Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











Chris Cannon Blog Tour_____________________________________________________________________

Going Down in FlamesFrom Goodreads:

If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can’t have.

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This novel is a ton of fun–Cannon bring the world of dragons to life and I thoroughly enjoyed it; I mean, who doesn’t want to be a dragon?  While some of the pacing was a little fast in terms of the characters’ acceptance and abilities, the dragon world is one of intense mystery, and I found myself wishing to be a part of it as the novel unfolded.

Imagine being a teenager and finding out that, well, you’re not human.  Nope.  You’re actually a dragon, and your parents have been in hiding from the dragon realm, as well as hiding your true identity from you your whole life.  You know how teenagers tend to be a little over-dramatic and think the world is constantly crashing down on them?  Well, for Bryn, it is.  With her 16th birthday comes secrets and rigid, outdated laws that she now must abide by or risk her family’s well-being, but in turn she is also risking her own life as the outcast and utter “abomination” that stems from her own existence.

I have to give Bryn props, because she is a very strong character, and that’s what I like the most about her.  In the face of adversity, and there’s a lot of it, she’s strong-willed and doesn’t back down, a trait that makes her even more detrimental than her counterparts in a fight.  I really liked this about her, and although I found her to be just a little too accepting of the facts around her, such as the fact that she’s a dragon, I loved her spunk and the fact that she faces her fears and her tormentors head on.

This novel deals with much more than just a dragon story, though.  With it’s phenomenal themes concerning bullying, peer-pressure, family values, and doing the right thing even when it’s easier to go with the flow, it stands apart from other novels of its genre. Cannon has done a great job bringing this story to life, and I can’t wait to dive back in to this enticing world once the sequel releases.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Available from:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo Books

Only 99 cents for a VERY limited time!  Scoop it up stat!

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chris cannonAbout Chris Cannon

I love reading and writing snarky, kick-butt characters who take on the world and win.

My truths: You can never have too many books, shoes, or purses.

Coffee is the Elixir of Life.

There should be a National Nerf Bat Day where you are allowed to whack annoying people upside the head.

Author Links:

http://chriscannonauthor.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/802893.Chris_Cannon

https://twitter.com/ccannonauthor

https://www.facebook.com/chris.cannonwrites

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Giveaway:

2014-07-08_2156

Click this RAFFLECOPTER LINK to enter!

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Check out the rest of the stops on the TOUR:

June 30:

Addicted Readers – Excerpt

Booksniffer Book Reviews – Review

July 1:

Meredith & Jennifer’s Musings – Review

July 2:

Book Briefs – Review

Bookworm Dreams – Review

Mom With A Kindle – Excerpt

July 3:

Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance – Review

Seeing Night Reviews – Review

July 4:

WOrkS of FiCTioN – Spotlight

July 7:

Unabridged Bookshelf – Review

July 8:

Total Book Geek – Review

Donnie Darko Girl – Review

July 9:

A Book Vacation – http://abookvacation.com – Review

A Dream Within A Dream – http://adreamwithindream.blogspot.com – Promo Post

The Book Beacon – http://thebookbeacon.com/ – Review

Jump Into Books – http://jumpintobooks.blogspot.com – Promo Post*

July 10:

Gabic Reads – www.gabicreads.blogspot.com – Review

Rampant Readers – http://rampantreaders.com – Review

Jessabella Reads – http://www.jessabellareads.org – Promo Post

The Book Cookies – http://thebookcookies.blogspot.com – Review

July 11:

Curling Up With A Good Book – http://curling-up-with-a-good-book.blogspot.com/ – Promo Post

The Phantom Paragrapher – www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com – Review



Thirty SunsetsFrom Goodreads: To Forrest Shephard, getting away to the family’s beach house with her parents and her brother, Brian, is the best part of every summer. Until this year, when her mother invites Brian’s obnoxious girlfriend, Olivia, to join them. Suddenly, Forrest’s relaxing vacation becomes a mission to verify the reality of Olivia’s rumored eating disorder. But the truth behind Olivia’s finicky eating isn’t at all what Forrest expected. And over the next thirty days, Forrest’s world is turned upside down as her family’s darkest secrets begin to come to light.

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This novel turned out to be completely different than what I expected, and I really applaud the author for it, especially as it hits on so many important issues, rape and attempted rape included, and the message for women is an amazing one. While reading, it’s so easy to point at Forrest and to shake your head, yelling at her to get some common sense, but in the end, it’s NOT her fault. Women tend to blame themselves when a man becomes aggressive, or when he takes advantage of her; outsiders tend to blame the woman too, even I was upset with Forrest leading up to the pivotal scene between her and Scott because all the signs concerning an aggressive, unhealthy relationship were there, but Forrest is NOT at fault. And this is an important theme that needs to be put in the hands of young girls more often. Scott is a terrible human being, and the fact that Forrest has never had an admirer before explains her gullibility and the fact that she writes off his pushy behavior, to the point that it’s almost too late. Yes, it did drive me crazy, because I’m an outsider looking in, but when in the heat of the moment, as Forrest finds herself, we tend to be blind to the reality that surrounds us, and this is exactly what happens to Forrest. Luckily for her, she has a supported family willing to stand by her side and help her through the rage and turmoil that Scott leaves in his wake, and I just love how Deriso handled the entire situation.

But the novel doesn’t actually center around this—the novel deals with so much more, such as teen pregnancy, family dysfunction, and secrets as well. The truth about Brian and Olivia’s relationship floored me, but made perfect sense, and the reaction of Forrest’s parents also made perfect sense once the truth about their relationship came to light. Overall, this is an extremely well done novel, though I did find the ending just a tad bit too convenient. Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.  This title recently released.

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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



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