Sunday, November 3, 2013

Book Trailer for When the World Was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach

Hey Guys!

Check out the book trailer to Ingrid Jonach's incredible novel When the World was Flat (and we were in love). It's definitely a must read. Below the video link I have included a brief bio and blurb from the book provided by Ingrid Jonach herself, as well as a link to my original review of the book.






Blurb
Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.
When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.

But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.

When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again. 

An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.


Author Bio
Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.

Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.

Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.

Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.
Find out more at www.ingridjonach.com 

Book Details
When the World was Flat (and we were in love)

Author: Ingrid Jonach

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Release Date: 3 September 2013 in the US and Canada, and 5 September 2013 in the UK, as well as worldwide as ebook and audio.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15767908-when-the-world-was-flat 


Monday, September 9, 2013

Tandem (Many Worlds #1) by Anna Jarzab ARC Review



Tandem by Anna Jarzab

ebook, 450 pages
Published by Delacorte Press
Published on October 8, 2013
Rating: 3/5 Stars


Synopsis: Everything repeats.
You. Your best friend. Every person you know.
Many worlds. Many lives--infinite possibilities.
Welcome to the multiverse.

Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.

To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped in another girl's life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love--one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she's someone she's not.

The first book in the Many-Worlds Trilogy, Tandem is a riveting saga of love and betrayal set in parallel universes in which nothing--and no one--is what it seems.

A parallel universe novel, that does not pack enough of a punch in comparison to the millions out there right now. I enjoyed the book, and I can't wait to read the next one, it didn't stand out to me. I really like Sasha and especially Thomas but it just wasn't enough for me to fall in love with this book.

Strengths/Likes: 

1) I loved the struggle between Thomas and Sasha. The way this book was written really illustrated all of their insecurities, personalities, and feelings. Their relationship really unraveled as the book went on, and I love the tension between them.

2) Sasha is a pretty awesome heroine. I loved her logic and her analytic skills. She doesn't allow her decisions and actions become blinded by her love interest(s), she considers what makes the most sense to do for herself and the situation and does that.

3) I was pretty impressed with the vocabulary in this book. There were plenty of words I had to look up (that doesn't make me sound good, does it? lol) but I didn't find that it made the lines awkward or out of place. It all flowed really well together.

Weakness/Dislikes: 

1)  The dual perspective in this book caused more harm than good. It made the book more predictable, and took off the edge of all the action and dramatic scenes. There was never a moment in the book where I thought, "oh my god, what are they going to do?" or "what's going to happen now?" Because I already knew. The author gave away too much through Thomas and Sasha's thoughts.

2) Not enough dialogue. The reader learned more about the characters through their inner thoughts. That's too much tell and not enough show for me.

3) There was nothing unique about this book. Nothing. Parallel universe and dystopian novels are huge right now so if an author wants to write with this kind of setting, something has to make it pop. This book failed to make a huge impression on me.

4) I didn't like the way Sasha's visions of Juliana were described. At one point in the book Sasha says, "I couldn't hear her thoughts, only what she said and what was said to her" (219). One problem: all of the visions are described as if Sasha is Juliana, and her thoughts are all written out.

Favorite Quotes/Moments:


1) "On the first day of the semester, my teacher, Mr. Early, wrote three words on the board: Kata to chreon.

The phrase, he said, was ambiguous, both in origin and meaning, but basically it was translated 'according to the debt.' The ancient Greeks, Mr. Early told us, believed that the universe was an ordered place, where everything had a price that was collected in due course. The universe, he said, strives for harmony and balance. All that is born will someday die. Ashes to ashes. Things fall apart. 

Science tells us that matter can neither be created nor destroyed, but also that every action has an equal and opposite reaction--all debts are eventually paid in full. I don't remember much else from the class, but that particular idea stuck with me. Kata to chreon. 

Apparently, the universe won't let you get away with anything, at least not for long." (12). 

2) "'Relax,' Thomas said. 

'I'm relaxed,' I insisted. 

'You look like you're being led to your execution,' he told me. 'And like your spine is a steel rod--who taught you to walk?'

'these heels are three inches high. You try wearing them." (132). 

3) "He rolled his eyes; apparently, 'sweet' was not a compliment to a soldier" (201). 


Monday, August 26, 2013

The Anomaly by Wendy Joyce Review

2/5 Stars
Details of the Book
paperback, 514 pages
Published by Capital Electronic Reporting
Published on March 8, 2013
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

Synopsis as taken from Goodreads.com: A tale of Haven and Hades, of watchful Guides and transmigrating Souls, and of the little, green Soul, from the Order of Agitators, who derails them all. 

Narrated from both sides of life, The Anomaly presents an alternate reality, a dimension where every Person is a Player, where every Player is a reincarnated Soul, and where every Soul is a patron of either Haven or Hades... except Zia. 

Chilkoot Pass, Alaska 1898. From Zia's lies come a disastrous ripple effect; her 10th life ends, the paths of four others skew, and the cord to humanity's future shifts. Haven and Hades ignite into war. Across celestial and physical planes, Hades sends their most ruthless Soul--Triite, Order of Persuaders--to track, target, and coerce Zia. While fighting Hades' plots to claim or destroy her, Haven discovers a paradox within Zia's Soul--a devastating paradox. For Haven to have any chance of regaining the cord in the 21st Century, they must first win another battle--a battle of wits, wisdom, and strategies to redeem the irrepressible prankster, practiced opportunist, artful liar Zia.


Thank you to the author Wendy Joyce for sending me a paperback copy of The Anomaly in exchange for an honest review.

This is a book about souls that get reincarnated into different "players" (humans) in order to decide who has more influence over the universe, "One" (God) or "BeezleNiine" (The Devil). This book seemed like it was meant for teenagers and young adults to be able to relate to. However in my opinion, it read like an adult writing what she thinks teenagers and young adults are like. I'll expand on this when I talk about the character Zia later in the review. Admittedly, I had a hard time getting through this book because it was just so long, and there were so many details that in the end seemed inconsequential. It was only towards the last third of the book where everything seemed to fall into place and finally make sense.

Strengths/Likes: 

1) I really liked all of the characters in this novel. Particularly, I loved Spaghetti-man. For those of you who decide to read this book, you'll know who I'm talking about.

2) After Book III, I felt that the entire story really started to pick up and become interesting. The plot flowed better and almost everything made sense.

3) I really appreciated the fact that justice was served in the book's conclusion. Too often, the "bad guys" are romanticized and redeemed in the end.

Dislikes/Weakness: 

1) In the beginning, this book had a lot of details. These details described the Orders and Divisions of Haven. Although there is a list on the first page, the reader gets no real explanation until after approximately 100 pages into the book and even then, the explanations can only be inferred since the descriptions are written as if the reader should already know. I don't know how many readers (no matter how dedicated) would want to read over 100 pages before getting some sense of all the details that are thrown at them in the beginning of a book. And to be honest, if asked, I couldn't explain to anyone what was so important about the Neutral Point, what a Dyad is, or how it's decided what division souls end up (except the obvious ones like Order of Agitators and Order of Persuaders).

2) The book is written from both first and third person POV. While in the Zia's (the protagonist) point-of-view, the writing was in first-person, but when switched over to any of the other characters, it was written in third-person. This made it very confusing to differentiate whose point-of-view I was reading from.

3) All the sound effects were written out. If someone was humming, the humming itself was written out. Yelling, slamming, purring, flying, were all written like "IIEEEE" or "BAMM" or "WHOOSH" or "Grrgrrgrr." Despite the fact that most of the novel was written using very sophisticated diction, I felt that these sound effects just didn't fit. They just came off sounding childish and awkward.

4) Generally, I don't make a habit of commenting about the physical appearance of a book (with the whole "don't judge a book by its cover" and all) but in this case, the way it looked affected my experience as a reader. The book is 499 pages long, so I can only assume that this was done in an ill-attempt to make the book shorter. However there is no line spacing, and so everything is all smashed together.

5) This book was far too long, and at the same time somehow felt too crammed to include the overwhelming amount of information that was divulged. For an example, imagine if J.K. Rowling crammed all of the Harry Potter books into one huge novel--it would simply be too much information, too many characters, and too many details, especially if you're going to go to such an intense level of world-building. Therefore I would have preferred if the author had split this book into a trilogy, so that there would be more room for explanation and detail to the plot. I felt that Book I and Book II were so rushed that I could not get attached to any of the characters until I reached Book III. If I wasn't reviewing this book and I had simply picked it up on a whim, I would have stopped reading before reaching Book II.


6) It's imperative for the characters to develop their own distinctive voices and personalities, but often it was only by their names that I could really tell them apart. More specifically, there were two characters whose manner of speaking was too similar to one another: Zia, and Carly. When talking, both would go on and on, jumping from one tangent to another, often with tones that were tense and loud. In addition, all the men in this book sounded too similar, perhaps with the exception of Fikus and his father.

7) There was a lot of man-hating in this book. I understand why Zia, a female soul, hated being sent to live as a male (though I don't recall any real explanation as to why she wasn't allowed a female body) but the things that were said about the male gender were pretty harsh in general. Here are a few examples:

"'And it's all your fault, Mr. Perriman, because that's what all men do. All men. They marry beautiful young girls whose tender bodies can be claimed, soiled, and imprisoned by the man's planted seed. "Cook for me, clean for me, bear my children," until her beauty is spent, her lot is servitude, and her desires match those of a mongrel dog yearning for a master's approval and attention. And then, Mr. Perriman, what do men do? After he commits these atrocities on her, what do men do?' The irony started Monique laughing. 'He blames her, blames her for becoming a pathetic worn-out rag, and his eye wanders to the next pretty victim. That's what men do, Mr. Perriman. They sanction their iniquities by calling it love'"(83). 

"I don't want the male brain. It's gummed up with ego and poisoned by testosterone" (72). 

"He hated to argue with any woman because women were very good with words. They practiced their word-skills by nagging at me: Don't wash your dirty hands near the colander of noodles; don't scratch or fart in church; don't wear a hat or blow your nose at the dinner table. Women used their words either to nag or to confuse men" (222). 

8) Zia's character as a soul is described as an adolescent, but to me, she came off more as a stubborn child who often acted too immature to be believable as a teenager. When she came into her gender-patched "player" body, she was supposed to be a grown woman (in her early 20s, I think), and yet she still acted no older than a nine-year-old. It seemed to me that the author tried her best to describe a teenager, but she did it from an adult point-of-view--the kind of adult that has forgotten what the world looks and sounds like from a younger person's point of view and thus has trouble expressing the thoughts and feelings of a younger character. Also despite the climactic ending, it's hard to read a book and relate to a character who hardly undergoes any character development throughout the course of 500 pages.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1) "People love themselves too much already. If someone has to search for their goodness, it means they're an asshole. Fikus made it sound like people were saints just for trying to be good. Months ago, the Youth Center's administration pulled that crap, insisting that each Blue Dolphin receive a ribbon at every meet, whether the kid butterflied beautifully or flailed miserably. The importance, they told me, was on the trying, not on the succeeding. Very nicely, I told them they were nuts. Trying to swim is called drowning" (282).

Monday, August 19, 2013

Haze (Rephaim 2) by Paula Weston

4.5/5 Stars
Details of the Book
Paperback, 417 pages.
Published by Text Publishing Company (New Zealand & Australia)
Tundra Books/Random House Canada (USA & Canada)
Expected Publication (for the USA & Canada): *September, 9 2014*

Synopsis taken from Goodreads.com: "But what if we can’t find Jude?" 
He leans closer. His breath is warm on my ear. "We will."
"How can you be so sure?" I want to believe him so badly, but this is Rafa. The guy who’s all action and no plan. His smile is tired, knowing. An echo of a shared past I don’t remember. 
"Because I’m not smart enough to give up, and you don’t know how to." 

Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed. 

But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive. 

And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger


After reading Shadows I was dying to get my hands on Haze, and let me tell you, this book was awesome. It was kick-ass, it was sexy, and had an ending that made me want to scream "NO!" I can't say that I loved this book as much as the first, but it was pretty close. The main difference between the first and the sequel is that the first one is more comedic while this book takes a more serious turn. I can't believe I have to wait a whole year to get my hands on the next one..

Strengths/Likes: 

1) This is a big compliment from me. There a lot of characters in this book, and somehow Paula Weston makes them all work well together. I didn't feel overwhelmed, I felt like I knew each and every one of them. I'm in awe of who Weston managed this because as many of you know, I usually say that author's need to cut out a lot of their characters.

2) The heat in this book is intense. From the action scenes to the romance scenes..Weston's style of writing and plot of this series is just plain sexy. As I said in the review of the previous novel, it's not over done in the porno/romance novel way. It's just the perfect amount. Logically, any book that involves hot guys kicking ass, it should be sexy. Trust me, I've read a lot of books, and it's sounds like such a simple thing to execute. It isn't. Weston does it with flare.

3) I said earlier that this book takes a more serious turn than the first. Although I miss a lot of the comedy from the first novel, Haze's serious tone really rounds out the main characters and the plot as a whole. It's a necessary change because in a world with Hell on Earth, it's not supposed to be comedic. Don't be to disappointed though, there are still plenty of things that made me laugh, just not nonstop.

4) I liked this about the first book and I continued to like it in this one, these fallen angels are not all saints. Even the Rephaite that are not part of the Outsiders are not completely righteous and I love that. It makes these half-angels more relatable.

5) This book keeps up with the fast-pace of the first, picking right up where the first book ended. It doesn't skip a beat. The quiet moments don't last long in this action novel.

Weakness/Dislikes: 

1) This book ends the same way the first did. At an awkward place. It just kind of drops off. I'll admit that it was in a better place than the first book ended. I said there was a point at the end where it had me screaming "NO!", I would have ended it there. It would give the readers the same amount of closure as her ending but it's tone would match the rest of the book.

2) I was really annoyed by Rusty and Mick's gang. They were really annoying and I felt that the author should have used more important people to the plot for me to feel bad for. I was really just rooting for them and all their people to be slaughtered.

3) There were a couple of scenes between Rafa and Gaby where Weston tries to make them go on normal dating experiences. This isn't them, and for me it doesn't work. They are not that kind of a couple. They are the type to go out on a killing spree and feel more connected than holding hands in some garden.

4) The smell description of each bar the characters went into. I get it, everything smells like stale beer, sweat, smoke, and regret. How many times did this need to be repeated?

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1) "Rafa glances at me as we walk. His hair looks fairer out here in the sunlight. Right now I'd like to run my fingers through it, get a good handful, and smack his head into the brick wall we're passing" (31).

2) "'Do you want me to stop?' His hair is damp on his forehead.

'No.'

He leans forward until his face is only centimetres from mine. I don't move back. The last few days recede. The only history between us, the one he won't tell me about, melts away under the warm sun. And then Rafa kisses me, not with urgency of our last encounter, but softly, thoughtfully. He tastes like oranges, His hands stay on my ankle restrained. The kiss deepens. I slide my palm up his thigh. He stops me and pulls back. 'You're killing me, you know that?'

'Do you want me to stop?' I mean to sound playful but it comes out breathless.

'No.'"(107).

Friday, August 16, 2013

Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst ARC Review *some spoilers*


Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst
eARC, 368 pages
Published by Walker Books for Young Readers
Published on: September 3, 2013
Rating: 3/5 Stars


Synopsis: Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

Thank you Netgalley.com and Walker Childrens for my electronic ARC of this novel.

This is book is Pinocchio meets Alice and Wonderland in a creepy, supernatural novel about a girl is haunted by her past. This book is magical, creepy, and surprising. I have to admit that I'm really getting sick of books where the plot moves forward from the main character trying to remember memories that were taken from her, but at least in this case the memories were unique and bizarre.

On a side note, Netgalley and Goodreads.com has this book listed as a children's book but I would say it is more of a pre-teen and older book. There are descriptions of death and dismemberment that I don't think is appropriate for children.

Strengths/Likes: 

1) The ending of this book really surprised me. I figured that she was tortured and being from another world, but I was not expecting this. I actually had a hard time wrapping my head around it. It was something that belonged to a plot line from the TV show Once Upon a Time. 

2) I loved Zach. He was really cute and his unrelenting chatter and imagination was extremely endearing. I found myself highlighting all of his sections. He was such a cutie-pie ^_^

3) Another one of my favorite characters was Aunt Nikki. I found her to be the most realistic character in the novel. She wasn't unwillingly devoted her time to Eve, and was right to be suspicious and a little afraid of her. She has a very dry sense of humor, and her sarcasm made me giggle almost every time.

4) I liked the magical elements in this book. Everything sounded so enchanting and beautiful. I'll include some of those moments in the Favorite section.

5) I found the writing style to be pretty ordinary but in one thing that it was extremely effective in was that I felt just as disorientated as the main character. This is pretty amazing considering the book is written in third-person.

6) I love how the Magician and the Storyteller's love story unfolded backwards. What I mean by that is, the their story starts at it's end and as the plot moves forward we see their relationship back track all the way to the beginning.

Weakness/Dislikes:

1) Besides Zach and Eve and the Magician and the Storyteller, the relationships in this book were lacking. The way it was written I felt like people were only grouped together for power-alliances or were co-workers. This book is not a small one, so I felt that the author could have benefited more by developing the other character's relationship--or lack thereof. I even wanted more out of Zach and Eve's relationship and they were the main couple.

2) There was too many flat characters. The three other characters with power, Aidan, Topher, and Victoria, I didn't know enough about to consider them main characters. In fact, the story in my opinion would have been completely unaffected if Topher and Victoria were cut from the book all-together.

Favorite Quotes and Moments (SPOILERS):


1) "'I'm Zach, library page, at your service.' After a second's hesitation, she shook his hand. It was warm and soft. 'I think it's a shame that it's customary to shake hands upon greeting when what I really want to do is kiss your lips and see if you taste like strawberries.'

She released his hand. 'I'm Eve. I've never eaten a strawberry.'

'Allergies? I'm allergic to cats. Not cats themselves, per se. Hairless cats are fine. It's the cat dandruff, caught in the fur. Need serious anti-cat-dandruff shampoo.' His hair had slid over his eyes as he talked; he shook it back and smiled at her. 'Glad you didn't freak when I said I want to kiss you. I'll wait for an invitation, of course, but I believe in being up front about these kind of things. Prevents misunderstandings later. I don't want you thinking that we can ever be just friends. Unless it's friends with benefits'" (28). 

2) "'Never met an Eve, either, come to think of it. I will resist the obvious apple jokes, promise.'

So he wasn't sent by Malcolm to watch her. 'Apples?'

'Little-known facts about apples: apples are members of the rose family, it takes energy from fifty leaves to produce one fruit, and humans have been eating apples since at least sixty-five hundred BC. Bet you're asking yourself how a handsome guy like me who can't seem to stop talking ended up working in a library where the talking thing is not so condoned.'

She continued to stare at him, blinking once.

'Or perhaps you're wondering about hairless cats. They're less cuddly than you'd think. Also prone to sunburn. And oddly prone to more earwax, due to less ear hair. But I'm boring you. Cardinal sin when talking with a beautiful girl. Not to be confused with the original sin…And I promised no obvious jokes. Sorry. Don't hate me.'

'I'll try not to,' she said gravely.


'Now you're just being polite'" (29).


3) "'Oh. Well, that's okay, then. But you'll excuse me if I'm still a little bit jealous. Is this Aidan good looking?'

Eve shrugged. 'Yes.'

'Well, this just gets better and better.' Zach pushed away the pillows and stood up. He tossed the pillows toward the chairs. 'Buff guy? Likely to beat me up? Not that I wouldn't fight for you. I totally would. You are completely fight worthy… 

'Sorry, but it's somewhat of a shock to kiss the girl of your dreams and then find out she already has a boyfriend. I kind of wish you'd told me that earlier, except that I probably wouldn't have kissed you, and there goes fodder for my dreams for the next decade.' He ran his fingers through his hair. 'Did you mean what you said? You'd rather kiss me?'

She nodded. 'You don't play games.'

'Great. What a rousing endorsement next to Pretty Boy'" (113). 

4) "Behind him, she saw books sail off the shelves and then stack themselves around them, interlaced like stones in a wall, closing off their row from the rest of the library… green tips of plants burst through the worn carpet. They grew, thickening and sprouting. Curling, they wrapped around the bookshelves and spread across the ceiling tile. Leaves unfurled, and soon the bookshelves and walls were draped in lush summer green. Red buds popped from the bends in the green. And then the buds opened all around them, a right of burgundy roses" (175). 


5) "I don't want to travel forever. Someday I want a home that's ours, that we stay in, that we fill with our things and our memories. It should have lots of skylights. Maybe be near an ocean. You know, oceans cover seventy percent of the Earth's surface, and if you extracted all the salt, you could bury the continents in five feet of salt. It would be nice to be near an ocean" (358). 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Light of the Wicked by Frederick Hurr ARC Review


Light of the Wicked by Frederick Hurr
eARC, 352 pages
Published by B&H Books
Published on November 1, 2013
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


Synopsis: In a small Victorian seaside town where nothing significant ever happens, evil takes up residence in the form of Lord Rimmon and his powerful demons.

The town is suddenly enveloped by catastrophe after catastrophe, the trend of evil beginning with the horrible death of a young clergyman. The local detective cannot explain the death but begins to believe, even with his skeptical mind, that supernatural forces are at work.

The night of Halloween is mayhem in the town; grisly murders, violence abounding, children suffering at the hands of dark forces. The police are perplexed and out of their depth, so the chief reluctantly goes to a Christian celebrity for answers and is shocked by what he learns.

A spiritual battle ensues, and humans become intricately involved; Christians recognize that demon possession and evil influences are everywhere and that the Prince of Darkness is taking over. As the veil between the normal world and spirit world is torn, the local bishop and curate fight back using prayer and direct confrontation with evil. Heaven’s angels descend to face the onslaught, but Satan, Lord Rimmon, and his army of devils are not going to give up the town without a desperate and furious war.

Thank you to Netgalley.com, B&H Books, B&H Fiction, and B&H Kids for my electronic copy of this ARC.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I received this novel on Netgalley. Light of the Wicked is about the classic war between angels and demons. It's a mainly a religious book about humans who have either strayed from God's grace and the others who's life was transformed by it. I am not religious by any measure but I found the interlocking plot lines of all the characters very interesting. Although, this novel is centered around angels and demons, this novel is a story of love, satire, comedy, angst, war, homosexuality (not in an entirely hateful way), and faith.

Strengths/Likes: 

1) The best way I can describe Frederick Hurr's writing style is classic. What I mean by classic is that his voice feels like it's from another time. His charming lines with extremely high diction, reminds me of authors like Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, and Chaucer.

2) I was surprised by how much action there was in this book. The angels and demons were described as being in army ranks, and there was constant war planning and tactics used. And even more surprising is that it was all well written where I could easily picture everything in my head.

 3) Generally, everyone understands that angels are good, demons are bad, but Frederick Hurr's characters were written as having likable and dislikable qualities. I found it easier to deal with all of the religious aspects of this book because the angels were not too righteous and the demons weren't just plain despicable. Each side had distinct personalities, feelings, desires.

Weaknesses/Strengths:

1) There was a lot of tell and not enough show in this book. There were a lot of characters in this book, and I felt that the author thought it best to tell the reader all about them instead of the developing each and every one of them as the story went on, and he did so successfully. At the same time, I think it would have been much better if the author has chosen to cut a few of his characters and focused more on showing us their personalities and actions instead of telling us. By telling us so much about each character, I feel that it's hard to feel attached because the reader does not get to feel their thoughts and emotions.

2) As I previously stated, I'm not religious at all, but I felt that this book pushed the envelope with it's religious actions. This book makes it seem that any person can ask God for something, and if they are truly pious, God will answer their prayers. For example:

"To Sarah's surprise, Richard jumped to his feet. Standing tall, and theatrically throwing his arms aloft, he cried out, 'Lord! We want to see the most amazing shooting star cross the sky right there..' He pointed to a high point in the western sky. 'And we want it within the next thirty seconds.'

Sarah had scrambled to her feet, and was standing expectantly at his side as he started to count aloud. 'One, two, three, four…'


He got as far as fifteen when a light suddenly appeared above the horizon, flaming brightly, streaking across the night sky, accompanied by a sound like the roar of a great wind. Whoosh!" (153).

Growing up, religion was pushed on me, and that's probably why I pulled away, but from what I remember is that God doesn't answer every prayer and not everyone gets what they want just because they asked. I think that this was the most unrealistic part of the book.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1) "His voice was like that of a ponderous bell tolling a funeral dirge, and it held the listener with an occult power that could not easily be denied. The sounds that issued from the mouth of this creature were like dark waters tumbling over a hellish waterfall. Every syllable commanded attention, and each phrase resonated deep within the black hearts of his servants" (23).

2) "'You're right, as usual.' he said tenderly. 'What would I do without you?'

'Probably sink into oblivion.'

'And which oblivion would that be?' he joked as he dug his fingers into her ribs to tickle her" (239).

3) "'I'm not sure if I like you as a human female.'

'I am not sure I like it myself,' replied Ganymede, inspecting himself in a full-length mirror. 'Though I think I could get used to it, except for these things.' He cupped his hands under his full breasts. 'As appendages, I can't imagine why mortal men drool over them.'

Gathan looked at Ganymede with an expression of disgust. 'Then why didn't you choose a masculine form like we did?'

'I thought it might be fun, Gathan--a concept that you simply cannot comprehend.'" (248).

Friday, August 2, 2013

The League of Delphi by Chris Everheart Review *SPOILER ALERT*


The League of Delphi by Chris Everheart
ebook, 300 pages
Published by Yellow Rocket Media
Published on July 22, 2012
Rating: 1/5 Stars


Synopsis: History’s darkest secrets hide in plain sight. 


One of the freshest new voices in the world of young adult suspense, Chris Everheart confirms that he’s here to stay with this fast-paced, ingeniously plotted, unputdownable thriller.

A lone teen, a suspicious death, an ancient conspiracy. The first book of the gripping new Delphi series, The League of Delphi draws you in, takes you on a tense and thrilling ride, and leaves you wanting more. 

Ten years after his father's mysterious death, 17-year-old Zach secretly returns to his wealthy hometown in search of answers. Why did his mother move him away then go into hiding to die alone? Why did she change his name, forbidding him to ever reveal his true identity? Why was he never allowed to return home?

Left with nothing and no one, Zach is desperate to reconnect with this seemingly “perfect” town. But something isn’t right. When a local teen commits suicide and no one seems to care, Zach’s hopes collapse into disenchantment and suspicion. Ashley, a local teenager on the fringe, piques his interest with whispers of a secret committee controlling the lives of everyone around them. Could it be true? Together, Zach and Ashley delve into the hidden life of the town and discover a dark connection to Ancient Greece and the Oracle at Delphi. Their suspicions are confirmed - but the conspiracy is more terrifying and dangerous than they ever imagined...

Fans of Charles Benoit (You; Fall From Grace) and Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games) will instantly connect with Chris Everheart’s “visual” storytelling style and relatable characters. The League of Delphi delivers a fascinating thriller filled with nerve-wrenching suspense that confounds the reader to the very end and solidifies Everheart’s status as one of the hottest newcomers to hit the shelves.

No matter how much I tried, I just couldn't get into this novel. It's overdramatic, impulsive, and unclear. There was nothing about it that made me feel attached or emotionally invested in the plot or the characters. In my opinion, it seems like the author was coming up with this plot as he was writing the book.

Weaknesses/Dislikes: 

1) Ninety percent of this novel is written in prose, with practically no dialogue. With barely any communication between the characters, how can the reader be expected to feel engaged in the story? The story is written from "Zach's" point-of-view, but because the writing is primarily focused on Zach's thoughts, it's impossible to connect, understand, and develop the other characters personalities.

2) Clarity is a huge issue in this novel. This book has a lot of things all going on at once, and none of them are explained properly. It's unclear why each tiny moment is significant relevant to the plot or the development of the characters.  Here are some specific problems of clarity in this novel:

It's not completely explained what it is the city is after in testing these strange "medicine" on these children and specifically the medical treatment for specific girls for what purpose. The word prophecy is thrown around, and we are basically told that using drugs, they expect for the girls to hallucinate and produce "oracles." But it's not explained for what purpose. Do the oracles predict the winning lottery numbers? Which stocks will plummet? No one knows.

Another problem is that somehow most of the town known about this "project" for the special kids but at the same time it's a big secret. It doesn't make sense how it's a big secret but a lot of people in town are aware of it, and think it's the right thing to do. Also, if this whole thing is such a huge secret that the government officials of Arcanville track everything people do on the internet, then why is all the information easily accessible in the town's public library? Doesn't sound like much of a secret to me.

Lastly, how does Crazy Larry recognize Zach, when the last time he saw him was a baby? The boy is sixteen years old. There is no way he looks exactly the same as when he first popped out of his mother. But somehow, Crazy Larry knows who he is, follows him around undetected, and gets all his information without causing anyone in town to suspect him or Zach.

3) Arcanville, is depicted as a town that doesn't care about its kids. They are just pawns for their government. Although towards the end of the book we are given a confusing explanation as to why this is this, the author wants the reader to get that long before this explanation. I didn't see what was so weird about this town. One main example the author tries to use to make us, the readers, believe that there is something wrong about this town because of its is little reaction to a local teen's suicide. Unfortunately, suicide happens every day, and I fail to see how an entire town insufficiently grieving over one kid's death illustrates how unfeeling and despicable the townspeople are.

4) Zach, as a whole, is not a character that makes any sense. First off, he's been on his own basically his entire life. Going to school in France, means he graduated high school at the age of sixteen, two years before the kids in Arcanville. He has barely had any parental figure in his life, works and supports himself. By this description, I would think that Zach would be a very mature, self-sufficient and put together individual when in fact he's the opposite. He's no more different than all his peers that he looks down upon. He's immature, whiny, and overtly judgmental.

His attachment to the other characters in the novel doesn't add up for me. To start off, his emotional attachment to Sutton (the kid who killed himself). Since Zach's move to France he had no contact with Sutton. So basically, the last time he saw him was in the second grade. Now, practically an adult Zach is enraged that the entire town is not affected by this suicide. He becomes obsessed with this dead kid, one that he didn't bother to keep in contact with while he was gone.

Zach's love interest, Ashley, who he spends most of the book describing her as crazy, falls in love with her after her sister Katie loses interest in him and a couple of meetings where the two barely speak to one another. Then bam! Out of nowhere, they are in love. Somehow, I just don't buy it.

5) It's never explained how Zach gets away with all of his lies. We are told that Arcanville basically decides who has the right to live in town, so how does he on a name that no one recognizes lives there? How is it possible that during a police investigation that Zach gets away with explaining that the police can't contact his parents because their out of town. Realistically, the police would have come back a week later, demanding to speak to his parents, but this never happens.

Well guys that's all I have to say (for now) about this book. I'm sorry that I don't have any quotes or moments in this book that I could share with you guys. Hopefully, I'll be able to give you guys more in my next review.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber ARC Review


Starry Night by Debbie Macomber
ebook, 370 pages
Published by Ballantine Books
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository |
Rating: 2/5 Stars


Synopsis: ’Tis the season for romance, second chances, and Christmas cheer with this new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.

Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author. 

Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a megabestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.

Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

Filled with all the comforts and joys of Christmastime, Starry Night is a delightful novel of finding happiness in the most surprising places.


Thank you to Netgalley.com and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine for my electronic copy of Starry Night by Debbie Macomber.


This book has everything you want out of a romance novel without the sex. I can't say that I didn't like this book but I can't say that I  really liked it either. It's a good book to read while you're in between books, or if you have absolutely nothing to do. Considering how short this book was, I felt that the plot was rushed and it had too many clichés.

Strengths/Likes: 

1) I love the peculiar gifts that Finn gives to Carrie, instead of the traditional flowers and chocolates. These items made Finn more real to me, because everyone has weird quirks and different ways of thinking, and in use of these gifts it made Finn more unambiguous.

2) In this novel, Carrie is the stronger person in the relationship and even when Finn tries to back off, instead of doing the expected thing and give up on him and blame herself, she stuck with it and continued to pursue him. She was a strong woman who fought for her man, and I can definitely appreciate that.  

3) This book did give me moments where I did feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It made me think of the holidays, my family, and being a kid.

Weaknesses/Dislikes: 

1) The book was so short and the plot moved so fast that it was difficult to get into the couple's relationship. One minute he can't stand her, the next minute she's melted his heart and they are practically living together. I know fast romances are expected in romance novels but this was too rushed for me. I like to see relationships build up with more than just flippant resistance.

2) I know that in a lot of books it's important for the author to establish how the title is connected to the story but this one was just corny and cringe worthy. The reason I find it so corny is because the first time it is mentioned is when Carrie is talking to Finn's mother, and Finn isn't present than later Finn says the exact same line later. I understand that this was most likely written this way to show how perfect the couple is for one another but it was too much.

3) The foundation of the plot is rested on Carrie needing to interview Finn so she can write about whatever she wants at her job..does How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days sound familiar to anyone?

4) For a man with abandonment issues, and a long history of not trusting women, to me it's not realistic that a strange woman changes that in two days. Considering on the first day they met, he abhorred her.

5) This book does a lot of telling, instead of showing. Instead of being told about Carrie and Finn's feelings I would have preferred more scenes of interaction.

6) The book is written in third person, but the author tried to individualize Carrie and Finn's voices. In my opinion, they sounded too similar, and if it wasn't for telling me he was a guy, I would have assumed I was in the mind of a woman. He's supposed to be this outdoor, man's man, kind of guy but with this writing style I didn't get that vibe.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1)"Although she should be exhausted, Carrie found her mind racing. 'He's not going to give me the interview,' she told the dog, rolling onto her backside and staring up at the log beams of the ceiling.

'Maybe I will interview you,' she said, and gently petted Hennessey's head.

The dog rested his chin against her knee in a move that both comforted and warmed her.

'Okay, Hennessey, tell me what it's like living with the great Finn Dalton, esteemed author of Alone.'

She waited, pretending to listen to his answer.

'You can't mean to say you actually like spending countless hours with such a cantankerous owner? I'm wrong, you say, and he really isn't as bad as I assume? Frankly, I find that hard to believe! Oh, I'm sure you're right, Finn Dalton can be civil, but unfortunately he sees me as an evil threat and he wants to boot me out of here as fast as he can. I know, I know, it's a shame we couldn't have reached an understanding. It's only a matter of time, you know, before others track him down.'

Again she paused as though taking in the dogs comments.

'Yes, I hear you. To you he's a good guy, but to me he's rude and arrogant and a narcissist. Oh sorry, narcissist is a big word. It means he's completely hung up on himself.'

A loud snort came from the other room, which was a sure sign Finn was listening in on their conversation."

2) "'You realize I'm going to be worrying about you with this guy the entire time you're out with him.'

His words cheered her considerably. 'I'm glad to hear it.'

'You are?'

'Well, sure. It will keep you on your toes. If this kind of competition continues, I could end up with a can opener that matches that toaster.'"

Monday, July 29, 2013

Shadows (Rephiam 1) by Paula Weston *some spoilers*

5/5 Stars
Details of the Book
eARC, 400 pages.
Published by Tundra Books (Paula's U.S. Publisher)
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Text Publishing |

Synopsis as taken from Goodreads.com: It's almost a year since Gaby Winters watched her twin brother die. In the sunshine of a new town her body has healed, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn't help that every night in her dreams she fights and kills hell-beasts. And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who's been appearing in Gaby's dreams, he tells her things about her brother and her life that cannot be true, things that are dangerous. Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And who is Gaby? The truth lies in the shadows of her nightmares.

Thank you Netgalley.com and Tundra books for my electronic version of Shadows. 

Shadows is a swift, sexy, and exciting novel. At first I was a bit wary because the book started with our protagonist Gabby having horrible nightmares, and cases of paranoia and after reading Deceived by Julie Anne Lindsey, I was afraid I was walking into the same thing. Boy, was I wrong. I couldn't put the book down, and by the end of it I was dying for more. 

My only word of caution is that this is not a children's book. I say this because there is a lot of profanity and sexual situations. 


Strengths/Likes: 

1) The dialogue in this novel really stood out for me. It was witty, funny, sexy, and sounded very natural. Honestly, it was difficult not to highlight all of the dialogue in this book because it was just so great. The only thing that could have made it better is if the characters were real and I could physically watch and listen to them interact. *crosses fingers for movie deal*

2) The plot: It was really fast-paced, never allowing a dull moment. The scenes without any action sequences didn't feel bland or boring. I never wanted to rush ahead or skip anything. I thrived off all the details of the plot. 

Secondly, there is a lot of detail in this novel but not enough that it was overwhelming because it was well spread out through it's 384 pages (at least in the version I had). The detail accommodated all of the many characters, plot twists, and events of the book. If you've read my other reviews, you know that I hate it when an author incorporates too many characters that I don't feel add anything to the plot. You won't find that in this book. 

3) This novel is sexy, and not in the romance novel/porn way, but there was real chemistry and sensuality between the characters in this book. Even before the main couple emerges. 

4) I'm not big on vulgarity but in the case of this novel, I feel like it really works. It's not overkill where it feels like the author is trying to hard, but it's not underdone to the point where you think the author is intentionally avoiding any kind of curse or profanity. But on a side-note, it's not for the kiddies or anyone who has a problem with blasphemy. 

Weaknesses/Dislikes: 

1)  In comparison to how face-paced and intense the whole book was, I felt that the ending was unfulfilling. It just ended. Maybe I'm asking too much but after going through the roller coaster of this book, I wanted more satisfaction at the end.  

Favorite Quotes/Moments (spoiler alert): 

1) "'How do you this stuff?'

'I studied religion for a year.'

'You did not.'

He flicks through the pages, head down. 'I got mixed messages about religion when I was younger. I wanted to find out a few things for myself. A year was enough. It's not like I went into the seminary.' He gives Maggie a quick smile. 'It was just a couple of subjects at uni.'

Maggie is sitting on the tables, seining her legs. 'I think it's sexy.'

'Wow,' I say. 'Religion as foreplay.'"

2) 'Gabe,' Rafa says, and I bite my lip. 'I know. I'll take care of it.' He leans closer. His T-shirt is twisted between my fingers. 'It's been a long time since you asked me for anything. I'm not going to fuck it up.'

'Any chance you could ease up on being an arsehole for a while as well?'

'That I can't promise.'

3) "I like the way he says 'we.' Like there's no option except the two of us doing this together."

4) 'So why wouldn't Gabe forgive you?' I hate talking about myself in the third person, but I have to: she's not me. 

His fingers lightly brush my skin. 'I told you,' he says, 'you and me, we haven't been on good terms for a long time. So if I took advantage of the fact you don't remember why, and then you got your memory back…' He gives me a grim smile. 'You'd probably make a coin purse out of my balls.

'Nah,' I say lightly, like his rejection doesn't sting. 'I'd want something big enough to carry more than five-cent pieces.'

Friday, July 26, 2013

When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach Review


ebook, 277 pages
Published by Ingrid Jonach
Original Release: September 3, 2013 
New Edition Publication Date: January 1, 2015
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository |
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Synopsis: When I look back later, I’ll wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary. I like to think of it as BT and AT—Before Tom and After Tom.

When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks—for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he'd be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he's bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.

But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind—memories of the two of them, together and in love.

When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom's been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that's bigger—and much more terrifying and beautiful—than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there's no way to make it flat again.

*This review has been updated due to it's re-release. Thank you Ingrid Jonach for my new edition copy of your ebook*

An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.

This is by far the most unique book I have read in 2013. After rereading it, I still love the depth of it's plot and the main couple Tom and Lillie. It was probably the first parallel universe book I have read and rereading again now two years later has not changed my affection towards it. I don't read a lot of sci-fi and admittedly I have generally avoided it but this book made me regret that. This book does have the typical characteristics of a YA novel, a protagonist with low self-esteem who has been a subject of bullying and has an otherworldly love interest who's gorgeous and rich and only has eyes for her. Don't let this deter you from reading it it stands on it's own in plot and in emotion.

Strengths/Likes: 

1) As I already stated, the plot of this book is very unique. Using Albert Einstein's theories to explain the feelings of déjà vu and Lillie's memories made the whole story more realistic. Therefore, making this book easier to understand as well as really get into the characters thoughts and emotions. The plot felt so real that it was eerie. It's an amazing feat to make the plot of this book feel real, but Jonach accomplished this beautifully.

2) I loved Jonach's writing style, she used simple vocabulary but the way she arranged them invoked strong imagery and voice of her main character. Here are a few examples of what I mean:

"Green Grove, Nebraska, has a population of four thousand, six hundred and something, which results in about two degrees of separation between the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker."

"My mother makes herbal teas that are akin to dirty dishwater."

"The tan seat covers sag like granny panties under my body weight."

"I consult the filing cabinet of my mind, looking for a reason for the familiarity, but find locked drawer after locked drawer."

"I survey the sweeping staircase with its ornate banister that looks like it had been hand-carved from mahogany or some other expensive, well-oiled timber."

"These last three words are said with a what-the-fuck tone."

3) Almost all of the characters follow under the typical YA cliches. There is the main character who is our classic Mary Sue. She doesn't find her self to be pretty, she's not popular, but catches the attention for male main character who is the hottest guy in school as well as the richest. One of our heroine's best friend is an outgoing skank, that used to be close with the most popular girl in school and now are mortal enemies. Also, Lillie's other best friend is withdrawn and in a lot of ways jealous of Lillie. The true greatness about these stereotypical YA teens is that each one are well-rounded and with distinct voices that makes it easy to overlook their commonplace personalities.

4) The plot of this book is very unusual but it all centers around one thing: love. The relationship between Tom and Lillie is truly heart-wrenching. I caught myself tearing up on more than one occasion. A truly tragic and beautiful story about young lovers.

Weaknesses/Dislikes: 

1) The author reused a couple of phrases and words and I felt like the book would have benefited if she had branched out from this especially a book this small. She uses the expression "the former and the ladder" seven times; "ball of twine" nine times, "bite the bullet" a couple times; and the word "guffaw" four times.

If this had been a longer book maybe I wouldn't have noticed but especially Jonach's symbolic phrase "ball of twine" that is introduced from the beginning of the book, I felt that the author really wanted to drive this piece of imagery into the reader's head and I don't think it's necessary.

2) It could be that I'm just slow but I had a hard time following the theories that explained the changes in Lillie. I don't want to go into too much detail because the plot is so unique that I don't want to spoil it but I felt that the author could have helped us readers more by writing more physical encounters with the sci-fi elements in this book to bring further understanding.

3) I kept waiting for an action scene that would amp up the climax of this plot. I know that the author tried to keep her sci-fi elements ordinary for them to be real but I just kept waiting for that little bit of extra umpf that would make me go crazy with worry and adrenaline.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1) I quoted earlier of this first section in the book, where someone's tone is described as "what-the-fuck." Call it the outsider teenager in me but I love it when a Queen Bee/Homecoming Queen is put into her place.

2) Jackson and Tom's fight. I'll only give a small snippet of it but the entire scene from Jackson's action of peer pressure was great. Here is the quote:

"'Lillie! Are you OK?' It was Tom. His voice is hoarse, like someone has their hands around his throat.

I  nod, thankful my hair provides a curtain on either side of my face. 

I hear a sudden scuffle and realize it's the sound of Jackson being pulled from his seat.

"What the fuck were you thinking? Tom shouts. "You could have killed her!"

I turn to see Tom pushing Jackson to the ground and following through with his fist. Once. Twice. The swings cut through the air and connect with well-practiced precision. 

3) "We're surrounded by lilies; tiger lilies, oriental lilies, asiatic lilies. They sprout from pots at our feet or hang in baskets above our heads and I realize we were in a greenhouse. 

I follow Tom to the edge of a small pond. It's also filled with lilies--water lilies. The sunlight filters through the glass walls and ceiling, making the surface of the pond sparkle. 

I watch a goldfish swim lazily between the lily pads, as Tom sits on the concrete wall that circles the pond. He dips a hand into the dazzling water and splashes me, making me squeal. He laughs as I splash him back and as he does, I know this a dream. Tom laughing? As if. 

I'm scooping up another handful of water when he grabs my arms and pulls me towards him. My heart flutters as I lean in for a kiss and at that moment, I wake."


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Deceived by Julie Anne Lindsey ARC Review *Spoiler Alert*


1.5/5 Stars
Details of the Book
eARC, 322 pages
Published by Merit Press
Published on August 18, 2013
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |

Synopsis as taken from Goodreads.com:When Elle's father, a single parent and a big shot in corporate insurance, moves her to yet another boarding school for senior year, Elle is disgusted when nothing changes. Her night terrors don't go away, and, soon, despite her father's caring calls and visits, Elle starts to believe she's losing her mind. She knows she's being followed; a ribbon is tied around her doorknob, and there are those cigarette butts that keep turning up on the doormat, in violation of a strict smoking ban on campus. Then there's Bryan, an intriguing boy Elle meets at a flea market and later finds out is a student at her school. Yet on campus, he pretends he doesn't recognize her - until the day he divulges just how much danger she's in. In her search for an answer to all the madness, Elle unravels the truth about her dad's real identity, why someone has lied to her all her life, and the terrifying truth that she may be the only one who can save her from the one who's following her now.

First off, I would like to say thank you to Netgalley, and Merit Press of  F+W/Adams Media for giving me my electronic copy of Deceived. 

When reading any ARC I ignore all typing errors and grammar problems, but even pushing those aspects of the book aside, I thought this book was discombobulated. There were so many details and characters, in my opinion, that didn't work. Towards the end of the book, I felt that it was starting to finally pick up but by then, for me, it was too late.

Strengths/Likes: 

1) The plot itself is very unique. I love that instead of using a detective or police officers in this mystery/crime novel, that Lindsey chose U.S. Marshalls. I don't think many people know much about them or their lives. Not to mention it made the male lead a lot sexier in detail haha.

2) The end was chilling, I was very scared through the entire encounter with Miles. It was very well written and creepy.

Weaknesses/Dislikes (SPOILERS): 

1) I felt that the plot was very predictable. I'm not sure if it was the author's intention or not but it was pretty easy to see that Elle's mother's death was not an accident. Why else would Elle's father instill in her how dangerous the world is? And what other explanation is there for her traumatizing dream that has deprived her of sleep for years and in turn made her a caffeine addict?

2) I had to read the beginning over a few times because it was written in such a confusing way. There are not many voice tags which is fine, but in order for that to work the characters have to have distinct voices, and they don't. So it was really confusing to tell who was speaking.

3) There were a couple of things in the plot that didn't add up for me. If Elle was being watched her entire life by U.S. Marshalls, how come they didn't notice the killer smoking on her door step? It says that there were numerous cigarette butts on her doormat every day, if she constantly under guard someone should have seen this person.
             "Pixie left the butts for evidence as she searched for the culprit. We were up to seven pieces of evidence" (7).
               If Nicholas was set to watch and scout everyone around Elle, how could he not have noticed the seven cigarette butts on her doormat while knowing that neither Elle nor Pixie smoked?

Secondly, maybe I'm not too familiar with the U.S. Marshall job profession but I don't think it is very likely that when a family of the Marshall that was working on a dangerous case becomes compromised that they would allow that officer to continue working on the case, let alone be separated from his daughter. From my understanding, they would have taken Elle's father off the case and moved him and her together and both would have new identities, and her father a new/fake occupation until the killer was snatched.

Third, undercover agents information should be incredibly hard to find. Let alone specific details about his family. I understand that Nicholas was a Marine first so his info could be public record. Additionally, I understand that this is a YA novel, and the couple needs time together, but there is no way that the U.S. Marshalls would have allowed Nicholas to be in a relationship with his ward let alone, remain on the case. Especially since she was below the legal age limit.

4) I felt that Elle's paranoia was a little melodramatic in the first half of the novel. Besides her re-accuring dream, the reader is given no indication as to why she is so paranoid and scared of everything.  I wanted more details of trauma, flash backs, something that would have it make more sense as to why she was afraid of everything.

5) There was no build to the main couples relationship. One minute they are strangers, who keep stalking one another, and then bam, they're in love. It all happened too quickly, and I didn't have enough detail as to why the clung to one another. I get that Nicholas has basically known about her his entire life, and before meeting her knew a lot about her, that still doesn't make for good chemistry.

5) One of the big climatic moments in this novel was already revealed before Elle realized it. When Elle is fighting with her father over why he didn't tell her about her mother he says, "What was I to do? Tell my six-year-old daughter who'd just seen her mother abducted and run off into the night that I should've been more careful?" (225). Then later in the book Elle has a moment of realization: "I whimpered, 'I was there,' wanting it not to be true" (279). Her father had already told her that she saw her mother be abducted, why didn't she ask about this then? I get that this is Elle finally remembering the incident but it would have been better if her father hadn't already mentioned this detail.

6) I mentioned earlier about this book being discombobulated, they might just be copying errors but there were a couple that stood out to me.

    "The seat enveloped me. Time alone with him put me at ease. I dozed all the way back to our little house on the river.
   When we pulled into the drive, he just sat there. He shut down the engine but made new room to move to leave.
    When I woke up, he was poking at his phone, Bluetooth in ear, seat rolled back, one foot on the dash. The clock read 4:45" (199).

            If she was asleep, how would she know that he stopped the car and didn't try to move?

Earlier than this last scene, Pixie and Elle are telling their friends about their trip to Elton where they meet Brian/Nicholas, and at first the reason for them being out on this trip was stated as: "The trip had been Pixie's idea. She'd said a road trip was the perfect summer's-end celebration because it wasn't every day that a girl became a senior. In our case, two girls. I was all moved in with nowhere to be, so she'd pressed me to get out of town with her for the day" (10).

Then, two pages later Elle says, "It was the strangest birthday I ever had" (12). Making it seem like they were out to celebrate her birthday.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1)"'I took one look at him and said, "Well, all I wanted was a coffee, but I'll go for this.'" (11).

2)"'What can I get you?' Nicholas whispered to me, turning us toward the kitchen. He pulled out a chair at the island. I sat.
  'Nothing." I was busy freaking out inside. No time to eat.
  'Yeah?' He picked up a plate and filled it with a croissant, a muffin, and a tiny bowl of fruit. He set down the plate in front of me and winked.'" (245).

3)"'I don't like that kid.' Nicholas bumped me with his arm.

  I leaned forward, smiling widely at Nicholas's flat expression.

  'What's there not to like? Say here he got a lacrosse scholarship.' I feigned interest in the card, holding it over my face.

   'That kid's a marshmallow.'

   'And yet amazingly age-appropriate.' I peeked around the card.

   Nicholas's mouth twitched. Deep green eyes bore into mine. 'Which would matter if you weren't already in a highly inappropriate relationship.'

   I pulled my lips to one side. 'A relationship, huh?' My tummy knotted with the thrill and possibilities loaded into that statement.

  'Come here.' Nicholas flipped me onto the mattress and hovered over me, one hand poised at my ribs. 'Do you have a problem with that? You can call it whatever you want, but the bottom line is I saw you first.'" (286).