Sunday, September 30, 2012

Book Trailer ~ What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang   
Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .   
For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Review: Without Tess by Marcella Pixley

Without Tess
by Marcella Pixley
Published: October 11, 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Available: Amazon


Tess and Lizzie are sisters, sisters as close as can be, who share a secret world filled with selkies, flying horses, and a girl who can transform into a wolf in the middle of the night. But when Lizzie is ready to grow up, Tess clings to their fantasies. As Tess sinks deeper and deeper into her delusions, she decides that she can't live in the real world any longer and leaves Lizzie and her family forever. Now, years later, Lizzie is in high school and struggling to understand what happened to her sister. With the help of a school psychologist and Tess's battered journal, Lizzie searches for a way to finally let Tess go.
This was a very strange read. Pixley wrote beautifully, and it was very emotionally gripping, but at times I felt myself a bit bored and wishing the story moved at a quicker pace.

Lizzie is struggling to come to terms with her sister's death, and through therapy sessions and reading Tess's journal struggles to find a way to keep her sister alive while still moving on. It's pretty obvious early on that Tess suffered from some type of mental illness, and that Lizzie felt some responsibility for her death. The mystery comes in as to how Tess died and what role Lizzie really did play.

I felt the story moved really slowly and much of the time I wanted to just strange Lizzie and tell her to get over, because her sister was a b***h that didn't deserve her unfailing loyalty. Then there would be a flashback, or a poem from Tess's journal that made her death so sad, and made it clear how much Lizzie idolized, loved, and feared her sister.

Without Tess is definitely a book for someone looking for an emotionally charged story without a bunch of overdone drama.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blog Tour - Keystone by Misty Provencher *Reviews and G!veaways!

I am excited to be part of the Keystone by Misty Provencher Blog Tour! On this stop of the tour, I'll be hosting reviews for both Cornerstone and Keystone. The Cornerstone Series by Misty Provencher is a great new paranormal series about a girl who discovers that family secrets sometimes run deeper than she'd ever imagined and that unearthing them can lead to life changing events.

by Misty Provencher
Published: November 17, 2011
Available: Amazon


Nalena Maxwell has been branded ‘The Waste’ at her new school, due to her mom's obsessive paper hoarding. Nalena desperately wants something to change in her life, but when she receives a sign (and it's the wrong dang one) inviting her into a mysterious, ancient community, too much changes. What she knew of her family, what she thought of her life and what she believed about her future, is no longer applicable. Seventeen years worth of family skeletons come crashing into Nalena's life and it is the boy...the one that smiles at her like he wants to hear everything she'll ever say...that already knows her powerful secrets. But it is only Nalena that can choose between protecting the life that is already crumbling beneath her feet and the one that might sacrifice everything she could ever have.

I can't really say what I was expecting when I started reading Cornerstone. The synopsis gives just a hint of what the story is about, yet it was intriguing enough for me to want to read it. Maybe it was that lack of specifics that helped me keep my expectations in check.

Nalena is a very sympathetic character. She lives with her hoarder mother, and endures the ridicule of her classmates without turning into a whiney mess. Nali's love interest, Garrett, is interesting without being overly mysterious and is believable in his actions (meaning he's a teen guy, who on occasion acts like a teen). I really like that although  Nali is attracted to Garrett, she doesn't fall all over him and doesn't let herself become obsessed with him.

Provencher does a great job of building the foundations of her hidden world, and I love that even though they aren't obvious about their existence, they aren't living in complete hiding either.

As soon as I finished Cornerstone, I was ready to pick up Keystone. Provencher definitely has a great start to a new series!

Keystone (The Cornerstone Series, #2)
by Misty Provencher
Published: July 31, 2012
Available: Amazon, B&N


There’s a man-made storm coming, like a rip in the world, and it’s called the Cusp.

Struggling to fit into the destiny she’s accepted, Nalena Maxwell has been left with one objective: she must find her murdered grandfather’s Memory. Stolen and hidden away by her own father over seventeen years ago, the Memory could be the key to ending the Cusp and destroying the Ianua’s rival community, The Fury.

Driven by each individual’s selfish desires, The Fury has always lacked the loyalty and organization it needs to be an actual force of power.

Until now.

Someone masterminded the Fury’s massive attack on the Ianua, slaughtering twelve of their thirteen community leaders, the Addos. Now there are rumors that the 13th Cura, to which Nali belongs, has gone to the Fury, manipulating the last Addo in order to control the other 12 Curas.

As the Cusp brings the Fury and their own communities against them, Nalena’s Cura must preserve the Ianua, but finding the key to the Cusp isn’t as simple as it seems.


When I finished reading Cornerstone, I immediately began reading Keystone, and I'm glad I did. Keystone picks up right where Cornerstone left off and we are thrown right back into the world of the Ianua.
Nali has made her choice and joined the Ianua, but the easy existence she had imagined when first learning of them is gone. Instead they are facing an attack from The Fury and have to battle not only the enemy they know, but also those hidden within their own walls. 
Keystone takes the paranormal aspects to a deeper realm, and Provencher does a great job in describing elements of the Ianua's lives within a believable limit. Her descriptions of the Ianua's abilities and force fields was really interesting and I didn't feel lost trying to picture what was going on. There was enough detail that I had something for my imagination to work with, but not so much that I was bogged down trying to get it right.
Probably the part I loved the most was that Nali really learns to stand on her own in this book. In Cornerstone, she relied on others to protects her and guide her, and ultimately she was only involved in a small part of the action. In Keystone however, she is a protector, and although she may not be the greatest fighter she gives it everything she has. Best of all, she uses her brains. There was one point where another character was trying to manipulate her into doing something, but she stood her ground, making a choice based on smarts and not on a defensive reaction.
I am very interested to see where Provencher is taking the series and am looking forward to the next book in the series (which hopefully won't be too long in coming!).

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blog Tour ~ Careful by Isobella Jade *Excerpt and Giveaway

I am excited to be part of the Careful by Isobella Jade blog tour! On this stop of the tour, I'll be hosting an Excerpt from Careful. Isobella Jade's Careful is an intense look into what happens when a young girl dies, but isn't completely gone.

Careful (The Careful, Quiet, Invisible #1)
by Isobella Jade
Published: July 26, 2012
Publisher: Gamine Press
Available: Amazon, B&N


After Estella Montclair is killed in a texting and driving crash, what remains of her face and body is devastating. But not all of her has died. 

During the first month after her death, Estella's spirit travels among her living friends and family. Her best friends Zara, Eva and Jett show her how pain and sorrow can break apart or strengthen a bond. 

She also sees for the first time that loss can spark revenge, catastrophe can come without warning, and we all have secrets. She wonders if her chance for love with Phoenix has passed her by, and if out of sight truly means out of mind. And maybe one day the girl who caused her death will admit her mistake. 

While adjusting to a new state of being, Estella struggles to face the limitations that come with death, but blossoms by recognizing she can still touch the lives of the people she once knew so well.


That night the clouds looked grayish purple as I glided toward Willow Lake and rested under the first willow tree I saw. The willow tree’s branches were droopy from the snow and rain, and ice dangled off of them like half-frozen snakes. I spent the rest of the night there among the rain, earth, and wind, pondering if I was using my energy fully and in the right ways, and trying to understand exactly what I was.

At first, it was difficult for me to come up with a clear resolve as to what I had left to offer the living. Maybe it was too early for me to fully know. In the cold of the night air surrounding me I focused on the liveliness I felt, the energy running through me. I considered what was keeping me going and what I might have gained in death. 

I was still able to feel emotions about the things I saw and the people I knew. The feelings charged through me intensely. I still had my ability to care; it was always with me, as if it never left me, even after death. 

What did it mean?

It had to mean something.

I could feel that there was more to do and give, but without an instinct as to how. I hadn’t thought much about my purpose when I was alive, and I wasn’t sure what my purpose was now, but I decided in that moment of emptiness and loneliness under the willow tree to give finding my soul’s purpose a try. 

When I was alive, it seemed that my purpose had been based around maintaining my body and keeping it toned and lean, keeping my stomach muscles tight and legs strong in preparation for the next track meet.

Now, absent of an earthly body, I had to discover myself beyond my verbal and physical attributes.

I had tried to brush up against, curl up next to, and be close to my friends and family, but my warmth obviously wasn’t something that skin could feel so easily. There was a barrier of muscle, vessels, glands, and bone between us. Their nerve endings hadn’t felt the pressure of my touch or registered that I was near them. I realized I had been expecting the wrong things, trying to be what I wasn’t, and not noticing the right path.

Somewhere deeper within them, in a place that I could relate to better, was where they’d feel and hear me.

When my soul did interact with another’s soul, I wondered if I could speak to it and be heard. Maybe I could send a vibe of my compassion outward, like an electron traveling through a circuit, and it could reach them. I wanted my aura to have a positive effect on others.

Author Bio 
Isobella Jade is an author, petite model and a wizard of self-promotion. Her modeling memoir Almost 5'4" is her personal memoir about being a shorter-than-average model in NYC, the ins and outs and highs and lows of striving to beat the odds. Her graphic novel Model Life was released in November 2009 and Short Stuff is her collection of on-the-job experiences that took place after Almost 5'4" and includes modeling tips for shorter girls. Her most recent work is a new YA novel called Careful, the first book of the Careful, Quiet, Invisible series.  
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught

Freaks Like Us
by Susan Vaught
Published: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Available: Amazon

When Jason Milwaukee’s best friend, Sunshine, disappears from the face of the earth, the whole town, including Jason, starts searching for her. But the insistent voices in Jason’s head won’t let him get to the heart of the mystery—he’s schizophrenic, and the voices make it hard to know what is real and what is not. As the chase becomes more panicked, Jason’s meds start wearing off, and he is looking more and more guilty. But of what, exactly?

Both brilliantly witty and intensely honest, this poignant novel draws upon the author’s many years as an adolescent psychologist, but it’s Vaught’s powerful voice and expertly crafted mystery that will keep the pages turning.


I was really impressed with Freaks Like Us. I wasn't really sure what I was expecting, but Vaught surprised me with her honest portrayal of not just schizophrenia, but also the way society treats kids with emotional disabilities.

The narrator, Jason or Freak as his friends call him, is schizophrenic and has been attending the same special class as his two best friends.They refer to themselves and their classmates as Alphabets, identified by their label (SED, ADHD, GAD, SM, ODD, SCZI).

When his friend Sunshine goes missing, Jason is determined to help find her even if it means risking his own sanity. It was interesting to hear things through his mind. There was a certain amount of drifting and unfocused-ness to his thoughts that makes the reader question his perception of people and events. I found it easy to believe in his innocence, simply because he honest doesn't believe he could hurt Sunshine. But on the other hand it is easy to see why the people around him could think him guilty. He makes irrational decisions and acts on them quickly, regardless of how it might look to other people.

I do wish we'd had a bit more development in to the character of Sunshine, but I honestly think that not knowing adds a bit more of a bittersweet feeling to the ending. Up until that point everything we know about her is through Jason, and his memories can't be completely trusted, so we don't really know what happened to her, the extent of her disability, or even how she felt about Jason until the last few pages.

Freak Like Us was a great read, and I will definitely be checking out more of Susan Vaught's work.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review: Pale by Chris Wooding

by Chris Wooding
Published: September 10, 2012
Publisher: Stoke Books
Available: Amazon


The Lazarus Serum can bring you back from the dead. Only thing is, it turns you into a Pale. Jed can't imagine anything worse, but then the choice is taken out of his hands... 

Pale was a really interesting concept, and it had so much potential. When people die they are given the Lazarus serum, which for certain people has the potential to bring them back. But they are physically different in that they are essentially albinos that will never age and have no heartbeats.

Jed and his friends are against bringing back the dead. They see them as garbage and actively discriminate against them, even beating them up. Although, Jed does hesitate at his best friend's plan to kill one of them. But when Jed dies someone close to him has him injected with the Lazarus Serum and he becomes one of the Pales. Suddenly he is faced with the hatred he was spewed from the people he was closest to.

I enjoyed the concept and even the writing. My problem was with the length. Pale is a novella, and this story really needed to be done as a complete novel. There were so many places where Jed's emotions and experiences could have been deepened, where we could have learned to really care about the characters, but it just wasn't there. I'm really hoping that this is just a launching point for Wooding to take the Lazarus Serum and Pales into a full length novel.

Book Trailer ~ The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater

So, I thought today I would do something slightly different with my book trailer post and actually have trailers for all of Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I enjoyed the books, but I absolutely LOVE the trailers! You can click the links after each to read my reviews.

Review of Shiver

Review of Linger

Review of Forever

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Book Tour - Chasing McCree by JC Isabella *Review and G!veaway

I am so glad I have the opportunity to be part of the Chasing McCree blog tour! Chasing McCree is a sweet romance about the coming together of two characters from completely different lifestyles.

Chasing McCree
by J.C. Isabella
Published: April 14, 2012
Available: Amazon

Briar Thompson had it all. The right clothes, the right friends, the right car. Being popular was all that mattered. Her parents were rich and treated like royalty throughout the community. She thought her senior year of high school was going perfectly, until the night her drink was spiked at a party by one of her so called friends.

That was the night she met Chase McCree.

Chase wanted to go back to Montana. To the ranch and the wild, wide blue sky that went on forever. He wanted nothing to do with flashy cars or spoiled rich kids. But he found himself head over boots for the quirky cheerleader who turned her back on her social status. She befriended him when no one else would.

Shunned and hurt by the people who were once her friends, Briar flees with Chase to his family ranch in Montana. There she discovers another world, and apart of herself she never knew.

The cowboy wasn’t like anyone she’d ever met. The cheerleader wasn’t like anyone he’d ever met. Apart their lives didn’t seem to make sense, but together, they were chasing forever.


I love romances with cowboys. The first romance I read at the tender age of 13 had a cowboy hero and I was hooked. But YA romances with cowboys haven't done much to impress me. They stereotype cowboys into hicks and Bubba's. Chasing McCree was a wonderful change from that.

There were so many places this story could have gone wrong, but it didn't. Isabella kept the story simple and centered on the romance. There was just something refreshing about reading a book where girl meets boy, they fall in love, and there's no third wheel or major drama driving them apart for silly reasons.

With so many possible wrong turns, how did Chasing McCree stays good? The characters. Briar isn't perfect, and when we first meet her she's drunk, but she is endearing. She realizes how judgmental she has been and honestly regrets it. Once she realizes what kind of person she wants to be, she doesn't bow to peer pressure and she takes a stand not for a boy, but because it's the right thing for her to do for herself. Chase is the good-old boy cowboy. Honest, hardworking, earnest, and laid back. He doesn't come across as perfect, but there's also a sense that he's the kind of guy your mother and father would love.
This is a book I would definitely feel comfortable giving to my 13 year old niece. It shows how love, honesty, and hard work still have a place in the world today. 

Author Bio 

I'm J.C. Isabella, and I love to write. I've been writing for about ten years now. Mostly it was just for fun, for me. But my friends liked my work, so I decided to self publish. I hope you enjoy the rest of my site, and the books I have written.

The reason I chose to write romance, is because I love a happy ending. In YA there are so many lessons to be learned, so many firsts to be had. Why not write about first kisses, first crushes, or trying to explain to your father you were bitten by your boyfriend, who happens to be a werewolf?

One thing I will always promise in my books is a happy ending. I've always hated getting to the end of a really great novel, and feeling let down because it didn't end the way I thought it should. So about ten years ago, I decided to write a book. I remember it was about these kids who hijack a boat to find buried treasure in Mexico....

Needless to say, my writing has come a long way since my teen years, and I know I have room to improve, but I feel guilty having these books sitting in my computer, with no one to read them. So I'm putting them out for the world to see! 

I try not to take myself too seriously. I'm not an editor, nor am I a total wiz when it comes to grammar or language. I try my darndest though, and I hope to give people an enjoyable read that is nice a break from reality. 

I put a lot of work into what I do, and I appreciate people reading my work. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Blog Tour ~ Sneak by Evan Angler *Review

I am thrilled to be part of the Sneak Book Tour and hosting a review! Sneak is the sequel to Evan Angler's debut novel Swipe. Sneak continues the adventures of Logan Langley as he sets out to rescue his sister and find refuge from a powerful government.

Sneak (Swipe, #2)
by Evan Angler
Published: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Available: Amazon

When Logan Langly backed out of getting the Mark and went on the run, no one thought he could survive on his own. Without the Mark, you can't buy food, bot to the doctor, or use a tablet-you aren't even a citizen.

But when he discovers that his sister is being held in a mysterious hidden prison named Acheron, Logan risks everything to travel through and underground network of the Markless to rescue her.
Logan arrives only to find that Acheron holds more secrets than anyone could have guessed and that all his careful planning is worthless against a government that will do anything to gain absolute control. It seems there is only one place to turn.

But can a banned book with whisper-this pages and warnings about the real meaning of the Mark really hold the Answer?


Sneak is the follow up to Evan Angler's debut novel Swipe. I really enjoyed the first novel and Sneak did not disappoint. I thought that as far as Christian fiction goes this is a subtle attempt at sharing what comes after the Rapture. The comparison to being Matched meets Left Behind is fairly accurate although it lacks the deep romantic angel of Matched and the overt Christian message of Left Behind.

Sneak, I found, was a bit less subtle than Swipe in it's message, although I think a lot of younger non-Christians might miss some of the references. And there is no overly preachy tone. This is what I absolutely loved about Sneak (and Swipe). Angler manages to write about religion in a completely non-judgemental, non-preachy, non-pressuring way. The good guys don't all believe in the same thing, but they have the same end goal. Freedom. They want to be able to choose what they could believe in. Even better is that the bad guys are not all bad. One character in particular truly believes the Mark is the best thing and that the government only wants to help. Even as this person aides the government it's hard to be angry. Frustrated, yes, but not really angry.

This is a great sequel, but I do have to say that if you haven't read the first book, or haven't read it in a while, go and read it. There isn't much background poured into the opening chapters. Instead it's written with the assumption that you remember everything about what happened in Swipe. Character's aren't being reintroduced, and story lines are never rehashed. We are simply thrust right back in where we left off. This was good in the sense that there is no background dumping, but it does make it a little jarring to try to remember everything.

Overall,I think Sneak (and Swipe) would be great reads for younger male teens, regardless of their beliefs. There is action, adventure, and boys that actually act and think like boys - there's a scene where Logan is so pumped about finding and fixing up a bike that took me a moment to realize it was a bicycle, not a motorbike. I will definitely be checking out more from Angler (which considering the importance of rivers, fish, fishing, and captains to the story, I wonder if that's his real name!).


About the Author

Evan Angleris safe, for now. He lives without the Mark, evading DOME and writing in the shadows of Beacon. But if anyone asks, you know nothing about him. Don’t make eye contact if you see him. Don’t call his name out loud. He’s in enough trouble already. And so are you, if you read his book.

Cover Reveal ~ Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe

By Trisha Wolfe
Release Date: 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.

When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father’s capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin.

Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.

When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart’s twisted world, Zara’s path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara’s hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father’s evil nature, or they will take him out.

But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels’ command and where the prince’s heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she’s truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart.

About the Author

I’m the author of the YA Steampunk/Paranormal Romance DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing) and the upcoming YA Sci-Fi Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, November 2013. My published short stories have appeared in YA literary journals, Fantasy magazines, and anthologies. I’ve written four books in the past two years, and I’m currently working on a new YA Sci-Fi project.

I’m the creator of YA Bound, a promotional blog for the Young Adult genre.  Also a proud  member of YALITCHAT.ORGSCWW, and The Apocalypsies.

And I’m also a business owner, partnered with my partner, my husband. When I’m not busy doing all of the above, I’m a wife and the mother of a gorgeous teen boy who's the sounding board for my male characters.

Check out my website for more on my books and short stories. Follow me on Twitter @TrishWolfe

Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Blink Once by Cylin Busby

Blink Once
by Cylin Busby
Published: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Available: Amazon (pre-order)

West is a high school senior who has everything going for him until an accident leaves him paralyzed. Strapped down in his hospital bed, slipping in and out of consciousness, West is terrified and alone. Until he meets Olivia.

She's the girl next door—sort of. A patient in the room next to his, only Olivia can tell what West is thinking, and only Olivia seems to know that the terrible dreams he's been having are not just a result of his medication. Yet as West comes to rely on Olivia—to love her, even—certain questions pull at him: Why has Olivia been in the hospital for so long? And what does it mean that she is at the center of his nightmares? But the biggest question of all comes when West begins to recover and learns that the mysterious girl he's fallen in love with has a secret he could never have seen coming.


First, I have to admit I would have read this book based on the cover alone, although the synopsis did interest me as well. Blink Once had been on my to-read shelf for a while before I finally had the time to read it (real life just kept getting in the way), and when I did start reading it, it was immediately after I finished reading another book about a girl who wakes from a coma and the dreams she had. Thankfully, the two books were completely different.

West had an amazing voice as a narrator. He is semi-aware of what is going on and from what he does know, he is in denial. He is unwilling to accept that he is permanently paralyzed and constantly tries to prove to himself and others that he is recovering. He's not lying there moping, and instead fills his awake time trying to piece together what has happened to him and what is going to happen to him. He drifts between dreams, awareness, and a state of semi-consciousness, and the lines between the three blur frequently. This added to the sense of confusion he sometimes experiences and had me wondering which parts were real and which weren't.

Olivia was just as interesting. She has obviously been a long term patient and is desperate for someone to connect to. She clings to West in a way that only pure loneliness can. At first she seemed just lonely and bored, wanting West to get better so they can communicate easier. But by the end there is obviously a part of her that is very selfish and sad. She's not completely likable, but she's not unlikable either. Just somewhere in the middle, that makes her story even sadder.

The only thing that kept me from giving this 5 stars is that I felt the big secret Olivia has was pretty obvious by about the halfway point. I wish that part hadn't been so predictable.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Review: Accordance by Shelly Crane

Accordance (Significance, 2)
by Shelly Crane
Published: September 11, 2012
Available: Amazon 
In the sequel, Maggie learns much more about all the strange things that happened to her, and has to face new ones. She rebels against it, but ultimately, must face it for her new families sake and maybe even her life. Bish went from being her biggest supporter to her biggest pain in the butt and Kyle's intentions to attract her interest may not be so innocent. Caleb and Maggie face many new obstacles together and fight to work through them but will one that should be a good thing be too much for Maggie to handle?


When I read Significance, I breezed through it. There was just something about the story that kept me turning the pages. Crane had a pacing style that while it wasn't super fast paced, it was constant, and I felt like there wasn't one good place to just pause. That ended with me finishing the book in one sitting. The same thing happened with Accordance. Crane had me turning pages, wanting to see what would happen next.

I really enjoyed continuing Maggie and Caleb's story, and though I thought Crane was going to go the Twilight route with the love triangle, she pulls something off that changed the course of the relationships between Maggie, Caleb, and Kyle. The other part I really loved was that Maggie is not helpless. Yes, Caleb wants to protect her, and he does, but Maggie also has some amazing talents that make her much more powerful than all of the others. She doesn't sit back and let Caleb and his family do everything, and she doesn't do stupid things to try and help. She uses her brain and powers together.

The only real issue I had was the formatting. I purchased a paperback copy, and the font was small. Very small. Maybe 6 or 8 point font, with the text taking maybe half the page. My recommendation is to purchase the ebook version where this type of formatting problem doesn't happen.

Book Trailer ~ Swipe by Evan Angler

Swipe by Evan Angler

Everyone gets the Mark. It gives all the benefits of citizenship. Yet if getting the Mark is such a good thing, then why does it feel so wrong?

Set in a future North America that is struggling to recover after famine and global war, Swipe follows the lives of three kids caught in the middle of a conflict they didn’t even know existed. United under a charismatic leader, every citizen of the American Union is required to get the Mark on their 13th birthday in order to gain the benefits of citizenship.

The Mark is a tattoo that must be swiped by special scanners for everything from employment to transportation to shopping. It’s almost Logan Langly’s 13th birthday and he knows he should be excited about getting the Mark, but he hasn’t been able to shake the feeling he’s being watched. Not since his sister went to get her Mark five years ago . . . and never came back.

When Logan and his friends discover the truth behind the Mark, will they ever be able to go back to being normal teenagers? Find out in the first book of this exciting series that is Left Behind meets Matched for middle-grade readers.

Check out my review of Swipe by Evan Angler and then come back on September 14 to read my review of Book 2 in the Swipe series, Sneak!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blog Tour ~ Reflection by Jessica Roberts *Review/Giveaway

I am thrilled to be hosting the next stop in the Reflection Blog Tour! Reflection by Jessica Roberts is an intense look into the mind of Heather Robbins, a young woman who has just awoken from a coma and is trying to sort through the life she imagined living. Don't forget to click on the banner to visit other stops along the tour!

by Jessica Roberts
Published: February 17, 2012
Publisher: S/P
Available: Amazon


Bright, spunky Heather Robbins has escaped her small hometown and is anxiously beginning her freshman year of college. Rising above her rocky childhood, she’s found a place where good things are finally starting to happen: her own private apartment, refreshing college classes, and an intense attachment to a mysterious and rugged classmate, Nick Richards.

But when her dreamy college life turns out to be nothing more than a wonderful dream while resting in a coma, questions threaten.

Now, Heather must press forward to unlock the real past, and find the answers buried deep in her mind. What she unlocks instead is a roller coaster ride through flashbacks, embellished memories, and a whirlwind romance.

And when it’s all over and she comes face to face with the truth, will she lose everything she’s fallen in love with?

I really enjoyed Reflection, and although there were a few things that bothered me, I thought it was well written. Roberts presents Reflection in a really interesting way, and most of the time I liked it. But at the same time I found it a bit frustrating. The flashbacks and embellished memories were excellent, drawing me into the romance. The way she slips in the subtle hints that what Heather is experiencing might not have really been happening was great. I loved that the further we got into the story the more aware Heather became that something wasn't right. It was the occasional intrusion of the doctor that threw me off.

Heather in an intriguing character. She's described in the synopsis as spunky and bright, but I don't think this is really reflective of her character. She's not exactly a door mat, but she's standoffish and rarely stands up for herself. I found her internal struggle to understand what she wanted to do and say with what she did the most interesting part of her. There are moments where she puts forth a more assertive side, but she immediately questioned her actions.

Nick, her love interest was a bit hit or miss with me, but I feel like that was intentional. He's very mysterious and almost surreal during the first part of the book almost to the point that I wondered if he was a figment of her imagination, even within the dream/memory she is experiencing. Yet as the story progressed, he became more of a real person, and by the end I was hoping he really was real.

As for the end, well, I don't want to reveal anything, except it did not go either way I was expecting. It was this, and the sneak peek at the sequel, that kept me up until two in the morning on a work night thinking about it. I am definitely going to be reading the sequel, although I have no idea where I would want the story to go.

About the Author

JESSICA ROBERTS grew up in the San Francisco, California Bay Area where she spent most of her time playing sports alongside her six siblings. She was crowned Miss Teen California her senior year of high school, and went on to Brigham Young University where she graduated in Human Development. Her love of family, church, writing, athletics, and singing and dancing keeps her life busy and fulfilled. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and three children.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Book Review: Inbetween by Tara Fuller

by Tara Fuller
Published: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Available: Amazon


Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky — and unending — lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

What originally drew me to Inbetween was that it wasn't another angel book. I don't mind angel books, but I wanted something that was new. Inbetween, thankfully, gave a new twist to a romance between the living and the dead. Being protected/stalked by a reaper is definitely less appealing than an angel, but Fuller manages to pull it off.

This was a really sweet romance. Finn is absolutely dedicate to Emma and protecting her from an evil spirit. Emma, though she only remembers small pieces of her time with Finn, immediately connects to him, and while she's cautious in trusting her sanity, she feels a connection with him. There are a few steamy scenes, although nothing to risky.

The characters were nicely developed, although I felt sometimes things were glossed over. Emma had been institutionalized for supposedly being a paranoid schizophrenic, but there was very little depth to this part of her. She mentions it in passing, uses it as a motivation to not discuss Finn with anyone, but we don't know anything about what she experienced there. Same with Finn. There were mentions of fire and his brother, but until the end of the book, we don't really know anything in depth about it.There was also the problem of Emma not really being able to do anything to help herself. She tries, but there's nothing she can do to stop the spirit, and she has to rely on Finn to protect her from the paranormal aspects, while her best friend Cash protects her in the living realm.

Cash was my favorite character. I actually wanted her to end up with him. He obviously had some issues, considering his binge drinking and multiple references to needing to stay out of his father way (which was never really explained). He was an amazing friend, willing to die for Emma, and I really felt that he and Emma would have been perfect for each other. But at the end of the book, it's pretty obvious that he will be featured as one side of another Kissed by Death romance. I think I'm going to enjoy his story a bit more than Inbetween.

Book Trailer ~ Inbetween by Tara Fuller

Inbetween by Tara Fuller

Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky — and unending — lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Come back later today to check out my review of Inbetween by Tara Fuller!