Friday, January 1, 2016

I'm Back!!!

Hey guys.
I know I haven't been very active lately and I apologize. I've had a ton of stress with school being a lot harder and there has been a TON of drama involving my friends. It all got to be too much and I'm sorry to say that this blog has been suffering because of it. Last night I was thinking about all the stuff that I did in 2015 and starting this blog was one of my favorites and most memorable. For that reason I'm going to try my hardest to get back on my blogging schedule. I obviously won't be posting every single day- my life is WAY too busy with sports, school, and spending time with people close to me, but I will try my hardest to post at least once every week. I don't have much time to read books that aren't for school so I'm not sure if they'll be reviews, they may just be a quick "waiting on Wednesday" or "stacking the shelves". As soon as school is done I will be resuming my "post a day" routine and most of those will be reviews again. I apologize for how much I've been neglecting this but in the new year I hope to make it better.

Thanks for being so understanding and a huge thank you for anyone who has stuck around through all this.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Blog Tour and Review: How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras

4/5 Stars
272 Pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: November 3rd, 2015
ISBN: 9781250072801

An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.

Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined.

Wow. I really didn't know what I was getting into when I picked this book up. It was definitely unique and I'm still a little shocked by it. Filled with the realistic drama that comes with life it really kept me turning the pages and I seriously couldn't put it down.

 I really loved how strong the main character was and how she didn't really care what anyone else thought about her. Georgia was herself at all times and that amazed me. It was also really great how flawed she was but she still managed to persevere and get through everything with her head held high.

My least favorite person was probably Georgia's best friend, Liss. All she seemed to care about was herself and really annoyed me. She made Georgia make so many bad decisions and each time that happened I cringed. I was okay with Daniel, the love interest, and I felt that him and Georgia really seemed to bring out the best in each other. Even though we didn't really get to know him that well I still liked him much more than Liss.

I'm not going to lie, this book is probably not suitable for the younger YA crowd. They talked about grown up stuff a lot and there was also some drinking, drug use and overdose. It was mainly caused by Evelyn but I'm not saying that Georgia and Liss wouldn't have done it anyway. I'm not really sure how I felt about Evelyn, she kind of got on my nerves and yet she wasn't really in the story that much and when she was she meshed with Liss. Overall I would recommend this book, it was a very good, quick read for me and I hope you go out and read it too!

A huge thank you goes out for including me on this tour!!!

***I received a review copy in exchange for my honest review. I have given this above.***

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Review: Reborn by C.C. Hunter

3.5/5 Stars
400 Pages
Publisher: St.Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 20th, 2014
ISBN: 9781250035912

Return to the beloved world of Shadow Falls, a camp that teaches supernatural teens to harness their powers—and where a vampire named Della will discover who she’s meant to be.

For Della Tsang, Shadow Falls isn't just a camp: it's home. As a vampire who's never fit in with her human family, it's the one place she can truly be herself. But when a mysterious new guy arrives at camp, Della’s whole world is thrown into turmoil. Chase is a vampire with secrets, who knows more than he’s telling. But the more time she spends with him, the more she begins to trust this attractive stranger—and feel drawn to him. But romance is the last thing she wants—as she keeps telling Steve, the hunky shapeshifter who won’t stop trying to win her heart. And if Della isn't careful, he just might succeed.  When a new case puts everyone she cares about in danger, Della’s determined to do everything she can to save them . . . even if it means teaming up with Steve and Chase, who leave her more confused than ever. With their lives on the line, will Della and her friends survive—with their hearts intact?

I recently received a review copy of the third book in this series. I had no idea that it was even part of a series so when I found out I immediately bought the first and second books too. Wow am I glad that I did. Full of twists, mystery, and of course romance, this is a must read for anyone who wasn't satisfied with the Twilight series. I for one hated that series and this was very different from that.

This series has a really unique world compared to other paranormal books and I loved how it took place at a camp/boarding school type of place. That was interesting to read about and it kind of reminded me of the Percy Jackson series in a way. I also really liked the romance and I honestly don't know how Della will choose between the two guys. Yes there is a love triangle, but it wasn't as bad as some other ones that I've read about. Honestly, both guys have pretty great qualities in them and if I was in Della's shoes I wouldn't know what to do.

I found Della to be a really great main character. She was strong and definitely didn't take crap from anyone. I wish more girl characters in YA could be like her and I feel like the whole age genre would actually be a lot more popular with older audiences if they were. I love the turn YA has taken in the past year though with stronger main characters and I feel like it has made my overall reading experience with all books a lot better.

I would definitely recommend this book. I have not read the prior series and I feel like I understood everything perfectly fine without reading it. I will be coming back to it though someday. I really want to read more about Kylie's story and that's who that series focused on. I really hope to see more about Miranda too and I'm hoping that if there's another series that she's the main character.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Review: Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

2/5 Stars
288 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
ISBN:  9781250064431

A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.

Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on the right track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can't shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer's behavior manage to alienate everyone, even Moony, she's forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that'll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.

I have so many mixed feelings with Summer. On one hand, I loved how flawed she was and how she didn't quite know her way in life. She reminded me of how so many teenagers these days are facing the same problems and, much like her, don't know how to cope or find their ways out of the problems. On the other hand she sometimes sort of annoyed me how she refused to somehow get help with her depression and drinking problem and seemed to push everyone away. I mostly felt sorry for Moony but I loved how he stuck with her and loved her through it all.

My definite least favorite character was Kurt. He was such an idiot and I hated how he encouraged Summer to keep doing the bad things she was doing. I was extremely confused at the ending, that seems to be happening to me a lot lately, but I truly have no idea what happened with that.

My favorite part of this book was how it dealt with tough themes like suicide and alcohol problems and how realistic it was. I know a lot of people can connect with these issues and I liked how the author portrayed them in this book. I think it was good that in the end of the book she added that they aren't normal responses to stress though and that getting help is a sign of strength. The resources at the end really seemed to add more to the book and it kind of helped me see how real this story was and just how many people deal with this kind of stuff. 

The reason why I didn't give this book a higher rating was because for most of the book nothing much really happened. The ending also made me not enjoy the book as much as I could have. I guess part of the reason I didn't give it a higher rating is because the cover is a little bit misleading. It kind of makes the book look happy and carefree when in reality it is a dark, sad story with little bits of hope. I might recommend this based on if you're okay with the things I've talked about but if you're looking for a happy story I would definitely tell you to go find something else.

***I received a review copy in exchange for my honest review. I have given this in my review above.***


Friday, October 16, 2015

Review: Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

3.5/5 Stars
231 Pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
ISBN:  9780373211586

 When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.

When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.

This one was definitely creepy. Demons, blood, gore... what's not to like? It definitely surprised me with how good it was and I can only hope that horror may be the new genre in young adult.

Amanda was definitely a flawed character. When she finds herself pregnant, she honestly doesn't know what to do. She can't tell her parents or else they'll basically disown her, and when she tells the father of the baby he just kind of ditches her. To make matters worse, she thinks she may be going crazy, ever since the winter before when her and her whole family were trapped in a cabin for weeks she has been seeing weird things that may just be demonic. What makes everything worse is that her little sister was born blind and deaf from the fever her mother had at the time of her birth and something about her just doesn't sit right with Amanda. I really liked Amanda as a character though and I feel like she was very realistic and maybe a little bit modern for her time, if anything. She more reminded me of a girl today than in the 1800's but I guess that not all the girls back then were what they are always portrayed as anyway.

Henry was definitely a static character. I really didn't like him but I know that there are a lot of guys out there that only think of themselves. I thought it was really sad that he didn't even seem to care what happened with Amanda or the fact she was pregnant. He was just basically in the book to add conflict and even then he was only in the beginning.

I really didn't understand the whole thing with the doctor and his son at the end and it kind of confused me. I'm not giving away any spoilers, but if someone knows something I don't about it or maybe understood it better than me please comment below!

The book moved by really fast for me. I finished in two days, which is a pretty big accomplishment, only because I barely have time to read or blog nowadays with school. I'm learning to manage my time better though so hopefully I can get on a semi-normal routine sometime soon! Thanks for understanding and being patient though.

I would definitely recommend this to any horror fans out there! I can't wait to see what this author writes in the future and if they are by any chance horror I will picking them up!

***I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This did not impact my review in any way.***

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Sword of Summer

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

Even though this one was released yesterday I still haven't gotten my copy and I need it so bad!!! I loved the Percy Jackson series and I have a feeling that this one is going to be just as good, if not better. What book are you waiting for this week?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Review: Chivalrous by Dina L. Sleiman

2/5 Stars
368 Pages
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
ISBN: 9780764213137

 Strong and adventurous Gwendolyn Barnes longs to be a knight like her chivalrous brothers. However, that is not an option for her, not even in the Arthurian-inspired Eden where she dwells. Her parents view her only as a marriage pawn, and her domineering father is determined to see her wed to a brutish man who will break her spirit.

When handsome, good-hearted Allen of Ellsworth arrives in Edendale searching for his place in the world, Gwendolyn spies in him the sort of fellow she could imagine marrying. Yet fate seems determined to keep them apart. Tournaments, intrigue, and battles--along with twists and turns aplenty--await these two as they struggle to find love, identity, and their true destinies.

I'll admit that I expected a lot better after the first book. Even though that one was just okay it was still at least entertaining. I can't say the same about this one unfortunately. I definitely had some problems with it.

First of all the insti-love. Drives me crazy every single time. I understand that this takes place in the middle ages, but give me a break. After talking two, maybe three times they are completely in love. No. Not for me.

This book was pretty cheesy. Some of Allen's thoughts actually made me laugh they were so romantic and yet too unrealistic. Also, the battle scenes were really unrealistic and it never really described who was injured in them and it never even introduced half the people fighting in them. It was just to unrealistic for me.

The best part of the book was the writing and the historical details. I love reading about this time period so that part was interesting for me. The plot moved smoothly and that and the fact that I enjoyed the first book were the reasons I kept with this book.

Overall I'm not sure if I would recommend this. Definitely not for YA even though that's sort of the age group its aimed for. I guess if you want a read that will get you thinking this would be it.