shows how much the two cared for, loved, and struggled with their attraction to one another.  I also wasn’t ready for the truth of Mina’s murder; neither was Sophie, or anyone for that matter, and I really loved that I was kept guessing from the very beginning. This is a beautiful story that slowly evolves as we uncover the truth about what happened that fateful night.  Four stars.

4 stars

In exchange for an honest review, Disney-Hyperion has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on April 8, 2014.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



Dont Even Think About ItFrom Goodreads: We weren’t always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn’t expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we’ve kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what’s coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.

So stop obsessing about your ex. We’re always listening.

Contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have).

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This was a cute telepathy story–just think, if your entire homeroom class could communicate with one another without words, how would that change you as a person and your outlook on life? I can tell you that as a teacher, that would be my worst nightmare come true—however, I’d also probably never know about it, since they would never admit it… If only vaccines could grant us “superpowers” though…

I really liked getting into the brains of all the students in homeroom 10B. They were funny, and while I felt bad for some of them as they found out truths they never wanted to know, I also feel like this is spot on in terms of what would happen to a group of friends if they could hear everything their friends were thinking, all the time.  It’s told in a sort of collective manner, with “we” being used constantly throughout, and while it focuses on the past: a “this happened but we all know now…” type of deal, it was a refreshing style and I enjoyed being in all their heads.   Incredibly insightful and humorous at times, Mlynowski presents a sweet story that many will enjoy, especially those who enjoy the paranormal. Four stars.

4 stars

Random House Children’s and Delacorte Press have been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on March 11, 2014, in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



{February 27, 2014}   {ARC Review} Panic by Lauren Oliver

PanicFrom Goodreads: Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

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Initially, this story started like any other, and while interesting, it took a while for it to build, but build it did, and by the end I was on the edge of my seat in fear and anticipation.  Oliver knows how to pack a punch, and I was taken with this story as the characters went deeper into the game, as their secrets came out, and as the stakes went higher and higher.

While some of the situations in Panic may seem a bit far fetched, I have no doubt that, given the proper setting, they could indeed be very real.  It is said that the brain does not fully develop until around age 25, so it is no surprise that our teens in this novel make many rash decisions—some spurred on by the want of money, others by revenge, and still others in anticipation of finally breaking free of their provincial lives—paying no attention to the risk factor, or thinking through the actual consequences of their actions.  As the stakes rise, I found my stomach coiled in knots, yelling at the characters through the pages as they make ill decision after ill decision, and I just couldn’t tear my eyes away.  As an adult, it’s easy to say I’d never ever play in these games, and I feel that, as a teen, I wouldn’t have either, mainly because I just wasn’t a risk taker, and I wasn’t wild, but there is something about mass hysteria, or the mob mentality, that makes me wonder, just what would I have done had something underground like the game Panic been going on in my town when I was a teen.

I’m not sure how I feel about Heather, Dodge, and all the other characters in the book (and there are many).  Their choices at times drove me batty, but I was rooting for them the entire time, especially as we learn more about the tragedies that has befallen them both.  Overall, I found this to be a great read that I highly suggest to anyone who likes intense competitions and novels like The Hunger Games. Four stars.

4 starsIn exchange for an honest review, HarperCollins Children has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Edelweiss, prior to its release on March 4, 2014.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble

Be sure to pre-order this one now–you don’t want to miss it!



White Hot KissFrom Goodreads: One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

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This was an absolutely brilliant novel by the ever talented Jennifer Armentrout.  I was wrapped up tightly in the story from the very beginning, and I just love the world that Armentrout has created.  Imagine finding out that Wardens, gargoyle like creates, really walk the earth.  They say that they are here to protect mankind, but their aloofness, hard exterior (no pun intended), and their ability to take human form, make them an entity to be feared among the human race.  But what humans don’t know is that the Wardens are really here to fight the demons—and their secret weapon?  Layla, a half-demon, half gargoyle, whose touch creates a beacon on any demon she comes in contact with, allows the Wardens to easily remove the threat of demons without the humans evening knowing it exists…

Welcome to Layla’s life.  She’s a kick-butt heroine who lives with the Wardens, having embraced her Warden side and despising all things demon (including her own self)—partially because it’s been drilled into her for so long—ever since she was brought to the Warden complex as a child—and partially because she knows it means she’ll never know love.  Layla has a decent life, though she’s never been kissed, and the love of her life, Zayne, a full-blooded Warden, can never be hers—mainly because Layla’s kiss can suck the life right out of whoever, or whatever, it is she’s kissing.  Unless it’s a demon… but that would be going against every mantra engrained in her head since she can remember.  But is it truly wrong?  Are all demons evil, like Layla’s been led to believe?

Armentrout takes readers on a whirlwind, fast paced adventure in her latest novel, White Hot Kiss, and I loved every minute of it, from the heart pounding action and soft budding romance to the betrayals and final revelation, this novel is perfect in every sense of the word… and I can’t wait for more.  I loved Zayne, but Roth is my true love.  A demon, a bad boy, and ever so right for Layla, he proves himself time and time again, and thus readers can’t help but wonder, who is telling the truth?  The Wardens or the demons?  You’ll have to read this enticing story to find out.  Five amazing stars.

5 stars

 Harlequin Teen has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on February 25, 2014.

 Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble

You need to pre-order this one–Amazon has it for less than 6 bucks!!

AND–the PREQUEL, Bitter Sweet Love, is currently FREE on Amazon (at time of this post)!  SCOOP IT UP STAT!



I have yet another ARC giveaway up for grabs thanks to Chronicle Books, who gave this to me at NCTE in November!  Going Over by Beth Kephart releases April 1, 2014, and the winner needs to be someone who promises to review the ARC within the next few weeks! If that’s you, then I highly recommend you enter to win!  Check out the synopsis below:

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Going Over

Synopsis:

In the early 1980s Ada and Stefan are young, would-be lovers living on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall–Ada lives with her mother and grandmother and paints graffiti on the Wall, and Stefan lives with his grandmother in the East and dreams of escaping to the West.

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To enter this giveaway, you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory question on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click this Rafflecopter Link to Enter!

This giveaway is open to USA and Canadian entrants only and will end at 12:01am EST on March 3rd. Please don’t cheat. The winner will be announced later on March 3rd, and will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

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And, check out the other giveaways running on the blog:

Win a Signed Paperback of Secret by Brigid Kemmerer–Ends February 23

Win Your Choice of Recently Released–ENDS March 1

RRGG Feb

Win an Paperback of Easy by Tammara Webber–ENDS March 5, 2014

Easy 2



The Darkest JoyFrom Goodreads: A sexy and poignant new adult novel from New York Times bestseller Marata Eros, about two lost souls who find each other in the wake of tragedy, only to learn that love may not be enough to heal the wounds of a dark and tortured past…

Twenty year-old Brooke Starr has escaped the aftermath of a brutal tragedy by abandoning her music studies and moving north to take a summer position as a part-time deck hand on a deep-sea fishing boat. When her survivor’s guilt becomes unbearable, Brooke realizes there’s only one thing she can do to finally erase the pain.

Deep sea fisherman, Chance Taylor, has just wrapped his guitar set at the local saloon when he sees the silhouette of a young woman in repose, the full moon highlighting her shadow as she plummets from a pier too high for diving… into water too cold to survive. Without thinking, he plunges in after her, saving Brooke from drowning.

As Chance works to save her from her own emotional fragility, Brooke finally begins to learn how to save herself. But when their chemistry begins to consume them, Brooke withdraws. She’s determined to be the master of her own destiny… until the past catches up with her in a cataclysmic plan so dark, so final… it threatens their love and their very lives.

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This is another spectacular novel by the ever talented Marata Eros (aka. Tamara Rose Blodgett), and a must read for fans of the NA genre. Complete with a budding romance, murder, mystery, and mayhem, this novel will glue readers to the page from the very beginning, enticing them onward as the plot unfolds, secrets are divulged, and healing begins, only to be met with the sinister actions of an obsessive and erratic murderer…

I am in awe of the talent Eros possesses. Her previous novels, A Terrible Love and A Brutal Tenderness are already a testament to her amazing skill as an author, but The Darkest Joy may be perhaps my favorite of her novels to date. The perfect love story, surrounded by believable characters, freighting possibilities, and steamy romance, it’s a superb read.

Eros paints a vivid picture of life in Alaska as her story unfolds, setting her characters against a beautiful backdrop, one readers so rarely hear about. It presents a wonderful change, setting itself in the wild, and though not interested in fishing myself, I absolutely adored learning about Chance’s business and watching Brooke and Chance interact, both on and off the ship.

Of course, Eros utilizes my favorite point of view–first person–allowing me to connect with the characters on a deeper level than that of third person, and I love the alternating points of view offset by chapter headings. Many authors use this style, giving readers inside glimpses into their main characters, and when done correctly, as Eros does, it speaks volumes.

Intertwining a talented musician with tragedy and escape was also a beautiful touch, and I loved how music was presented as a healing entity on top of that of love–the age old remedy in helping one heal. It’s a beautiful story, one you must read; you just must. Five stars.

5 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.  This novel releases on February 18, 2014.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



Dark MetropolisThe giveaway for an ARC of Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore has just concluded, and I’m excited to say that the winner has been chosen via Rafflecopter!

And the winner is…

Jamie

A tweet has already gone out to the winner, and an email will go out later this evening! If I don’t hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will select a new winner using Rafflecopter.

Thanks to everyone who participated, and congratulations to the winner… but don’t despair if you didn’t win this round!

Enter to win my other great giveaways:

Win a Signed Paperback of Secret by Brigid Kemmerer–Ends February 23

Win an ARC of Far From You by Tess Sharpe –ENDS February 26, 2014

Far From You

Win Your Choice of Recently Released–ENDS March 1

RRGG Feb

Win an Paperback of Easy by Tammara Webber–ENDS March 5, 2014

Easy 2



I have yet another ARC giveaway up for grabs thanks to Disney-Hyperion, who gave this to me at NCTE in November!  Far From You by Tess Sharpe releases April 8, 2014, and the winner needs to be someone who promises to review the ARC within the next few months! If that’s you, then I highly recommend you enter to win!  Check out the synopsis below:

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Far From YouSynopsis:

Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice.

The first time, she’s fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that’ll take years to kick.

The second time, she’s seventeen, and it’s no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina’s murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery.

After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. Mina’s brother won’t speak to her, her parents fear she’ll relapse, old friends have become enemies, and Sophie has to learn how to live without her other half. To make matters worse, no one is looking in the right places and Sophie must search for Mina’s murderer on her own. But with every step, Sophie comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina and about the secret they shared.

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To enter this giveaway, you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory question on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click this Rafflecopter Link to Enter!

This giveaway is open to USA and Canadian entrants only and will end at 12:01am EST on February 26th. Please don’t cheat. The winner will be announced later on February 26th, and will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

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And, check out the other giveaways running on the blog:

Win an ARC of Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore –ENDS Feb. 11 

Dark Metropolis

Win a Signed Paperback of Secret by Brigid Kemmerer–Ends February 23

Win Your Choice of Recently Released–ENDS March 1

RRGG Feb

Win an Paperback of Easy by Tammara Webber–ENDS March 5, 2014

Easy 2



Yesterday was Brigid Kemmerer’s Release Party for Secret, book four in her fabulous Elemental Series, and I was lucky enough to not only attend, but also pick up an extra signed copy for giveaway!!!  AND, I have a signed ARC of Secret up for grabs as well!

2014-02-01 13.17.52Haven’t read the series?  You definitely need to!  And you should enter to win this fabulous book regardless (just saying…)

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SecretSecret Synopsis:

EARTH. FIRE. AIR. WATER.

Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He’s trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won’t get in to college. He’s trying to keep his brother’s business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He’s trying to keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel – or he fears he’ll lose his family. And he’s trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his ‘girlfriend’s’ partner.

And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.

SECRETS IN THE WIND. DANGER IN THE AIR.

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To enter this giveaway, you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory question on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click this Rafflecopter Link to Enter!

We will have TWO winners for this giveaway–one will receive the SIGNED ARC and one will receive the SIGNED paperback.  Winners for each will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter!

This giveaway is open to USA and Canadian entrants only (so sorry–see my other giveaways for international ones) and will end at 12:01am EST on February 23rd. Please only enter once. The winner will be announced later on February 23rd, and will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

And check out the other books in the series–because YOU NEED THEM!!

ElementalStormFearlessSpark

BreathlessSpirit

Secret

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Elemental Kindle
Storm Kindle | Paperback
Fearless Kindle
Spark Kindle | Paperback
Breathless Kindle
Spirit Kindle | Paperback
Secret Kindle | Paperback

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And, check out the other giveaways running on the blog:

Win One of my Favorite Reads from 2013–ENDS Feb. 5 (International)

Fave Books 2013

Win an ARC of Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore –ENDS Feb. 11  (U.S./Canada)

Dark Metropolis

Win Your Choice of Recently Released–ENDS March 1 (International)

RRGG Feb

Win an Paperback of Easy by Tammara Webber–ENDS March 5, 2014  (U.S/Canada)

Easy 2



AlienatedFrom Goodreads: 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

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I picked up this novel late at night, around 1am, because I couldn’t sleep and I planned to read until I was tired enough to go to bed. What ended up happening is a sleepless night for me as I tore through this novel, unable to put it down. The story of Cara and Aelyx was extremely intriguing, and I just adored it. It was awesome to see this alien planet and its people attempt to make an alliance with the Earth, and to see just how both the residents on L’eihr and Earth responded–especially because their thought process was similar: no.

From the get go readers know that neither the people of Earth nor Aelyx and his team want this alliance–the Earth is scared for its safety and the L’eihr’s are highly advanced beyond humans–so neither humans nor Aelyx and his team understand the purpose of an alliance. That being said, animosity and tension fills the story as Aelyx and his team come to earth in a good will gesture–staying for an exchange program that will end with Cara going to L’eihr with Aelyx for her own exchange program… should the alliance actually work.

The novel really takes a look at what would happen should aliens ever make contact—if they exist. And, it shows that even though we believe ourselves to be extremely advanced, should fear strike our hearts, we very well could have another civil rights movement on our hands. Aelyx is not welcome, and as tensions rise, so does the risk. It reminded me a lot of the Little Rock Nine as I read, with Aelyx going to school amid the picketers and violence, with the shunnings and threats against any who supported him.  In truth, it shows just how bigoted a fearful nation can become when met with change.

Now, to be fair, Aelyx and his team are not innocent bystanders in this. With the truth hidden inside the government, a truth Aelyx doesn’t even know, he and his team are indeed trying to sabotage the alliance, but it’s not made clear how until the middle of the book, when other truths are made know.  And when they are?  Well, everything is put into perspective fairly quickly and we learn that nothing is as it seems… and, should the alliance fail, it means dire circumstances for not only earth, but also L’eihr as well.

Shrouded in mystery, this novel kept my attention from start to finish, and finish I did, right in time for my work alarm to begin blaring. It’s mysterious with a slow budding romance, and I really liked that all my questions were answered, especially when it came to the romance between Aelyx and Cara.  As Aelyx points out many times, love is not really a part of his culture, but the way Landers weaves together the story and the hidden answers is perfect.

I adored this novel and can’t wait for the next installment, though I have some reservations about the newest character we meet at the very end, Jaxen–who I foresee becoming a problem for both Cara and Aelyx.  Five amazing stars.

5 stars

 Disney-Hyperion has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on February 4, 2014.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



I have yet another ARC giveaway up for grabs thanks to Disney-Hyperion, who gave this to me at NCTE in November!  Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore releases June 17,  2014, and the winner needs to be someone who promises to review the ARC within the next few months! If that’s you, then I highly recommend you enter to win!  Check out the synopsis below:

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Dark Metropolis

Synopsis:

Cabaret meets Cassandra Clare-a haunting magical thriller set in a riveting 1930s-esque world.

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder’s mother is cursed with a spell that’s driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.
Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city’s secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they’re not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don’t always seem to stay that way.

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To enter this giveaway, you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory question on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click this Rafflecopter Link to Enter!

This giveaway is open to USA and Canadian entrants only and will end at 12:01am EST on February 11th. Please don’t cheat. The winner will be announced later on February 11th, and will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

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And, check out the other giveaways running on the blog:

Win an ARC of Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh–ENDS January 27

Jepp Who Defied the Stars

Win a T-Shirt, 5 Prints, and a Signed Paperback of Vampire Seeker by Tim O’Rourke–ENDS January 30

Vampire Seeker Release Party YO

Win a Recently Released Book of Your Choice: Ends February 1

RRGG Jan 14

Win an Paperback of Easy by Tammara Webber–ENDS February 2, 2014

Easy 2

Win One of my Favorite Reads from 2013–ENDS Feb. 5

Fave Books 2013



17149396The giveaway for an ARC of Avalon by Mindee Arnett has just concluded, and I’m excited to say that the winner has been chosen via Rafflecopter!

And the winner is…

Vivien

A tweet has already gone out to the winners, and an email will go out later this evening! If I don’t hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will select a new winner using Rafflecopter.

Thanks to everyone who participated, and congratulations to the winner… but don’t despair if you didn’t win this round!

Enter to win my other great giveaways:

 

Win a Recently Released Book of Your Choice: Ends January 1

RRGG December

Win an ARC of Perfect Lies by Kiersten White–ENDS Jan. 5

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Win One of my Favorite Reads from 2013–ENDS Feb. 5

Fave Books 2013



17844678The giveaway for an ARC of Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine has just concluded, and I’m excited to say that the winner has been chosen via Rafflecopter!

And the winner is…

Sarah Kellar

A tweet has already gone out to the winner, and an email will go out later this evening! If I don’t hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will select a new winner using Rafflecopter.

Thanks to everyone who participated, and congratulations to the winner… but don’t despair if you didn’t win this round!

Enter to win my other great giveaways:

Win an ARC of Fugitive X by Gregg Rosenblum–ENDS Dec. 15

fugitive

Win an ebook of Demonica by Will Davis–ENDS Dec. 19

18811785

Win a Signed Paperback of Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins–ENDS Dec. 22

15768191

Win a Signed Paperback of Stilts by Tim O’Rourke–ENDS Dec. 26

18669741

Win a Recently Released Book of Your Choice: Ends January 1

RRGG December



18052849The flash giveaway for an ARC of  Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. Walker has just concluded, and I’m excited to say that the winner has been chosen via Rafflecopter!

And the winner is…

Holly M Bryan

A tweet has already gone out to the winner, and an email will go out later this evening! If I don’t hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will select a new winner using Rafflecopter.

Thanks to everyone who participated, and congratulations to the winner… but don’t despair if you didn’t win this round!

Enter to win my other great giveaways:

Win an ARC of The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine–ENDS Dec. 11

17844678

Win an ARC of Fugitive X by Gregg Rosenblum–ENDS Dec. 15

fugitive

Win an ebook of Demonica by Will Davis–ENDS Dec. 19

18811785

Win a Signed Paperback of Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins–ENDS Dec. 22

15768191

Win a Signed Paperback of Stilts by Tim O’Rourke–ENDS Dec. 26

18669741

Win a Recently Released Book of Your Choice: Ends January 1

RRGG December



I just got home from NCTE in Boston and, in going through my bags of books, I’ve come across an ARC of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.  The funny thing is, I just started reading this on my Kindle this afternoon while waiting in the airport because I was approved for it through Netgalley.  And I like what I’m reading so far, which is a great omen!

Since I already have this novel from Netgalley, I’m going to do a quickie giveaway for this ARC.  The winner needs to be someone who promises to review the ARC by release on December 10.  If that’s you, then I highly recommend you enter to win!  Check out the synopsis below:

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Synopsis:

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

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To enter this giveaway, you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory question on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click this Rafflecopter Link to Enter!

This giveaway is open to USA and Canadian entrants only and will end at 12:01am EST on November 28th. Please only enter once. The winner will be announced later on November 28th, and will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!



Right now, I’m in Boston for the National Conference of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Exhibit Hall has been abuzz with nonstop frenzy as English teachers LOVE books.  Especially free ones.  Especially ARCs.

While I was wandering around, I stopped by the Disney Hyperion booth and guess what they had?  That’s right, ARCs of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Don’t Look Back, set to release in April 2014.  And they gave me one, so I now have a copy for giveaway.  SQUEEEEE!  Check out the synopsis below (this looks EPIC) and be sure to enter to win!

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Synopsis:

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

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To enter this giveaway, you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory question on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click this Rafflecopter Link to Enter!

This giveaway is open to USA and Canadian entrants only and will end at 12:01am EST on December 8th. Please only enter once. The winner will be announced later on December 8th, and will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!



et cetera
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