Thursday, November 27, 2014

Signed Grisha Trilogy Giveaway!

This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thank you all for entering! The winner has been e-mailed and has have 48 hours to respond or I will be forced to pick another winner. 

You guys can check out all three of my reviews for this trilogy by clicking the links below.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tether (Many-Worlds 2) by Anna Jarzab ARC Review (SPOILER ALERT)

Tether by Anna Jarzab
Paperback, 305 pages. 
Published by Delacorte Press
Expected Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Synopsis: Everything repeats.

Sasha expected things to go back to normal once she got back on Earth. But now that she knows parallel worlds are real, and that an alternate version of herself exists in a world called Aurora, her old life no longer seems to make sense . . . and her heart breaks daily for Thomas, the boy she left behind. Troubled by mysterious, often terrifying visions and the echoes of a self she was just beginning to discover, Sasha makes the difficult decision to journey once more through the tandem.

Thomas is waiting for her on the other side, and so is strange, otherworldly Selene, Sasha’s analog from a third universe. Sasha, Selene, and their other analog, Juliana, have a joint destiny, and a new remarkable power, one that could mean salvation for Selene’s dying planet. With Thomas’s help, Sasha and Selene search for the missing Juliana. But even if they can locate her, is Sasha willing to turn her back on love to pursue a fate she’s not sure she believes in?

Tether is suffering from second book slump. I liked it but I can't say that I'm head-over-heels for it. The beginning starts out strong but somewhere around the middle I became bored and had to push myself to finish it. One of the most confusing things is that it is written from four different POVs. That's right, you heard me. Four. I've seen the multiple perspectives work before like in The Song of Ice and Fire series, but not in this case. All of the voices sound too similar and I found myself confusing Thomas and Sasha at times. All of the problems I had with the first novel continued on into this book and became worse. All in all, I don't regret reading it but I can't say that I'm in love either.

You guys can check out my review to Tandem here.


1) I still think Sasha is a really strong heroine. I find her to be very mature and strong. She still makes good decisions and analyzes situations without letting her judgement become to clouded by her own personal attachment to Thomas.

2) There was some really beautiful scenes written at the very end of the book with Thomas and Sasha. It's these scenes that make me want to push on to the third book.


1) With a new analog comes a new plot and it really threw me off. The entrance of Selene really took the focus off Juliana and Thomas, who have their own separate messes that are going on, along with what's happening with Sasha's new otherworldly analog. If this was a series instead of a trilogy, I would be on board but as far as I know it's not. It's because of that that I think that this new plot line with Selene takes the attention away from the main characters that we fell in love with in Tandem. 

2) I can't say that I'm as attached to Sasha and Thomas in this book. Their relationship feels wishy-washy. The couple goes through a bit of a rough patch because they are trying to figure out how to make their relationship work despite the fact that they are from completely different worlds. Instead of it being sad, it's annoying. Thomas randomly pushes Sasha away because he can't focus when he's thinking about her, so he gives her the brush off and starts acting rude without explaining himself--and well I think that's a real dickhead move.

Another thing that really messed me up about their relationship is how Thomas kept having problems reminding himself that Juliana and Selene were not Sasha. I get it, they look exactly alike but somehow it made me feel as if he could have easily been with any one of the three. Which, just further diminishes Thomas and Sasha's relationship.

3) I think Callum and Juliana's relationship is a joke. The reader doesn't get to learn about how they started falling for each other. We are told that they spent time in adjoining prison cells for a while but we don't get to see their relationship develop. After reading about Callum and Sasha in Tandem, it was really hard for me to take his and Juliana's relationship seriously.

4) I can't stand Juliana. Some of you may have known this from my Moronic Monday post about her. I get that she is supposed to be a sympathetic character who's suffering from all of the pressure and responsibility of a life she never wanted but no matter how much I try I can't make myself like or feel bad for her.

5) There are so many new characters, mostly KES agents, and I just don't care. I can barely keep track of who is who and even though some of them are funny I'm not given enough information or development to care about them.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1) "Honestly, Sasha, I don't care what they want. They're my friends and colleagues. I like them, and I respect them, but I'm on your side. Yours. No one else's. I'm here to protect you. I'm here to help you. "

2) "Wow, you do look good without a shirt on," I said, doing my best to keep my voice steady, surprised I could even speak.

He walked toward me until we were separated only by inches. "So what you're saying is, you're not interested in the glorious history of this very important landmark?"

"Yeah," I said, grabbing both ends of his towel and using it to pull him forward. "Sorry, but I'm really not."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hexed (The Witch Hunter #1) by Michelle Krys Review (light spoilers)

Hexed by Michelle Krys
Hardcover, 369 pages.
Published by Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Rating 3.5/5 Stars

Synopsis: If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid. 

This book makes no apologies. It knows that its plot and characters fits the mold of a typical YA fantasy book but instead of trying so hard to distract us from these details, it makes fun of them. It's really a character driven book. The characters are so  well-developed that it makes up for the drops in the plot. At first I had a hard time getting into this book because Indie is not an easy girl to get on board with but eventually I saw how real she was and I found myself rooting for her. 

I can't say that this book has me hooked, on more than one occasion, I found it easy for me to put it down and come back to it later even if I was in the middle of one of the main dramatic scenes. It's definitely a good read, and worth the time I spent with it but I'm not in love. I'm reading Charmed next so, who knows. It could happen. 


1) Indie is a really interesting character, at first I hated her for not seeing that those closest to her were clearly douchebags and pushing away the people who really cared about her. Then I realized that this is real life; this is reality. There are so many times that we keep those toxic relationships in our lives while we push away the ones that we truly need. She's not the typical YA heroine. She's popular, shallow, and a bit of a snob. It takes some time to peel back her layers before you get around to liking her but believe me I did. She's such a strong person and a great role model for girls and women.

2) I'm happy with the development of Indie and Bishop's relationship. It's not an instant love affair, but you can feel the intrigue in each other when they first meet. They both come with baggage and have several personality flaws but I thought they were cute. 

3) I loved the magic in this book. So many times it's happened when I'm reading a fantasy novel, I wonder why can't they magically make cash or conjure up whatever they need to help themselves out. Finally, this book has granted my wish and gave me what I wanted without any lame limitations. 

4) Bishop is hilarious. He's not the typical gorgeous, well-versed, well-groomed, rich YA guy. He's a grungy, punk-rock, kind of guy with a tattoo of a naked Betty Boop on his neck. So, physically he's not my type but his personality and snark make up for that. 

5) I loved how Krys still keeps Indie's school life tied into the plot. In a lot of popular fantasy novel's it's like the heroine never goes to school and her mystical parts of her life never interfere in her every day life. Krys marries these two very well together without going to overboard.

6) Jezebel. She's an awesome badass character. Sure, she's a bit of a bitch but I like how she didn't do things just because they were "the right thing to do." She cared about her wants and needs first. This is a very realistic quality in people, why should she put herself in danger for a complete stranger?


1) It doesn't make any sense to me who all of these dangerous and magical things are happening around Indie and no one ever bats an eye as why any of it is happening. There are murders, strange accidents, things being destroyed and we are given no explanation as to how or if it's all being hidden from the mass public all around. 

2) The fight scenes are over really quickly and seemingly easily. When everyone can conjure up whatever they want, I expected more dramatic and drawn out actions but they seem to be over just as soon as they started. Also, with the exception of the first death in this book, the action seems kind of silly. The seem to have the greatest powers in the world and yet they conjure up animals to do the work for them. One dog, a tiger, and a dragon. You want to think dragon is badass...but no it's really not. It sounds more like the characters are being chased by King Bowser. 

Favorite Quotes/Moments:

1) "Mom has to literally drag me out of bed on Monday morning. She shovels Cocoa Puffs into my mouth and even goes so far as to try to dress me in this hideous last-season tracksuit she dug out of the dregs of my closest. I snap out of it long enough to throw on jeans and a tank top instead.

I'm almost out the door when I decide that a little makeup wouldn't hurt. And what the hell, why not wear some cute sunglasses and those wedge sandals I bought last week? I mean, just because my boyfriend cheated on me, my best friend betrayed me, Bishop deserted me, I might be a witch and evil sorcerers could try to kill me with the Bible they stole from my family doesn't mean I can't look good, right?" (142). 

2) "Before I know it, I'm singing along too. Bishop smiles. I smile. There's a whole lot of smiling going on. And I just know that this memory will be forever burned into my brain, because this kind of magic--the kind that can't be conjured with a spell, where everything is just right, and all your problems vanish for three perfect minutes--doesn't happen every day" (275-6). 

3) "Do I know you from somewhere?"

"Um, yeah. The shop, the party, the Hollywood sign, just now at your house--"

"Before that, I mean."

He rubs his forehead. "God, now I feel bad. I slept with you, didn't I? Oh, this is terribly embarrassing. This happens sometimes, you know. But it's so hard to remember all the faces, all the names--"

"Very funny" (177).

4) "Bishop?"

"You expecting another ridiculously handsome man to appear right now?"

"Oh, Bishop, thank God it's you!" I push to my feet and plow into his chest, wrapping my arms around his middle and holding on to him like he might disappear at any moment."

"Uh, okay." He laughs, then pats my back. "Not exactly what I was expecting, but I'll take it. Shall we find a bedroom, or is here good for you?" (169). 

Forgotten Friday: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

This meme is about books that have been pushed aside while others have gone viral and made into movies. It can be old books, new books, any book that never got its (or enough) time  in the spot light.

This book is not exactly forgotten. In fact the literary scholar world this book is a big deal but I'm not hearing enough about it in today's conversation. According to a ex-professor of mine, who has my thanks for assigning this book to read, they have attempted many times to make this book into a movie and failed. It's not your average book about slavery. It's a science fiction book about a modern-day black women (it was published in 1979) who somehow teleports to the past where slavery was still around, where she meets a young boy who grows up to be a slave owner. It's a really interesting twist and POV of slavery that I don't think is getting talked about enough. It shows the progression of how white people of the time were raised into being the bigoted, cruel, slave owners that were infamous in the South. It's a tragic, serious, and well-written book that I think more people should know about.

Synopsis: Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Bucket List: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

There are books in your life that you come across and you know you have to read them. They can be old, they can be new but before your time runs out you have to find time to read them. Welcome to my Book Bucket List everyone!

Why it's on my Book Bucket List:
I heard that this book is amazing. It sparks something in all of our bibliophile selves as well as tell a tragic and beautiful story.

Why I haven't read it yet:
Anything written during the time of Nazi Germany, I think we can all agree are all extremely depressing. For these kinds of historical fictions I need to psych myself up to read them. Maybe the characters aren't real, but when I get into a book they feel real to me. Which makes it even harder when it's a historical fiction based on real and grievous events. I love it when a book evokes so much emotion in me that I actually cry but at the same time I don't want to make myself depressed.

Synopsis: The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. 

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Moronic Monday: Edward Fairfax Rochester

Mondays, the worst day of the week. Despite the fact that it's the start of your school/work week, there is always something extra that just pushes it to the next level. That someone that just permanently keeps Monday at the top of most dreaded days of the week. That's what this meme is about. The one character that drives you mad with their stupidity. Their idiocy is the type that you can spot their impending train wreck from miles away, the type that makes you want to slam their heads into a desk repeatedly. Moronic Mondays are not for your lovable idiots, no, it's for the ones that you think they deserve every bad thing they get it.

Don't get me wrong, I love this book but I had so many problems with Mr. Rochester. First and foremost I felt that he toyed with Jane's emotions. The way he has her out and about with his high society friends, knowing how they would treat her. Then tricking her into confessing her emotions with his psychic ruse. Lastly, and most importantly how he was married and tried to marry Jane at the same time. Yes, yes, his backstory is very "tragic." Not really. He was tricked into a bad marriage because of his father as well as his own stupidity. Who the hell marries someone they who they never had a full conversation with them? That in itself proves that he's an idiot, but on top of the fact that he tried to marry Jane at the same time and hide his crazy wife..I can't even begin to go on about how stupid and unfair that was. Why wasn't he just honest about it? Maybe Jane never would have run away then. In fact, his hiding her almost got himself and Jane killed. This is why he's my moron this week.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #3) by Michelle Hodkin Review (MAJOR SPOILERS)

The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #3) by Michelle Hodkin
Format: Hardcover, 470 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.

There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.

She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.

She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

One Wish Away by Kelley Lynn ARC Review

One Wish Away by Kelley Lynn
ebook, 213 pages
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Book
Expected Publication Date: November 11, 2014
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Synopsis: Be careful what you wish for…

Lyra has always been ahead of the curve. Top of her class in school, a budding astronomer, and with a best friend like Darren she barely has time to miss the mother who abandoned her family years ago. She's too busy planning to follow in her father's footsteps, and to become the youngest astronomer at Space Exploration and Discovery. 

When a star goes missing Lyra is determined to get to the bottom of it only to discover her braniac dad is the mastermind of a top-secret government experiment. They promise to build a perfect world, one galaxy at a time, but with every tweak of the present, a bit more of the future starts to crumble.

Lyra has to go undercover to reveal the truth and let humanity decide if the consequences are worth more than wishing on a star.

Incomplete. If I had to describe this book in one word that's the word I would use. This book has a lot going for it. Interesting and unique plot, decent writing style, relatable characters, but it fails in its execution. Why? This is because this book is trying so hard to be a relatable book about high school, relationships, along with a fantastical science fiction and government conspiracy, and it just can't marry all of these subjects together. Therefore, all of the details go unfinished. When I wanted more details about the sci-fi parts, I got details of Lyra's schoolmates, her family life, other problems and vice versa. The author tries to make up for this by telling the reader some of the details instead of showing them but it doesn't work. Throughout the entire story, the reader is never given a clear picture or full understanding of the main aspects of the plot. To top this off, the book ends in a very ambiguous cliffhanger that leaves room for the author to write the sequel but not in the way that you're dying for the next book. More like, "That's the end? Really? That makes absolutely no sense."

Usually this is where I break down the book into its strengths and weaknesses but its main problem is that it doesn't feel like a finished book. I was sucked into the plot, I liked several of the characters, the writing is decent and keeps a good pace. The problem is nothing is finished. So many details throughout the entire book go unexplained and ignored and are never brought up again. Several times while I was reading I said to myself, "What? But what happened to this character?" or "How does that work? How are they going to figure this out?" and there are no answers to my questions. I want to know more. I want more of the story but it just isn't there. 

Favorite Quotes/Moments:

1) "What's our excuse for being here without classmates?"

Darren asks as I open my window and let my arm fly around in the breeze. 

"I took care of that already. We're homeschooled. You're Joey Clayton. I'm Barb Clayton. We're siblings and our mother called to make the appointment. She sounds an awful lot like me."

2) "Why are you so mad?"

"Because someone should have been here to help you." His fingers glide over my skin with ointments and bandages. The pain that was pounding in my palm and up my wrist lessens. 

"You're helping me," I whisper.
His work is done, but he's still holding my hand, cradling it with both of his. Every nerve ending in my body is on fire. Maybe I caught an infection, but even I know symptoms don't come on that fast.

"I'll always help you, Lyra. All you have to do is ask."

3) "I walk my fingers over to his hand and run them along the back of it. He flips his hand over and I thread my fingers through his. 

I don't need a wish. I have everything I could possibly need."

4) "Because I'm more than a scientist. The lab coats aren't required. Everyone else wears them because it makes them feel elite." Her head peeks around the corner and she adds, "Plus, white isn't my color. White on black all the time? Puh-lease. It's not like I need something else amplifying the fact I'm the only black girl running around these parts."

Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's Books for my eARC version of this book. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Moronic Monday: Cornelius Fudge (Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix)

Mondays, the worst day of the week. Despite the fact that it's the start of your school/work week, there is always something extra that just pushes it to the next level. That someone that just permanently keeps Monday at the top of most dreaded days of the week. That's what this meme is about. The one character that drives you mad with their stupidity. Their idiocy is the type that you can spot their impending train wreck from miles away, the type that makes you want to slam their heads into a desk repeatedly. Moronic Mondays are not for your lovable idiots, no, it's for the ones that you think they deserve every bad thing they get it.

Where to begin with ol' Cornelius Fudge's faults. He's an idiot, power-hungry, bumbling, fool. That pretty much wraps him up as a character. He makes stupid decisions and was constantly asking Dumbledore for advice, but then when things start becoming dangerous in the Wizarding World he turns on Dumbledore and Harry with a huge smear campaign. Then the stupidest thing was instating Umbridge as a teacher and then Headmaster of Hogwarts. And for what reason? Because he didn't want it to be true that Voldemort was back so he tried to wish it all away by trying to ruin Dumbledore and Harry's creditability. Although Dumbledore and Harry would have been a huge assets to helping Fudge figure out how to face Voldemort and everything would have gone a lot smoother, he decides to turn against them because he sees Dumbledore as a threat to his position as Minister. Which makes it perfectly logical to turn against him, when he needs Dumbledore's help and advice the most, right? Wrong.