ARC Review: Blur (Blur Trilogy #1) by Steven James

18810282Title: Blur (Blur Trilogy #1)

Author: Steven James

Release Date: May 27, 2014

Publisher: Skyscape

Format: eARC (368 pages)

Source: eARC via NetGalley

Genre: YA Mystery

Rating: 4 STARS

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Amazon: Available For Pre-Order


BRIEF SYNOPSIS

The isolated town of Beldon, Wisconsin, is shocked when a high school freshman’s body is found in Lake Algonquin. Just like everyone in the community, sixteen-year-old Daniel Byers believes that Emily Jackson’s death was accidental. But at her funeral, when he has a terrifying vision of her, his world begins to rip apart at the seams. Convinced that Emily’s appearance was more than just a mere hallucination, Daniel begins to look carefully into her death, even as he increasingly loses the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality.

REVIEW

This story starts off with Daniel, all the school kids and every member of the community, at the funeral of Emily Jackson. She was the over-looked, unpopular freshman of her high school. Her death was ruled as an accident, but when Daniel reaches his turn to view her body and she grasps at him and tells him a name he’s all to familiar with, he begins to think that it was no accident. At first, he thinks that he’s going crazy. But when he has the proof that Emily Jackson really did speak to him, marks on his forearms, he doesn’t think he’s crazy after all, and sets out to solve what really happened.

I enjoyed this mystery because I never knew what would happen as the pages turned. I was a little unsure about it at first, but after Daniel starts to uncover things, and piece together the Blurs that he experiences, I got into it.

I didn’t like the fact that while he’s waiting to view her body, he’s recalling every detail about Emily. He said that she wasn’t pretty, yet he’d date her. You don’t wait until someone’s dead to think about the What-ifs. This is YA, and I think that there needs to be a line drawn on the pretty/ugly teens in these books. We have models in magazines already making teens self conscious, no need to add it here.

Daniel did, however, know that he was wrong in his lack of  communication with her. I loved the mystery of it all. I kept wanting to go to the end just to find out what happens. This is a great start to this trilogy and I’m looking forward to reading the next book. Definitely recommend!

4 STARS misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58

ARC Review: Fury by Charlotte McConaghy

 

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Title: Fury (The Cure #1)

Author: Charlotte McConaghy

Release Date: March 25, 2014

Publisher: Momentum Books/ Pan MacMillan

Genre: Science- fiction/ Dystopia

Format: ebook (348 pages)

Source: eARC via NetGalley

Rating: 5 STARS

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Purchase from Amazon: Fury: Book One of The Cure (Omnibus Edition)


Blurb: When emotions are erased from the world, creating a civilization of mindless drones, only those with fury can survive.

On the same day each year, Josephine Luquet wakes naked, shivering and covered in blood that is not her own. Under the cold gaze of the blood moon she is someone else entirely, but when dawn breaks her memories flee and she is left with only an icy horror, a burning fury. Amid a sea of drones, she alone hasn’t been cured. It will be the same each year: atrocities forgotten, truths hidden and pieces of herself left to die. Until Luke. He isn’t like the other drones. With secrets whispering behind his eyes and hunger for all things Josephine, he is the only one determined to help her discover the truth before the next blood moon rises. But time is running out. Is Luke willing to risk his life to be near her? Does he truly understand the violence she is capable of?

Raw and full of passion, Fury is a story of love in a dystopian world, and how much we are willing to forgive in the struggle to remember our humanity.


Review

Josephine Luquet (Josi) is an uncured girl in a world filled with drones (cured people). To be cured is to have your emotions erased from your mind. Going from foster home to foster home, Josi is now 18 and living on her on. She doesn’t know why the Bloods (Government), haven’t tracked her down to be given the cure. She is different. Something wakes inside of  her every year on the night of the blood moon, and she wakes up naked and covered in blood, having no memory of what happened. She’s sitting alone in a club one night, and a guy (Luke Townsend) walks up and talks to her. This surprises her, since she has been pretty much invisible to the other drones around her. Luke has secrets of his own, and soon he and Josi are on a mission to find out why she has those episodes on the night of the blood moon. Being together for a certain amount of time can cause one to fall in love, and that’s exactly what happens between Josi and Luke. Time is running out for Josi, and she admits herself into a non-government asylum for a year, while Luke promises to be back for her one year from the date he takes her to the asylum. He is trying to find answers and is determined to save his girl from the fury that plagues her once a year. There, her doctor, Anthony Harwood doesn’t believe anything that she’s admitted to doing. Or does he? He soon develops feelings for her, but he keeps them to himself. He, along with Luke and Ben Collingsworth (creator of the cure), try to create an antidote for Josi’s condition before they run out of time.

This is another great Dystopia book that I can honestly say, that I will be continuing the series. It is beyond what I thought it would be. I was thinking that this would be another YA story with the MC being at the forefront, saving the world. The MC, Josi, is so remarkably smart. She has an eidetic memory, so she can remember everything that she has read and seen. Except one thing, the night of the blood moon when she commits unspeakable crimes against others. It’s more of a sense of survival. Her not wanting to think about such heinous things for the rest of her life. She is witty and plays the cello better than any Julliard student. Luke is also a very strong character. At first, I was just happy that Josi could interact with another human being who still had some emotions. Then he started helping her try to uncover the truth about her condition, and I fell in love with him. While he has secrets of his own (which I will not reveal), he is the epitome of a true hero. Any man that would willingly put his life in danger to save the woman he loves is nothing but heroic.

I love the different POVs and the memory recalls in this book. I would usually not be fond of more than two POVs, but thankfully, there aren’t a whole lot. The world building and characterizations are excellent. There is no information that is unimportant, so you don’t get a bunch of info-dumps here and there. I was a little worried about the love triangle that seemed to be brewing, but as it turns out, it’s nothing. Hopefully, there won’t be any in the near future. (prays really hard) I would recommend this book 100%! It is well written and full of everything that a great dystopia book has. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone under the age of 16 though. It’s not graphic, but there are aspects that are inappropriate for younger readers.

reviewstars5of5 

There are currently 3 episodes available that make up this edition.

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Review: Tethers by Jack Croxall

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Title: Tethers (The Tethers Trilogy #1)

Author: Jack Croxall

Release Date: February 5, 2013

Publisher: Amazon 

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Historical/Adventure

Source: ebook 

Rating: 4 STARS


BRIEF SYNOPSIS

In the wake of a cold Victorian winter, Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson discover an anonymous journal filled with strange passages and bizarre scribblings. The journal soon draws them into a covert and sinister conspiracy, a conspiracy centered around  an otherworldly artifact with the power to change everything. The voyage the teenagers soon find themselves undertaking is one of desperate importance and true peril; it will change the way they see the world, and each other, forever.

REVIEW

Thirteen-year-olds Karl and Esther are best friends who discover a mysterious journal in their neighbor’s house. When Karl find his and Esther’s name on the last page of the journal, they soon find themselves in a conspiracy concerning a gem with strange powers.

Karl and Esther are very precocious characters. Smart and witty are just two of their likable qualities. These two are always looking for a chance to adventure out of the small village that they’ve only known their whole lives. From the very first page, you are easily pulled in by their friendly banter. As the story unfolds, you can’t help but wonder what will happen next. I found it hard to put down at times when I had to sleep for work.

I love all the elements that make up this book. There’s the fantasy side, but with science-fiction trait. Of course there is the historical aspect, as it’s set in the Victorian Era. It’s also very adventurous and thrilling at times, which is what our two main characters long for. A great start to a trilogy in my opinion, and I can’t wait to read Unwoven (The Tethers Trilogy #2). Definitely recommend!!

4 STARS misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58

Review: The Elite (Unveiled) by Coey Cain

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Title: The Elite: Unveiled

Author: Coey Cain

Release Date: March 13, 2013

Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing

Genre: NA/Paranormal

Source: ebook 

My Copy: Complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest/unbiased review

My Rating: 5 STARS

BRIEF SYNOPSIS

Everyone assumes that Joelie Baudelaire lives a charmed life. She has a generous benefactor in Warren Jardine, and a glamorous lifestyle in the exciting city of Las Vegas. Everyone is wrong. When Warren is arrested, Joelie has the ability to escape the emotional jail he’s held  her captive in for two years. Her father’s house should be her refuge, but it’s another kind of prison altogether. All Joelie wants is a normal, peaceful life. Discovering that she is one of The World Elite, a genetically superior race, puts a whole new set of shackles on her life.

Read the full synopsis on GOODREADS

REVIEW

This book is absolutely amazing! Great plot, awesome characters, ideal setting; what more is there to ask for? Very well written also. Great character development. You get to know enough about the characters that it doesn’t take you away from the story. The plot itself is so beyond good, and the author just gives you the perfect setting and amazing characters to give you a great story. Which I might add, is far from over.

*SPOILERS GALORE*

I was hooked from the very first page. We have Joelie, who has just arrived in Washington from Las Vegas, to live with her father. Mind you, this is a twenty seven years old woman, who has problems that comes from breaking it off with a controlling ex. Her world is about to get a whole lot more stressful and downright depressing. Nevermind the fact that her father, a Sheriff no less, has assigned three of his best men on the job, to guard his daughter 24-7. Forget that they have to be with her at all times and have installed cameras around the premises, and insists upon her wearing a tracking device on her ankle. Don’t worry, it’s basically non existent.

Joelie is about to die from all of this when Sender, her childhood crush who mind you, is seven years older than her, walks into her father’s house for his weekly Man Fest (grill, men, alcohol). It’s instant, the impression. Sender, her father John, and Sender’s father Wes know what is going on around them. All Joelie knows is that there’s a feeling inside of her and it has something to do with Sender.

Diesel, one of her guards, watches the whole exchange. He’s immediately jealous. Catches attitude with Joelie, so she goes to her room. Days go by and Joelie has Cabin Fever. As she has to have a guard everyday, Diesel will just have to take her somewhere so she can unwind. As she’s making her plans, she gets a text from Sender asking to take her out. Her father really shouldn’t have given her number to him. Before she can stop herself she agrees for tomorrow. Off to the bar with Diesel she goes. She sits near older men who chat about the murders and kidnapping that has been going on in the area and other close counties. One of them goes on and on about some World Elite beings out there, which is pretty funny to her. All eyes are on her from men in the bar. Diesel is fuming and to top it off, in walks Sender. A man runs in covered in blood and screaming for help. Diesel tells her to stay put and goes with the man. Sender asks her to go with him to a safe location. As it is apparent, something is amiss and Sender knows more than he’s telling her.

This is where things turn from stressful to depressing. The life that she has lived has been filled with secrets. To top off the depressing news, she now is told she is betrothed to Sender and that she signed the contract when she was 18. Sender signed his contract at 18 also, which means she was 11 at the time. Joelie is going crazy with trying to find a way out of this madness.

This story is amazing and I would recommend reading it to see where it goes. I’m so ready for the next book. That’s my only problem I have with this book, waiting for the next to come. What a cliff hanger! This book is worth every penny and your time. You will not be disappointed. You will be engrossed from the very first page! Coey Cain has been added to my favorite authors list.

5 STARS misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58

Waiting On Wednesday #3: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

 

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Title: In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop To Drink #2)

Author: Mindy McGinnis

Release Date: September 23, 2014

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: YA/Dystopia

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It is a way for bloggers and readers to share which books they are eagerly waiting to be released. My book this week is In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop To Drink #2) by Mindy McGinnis

BRIEF SYNOPSIS

Lucy’s life by the pond has been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood  was very different from her own. Yet, it seems Lucy’s future is settled already- a house, man, children and a water source- and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

First off, When I read Not a Drop To Drink last year, I was sure that it was a stand-alone. So when I learned months ago through Epic Reads, that there was to be a “companion” novel to Not a Drop To Drink, I was shocked. Nowhere, at the end of that novel, did I get the sense that there would/could be another book. Reading it 13112869 was not the highlight of my reading schedule. I was wondering what all the hype was about, so me pushing the book up on my TBR schedule was just a bad move on my part. I rated the book 3 STARS. You can read my review HERE on Goodreads. It was an okay read for me, not a book that I could pick up and read over and over. It didn’t quite feel like a Dystopian book, more like a guide for how to survive without running water.

So why am I ready to read the next book you ask? Because, me being the masochist that I am, just has to know what the heck is Mindy gonna write about in that book!!!!  I just have to know! I thought for sure that there would only be the one, but noooooo. They had to slam In a Handful of Dust in my face. HARD! So, I must say, i’m looking forward to seeing where this story goes. What books are you waiting on this week? 

Add, In a Handful of Dust to your GOODREADS shelf.

 

Review: Paint The Bird by Georgeann Packard

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Title: Paint The Bird

Author: Georgeann Packard

Release Date: July 26, 2013

Publisher: The Permanent Press

Source: Paperback ARC from publisher

My Rating: 5 STARS

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BRIEF SYNOPSIS

The Reverend Sarah Obadias is broken, bitter, and stripped of the reassurance of faith when she walks into a West Village restaurant in Manhattan. Here she encounters Abraham Darby, a rumpled but well-regarded painter who seduces the minister into his life of  excess and emotional intensity.

Dancing through the novel is the mystical Yago, the gay son of Darby and the Costa Rican painter Alejandra Morales Diaz. But Alejandra’s appearance further decomposes Sarah, and Yago provides no calm or clarity when she encounters him.

Bloodlines become squiggled and  unreliable as the novel explores the ever-changing relationships between fathers and sons and what constitutes a family. And throughout, one question lingers: What really did happen when a small boy was swallowed by the sea?

 REVIEW

Religion, Sexuality, and Death are the main focus of this beautifully written novel.

A woman of the cloth, Sarah, who loses her Faith; Abraham, the handsome, lost artist; Johnny, the widowed father to Angelo; Yago, the deceased whose soul still lingers… these are just some of the intriguing characters in this novel.

So much depth, these characters have. I could almost feel the emotions myself, while reading. Death, is not understood by many. I, myself, still have questions. But, when you have characters such as 2 tortured artists, a homosexual widow who admits to enjoying sex with a woman, it’s so much more.

Reverend Sarah Obadias is running from her life, lost her faith. She meets Abraham Darby, sex ensues. Mind you, these two individuals aren’t young. Sarah meets him during a rough time, the death of his son.

The meeting of all these characters is paramount to the story. It’s original, poetic, passionate, sad, and very adult. I’d recommend this to those who enjoy a compelling story of religion, sex, and death. Not for closed minds.

5 STARSmisc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58

This novel contains adult content. Not intended for readers under the age of 18. 

Review: Savage Girl By Jean Zimmerman

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Title: Savage Girl

Author: Jean Zimmerman

Release Date: March 6, 2014

Publisher: Penguin/ Viking Adult

Source: Hardcover

My Copy: Won (Thanks Penguin)

Add On Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Jean Zimmerman’s new novel tells the dramatic events that transpire when an alluring, blazingly smart eighteen-year-old girl named Bronwyn, reputedly raised by wolves in the wilds of Nevada, is adopted in 1875 by the Delegates, an outlandishly wealthy Manhattan couple, and taken back East to be civilized and introduced into high society.

Bronwyn hits the highly mannered world of Edith Wharton era Manhattan like a bomb. A series of suitors, both young and old, find her irresistible, but the willful girl’s illicit lovers begin to turn up murdered.

Zimmerman’s tale is narrated by the Delegate’s son, a Harvard anatomy student. The tormented, self- dramatizing Hugo Delegate speaks from a prison cell where he is prepared to take the fall for his beloved Savage Girl. This narrative- a love story and a mystery with a powerful sense of fable- is his confession.

REVIEW

This is a great book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s set in New York during the Gilded Age, which is my favorite era to read about for that city. Hugo Delegate comes across Savage Girl, and in swoops his parents. The Delegates take her back to NY, to live  with them and introduce her into their high society. Reading this, I don’t think the Delegates took her in from kindness, more like they wanted kudos for saving a young girl from the wilds of the West. *Rolls eyes* Soon, there is a trail of bodies everywhere Bronwyn (Savage Girl) goes. Hugo gets all obsessed with his, now, sister and all is not as it seems with these two individuals.

I loved the writing of  this novel. The character building is incredible, and the setting is even more so. Dare I say this is the third best Historical novel I’ve read this month? Yes, that’d be correct. This however, is so mysterious that after you reach a certain point, you won’t want to put it down. It did kind of speed up at the end, but it was a good ending. If you love adult/historical fiction, then add this book to your reading list. If you’ve never read adult/historical before, this would be an awesome book to start with. Definitely recommend!!

misc_58misc_58misc_58misc_58 4 STARS

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Review: The Summer I Became A Nerd By Leah Rae Miller

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Previously Reviewed HERE

GOODREADSAMAZONB&NTBD

Synopsis

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl’s body isn’t just unknown, it’s anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.

Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.

Review

This is a must read for teens everywhere. It’s a must read for all ages; because lets face it, you’re never too young or old to learn about yourself and be happy. Leah Rae Miller is a genius.

The Summer I Became a Nerd is about Maddie, popular cheerleader / closet comic book nerd. Afraid that exposing her love for comics will cast her to social Siberia, she hides away that part of herself. Her hidden identity begins to unravel when she’s forced to go buy the newest comic in a series that she loves, at her local comic store. Hidden behind shades and a hoodie, she is still noticed by the guy running the register. A guy whom she knows and has had a major nerd crush on for a while.

Logan. Awesome Logan. Adorkable Logan. Maddie’s life will never be the same again. Her Summer is filled with lies, mostly to her parents. A distance between her and her best friend Terra. Believable characters, from the foul mouthed Dan to the snobby Rayann.

This book is funny and inspiring. A book that needs to be read in schools, to let students know that it’s okay to be yourself. So what if you like comics? So what if you’re a booknerd? So what if you like certain music or watch classic movies? There is nothing wrong with you and that is totally okay. Definitely picking up a copy for my cousin!

Favorite Quote: “It’s not just high school. People are going to judge you for all kinds of reasons for the rest of your life. Because you vote one way or the other, because you go to one school or the other, because you look a certain way. It’s a fact of life: you can’t make everyone happy. But you can make you happy.”

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Random: Books That Should Be More Recognized

Over the years, I’ve read many books by little known authors. I’ve read some great ones and some not so great ones, and they’ve stuck with me one way or the other. A few of the ones that I love have basically taken up residence on my bookshelves or my kindles. I want to talk about The Watchers Series by Lynnie Purcell

Book 1, The Watchers 17563111 is truly awesome, and once you start reading it, you won’t put it down. I read it within hours nonstop and immediately bought the next book The Seekers 12604863, which only drives you deeper into the world of half-angels and the powers they possess. Clare, the MC, along with Daniel and Alex, find themselves in seek of answers. Book 3, The Saints 17447804 is fast paced and action packed, with more revelations revealed. I honestly jumped right into the final book The Last 14744424, with eagerness. If you love paranormal romance, angels, half angels, action, suspense, and all the in between then you will definitely love this series. There is a spin-off to this series, The Guardians, which I haven’t started yet. I’m hoping to start the first book, The Hunter 17857980, soon.

My reviews for The Watchers Series can be found on Goodreads in the links below.

Mini Review: Birthright By Vivian Eve

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Title: Birthright (Talmassa Chronicles #1)

Author: Vivian Eve

Release Date: March 25 2014

Publisher: Memento Vivere Publishing

Source: eArc From author in exchange for an honest review

Rating 4 STARS

SYNOPSIS

It’s king murdered in cold blood by friend and foe alike, the once magnificent kingdom of Arenhed has fallen to its knees. Without a proper heir to assume the throne, the nation concedes to the rule of a cruel and villainous tyrant.

When her village is attacked by the duke and his men, 16-year-old Hedy Odell’s simple life is turned upside down. She loses all that is important to her: her best friend, her mother- everything. Unbeknownst to her, she is thrust in the midst of dangerous politics and into a world where everyone-and everything- is not what they seem.

Tormented by nightmares, Hedy must navigate both the treacherous landscape of the noble courts and the conflicted waters of her heart if she is to get her revenge. One misstep, and she may suffer a fate far worse than death..

REVIEW

This is one of those ‘didn’t see that coming’ books. The world building and characters are just amazing. With every turn of the page, you wonder what will happen next.

Historical/Fantasy is my new favorite genre. This book delivers not only a great setting, but great characters. You know who you’ll be behind throughout. It is beautifully written and I can’t wait to read the next book! I need to get the print on my shelf as soon as possible!! This is definitely a reread.

*I received an eArc of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

4 STARS ****

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