Book Blitz: Schooled - Michelle Lowhorn

The Teacher Series Book # 1
By- Michelle Lowhorn
Genre- Romantic Suspense
Publication Date- October 16, 2013
Published By- Rebel Ink Press

Feisty fourth grade teacher, Emmelynne Johnson, is fiercely independent and has a vocabulary that would make a sailor blush. While hiking at an area national park, she finds herself lost and alone. Just when she thinks she’s found her way, she unknowingly witnesses a brutal murder sanctioned by a local crime boss.

Colt Christianson, homicide detective for the Fort Worth Police Department, is known for his dedication and willingness to do whatever necessary to solve the crime. Still grieving for his late partner, Colt is called to investigate a murder that has connections to his partner’s death.

When the killers attempt to silence the only witness, the detective switches roles to become her protector. Together they will be forced to fight two battles, one against the killers and one against their burgeoning mutual attraction.


Book Review: Defy - Sara B. Larson

Author Sara B. Larson 
Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press

**I received an ARC from Netgalley.com.  Other than the joy of reading, I received no compensation for this review.**

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):  Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

Review:  I was destine to enjoy Defy for many reasons.  I have this crazy attractions to books that are seemingly historical, whether they are or not.  Actually, I think what draws me to them is not  that they are historical, but that they lack much of modern technology (although, I’ve been known to enjoy a steampunk book now and again, which sort of throws this theory out a different window).  The characters do not have the ease of jumping in a car or a plane and heading off to their destination.  They either travel via foot or horse or whatever animal happens to be available.  There are usually little to no guns, much less machine or automated guns; instead they have bow and arrows, swords, etc.  I also love the fantasy aspects, magic and evil of a very dark nature.  Some of the books that come to mind  that fall somewhat into these categories include:Throne of Glass, Pillars of the Earth, Robin Hood, Scarlet, and Graceling, to name a few.  So seeing Defy on NetGalleyand so recently after having read Throne of Glass, I knew it was for me.

At first I was afraid that Defy was going to be a bit too much like Throne of Glass and I wasn’t going to enjoy it, but as the story line moved from the initial “I’m extraordinarily good at what I do,” phase and into the real meat of the book, it took on a life of its own.  Alex(ia) shapes out to be such a three dimensional character; a girl disguised as a boy to protect herself from the terrifying breeding house.  She and her brother join the army, then are able to join the  guard to the spoiled crown prince, Damian. She lives in a kingdom run by a tyrant king who makes it his goal to banish all forms of magic everywhere, under the guise of revenge over his murdered wife and queen.

The story-line really was the best part about Defy.  I really enjoy watching it play out; Alexia determining who to trust and how far to get involved.  Then as her back story starts to come out, and peoples true characters are revealed.  All things that sucked me in and had me reading this book in less than two days.   I also enjoy strong female characters (although unbeatable female characters, while fun, are getting to be a bit over-done).  The climax/conclusion of Defy was the best! The story had its fair share of victories and heart break – and that’s not referencing the love triangle. 

Ah, the dreaded love triangle, we all know how I feel about love triangles.  I would have to say this was a bit of a lopsided triangle, since Alexia had a few moments of vacillating before choosing her guy.  HOWEVER, the ending of this book leaves me to believe book two might have more vacillating involved.   I really, really hope not.  I hate that.  I hate books being over-run with this “I want both of them” crap.  Another thing I would have to point out is that Defy was a bit heavy on the visual drooling on Alexia’s side.  Rarely in a YA novel do I notice so many references to the body (chest, arms, shoulders) of the male.  Yes, they usually are described  (muscles, or skinny and lean or whatever) enough to give you a mental picture, then the author may go back to one defining feature (great hair, eyes, whatever) however Defy did seem to linger a bit long.  As a twist to their story, I was expecting Prince Damian to hold off a bit longer and play with Alexia a bit before revealing that he knew she was a girl.  It was obvious from nearly the onset that he knew, and for a while it seemed like he was going to slip up and do something awkward.  I guess pushing Alexia up against a wall for a kiss while she thought he thought she was a boy might have been a bit traumatic to Alexia. 

If I had to stick my finger on one part of the book that made me squirm and in a way want to throw up – it would be the breeding house.  It was uncomfortable to read, to say the least.  I understand it’s purpose, and how we were suppose to hate the king , etc.  I can’t even say that the book would be better or worse without this aspect.  It was just hard to read, and almost throws this book out of YA and into the New Adult category for me.


Blog Tour: Josh and Me - Richard M. O'Bryan // $25 Giveaway

Josh and Me

About the Author:
Richard M. O’Bryan is a retired officer from the US Marine Corps as well as a retired high school history teacher. He currently is a motivational and inspirational speaker living in western Pennsylvania. O’Bryan and his wife, Karen, have been married for twenty-five years.

About the Book:
Title: Josh and Me

Genre: Literary Fiction

Author: Richard M. O’Bryan

Pages: 108

Language: English

ISBN – 978-1-46207-024-4

Joshua Logan David Person and Edward Jonathan Fitzhue McKay IV, better known to the residents of Jasperswitch, Virginia, as Josh and E. J., were both born on the Fourth of July. Only children, they live next door to each other, and they love each other like brothers.

During the course of their childhood, Josh and E. J. share many crazy and fantastic adventures in their small hometown. Their intentions are always good, but the results don’t always turn out that way—like the time Josh is determined to fly from the barn roof on his family’s property straight into E. J.’s bedroom, or the Easter the two ten-year-old friends volunteer to babysit for ten preschool children while the adults hide eggs. Then there’s the time they meet George and Martha Washington on the school’s eighth-grade trip to Washington, DC.

Wholesome and humorous, Josh and Me tells a story of two best buddies’ faith and love in God, each other, their friends, and their whole town. It is a story found in the heart of every person who has loved a place and been loved in return.

Purchase Your Copy Here

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Book Review: Switched - Cassie Mae // GIVEAWAYS!

Author:  Cassie Mae
Genre:  New Adult; Romance
Publication Date:  December 2, 2013

**This book was an Advanced Reader Copy from Netgalley.com; other than the joy of reading - I was granted no compensation to review this book.**

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):  Ever since high school, Kayla has been crazy for gorgeous football player Talon. But before she could muster the courage to tell him, he became a hot item with her beautiful BFF, Reagan. The only person who knows Kayla’s secret is Wesley, Talon’s best bud—and he’s got it bad for Reagan. Now they’re all in college together, hanging out 24/7. For Kayla, seeing the two lovebirds together is absolutely unbearable. So Kayla and Wesley hatch a plot to drive them apart before Talon has a chance to give Reagan the Christmas gift she’s been waiting for.

Soon enough, the once happy couple is fighting. Reagan suddenly can’t get enough of Wesley’s goofy sense of humor, and Talon seems to be paying more attention to Kayla than a guy who’s “only a friend” ever should. But just when everything seems to be falling into place, Kayla and Wesley accidentally spend a night together and discover a hitch in their plan they never considered: that switching partners may not lead to a perfect ending after all.

Review:   I read Switched in under 24 hours.  I probably would have read it in one sitting, if..you know, I didn't have kids and have to sleep and all.  Silly real life getting in the way!  Regardless, the book was that engrossing, and fun!  I loved watching the the relationships in this book unfold, and even though I could guess everything that was going to happen from beginning to end, I still loved reading it.  The chemistry between the characters, especially Kayla and Wesley, is so intoxicating, you can hardly wait to get to the end. I honestly think what makes this one so good is the fact that - I've been there.  I've crushed on a guy so hard and while I haven't done anything to get him or anything, I have gotten to the point where it feels like there's a chance - and then he doesn't seem quite so perfect.  It can be a confusing mess.

Read the book!  Tell me you don't love it.  I dare you!  I'm not saying the plot is original, and has never been done before, so if that's what you're looking for, then you do have the wrong book.  However, if you're looking for a book that has characters that you can relate to, and funny, and sweet, and a-dor-a-ble...here you go! 

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Anyone who comments on this review post through midnight (PST) on Sunday, December 8 is eligible to win a NetGalley review copy of SWITCHED! Winner chosen at random.

Cassie Mae
* Author information from Goodreads.com

About this author: 
Cassie Mae (sometimes writes as Becca Ann ;)) is a nerd to the core from Utah, who likes to write about other nerds who find love. Her angel children and perfect husband fan her and feed her grapes while she clacks away on the keyboard. Then she wakes up from that dream world and manages to get a few words on the computer while the house explodes around her. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.
Don’t forget to connect with Cassie on Facebook and Twitter!

Hop along!


Girls Heart Books Book Blast: Gemini the Heir - Kristen DaRay

Gemini the Heir
Gemini Book # 2
By-Kristen DaRay
Expected Publication Date- December 1st, 2013
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Just a year ago, I thought I was an ordinary human, and I gave up everything on Earth to save the people I loved. I have become the Lenai of Emréiana, making me the heir to the Emréian throne. It also makes me in charge of defeating the Bremoir, a race that has been consuming other worlds. If I can’t stop them, the universe is doomed.
Then there is Aaronmon, my betrothed. We have only known each other for a year, but our bond is strong. It’s that bond that makes it hard to know my true feelings. While I think I am ready for the ceremony, I wonder if I really love him like I loved Kyle, my ex- boyfriend who was murdered.

But none of my feelings matter. In order to rule Emréiana, I must go through with the bonding ceremony. If I don’t, then I risk losing the right as heir and I’ll have no power in the war against the Bremoir. Nobody wants them defeated more than me.


Girls Heart Books Book Blast: This Reckless & Unreasonable Love - Kayley Higgins

This Reckless & Unreasonable Love
By- Kayley J. Higgins
Published By- SideStreet Cookie Publishing

Esmeralda Grant, or Esme as her friends know her, has spent all of high school waiting to get out of her house and live with her boyfriend Peter Campbell. Away from her drug addict mother and her abusive alcoholic boyfriend. Away from the hopeless life she’s lead. Then her world suddenly changes.  
Esme and Peter go see a local band play one Saturday night and the last song they play changes her. The band sings about Someone Who loves her, no matter what she’s done, and Who will always love her.  

As she learns more, she changes and so does everything and everyone around her. She loses friends and gains new ones. She begins to really care for herself and the life growing in her body. Her life is turned upside down but the new Constant in her life pushes her to become the woman she was designed to be. She holds on to the only thing pulling her out of the darkness, into the light: This Reckless & Unreasonable Love.


NetGalley Book Review: Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill

Author:  Lauren Morrill
Genre: Young Adult; Romance, Coming of Age
Publication Date:  January 7, 2014

**This book was an Advanced Reader Copy from Netgalley.com; other than the joy of reading - I was granted no compensation to review this book.**

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):  Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.

Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.

When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.

Review:  I have found that I like Lauren Morrill’s writing style quite a bit, as I read Meant to Be earlier this year, and was granted access to read an ARC version of Being Sloane Jacobs from Netgalley. Her story telling is very simple and sweet, creating likable characters and stories that touch your heart without squeezing it to little bits before attempting to put it back together again.  

Being Sloane Jacobs was a quick fun read.  It is the whole “parent swap” concept meets the ice!  The characters, (both Sloane Jacobs), have a lot of depth and they were teachable, which I enjoy. I hate characters are written so stubborn or set in their ways that they are  unable, or unwilling to change at all, and then at the end of the book it's like (BLING) a light goes on, and all is well in the world with everything resolved. I loved how Lauren Morrill painted parallels between the characters; each version of Sloane has their own demons and reasons for making the swap, but they each learn life lessons, deal with bullies, make new friends and, in the end, find themselves.  Like I said, it was a fun, sweet, simple book. 

While the plot line may not be overly original, and the ins and outs of the book were easy to predict, I enjoy quick reads that make you love the characters and makes your heart happy.  There are plenty of books out there with all the suspense any one person can handle, now and then we just need to sit back, relax, and make new friends. I would recommend this book to those who love to read books by Sarah Dessen, and completely recommend it for teenagers of all ages.

Lauren Morrill
**Bio info from Goodreads.com

url:  https://www.goodreads.com/laurenmorrill
born:  December 02, 1982
twitter username:  laurenemorrill
 Lauren Elizabeth Morrill is many things, including, but not limited to, a writer, an educator, a badass roller derby skater, a former band nerd, an aggressive driver, and a die-hard Mac person. She also watches a lot of TV, eats a lot of junk food, and drinks a lot of Coke. It's a wonder her brain and teeth haven't rotted out of her head.

Her first novel, Meant to Be, sold in a two-book deal to Wendy Loggia at Delacorte for Paper Lantern Lit.


Crash Into You - Katie McGarry

Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Publication Date: November 26, 2013

**I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley.com, and was in no way otherwise compensated for this review.**

Synopsis (From Goodreads.com): The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

Crash Into You is the third book of the Pushing the Limits series by Katie McGarry I have read all of these books, and have enjoyed each and every one of them for different reasons. Katie McGarry writes about individuals who are broken and beaten down by life. Her stories are on the edge of what I like to read – there have been references to drug use, and alcohol consumptions, only it is done in such a way that it does not really pain either of them in a light that is anything but negative and points out the fact that they cause you to lose control of yourself.

I was more than happy for Isaiah to get his story, especially after reading Dare to You, and how Beth moved on without him. All along I didn’t think Beth and Isaiah would be “good” for each other, however prior to reading Dare to You I was hoping that Katie McGarry would find a way. She did, and this way is much better.

Rachel lives in a world where everything is planned and laid out nicely for her. On the outside she is playing the perfect daughter and sister, while on the inside she’s screaming for release; which we find from the first chapters, can only be found while driving her Mustang. She also suffers from severe panic attacks that has, in the past, landed her in the hospital. I found Rachel to be the perfect mix of girl and tomboy, as even though she wasn’t into frills and ribbons, she did seem to care about looking nice and she never seemed to have that tough exterior that you would think a girl who likes to hang out in the garage fixing cars would have. Her brothers were extremely over bearing, and at times over the top with the “make mom happy” line. I was frustrated to no end at the road block they seemed to put in front of any guy who even looked in her direction.

Isaiah is recovering, slowly but surely, from having his heart handed to him on a silver platter. It is obvious pretty quickly that no matter how much he thought he loved Beth, it clearly wasn’t as much as he thought he did. He fell for Rachel pretty fast and hard. I love that he is protective of Rachel, but not to the point of being over bearing, in fact he encourages Rachel to be brave and do things she wouldn’t normally do. (Even at times skipping school..but you know.) He became a balance in Rachel’s [not-so] perfect life. She does the same for him, helping him to move forward and on with his life.

Crash Into You not only was a fast and fun journey of danger and recovery, but it was pretty hot and steamy in parts to, but in a very slow paced sort of way, since upon meeting Isaiah, Rachel had never even been kissed. This book is what I would consider “New Adult” and does include talk about drugs (while no actual usage), talk about alcohol, and some sexual content. I do not recommend this book for young teenagers.


Seeing Light (Seraphina Parrish Book 3) - Michelle Warren

Seeing Light
The Seraphina Parrish Trilogy # 3
Genre- YA Fantasy/ Time Travel
Publication Date- October 10th, 2013 

As the corruption of the Society intensifies and the questions surrounding her mother mount, Seraphina Parrish embarks on a journey to find Terease in the terrifying Wandering city of Nocturna. But the information she learns there only sends her team on a dangerous mission to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Delving deep into the disturbing secrets of their world, the revelations quickly unravel, revealing shocking truths about the Society and Sera’s life. In the end, power and courage clash in a mission for freedom that may shatter the Wandering world completely.

Seeing Light is the dramatic conclusion to the Seraphina Parrish trilogy, and using the word “dramatic” is not an understatement. All along author Michelle Warren has been setting us up for a roller coaster ride of a finale. A few things ( that I won’t diverge) I saw coming, others caught me completely by surprise. If you’ve been reading the series all along, you will not be disappointed with this conclusion. If you haven’t been reading this series all along, it’s worth your time (and money – as recently Wanderdust has been free…how much better can it get?)

In this world of wanderers, seers and protectors, from the beginning things have never been exactly what they seem. Seraphina continues to discover and rediscover this fact over and over again in Seeing Light. The story moves forward and the world I have grown to enjoy continues to bend toward the untrustworthy and deceitful. This is okay, because, true to her nature Seraphina is going to figure out this entire mess. I liked this entire series because the growth of Seraphina as a character is obvious. She has learned from her past mistakes and moves forward with life. There is no unnecessary angst, but there is rightful mourning. Often times the main characters of these books shows no real growth throughout her story – and that can be incredibly frustrating as a reader. Mainly in the area of her team, the more she learns and understands truths about herself, the more she relies and leans on her team for support. This shows true character.

Of course, as you all know, the dreaded love triangle reared it’s ugly head again in this series. I’m only eluding to it because I want to say – the result was partially satisfying. I’m afraid you may not have read this entire series and don’t want to give anything away at all – however I will say that Michell Warren takes you on a bit of an emotional tug and pull and I for one was happy with the ever after!

The ending to this story was just as you would want it. There are really no questions left unanswered. No real reason to continue on with the series (although a spin-off wouldn’t be undesired). Satisfying in a way that some more popular books of recent have not left me.


About the Author-
Michelle Warren is the author of the Seraphina Parrish Trilogy. She didn't travel the road to writer immediately. She spent over a decade as professional Illustrator and designer. Her artistic creativity combined with her love of science fiction, paranormal and fantasy led her to write her first YA novel, Wander Dust. Michelle loves reading and traveling to places that inspire her to create. She resides in downtown Chicago, not far from her imaginary Wandering world.



Book Blitz: 1000 Sleepless Nights - Connie Ann Michaels

1000 Sleepless Nights
By- Connie Michael

There are two absolutes in war, people get killed and you can’t stop it. Twenty-three year old Corpsman Emme Sawyer doesn’t believe in absolutes. Excelling in school Emme graduated early flew through undergrad work and was on her way to med school when she realized she wanted more. Joining the Navy, Emma deploys as a medical corpsman with a Marine Infantry Unit heading into the Helmand Providence in Afghanistan.
When the bullets start to fly Emme learns that medical school doesn’t prepare you for war and being a girl doesn’t make getting killed off limits. Emme struggles against the cultural biases of a foreign land and the limitations her unit is put under while trying to push the Taliban out.  After her guard is killed by an IED, Emme shuts off her emotions—until her commanding officer, Raven takes the job of looking after her, arousing feelings she doesn’t want and isn’t supposed to have.  As Raven begins to reciprocate Emme realizes she missed out on a lot more than classes when she skipped high school. Unsure how to deal with the loss Emme turns to Raven, for support.  As their connection grows Emme hesitates to take it further, knowing that developing feelings in a combat zone is dangerous when each step could be your last. Aware of the regulations against starting a relationship with someone in his unit, Raven tries to suppress his feelings but knows they are too strong to deny.  Soon Emme and Raven learn you can’t choose when and where love finds you and sometimes you have to take a chance.  



Allegiant - Veronica Roth

Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult: Dystopian, Fiction, Romance

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):  One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.


Why I’m not happy: Well the obvious. At this point, if you haven’t read about this book I’m sure you’ve at least heard about it, so NOT spoiling it is probably null and void at this point. It’s not fun to get attached to characters and have them killed off one at a time. (No, not EVERYONE dies – but it sure felt like it). I’m generally okay with some of the stronger supporting characters dying in a book. However, I’m not really all that fond of having one or more of the main characters die. Why – well, just because. That’s why.

Why I’m not mad: Veronica Roth told why what happened had to happen in her MTV interview. I get it. I do understand, and I see her point. I, personally, would not set out to write a book that ends in tragedy, because well, I don’t read books for tragedy. I like wrapped up, mostly happy endings. They don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to all end in unicorn land and everyone be 110% happy, but I like relative happiness. However, this is not my piece of literature. And since the ending really didn’t come out of left field, I guess I get it.

Why I’m not happy:
What the heck is up with Tris’s super-Divergence? Unexplained abilities to avoid truth serum, and death serum? No explanation? And, no, Tobias’ “stubborn” explanation does not cover it.

Why I’m not mad:
Tobias’ end of the story really does seem to jive well. He’s made massive strides and growth at the very end. He’s made decisions and I think in the end he can respect himself more than ever.

Why I’m not happy: I’m not a fan of the whole “outside” portion in general. I sort of fall into a minority on this one, given some of the conversations I’ve had with people. I feel like Allegiant was the first book of an entirely new (albeit spinoff) series, not the conclusion of an existing series. And at this point, even if there were a spin-off, I don’t trust V.R. to not break my heart, so it’s not overly likely I’d read it. I’m kind of done with this world anyhow.

Why I’m not mad: I’m so glad that someone stepped down within the walls before everyone got killed. Man, that would have sucked. I did feel like Evelyn and Tobias’ scene was almost a tiny bit cheesy. After all her demanding, driven, power hungry movement – how can she just chalk it up to “you should have told me,” and then just walk away from everything. That seemed extremely out of character, no matter how many quick additional scenes are added to the book in an attempt to soften her up a bit. But you know what? I’m glad. I’m glad there was someone there for Tobias, someone who does, in fact, love him.

Why I’m not happy: THERE IS A MOVIE! Ugh, I don’t know if I can put myself ---willingly--- through heartache. I just don’t know. Plus my husband would hate me for doing it to him as well.

Why I’m not mad:
The books are always better than the movie anyway, so if I decide against it; no harm no foul, right?


The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle Book 2) - Maggie Stiefvater

Title:  The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult (or New Adult) - Fantasy/Romance

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

The Dream Thieves. What can I say about you?

I’ve been holding off on writing a review for this book because, well I’m torn. I loved it, and I hated it. For two different reasons.

I love this book because Maggie Stiefvater is a master of storytelling. Her writing has always captivated me, from the minute I picked up Lament I knew I’d found a gem of an author. She grabs you in an creates these worlds you could live in…or actually, sometimes I don’t really want to live in them, but I can for sure believe they exist. I love that about these books. When I read The Raven Boys I was so wrapped up in the characters, I had a hard time believing she was writing in the current time period. My mind wanted to place the entire story back in the 50’s for some reason, and I’ve maintained that visual throughout The Dream Thieves. Obviously, this isn’t true, but I can’t let the image slip.

I enjoyed getting to know Ronan more, and figuring out the things that make him tick. I must admit, there are many qualities I like about him now that I just didn’t see in him during The Raven Boys. I’m sure this was purposeful, but I’m glad for it, because I really didn’t care much for him before at all. I’ve already read this book through twice. This is very surprising considering what I’m going to say below. I wanted to give it a second chance because I felt like my opinion had become colored by my emotions about some of the events, and I missed some things. I will say the second time through I enjoyed the book more. I came to appreciate Blue and Gamsey’s careful relationship, and although he made me love him and hate him in the same book, Adam’s nature. There is so much information to glean from this book, and I’m looking forward to the conclusion of this story – because I just know it’s going to be good.

I will say, especially the first time through, I felt like this book was doing a whole lot of not moving forward. It felt slow paced – if you don’t count the car racing, which I have to admit made me want a slick sports car, and I’m an avid car-hater. You’ll never catch me ogling a car, as the four wheeled creatures have given me nothing but trouble in my life. Outside of that, I kept hoping for a little more action. And there is a bit, but it still was just a bit slow.

Okay, now for the bad part. I cannot condone or like a “young adult novel” that has drug use in it – especially when it is described. I tolerate the mention of it, or if it’s eluded to. I know that it is real life, this stuff happens…trust me I grew up around this stuff. I’ve seen way more of it than I care to divulge. It is not pretty. Nothing about it is good or right or should be…I can’t say glorified, because it makes it sound like that was what happened in the book – in reality it even leaned in the direction of a negative light. But not enough. It made it seem normal, or casual or something. It left such a bad taste in my mouth I had a very difficult time finishing the book that first time around. The second time I was listening to it via audio, and it was over quicker that way, since the first I kept putting the book down – it dragged on. I still didn’t like it. It still hurts my heart that it was even there, because I love Maggie Stiefvater’s books and writing so much. I wish, wish, wish she had found some other way to do that whole scene/character, etc. I will leave it at that.


Easy by Tammara Webber

Title:  Easy
Author:  Tammara Webber
Genre: New Adult - Romance/Overcoming Circumstances

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):   
Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

Easy was easily not what I was expecting, yet satisfying in so many ways. The number one reason I love this book; it addresses rape, and the different levels of it – and clearly defines what rape is without it being a text book. My hope is that anyone who reads this book and…may have found themselves in this situation, will feel empowered by the book and not discouraged. The consequences of being embarrassed and confused and letting anyone get away with something as ugly as rape is unnecessary, although it might be hard to stand up and fight against. I think Easy addressed it so very well.

Outside of that, I loved this book for Jacqueline and Luke’s story. It was a typical love story between good girl and apparently bad boy. A love of wonderful kissing scenes and so much respect and love shared. Their story felt real and wonderful and hard at the same time. There was no really one of those huge dramatic partings in the middle of this book where boy sits in one corner and sulks and pouts, and girl sits in the other corner and sulks and pouts until the two decide that their differences are stupid and they come back together. Thank you for that!

This book is most certainly, without a doubt, a part of the new adult category – despite it’s placement on my libraries website. There is language, sexual content, and of course rape (none of the above is graphic baring the language of course). There are many adult situations. I do not recommend this book for teenagers.


Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas

Title:  Throne of Glass
Author:  Sarah J. Maas
Genre:  Young Adult - Fantasy, Romance, Action

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):  After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Review:  I can’t even remember how I came across this book, honestly.   It seems like I was poking around on Goodreads, and noticed on something – but then again, it seems like it was on Amazon.com first, because I remember their descriptions/synopsis sucked, so I went to Goodreads to see if I could get something better – which of course I did.  Goodreads almost always has a good description of the book.  Plus, if you read reviews, they are mostly reliable. 
So Throne of Glass; first of all, the first thing I think of is “Game of Thrones,” which I think is natural given the popularity of the show and books, so I had to do a double take to realize that this book had nothing to do with the other.  Reading the synopsis, I knew immediately this was a book that I would be interested in, and hoped that the reviews were trustworthy.  THANK YOU follow bloggers/Goodreads reviewers, you did not steer me wrong in this one.  I absolutely loved this book.
Describing Throne of Glass to my husband was interesting to say the least.  I don’t usually talk about books with him, just because the majority of the books I read he wouldn’t be interested in, but I knew that this one was just interesting enough that he’d probably be okay discussing it with me.  However, I used a myriad of similes while describing this book to try to give him an idea of what we were dealing with.  The first is an obvious, Celaena is a lot like Katniss of the Hunger Games, however minus any self doubt, in that she is just simply awesome.  Celaena was trained from the age of 8 to be an assassin, and she is quite simply the best.  She knows it, and anyone who has ever heard her name knows it.  The next comparison I made was between Celaena and Sherlock Holmes (hear me out here)!  We are not talking about the books – which is what confused my husband – but the most recent movies with Robert Downey Jr.  The scenes where he sees what’s coming and he mentally goes through all the moves as to how he’s going to get out of the situations.  Celaena does this as well, as an assassin, she is trained to know the easiest and most effective way to get out of situations, so from the beginning she is constantly mentally going through scenarios as to how she can disarm, escape, kill, etc.  However, she is smart enough to watch all the cards on the table and see what hand she is being dealt.  This constant awareness, though, starts to happen less frequently as Celaena gets more comfortable with her surroundings and the people around her.  As she becomes less of a being looking to defend and look out for herself, and more of a girl with emotions and a great personality.  And finally, as a description of the kingdom that we are looking at, I briefly used the BC show’s Merlin, a kingdom where magic exists, but it is illegal/banned/will get you killed in a heartbeat. 
So here we are, combining many of my favorite book attributes into one beautiful novel.  Er, well series actually.  Of course.  Unfortunately, the storyline of the love triangle is not lost on this book either. I mean, everything else was included too, right?  (I HATE LOVE TRIANGLES!)  I will say, that within this novel, the romance is a byproduct of the book.  It was perfectly played out.  Celaena was a little oblivious, or maybe not oblivious, but being obtuse when it came to the men in her life, but still yet, it wasn’t horrible.  What IS horrible is the fact that both Prince Dorian and Captain Westfall are equally as appealing.  It makes it very difficult to come to grips with the love triangle when there isn’t a clear cut “I like this guy” in the scenario.    So outside of that, I loved this story – Celaena is fighting for her freedom, which comes with a cost of it’s own, but at least she has a definite goal and end in sight, and she’s no longer a slave in a salt prison, right?  I’m sure that this all plays out interestingly in future books.  But then throw in the elements of magic, and it’s not overwhelming within the book – just enough to keep you interested and curious.  It makes you want to know who Celaena really is, and how this is going to end.  This, in my eyes, makes Sarah J. Mass a great story teller.  She’s got foreshadowing down to an art, however did not leave the book in some scream-worthy cliff hanger…just enough to make you want more.  NEED more!
Fantasy/romance/strong-female character/evil kingdoms/injustice/rebellion – all the wonderful beautiful elements in creating a story…a fairytale if you will, that you will not want to miss!