Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday: On My Wish List




Authors: Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston
Title: Golden
Add on [goodreads]
Coming out on April 5, 2016
Book 3 in the Heart of Dread series

Summary
(from goodreads)

The action-packed finale to the Heart of Dread series

In this epic conclusion to the trilogy, Nat and Wes go on a journey to find the Rift, save the source of magic and defeat the Drau, the pirates, and the RSA—but at a great sacrifice. Wes is dying, and as he's rotting the Drau will let the rot "cleanse" the source of magic, dooming Wes forever. Nat and Wes discover that the source of the magic lies in the Drakon—the key to the Blue, the protector, the soul of the world. But in order to close the Rift, a great sacrifice is needed. Nat must decide to sacrifice her beloved drakon in order to save the world, and to save Wes. In the words of the sylphs, death is life, and now the worlds can be reborn again. 

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About the authors
Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publisher’s Weekly and #1 Indie Bound bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages. Her books have also topped the USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists, and have been published in over twenty countries.

The Isle of the Lost, the prequel to the Disney Channel Original Movie The Descendants, has spent thirty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, fifteen at #1 and has over a million copies in print. The Descendants starring Kristen Chenoweth and Dove Cameron is the #1 cable TV movie of 2015, and #5 of all time, and its soundtrack is the #1 bestselling album on iTunes.

Melissa is also the author of the Blue Bloods series (with three million copies in print), the Beach Lane series, the Ashleys Project series, the Heart of Dread series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat. She is also the editor of the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.

Her first series for adults launched with Witches of East End, which People magazine called a “bubbling cauldron of mystery and romance.” The bestseller was followed by Serpent’s Kiss and Winds of Salem.  Lifetime Television aired a two-season drama series based on the series starring Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rachel Boston and M√§dchen Amick.

A former fashion and beauty editor, Melissa has written for The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

She grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. At Columbia University, she majored in art history and English.

Melissa de la Cruz lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with her husband and daughter.


Michael Johnston

Couldn't find anything about him. But I can tell you that he is Melissa de la Cruz's husband and he will be writing a new series due in 2017. The first book will be called Soleri. Goodreads summary for is the following:

First Book in a fantasy series inspired by the history of ancient Egypt and the tragic story of King Lear.


I follows a rebellious king, his ambitious daughters, his lost son, and their secrets and struggles for dynastic supremacy.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sneak Peek of the Week

Title: You Can't Catch Me
Coming out on March 28, 2016
Stand alone
Add on [goodreads]

Summary
(from goodreads)

My body suuuucks. After lounging around on my butt all summer (okay, so maybe that was my bad), this body decided to become something completely foreign. So now I’m trying to make the track team and I feel like I’m a baby learning to walk again. 

A couple pounds wouldn’t have been so bad. Work those off, run like a mad woman, no problem, yeah? But no. I’ve also developed a couple of things that I definitely didn’t have before. And now my guy friends are all sitting in a pool of drool as they not-so-subtly stare at my chest. 

Combine all that drama with the fact that the new track coach is getting major flack for being a little chunky, and all I’m trying to do is convince the team that I’m not running slower because of her coaching style. 

Oh, and did I mention that I’m totally falling face-first in “like” with some guy I met in a cemetery? And no one understands it just because he’s also a little chunky. But he’s also adorable and wonderfully weird and I don’t care what they say, his look sure does it for me. 

But… I don’t know… how can I be in “like” with someone, when I have no clue how to like myself anymore?



Pre-order it on Amazon.com by clicking on the picture below:







About author
[website] [goodreads]

Cassie Mae (who dons the name Becca Ann on occasion) is the author of a few hundred… okay, maybe not that many… books. Some of which became popular for their quirky titles, characters, and stories. She likes writing about nerds, geeks, the awkward, the fluffy, the short, the shy, the loud, the fun.

Since writing her bestselling debut, Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend, she has published books with Random House, Swoon Romance, and is the founder and lead editor of CookieLynn Publishing. She is represented by Sharon Pelletier at Dystel and Goderich Literary Management. She has a favorite of all her babies, but no, she won’t tell you what it is. (Mainly because it changes depending on the day.)

Along with writing, Cassie likes to binge watch Teen Wolf and The Big Bang Theory. She can quote Harry Potter lines quick as a whip. And she likes kissing her hubby, but only if his facial hair is trimmed. She also likes cheesecake to a very obsessive degree.

You can stalk, talk, or send pictures of Dylan O’Brien to her on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cassiemaeauthor

Friday, March 18, 2016

Review: The Program by Suzanne Young (The Program, #1)



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Summary

(from goodreads)

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.



Read from: February 12 to February 16, 2016
Read on: Owned Hardcover


Review:



So I started this book with nothing in mind for it. I had read the summary a long time ago, but I had forgotten it the moment I started this book and was reminded of what it was about once I was into the first few chapters of it.

I was really surprised with just how much I enjoyed reading this book. Suzanne Young used suicide as and an epidemic and work a story around it. I found it quite interesting even if sometimes, I feel like some explanations felt quite evasive. Maybe it’s the way I read it or maybe a lot more will be explained in the next book.

So once you are tagged as predisposed for being suicidal, you are sent to the Program which felt a lot like if they were doing a lobotomy of them as their memories are taken away to assure them a future.

Sloane, James and Miller are all still in the age range to be sent there and are trying to help one another to avoid the Program. Sloane and James are dating and I will admit that I really liked them together. They brought a lot to one another and I was rooting for them from the beginning.

Alas… Good things usually end and following some events, Sloane and James are sent to the Program one after the other.

I wish I could say that I loved Sloane, but I’ll admit that sometimes, she was really getting on my nerves, especially once she was in the program. I get it that her memories were being taken away, but I felt like she was becoming someone else. I liked her, but something is missing for me to love her.

It’s in the Program that she meets Realm to who she quickly attaches herself to. Whether it is just lust or like (nothing will make me believe she was in love with him), I don’t know, but I just felt like she just didn’t want to be alone and he was there.

Realm was a character that I couldn’t quite put a reason to why I liked and hated him at the same time. Besides the obvious reason that I didn’t want him with Sloane, I felt like there was something odd with him. Even if a lot is explained throughout the book, I still feel we are missing pieces of who this guy really is.

And James… Okay, I just loved him and it broke my heart when he and Sloane meet again and neither of them remembered the other, but you can still feel like there is something between them. I guess that mind and heart are really two separate things and a mind can never dictate to a heart what to do.

More events will happen between their first meeting and the end that will leave you wanting more. You will want them to remember; you’ll want them to continue to fight.

I am really trying to keep this review as spoilers free as possible, so I’ll stop here, but overall, I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to continue to read this series. I want to know how it will all end.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Review: Confessions... The Murder of an Angel by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro (Confessions, #4)



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Summary
(from goodreads)

The first time was an accident…

After facing loss, destruction, and unspeakable pain, Tandy Angel is ready to restart her life in New York City as the privileged schoolgirl she once was.

The second was just her imagination…

But as she fights to escape her insidious family legacy, a series of perilous incidents makes Tandy fear for her life—though everyone else believes her fragile mind is about to snap.

The third had to be a coincidence…

Is someone really out to kill her? Which of her many enemies is responsible? Or have all the monstrous things Tandy’s seen finally driven her to the brink of madness?

No one will believe she’s in danger…until it’s too late.



Read on: March 17, 2016
Read on: Library Hardcover


Review:


I had forgotten how this series is such an easy read. I read this book in an afternoon at work while there wasn’t much to do. As much as I have enjoyed this book, I will say that I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first books of the series. Okay, let’s say the first two books got my attention a lot more than the last two, but there were still good; just not as good as the first ones.

So in the final book of the series, Tandy continues her path to end once and for all the family’s company but everything just seems in her way. People thinking she’s crazy, her doubts about who to trust and who not to trust, her family in danger and so many other obstacles will obscure her chances of getting what she wants.

At some point, we even wonder if the trauma of what happened to her and her family didn’t make her crazy, but I still liked her character because even if she is more emotional now, she still has this brilliant mind.

I also feel like her family was less present than in the other books even if they were there. I don’t know if it’s because I feel like there were less communications between them or what, but I didn’t feel their presence as much which is a shame because I really liked them; even Matty who had a lot to deal with too in this book.

Some characters I wouldn’t have mind never seeing again because I just feel like they didn’t bring anything to the story. I just found them annoying for the few times they were there.

The whole book went really quickly and I feel like a lot was left out of it, but even if the ending is somewhat predictable, I still liked to see how all of it came together at the end. Some of it like I said was predictable, but other stuff still surprised me a little.

I will admit that I wouldn’t mind another book to see a bit more about this family and how they deal with everything in the aftermath of what they learned; of what they dealt with. I’d like to read more about the infamous sister Katherine that I still feel like we didn’t learn much about her throughout this book. I felt like the authors tried to end this book too quickly because it leaves us wondering more about what happened to her more than it satisfies our curiosity. So much could have been said to shed some light on her situation, but they didn’t and that’s why I would love a novella.

This book might give us some answers that we have been looking for, but I still have a lot of questions on my mind that would like to know the answers to.

So overall, I found this book enjoyable, but still feel like this book was rushed and it could have lasted a few more pages if only to give us readers the impression that everything was answered.

Thursday: On My Wish List




Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Title: Bad Blood
Add on [goodreads]
Coming out on March 29, 2016
Book 4 in the Naturals series

Summary
(from goodreads)

When Cassie Hobbes joined the FBI's Naturals program, she had one goal: uncover the truth about her mother's murder. But now, everything Cassie thought she knew about what happened that night has been called into question. Her mother is alive, and the people holding her captive are more powerful—and dangerous—than anything the Naturals have faced so far. As Cassie and the team work to uncover the secrets of a group that has been killing in secret for generations, they find themselves racing a ticking clock.

New victims. New betrayals. New secrets.

When the bodies begin piling up, it soon becomes apparent that this time, the Naturals aren't just hunting serial killers. 

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About the author

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a "practice book" and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.

Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She was awarded a Fulbright to do post-graduate work at Cambridge, and then returned to the states, where she is hard at work on her PhD.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Review: All Chained Up by Sophie Jordan (Devil's Rock, #1)



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Summary
(from goodreads)

There are bad boys and then there are the men of Devil’s Rock...

Some men come with a built-in warning label. Knox Callaghan is one of them. Danger radiates from every lean, muscled inch of him, and his deep blue eyes seem to see right through to Briar Davis’s most secret fantasies. But there’s one major problem: Briar is a nurse volunteering at the local prison, and Knox is an inmate who should be off-limits in every way.

Knox feels it too—a shocking animal magnetism that drives him to risk his own life to protect Briar’s. Paroled at last, he tries to resist her. She’s too innocent, too sweet, and she has no idea what Knox is capable of. But a single touch can lead to a kiss—and a taste... until the only crime is denying what feels so right...

“When the prison doors are open, the real dragon will fly out.”—Ho Chi Minh



Read from: February 28 to February 29, 2016
Read on: Owned ARC Paperback


Review:



I don't think you know just how excited I was for this book. I was trying to get an ARC to be able to review it but it never seemed to work and Sophie being the amazing person that she is gave me a copy when I met her at Apollycon and I totally devoured this book on my way back from Savannah.

If you know me at all, you know I just love Sophie's writing and she's one of my favourite authors hence the reason I wanted this baby so bad. Plus, for the second time this year, she actually made me want to read again with two of her books so thank you Sophie :)

This review will be general; not because I didn't love it, but since it won't be out before the end of March, I don't want to give too much about the story.

Now, let's finally start this review of this bad boy. When Sophie first introduced us to this story, I was already hooked on the idea of it. I was intrigued how she was going to unravel the story between the two main characters.

Briar is the kind of girl that you notice or you don't. Physically, she seemed like the kind of girl guys would notice, but she seemed so introverted due to a lot about what happened in her past, that it's also easy to just dismiss her. I really enjoyed reading about her and learning more and more about her as I got further and further into the book. I liked that she knew what she wanted even if she sometimes lacked the confidence to go for it, but she changed throughout this book and I really hope we do get some glimpse of her in the future books.

And now Knox (I only kept him after because I know that’s all you want to know about lol)... Oh my... What can I say about the man that I wouldn't mind having for myself? He is really the typical guy you would judge before even getting to know him. I won't say that he's innocent or anything like that, but he is worth getting to know. Things we learn about him throughout the book just made it hard for me to hate him when he was doing something stupid but I had no problems saying that he was in fact stupid for doing those things hahaha Knox had a lot to learn about himself and how to deal with the consequences of his actions. But he also had to accept a lot of things that he couldn’t control and I think that it was probably the one thing he had a lot of trouble adjusting himself to.

And Briar and Knox together... Wow... Their interaction from the start screamed chemistry and a whole lot of sexual tensions. I was ready for them to get down to business since the first moment they saw one another. There was something about the two of them that just clicked. They needed one another without even knowing why they did. But even if I wanted them to do it like bunnies, I’m still happy that’s not how Sophie decided to develop their story. She gave us just enough to keep us entertaining and intrigued and needy. You can only continue to flip each page of this book to see where it will all end.

In this book, a series of events will keep making them run into one another, making it impossible for them to get over the other. Through the good and the bad, they both learned more about one another and sometimes, it set them back, sometimes forward. Their story wasn't an easy one, but in my opinion, it was worth all their efforts.

I still need to talk about the other characters and I will admit that I really want Briar's neighbour to have her story in this series. I don't care if it's a novella or a full book where she also wants some sexy time with some sexy inmate lol She deserves it. I really enjoyed her character so much.

Briar's sister was something else. She's really snob and judgemental. She might have improved by the end of the book, but I still feel some harsh feelings towards her.

North, Knox’s Brother, and Reid, the leader of their gang in prison, aren’t there as much, but Sophie wrote them making me want to read more about their and I’m looking forward to read about them. Knox cares so much about his little brother. He feels responsible for him and I think that this alone dictates a lot of his actions in this book. As for Reid, you can tell that Knox respects him and trusts him as much as he is able to trust other people.

If I was honest, I was really hoping the next book would be about North, but after reading this book, but I’m really happy we get Reid’s story next. He’s quite an interesting character and I feel like we are in for a lot of surprises from him. I'm really hooked on this series and I hope she writes tons of books in it.

I was giving an advance copy of this book by the author in exchange of an honest review.

Thursday: On My Wish List




Author: Ally Condie
Title: Summerlost
Add on [goodreads]
Coming out on March 29, 2016
Standalone

Summary
(from goodreads)

It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar. 

Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, Summerlost is the touching middle grade debut from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series, that highlights the strength of family and personal resilience in the face of tragedy. 

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About the author
[website] [goodreads]

Ally Condie is the author of the MATCHED Trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. MATCHED was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten and named as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010. The sequels, CROSSED and REACHED, were also critically acclaimed and received starred reviews, and all three books are available in 30+ languages.

Ally lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar. Follow Ally on Twitter and Facebook.

Review: The Natural History of Us by Rachel Harris (The Fine Art of Pretending, #2)



BWHB
Summary
(from goodreads)

One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who's forever owned his heart. 

Justin Carter has a secret. He's not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy...and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she'd ever forgive him. 

Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she's done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she'll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first. 

For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate's given him a shot at redemption, he's determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton...well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.



Read from: March 1st to March 3, 2016
Read on: Owned ARC Paperback


Review:



I will admit that I stalked Rachel for this book until she finally got tired of me and handed me a copy hahaha No, I’d like to think that she liked me and offered me an advanced copy of this book for that. :)

So once I got back from Apollycon and finished another ARC, I dove right into this book and fell in love with this story.

First warning… If you haven’t read The Fine Art of Pretending… Well go and read it now and stop reading my review because even if I might not really spoil anything from the first book (who I am kidding, yes there will be some minor spoilers), the desire you might get for starting this book might be too strong and you need to read the first book first. End of discussion lol

Okay, let’s be more serious now. So I really sort of liked Justin in the first book and I was happy we got to read his story this time around. I added the word “sort” only because I didn’t want him with Aly, but like always, you want him to have his happy ending and I was happy when Rachel announced that this book was going to be about him.

So let’s start this review for real…

If I had to imagine something about Justin’s past relationships, it wouldn’t have been what I read in this book and I’m glad that Rachel Harris was able to surprise me with this book. I really liked that we got to see more behind the player’s mask. This is really a good case of “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. So even if he was labeled as a player, I would have never believed Justin to be a bad guy. He has always been well liked and I was really intrigued to find out what happened between him and Peyton to cause such a downfall between them. Because from the beginning of this book, you know she doesn’t like him. Well… It’s more like she is mad at him for something. If the cause is known quite quickly, it took a trip to memory land throughout the book to understand the evolution of their relationship and its downfall; to see where it gone wrong and why it should be salvaged.

Peyton’s life was far from being easy and to see how she changed from the event that changed her future to meeting Justin and then from the moment things fell apart between them until the present is quite a shocker. I liked her character very much because in some way, we all relate to her. We all have this point in our life that we just finally break no matter how positive we want to be and that's exactly what happened with her. Throughout the book, you will see a change in her personality, but I feel like you can only connect with her more because of it. Even if some events that happened in her life won’t happen to everyone, the feelings, the thoughts and the reactions are typically teenage-like and you can only remember when you were like this or if you are a teenager yourself, perhaps, you will recognize yourself in this.

Justin is set to get her back, but nothing will be easy and he knows he has a lot to prove to win her back. But even though this is his goal, this book is so much more than that. As he tries to get closer to Peyton again, it brings out a lot of issues back to the surface for him. Things he thought he had dealt with to realize that maybe he hadn't really. You learn a lot about the Justin that not many people know. Peyton was that person who got to know him and I feel that’s probably why these two always gravitated around one another.

If I had to describe this book in one word; like for me what it all sums up to, that word would be trust. Trust is a major theme in this book. From thrusting others to trusting yourself, this is what both main characters will have to learn throughout this book.

So this review might or might not be helpful; I might even have confused you, but I just need to tell you that you need to read this amazing book. You will be captivated from the beginning and you will want to know what happens next.

Do I want more books in this series? Definitely.

And I’m already aware of whom I want the next book to be about and even told Rachel about it. I really hope my review will make you want to read this series and ask for more. I know once you start this, you won’t want it to finish. There will always be a character you want her next book to be about.

I was giving an advance copy of this book by the author in exchange of an honest review.