Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Ashes to AshesSeries: Burn for Burn #3
Release date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
New Year's Eve ended with a bang and Mary, Kat and Lillia may not be prepared for what is to come.
After Rennie's death, Kat and Lillia try to put the pieces together of what happened to her. They both blame themselves. If Lillia hadn't left with Reeve... If Kat had only stayed with Rennie... Things could have been different. Now they will never be the same.
Only Mary knows the truth about that night. About what she is. She also knows the truth about Lillia and Reeve falling in love, about Reeve being happy when all he deserves is misery, just like the misery he caused her. Now their childish attempts at revenge are a thing of the past and Mary is out for blood. Will she leave anything in her wake or will all that remain be ashes?

*Received physical ARC from publisher in exchange of an honest review.






As the synopsis implied, the second book certainly ended with a bang, in regards to the characters coming to various revelations. As for Mary, that revelation struck her hard and intensified her obsession with Reeve. Hence we have her character going OD on her mission to seek revenge. 

WARNING: If you disliked Mary's character from the first book going into the second, then your hatred for her will only go straight to the roof in Ashes to Ashes. Because in the third and what I deem to be the final book in the series, she's a complete villain. And I'm talking the scary kind that even taps into your dreams to make her presence and anger known.

Okay, so before I touch on what a complete psycho Mary blossomed into, let's talk about the story. Ashes to Ashes picks up from the death of a girl who was once the core of their revenge pack, Rennie. Everyone's in mourning. Boo hoo. Rennie's dead and they're utterly lost in guilt. I could care less about that part because that chick was annoying as hell. I know that's sad, because yeah, she died, but her character was too damn unlikable. Anyways, Lillia, Kat, Reeve, and Alex along with everyone else is trying to cope with the loss of a once friend and is trying to get through the remaining days of high school. It's tough for Reeve and Lillia because we all know what transpired in the second book and I was actually rooting for them to progress in Ashes to Ashes. I know it's kind of bad, where Mary and friendships are concerned, but I like the intensity between Lillia and Reeve and I literally felt their emotions seep out of every page. It was a sweet romance that I wanted to work. 

As for Kat, she's still preoccupied with making a decision as to whether she should remain on the island and help out her dad and brother or go off to college. I would have loved for her friendship with Alex to turn into something more, and had anticipated it in the second book, but I was disappointed that nothing happened in Ashes to Ashes and Alex is pretty much still strung up on his old and played out crush on Lillia. It seemed everything is always about Lillia, isn't it?

Like the first two books, I gravitated more towards Lillia's character because I felt like she had more pages than the other two, especially Mary. We rarely got inside of her crazy head. But I liked that the story opened up with her and we see how much revenge has taken over her sense of rationality. Not only that, she blames Reeve for her suicide, even calling him a murderer. Now, I may not have ever been bullied nor have I witnessed it, but don't the bully win when the victim takes his/her own life? I felt that Mary was just straight up annoying and her reasons for wanting to take revenge were beyond atrocious. I mean, you'd think she'd know that taking a life won't land her in a nice place. Sadly, it nearly took the life of her friends for her to come to the realization that the only way she'll find peace is if she accepts that her suicide was her doing and no one else is to be blamed for that.

For the most part, Ashes to Ashes depicted the characters preparing for the next step in their lives, along with missing a friend who they once conspired with. Kat and Lillia don't figure out what's really up with Mary until the middle so in the chapters before that, we have a lot of mischief surrounding them, along with Lillia and Reeve working on the feelings they have for each other even though no one likes the idea of them being a couple. 

Not much happened aside from Mary doing these little hauntings and causing problems for Kat and Lillia, but then once they found out the truth about her things started to heat up and we really get into the paranormal aspect of the story. I'm talking spells and bindings. It seemed to be working until someone is unable to hold off her feelings and Mary ends up free to cause chaos again. The way she saved them in the end was the nicest and most likable thing about Mary, for me. That was the only time throughout the series that I wasn't irritated by her. As for the way things turned out, I felt like the ending was a tad rushed and overall I'm not as satisfied. I really wanted things to progress with Lillia and Reeve, especially with how strong their love was, and I hated how Kat had to go through another loss. So sad. 

All in all, Ashes to Ashes was a good read. The writing is still easy and very fast-paced. The characters are likable and unique in their own way, so much that you don't know who's writing as who, and I feel like readers can relate to either of them. With the way the story concluded, It seems like this is in fact the end of the series, and by that I can say I really enjoyed it. Intriguing, mysterious, a dab of paranormal, re-constructing friendships and the addition of some intense romance, this is truly a solid YA and I recommend you pick the books up if you haven't started the series as yet. You're definitely missing out.



Waiting on Wednesday #97


 
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:

18607157A Blind Spot for Boys
by Justina Chen
Release date: August 12th 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Synopsis via Goodreads

Shana has always had a blind spot for boys. Can she trust the one who's right in front of her?

Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it's time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong.

Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don't just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana's interest. Right as she's about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind. 

Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into none other than Quattro himself. But even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously... Love and loss, humor and heartbreak collide in this new novel from acclaimed author Justina Chen.



18769257For Real
by Alison Cherry
Release date: December 9th 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press

Synopsis via Goodreads:
No parents. No limits. No clue what they're in for.

Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister's shadow. While Miranda's life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality TV.

When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just before her college graduation, it's Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They'll outshine Miranda's fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.

But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may or may not be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life... or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what's for real?




Why I'm Waiting


The first one seems like a cross between intense and romantic and I'm kind of intrigued by that. As for the second book, I'm always in the mood for some sibling read and Alison Cherry seems like a good writer for coming up with cute and fun stories.


What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book News: Alloy Entertainment Launches New Digital-First Imprint with Amazon Publishing

SEATTLE—July 29, 2014—Today, Amazon Publishing and Alloy Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Television Group, announced a digital-first imprint that will focus on young adult, new adult and commercial fiction. The new imprint, named Alloy Entertainment, will be part of Amazon Publishing’s Powered by Amazon program. Powered by Amazon enables publishers and authors to leverage Amazon’s global distribution and personalized, targeted marketing reach.


Today also marks the publication date for the imprint’s first three titles: 


ImitationImitation
by Heather Hildenbrand
Series: Clone Chronicles #1
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Everyone is exactly like me. 
There is no one like me. 
The rough fabric of my cotton nightgown chafes so I lie very still. They say my discomfort comes from being built like one accustomed to niceties. How is that fair when I myself have never experienced anything but copies of the real thing? 
My entire life is an imitation. 
I am an Imitation. 
I’ve been here five years. Training. Preparing. Waiting.
And now I have a letter.
My assignment has begun. 
I am a prisoner.
I am not Raven Rogen.
I am here to die.

Ven is an Imitation, a clone of a wealthy girl named Raven. Imitations only leave their home, Twig City, when they are needed by their Authentics- to replace them in any situation, to serve as organ donors, or, as in Ven's case, to become bait when her Authentic's life has been threatened. Ven must pretend to be Raven even as she experiences the sights, sounds, and feelings of the real world for the first time. But real life is more dangerous than she ever imagined. The attacks begin the second she replaces her Authentic, and Ven is quickly caught in a game of cat-and-mouse with her assailants.
Heather Hildenbrand
About the Author
Heather Hildenbrand has published more than eight YA & NA novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places. 




Every Ugly WordEvery Ugly Word 
by Aimee Salter
Purchase: Amazon 

Synopsis via Goodreads:
When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

Aimee L. SalterAbout the Author
Aimee L. Salter writes novels for teens and the occasional adult who, like herself, is still in touch with their inner-high schooler. She never stopped appreciating those moments in the dark when you say what you're really thinking. And she'll always ask you about the things you wish she wouldn't ask you about. 





Rebel Wing
Rebel Wing (previously Shattered Veil)
by Tracy Banghart
Series: The Diatous War #1
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
The Dominion of Atalanta is at war. But for eighteen-year-old Aris, the fighting is nothing more than a distant nightmare, something she watches on news vids from the safety of her idyllic seaside town. Then her boyfriend, Calix, is drafted into the Military, and the nightmare becomes a dangerous reality. 

Left behind, Aris has nothing to fill her days. Even flying her wingjet—the thing she loves most, aside from Calix—feels meaningless without him by her side. So when she’s recruited to be a pilot for an elite search-and-rescue unit, she leaps at the chance, hoping she’ll be stationed near Calix. But there’s a catch: She must disguise herself as a man named Aristos. There are no women in the Atalantan Military, and there never will be.

Aris gives up everything to find Calix: her home. Her family. Even her identity. But as the war rages on, Aris discovers she’s fighting for much more than her relationship. With each injured person she rescues and each violent battle she survives, Aris is becoming a true soldier—and the best flyer in the Atalantan Military. She’s determined to save her Dominion . . . or die trying.

Tracy BanghartAbout the Author
Award-winning author, Army wife, and mom Tracy Banghart has an MA in Publishing and an unhealthy affection for cupcakes. Her quiet childhood led to a reading addiction, writing obsession, and several serious book boyfriends.








'Just Because' Giveaway


Hey everyone!

So, I just saw that I've reached 1,000 followers on Bloglovin, which is super awesome, and I wanted to do a little giveaway just because. Here's a gift card towards whatever ebook you'd like. The giveaway is open internationally and will end on Friday. 




Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

19486775Series: Broken Destiny #1
Release date: August 26th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate. 

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her. 

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

*I was approved by the publisher on Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.





It's kind of hard for me to write this review because on one hand, I liked the story, and then on the next, it sort of went away from me from the middle onward. I don't know, probably because everything started to slow down--the pace, the action--and then I felt myself getting annoyed by Ivy and some of the things she'd think and say. I mean, it was a good story, it had a great plot. The twists based on several aspects in history was something I hadn't read before, so I give it points for that. It's just that, I feel like after the middle it started to drag a bit and stress on things that were already established in the beginning. Like, Ivy kept repeating certain things and I felt like it was done to add a few extra pages when the story could have just kept rolling. 

I guess you can say I'm still iffy about my feelings in regards to her character. In the first few chapters, I liked her sense of humor and snarky remarks, but then it just started to fizzle for me and at one point her comments made me cringe. Not saying she's a terrible main character, only that certain things about her didn't work for me. 

As for Adrian. I liked him. I liked his seriousness and the way he made it clear right off that he was not good for her and that he could betray her. He was a straight to the core guy, even though he left a good chunk of details as mystery for the story to remain interesting. It can definitely be hair-pulling, how he along with Zach kept things from Ivy, but I guess it was worth it because towards the end we get to really see just how impulsive she can be when she goes and pulls off something so dangerous. However, it did get the story going again and I kind of liked how finding the weapon turned out to be for her. But then it gets messy again when Ivy is back to being mad at Adrian for reasons that baffled me. Well, I guess that's the kind of relationship they'll have throughout the series. It looks like it. 

This was my first taste of Jeaniene Frost and from what I've heard about her other books, I kind of expected so much more... like fireworks. It didn't happen for me but I did like her easy and fluid writing style, and even though it slowed down in some segments, I did like the pace for the most part. And, once again, I enjoyed the twists and play on historical elements. That aspect to me was different. Will I continue the series? Maybe, and probably with the hopes that certain things about Ivy are improved on.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

BOOK BLITZ SIGN-UP~Shameless by Nina Lemay


IFB will host the release day blitz for Nina Lemay's Shameless. See details below:


22447460Publication 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 Lemay
About 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.
ninalemay.com | twitter.com/NinaLemay





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