Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: Rumors by Erica Kiefer

Rumors (A Lingering Echoes Prequel)Series: Lingering Echoes 0.5
Release date: December 21st 2013
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Allie Collins would rather hide behind rumors than face the truth—her life will never be the same as it was before the accident. As a star athlete grieving in the shadows, she hopes to find normalcy in boys and basketball. When her best friend sets her up with the popular Shane Moretti, Allie drags her feet, reluctant for added complications. Then she decides that dating Shane would be the perfect shield from last summer’s tragedy. However, what starts as a mere distraction proves much more complex. As Shane leads Allie into questionable situations, gossip continues to swirl.

Battling for her own identity while barricading painful emotions, Allie won’t escape her senior year without new wounds. After all, tragedy is no stranger to her. The events that unfold will draw readers deep into a well of emotion in Rumors, a Lingering Echoes Prequel.

*Purchased ecopy from Amazon Kindle




I liked this story. It was fast-paced, well-written, intriguing, and very relatable. Here we have this teen girl who's coping with the death of her cousin. Throughout the story you're given the sense of the guilt Allie feels. At first I thought it was going to be too depressing and overwhelming to read, but I was kept interested from start to finish. I'm glad I read Rumors before picking up Lingering Echoes because the prequel gives a clear understanding of what happened and it transitions into the next book with Allie trying to deal with the tragedy. 

Character-wise, she was understandable, her behavior was justifiable, and in spite of closing off from everyone and holding on to so much pain, Allie was a likable character to me. I might not have experienced such an event, much less know what she's going through, but I know other people have and they can definitely attest to the fact that Rumors is quite a realistic novel. 

I hated how her so-called friends wanted her to snap back into her old ways (sports, hanging out, etc.) Like, how could they not understand that she was dealing with a lot? I was kind of happy when that falling out happened and she stepped away from something she used to be so passionate about. Like her teacher said, you can't go back to your previous life, you have to learn to move on, even if it means changing certain things. It's so sad what happened to him just as someone was getting through to Allie, but I'm glad she took his words into consideration and in a way started to work on the pain.

Aside from what's going on with Allie, I liked how she got to experience a bit of dating, no matter how that turned out. Shane was a nice enough guy, just needed to shake off some people in his crowd, I guess. I also enjoyed the mom's character along with her sisters. I'm glad the author brought us into Allie's family life so we could see how they felt seeing her like that and how much they wanted to help. The mom is one tough cookie. I like her. 

Again, it was a great story with a very interesting plot. The feels are definitely there, in my opinion. I suggest giving this one a read before starting Lingering Echoes, and if you've already read that one, then still come back to Rumors because it clarifies some things and provides an understanding of why Allie is so detached. I highly recommend this one.



BOOK BLITZ~Strange & Ever After by Susan Dennard


IFB is hosting the promo tour for the third and final book in Susan Dennard's steampunk, zombie trilogy. Continue below for a sample and a cool giveaway.

17902141Series: Something Strange & Deadly #3
Release date: July 22nd 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:
In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus...all before it’s too late.

He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.

With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.

Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.

Susan DennardAbout the Author
Susan Dennard is a writer turned marine biologist turned writer again. Strange and Ever After is the conclusion to her trilogy, which includes A Darkness Strange and Lovely and Something Strange and Deadly. Among the traits she shares with her heroine Eleanor are a weakness for Shakespeare quotes, a healthy appetite for baked goods, and an insatiable curiosity. Sadly, Susan does not get to wear a corset or wave a parasol on a daily basis.




The Complete Series
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a-dawn-most-wicked-a-something-strange-and-deadly-novella something-strange-and-deadly a-darkness-strange-and-lovely strange-and-ever-after

 




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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #78

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where you showcase all the books you've received in the past week. 

I haven't been doing a book haul because I haven't been requesting much. I wanted to get through my TBR. But I received some surprises in the mail over the past from a super awesome lady at Simon & Schuster. 



I am over the top to have received an ARC of Ashes to Ashes because I really enjoyed the first two books. As for Chasing Before, I'd have to read the first book in that series, and I'm not really familiar with The Boy I Love. Seems interesting though.


Special thanks again to Katy at Simon & Schuster books for young readers :)


What's in your haul? Leave the link below so I can stop by.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Shameless by Nina Lemay


Welcome to Nina Lemay's Shameless cover reveal. This is a NA Contemporary Romance. Continue for the giveaway:



Release date: August 18th 2014

Synopsis via Goodreads:
~New Adult Contemporary Romance -- recommended for mature readers~

Girls like me don’t get happy endings.

I know what I am. At worst a cliché, at best a cautionary tale. I put an international border between me and my past, only to wind up working in a low-end titty bar. Even my excuse is as lame as it gets: I’m paying for college, getting my art degree from Montreal’s most prestigious school. Although some days it becomes confusing: am I just a student who moonlights as a stripper, or a stripper who masquerades as a student?

But the inevitable happens and my two lives collide. And now there’s one other person who knows both the quiet, antisocial Hannah and the sensual, shameless Alicia. One person who keeps my secret.

He’s beautiful, he’s sophisticated. He comes from the other side of life, the one where I’m not wanted or accepted. But he calls me la petite Américaine, and his hot, hot hands on my skin promise me things I long ago gave up on.

The problem? He teaches my Classic Photography class.

This is a standalone novel, no series, no cliffhanger.

Nina LemayAbout the Author
Nina Lemay is a YA writer by day and author of sinfully twisted New Adult…well, also by day. She loves all things dark and edgy and never tires of tormenting her characters. While Nina is a fan of all things scary, Gothic, and fantastic, she doesn’t shy away from a gritty contemporary romance when the muse strikes. She lives in Montreal, a city that never fails to inspire, with her partner and her dog.



EXCERPT
--------------------------


His hand slides, hesitant, across the edge of his seat as he leans closer. The black ink of the letters on his knuckles is stark against his skin.

“Show me,” I say.

And he kisses me. Our lips don’t meet smooth and choreographed like in movies. The stubble on his cheek grazes the corner of my mouth, leaving behind a burning trail, and then his lips cover mine. Nothing hesitant about them. Assertive, self-assured like I thought his kiss would be, the promise of those strong hands and broad shoulders and arrogant posture made real. But he’s anything but arrogant. He gently nips on my lower lip and his hands caress my neck, my jaw, cup my face. He’s holding me like I’m something fragile and precious.

I’m afraid to close my eyes.

He has that lavender scent, sharp and clean, with a note of wild muskiness lurking underneath when you get close enough—that note that’s just him. I don’t know what to do with my hands so I slip them under his jacket and put them on his waist, right above his belt. I finally start to sketch out what his body looks like under his shirt: sinewy and fit and hard.

His hands finally move on, mirroring mine, down to my bare belly exposed by my cropped top. The little hairs along my spine stand on end. An involuntary shudder courses through me, making my abs tighten and quiver. His hand finds the small of my back and settles there, guiding me forward with smooth confidence, pulling me toward him. The heat of his palm melts through my skin into my bones and up my spine, softening my muscles until my entire body feels like hot wax held together by a membrane of skin. I tuck my hand under his belt, just the fingertips—past the hem of his shirt where the pads of my fingers find hot, smooth skin over taut muscle.

He groans softly into my mouth. I lean in and slide onto his lap, barely aware that I’m clambering over a car seat. It’s just so smooth and natural, the grooves of our bodies clicking together like a jigsaw puzzle. His hands on my waist, spreading goosebumps all over my belly, up my back and down my arms; then they move up, up, under my top, stopping when they find my bra. Pausing, hesitant.

I kiss my way along his jaw and his neck, peel away the collar of his shirt to continue down his clavicle. His hand settles over my bra and I can feel its heat through the fabric, a tiny little jolt of sensation that lights up my nerve endings like a Christmas tree.

My mind floats up, under the closed sunroof of the Audi, and watches me from there, impassive. I’m aware of everything I’m doing, too aware, but I don’t stop. My body continues like an automaton, the lips, the hands, performing the motions. Like I’m a car on cruise control, easing into the familiar mode. I know what happens next.

A part of me, very deep down, hopes I don’t.

Only one way to find out.

I go for his belt buckle, find it, tug on it. It yields with a soft clink.

And just as I’m about to stick my hand down his pants, he pulls away.

“’Annah,” he pants. His hand slips out from under my shirt and dives down to catch my wrist. His fingers wrap around my wrist bone, strong and firm.

Maybe it’s the touch that zaps me back into my body, disrupts my functioning. The false step that throws off the whole routine, the bad note that ruins the aria.

“What?” I whisper. My body’s nerves settle into normal mode one by one.

“No.”

“Why not?”

“This isn’t right. This is… overstepping.”

I sit back. I’m still balancing with my shins on his legs—kind of like at work when I lean in, my hair brushing over a customer’s face, and ask in a seductive whisper if he wants another dance.

I blink at him in utter dismay. Thrown off. Tossed overboard into unfamiliar territory and I don’t know what to do.

But I want to be doing this, I start to say. We aren’t doing anything wrong. “I’m attracted to you,” he says. His voice still holds a hint of breathlessness. “But then again, you already knew that.”

“But I’m—” I’m attracted to you too. This much should be obvious.
“I know,” he says softly. He lets go of my wrist and instead takes my hand between his hot, hot palms. He brings it to his lips. “But this isn’t right.”



===PARTICIPATING BLOGS===

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #96


 
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spines. This is a cool way to spotlight a upcoming release that you're anxious about, as well as checking out what other book lovers are anticipating as well. This is my first WoW of June because I've been slacking off, but anyways, here's what I'm waiting for:

17251354Between
by Megan Whitmer
Release date: July 29th 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Synopsis via Goodreads:
When a supernatural freak of nature forces her family to separate, seventeen-year-old Charlie Page must turn to her frustrating (yet gorgeous) neighbor, Seth, to help reunite them. Seth whisks Charlie to Ellauria—a magical world filled with the creatures of myths and legends—and tells her of the Fellowship, the group charged with protecting mystical beings from human discovery. (All except Bigfoot: that attention whore is a total lost cause.) But when Charlie learns that she's under the Fellowship's protection herself, well, "stressed" is an understatement.

Ellauria should be the safest place for Charlie while the Fellowship works to find her family, but things in the mystical realm aren’t what they seem.

Magic is failing, creatures are dying, and the Fellowship insists Charlie holds the key to saving everyone. With her family still missing and the danger in Ellauria growing, Charlie doesn't know who she can trust. She's dealing with a power she never asked for, falling for a guy she can't have, and being forced to choose between her destiny and her heart. And if she chooses wrong, she could destroy magic forever.

Charlie may be in over her head.



18658149The Last Changeling
by Chelsea Pitcher
Release date: November 8th 2014
Publisher: Flux

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Taylor’s given up on happiness. He’s just trying to survive. Haunted by his brother’s death and pushed around at school, he spends his days searching for a quiet moment of peace, until he meets Elora. The enigmatic runaway gives him a hope he’s never had—the hope of truly connecting with another human being. 

But the daughter of the Unseelie Queen has different plans for Taylor. Born into a world of corruption and war, Elora is determined to free her people from her mother’s tyranny. If she can gain the allegiance of the Seelie Queen, her mother’s loathed enemy, she and her rebels can crush the Dark Court and bring equality to Faerie. But to do that, she’ll need a proper offering . . . 

A human.

To steal a mortal, Elora must become a mortal—at least, by all appearances. And infiltrating Taylor’s high school is surprisingly easy. But as she becomes entangled in his world, Elora realizes something startling: inequality in the human world isn’t so different from inequality in Faerie. Students are bullied, ostracized and attacked for being different. And just like she did in Faerie, she begins gathering up the outcasts, encouraging them to take back the school. Now Elora has two rebellions on her hands: a quickly mounting mutiny in Faerie, and a mortal uprising inspired by the boy she’s destined to betray.



Why I'm Waiting


Not only do both have lovely covers, they're YA fantasy and I've been wanting to get back into that genre. It's my first love and I definitely have an itch to pick up something paranormal. Hopefully I'll enjoy both stories.


What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: Sweet Thing by Renée Carlino

18334246Series: Sweet Thing #1
Release date: August 20th 2013
Purchase: Amazon
Publisher: Atria Books

Synopsis via Goodreads:
"You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together…then you'll hear the sound of your soul."

Mia Kelly thinks she has it all figured out. She's an Ivy League graduate, a classically trained pianist, and the beloved daughter of a sensible mother and offbeat father. Yet Mia has been stalling since graduation, torn between putting her business degree to use and exploring music, her true love.

When her father unexpectedly dies, she decides to pick up the threads of his life while she figures out her own. Uprooting herself from Ann Arbor to New York City, Mia takes over her father's café, a treasured neighborhood institution that plays host to undiscovered musicians and artists. She's denied herself the thrilling and unpredictable life of a musician, but a chance encounter with Will, a sweet, gorgeous, and charming guitarist, offers her a glimpse of what could be. When Will becomes her friend and then her roommate, she does everything in her power to suppress her passions-for him, for music-but her father's legacy slowly opens her heart to the possibility of something more.

A "heartbreaking and romantic" (Aestas Book Blog) debut, Sweet Thing explores the intensity and complexities of first love and self-discovery.

*Purchased ebook via Amazon



Sweet Thing was one hell of a rollercoaster ride of emotions for me. I liked the plot and fluidity of the story. It was very interesting through and through. The only reason why I'm not giving it full on five stars is because of Mia. I mean, while I understand what she was going through in losing her father and how difficult the grieving process was, I just got so mad at her throughout the story. She nearly drove me insane with her stupid choices or lack thereof. I mean, I loved Will. I admired the kind of person he was and how musically gifted his character was. So it really hurt me that she would push this wonderful man away when he was so willing to give her all the love in the world. All I can say is that my gosh, he's quite patient and it takes a lot of love for one person to put up with someone like Mia.

Don't get me wrong, she wasn't totally moronic. It's just that she had a tendency to make things harder than they ought to be, along with putting herself through a lot of heartache all because she was "still searching for the right path in life". And then in the beginning and at certain instances it seemed she was too concerned about Will's status and whether or not he'd make money. I don't know if I misinterpreted her intentions on those occasions but it kind of turned me off a bit and made her appear materialistic. 
But what was clear was the fact that she was desperately seeking the next step. And like I said, that is understandable, but holy crap it took her a really long time to make up her damn mind. And to be honest, I wasn't empathetic towards her when her hardheadedness finally drove Will away. I wanted her to taste the kind of pain she was putting him through by denying his feelings and hers. It's really like they say, how you never know what you've got till it's gone and Mia learned that when Will was no longer apart of her life for a while. I know it's mean, but I wanted her to suffer longer just for giving me a headache throughout the story, too. 

Overall, it was a great read. Very interesting writing and solid characters with their own unique qualities. I liked how it all worked out and especially enjoyed seeing things from Will's perspective for a while there. Also, I like how Lauren's character impacted their relationship. At first when the story opened up in her POV, I was like okay, who is this and where has she disappeared to because I didn't read the synopsis. But then when all was unraveled I got it. It was a great way to connect the dots. This is a very talented author and I look forward to reading the next one.


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