Saturday, October 4, 2014

Review: Count on Me

Title: Count on Me
Author: Melyssa Winchester
Young Adult

My Thoughts:

I suppose most would categorize this as the typical YA romance. The bad boy and the quiet girl fall for each other. I don't. Count on Me goes farther than that; it adds in a new aspect I haven't seen in any kind of young adult novel. One character (Isabelle) has Autism while the other (Kayden) had been and was, for a little bit, completely horrible to her. There should have been no chance of anything between the two, but still love appears. Winchester takes the predictable, generic idea of good-girl-bad-boy love and turns it into a romance that is heartwarming and heartbreaking with all the twist and turns.

I hated Kayden, though. Well, for some time. I was disgusted by what he did in the past and to another character. I viewd him as a coward and a bully; he had no problem admitting that (with a more vulgar adjective '.' ). At times I wondered why Isabelle gave him any chance. It felt like he was taking advantage of her---being able to because she never had much social interaction. No real opportunity to experience or see who people are. But he didn't take advantage. This Isabelle was a warm, kind soul for cold Kayden. He acknowledged who he was and wished to change. A change that was depicted perfectly. The attempts, slight fails, doubt, and determination showed the true stuggles anyone can have. TThe same can be said for Isabelle.

Now I do have to say that the love between the two started out...like insta-attraction. One minute they ignored (or tried) each other's existence, then, in one hero-saves-damsel moment, a spark is there. They did know each other as kids and towards the novel's end an explanation is sort of given as to why the spark is sudden-not-sudden, but it still felt force at times. Not to mention the repetition throughout broke the flow I had going and when I was finished I thought of the other characters as mainly background. Something to pull into the spotlight when needed.

It's not as bad as it sounds though. That just creates all the more focus on the two lovebirds, allowing me to be more involved into their growing lov.e

My Rating: 3.5

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Six Strings Book Tour~ Excerpt, Giveaway

Hey x: This here is my stop on the tour and it features an excerpt (as well as a giveaway c; ). Go on. Read on!


Blurb: Riley Witt is running out of time.

Battling Alzheimer’s disease, Riley’s grandmother Mary suffers from memory loss, mood swings, and a tendency to wander off.

As senior year approaches, Riley has to face the reality that the one person she depends on most is slowly fading. Making matters worse, when Mary does remember the past, she tells tales of time travel and visions. As Mary’s version of the past gets more confused, Riley knows they are running out of time together. But when Riley discovers a guitar belonging to a famous rock star at Mary’s house, the truth behind the crazy tales finally comes out.

SIX STRINGS tells the story of Riley’s journey back to 1973 where she enters a world of music, long-lost family, and first love. Her adventure is all about discovering her past, understanding her present, and figuring out how to step into her future.

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Excerpt:

I get on the phone and call Nathan. “I’m almost there.”

“Cool,” Nathan says in his laidback way. “She’s moved on to the obscure Applecart cocktail. She just chided the bartender for not having apple brandy on hand. He’s taking it in stride.”

“Thank goodness you found her,” I say as I screech to a stop at a light. I shift in my seat with impatience as traffic seems to crawl in front of me. “I didn’t even know she ran off.”

“We’re all right,” Nathan assures me. “Just get here soon. She’s eliciting a few stares. Not that the clientele of the Hotel Congress are very discriminating, but you know.”

“Does she seem confused?”

“Well, she knows who I am,” Nathan says, “but she can’t tell me how she got here.”

“Okay, I’m almost there,” I respond, slamming on the gas as soon as the light twitches to green.

My grandmother isn’t always in a state of confusion. A lot of the time, she’s my Mary: she knows who she is, who I am, and our entire history. But there’s no real guidebook for this disease. Some days she is completely lucid, other days her memory is only slightly muddled. But recently, she seems really mixed up.

Thankfully, even on these bad days, she finds her way to memories for flashes here and there, but I have no idea how long that will last. Unfortunately, I know eventually they will be lost forever.

I know we are running out of time.



About the Author:


Jen Sanya Williamson is a graduate of the University of Arizona where she received a BA in creative writing. She spends most of her time with her junior high students, teaching and talking books. When not in a classroom, Jen is writing, watching TV shows from the ‘90s, or cheering on the Wildcats with her husband and children in her adopted hometown of Tucson, Arizona.


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*Written up on August 19th; published on August 20th

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Kissed Blog Tour ~ Review, Fav Quotes

Welcome to my stop on this blog tour for Kissed!


Kissed (The Thorn Chronicles)

Trapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks. With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father.
Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses. Kisses that bring her a supernatural strength she never knew she had. As the big day approaches, Naomi unearths more secrets of about her father’s cult. She learns she has power of her own and while Kai may have awakened that power, Naomi must find a way to use it to escape Dwayne and her father—without destroying herself.


Amazon

 My Thoughts:

The only problem I had was slight repetition and the mystery/dream/fantasy guy idea in the very beginning; it was a bit over done, in my opinion, but don't let this make you weary. Kissed was it's own unique fantasy.

The start was the hook tons of stories lack. A mixture of of information that entices curiosity while feeding my interest. Also had a way of moving me deeper into the book without coming off s forced reading. It was a simple but powerful opening.

Just as simple (well, maybe that can't be used to describe her now cx) and powerful as Naomi. My Lorsha, what a character she was!

I think I'll bring dead roses. And revel in their stench.

And Dwayne. He was. Ew.

A naive, young girl forced to live a lifestyle of horrors. Such a terrible cult; binding, manipulative--every negative word in the book. Fortunately, Naomi wasn't turned into some horrible person.

Faith Friendship, Best Friend, Friend for Life, and Forever Friends. Ruth though would always be my first.

But they are worth the pain, for from pain comes beauty.

Just frightened and obedient. Still, she questioned the lifestyle. Before she knew it, she was whisked away to a newfound aunt.

Give me one week. Then I'll take you away from this hell. I promise. Kai.

He removed my scars.

It was amazing to see Naomi gradually become accustomed to a new life. Through her I read of a girl who who changed from naive and obedient to strong, fierce and just a tiny twinge of naive (we all have it!)

"We need to keep you talking. I think there's more to Naomi than we know."

I do feel that not every character was given their proper spotlight. Their time to shine to the readers. Thank goodness this is going to be a series!

"'Did you?'...He grinned and nodded. 'Told you I was bored.'"

Now for the best part of all: the fantastical element or paranormal. Whichever way you prefer. The element was refreshing, old combined with new leading to a captivating storyline.

Not every question was answered. Not every answer made sense to the learner (Naomi, me, etc.). It feels frustrating, but you just don't stop reading. You must know. You must know. You must know owo .

To sum it up: the crazy rollercoaster of countless things never stopped. Awesome

My Rating: 4

For some reason though, they didn't evoke feelings of love and passion for me. I see anger.

But no surprises are colored in betrayal

"'Sure thing. I told you I wore this skanky outfit for a reason.'"That one was too funny cxcx

About the Author
Kimberly Loth can’t decide where she wants to settle down. She’s livved in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Utah, California, Oregon, and South Carolina. She finally decided to make the leap and leave the U.S. behind for a few years. Currently, she lives in Cairo, Egypt with her husband and two kids.
She is a high school math teacher by day (please don’t hold that against her) and YA author by night. She loves romantic movies, chocolate, roses, and crazy adventures. Kissed is her first novel.


 Check her out!


*Written up on August 13th; published on August 14th

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Finding Keepers Blog Tour~ Review, Fav Quotes and Giveaway








Genre: Contemporary YA

Release Date: July 30th

Blurb:


Starting a new life is never easy, but Alyssa Doe has turned it into an art form. Abandoned by her parents at age ten, six years in foster care has taught Alyssa how to get through life the hard way.
  Now sixteen and growing desperate for a stable life, Alyssa finds herself puzzled by her newest keeper, twenty-five year old Jessica Sona. A feisty woman who does not accept no for an answer, Jessica’s insistence and passion for safety, family, and unconditional love begin to break down Alyssa’s walls and bring her hope, a dangerous emotion.
   Can such a thing as family and love exist for a girl whose birth name is Doe, or will Alyssa be forever left finding keepers?

Purchase: Paperback Kindle NookNook

My Thoughts

Finding Keepers was my kind of story; a contemporary that dealt with pain, struggle, and acceptance. Despite being written in third person, (not something I'm use to--just a me thing!) the novel doesn't fail to bring readers the life of Alyssa because of flashblacks and her life at the moment. From every doubt to every hope, I learned all about her; understanding why she was the way she was. I felt for her. I wanted the best for her

"You don't have to be alone in the darkness anymore."

For me, those flashbacks helped get to the very core of Alyssa and made it so much easier to read to the very end.

They may not know what it is like to not have a home or be in the system...but everyone feels lost and alone in their own way. We're all a little broken inside.

I do have to admit: I wish the time intervals weren't so out there at times(a few days later, a week, a month). It was like, as a reader, I didn't have a connection to Alyssa. So much could have happened and I missed out. However, it was gracefully written into the novel. After awhile it didn't loom so much in my mind.

I saw Finding Keepers as Alyssa's development and the intervals didn't mess with that. And I have to admit: they made her development more believable since no one heals within a month or so--even with support and she did have complete support despite it coming from three or four people.

"This time you have us and we're not letting you go without a fight."

Those characters have become like family and I love that Kristi Strong managed to give a background to almost each along with their own demons.

"You've been my rock, now let me be yours."

Said demons never overlapped Alyssa's story so much so that I forgot about the main character. Instead, introducing other characters problems basically bonded Alyssa with others, progressing her trust and acceptance.

"...you are stubborn enough to not accept anything but the best and determined enough to make it happen."

...he picked up his pen grumbling about stubborn females who did not appericate the fine art of procrastination

Then we come to the end. Such a perfect, cute ending. The kind which showed the novel is over but the stories inside will never be.

my Rating: 3.5

(but, ughhh! How I wish that Ashley could have gotten the earful she so deserved! Maybe a little update novella, Kristi? *nudge nudge wink*)

This here was my most favorite quote:

"It's important for every person to have someone who will always forgive them, always love them, no matter what. For you, that person is me. No matter how mean you are, or how badly you screw something up, I'm not going anywhere, because I know that it's not who you are. When the stress of being perfect becomes too much to bear, I'll be there to catch you, no strings attached."

About the author:

Fixing broken computers, wrangling a very spirited little toddler, and creating new fantasy worlds are all parts of the average day for Kristi Strong. While she has called Virginia her home for two decades, her head has rested in two countries, three states, and far too many houses to count. She was more than happy to give up her nomadic lifestyle and settle down with her husband, daughter, cat and chinchilla.

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*Written up on August 13th; published on August 14th

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review (Mini) : Rogue

Title: Rogue
Author: P.A Minyard

Blurb: Bound by the attributes of valor and compassion, the Beloved are sent by the Father to battle demons head on in order to help those in greatest need. But as their prowess and power grows they face a new threat, their own weaknesses.

Major Daniel Parker's life changes in an instant when he comes to the aid of one his soldiers. In a flash, Major Parker transforms from a Union Officer fighting in the Civil War to a Beloved. But Daniel's thirst for power clouds his judgment leaving him damned to an eternal hell of suffering and remorse at the hands of an ancient demon. His only chance at salvation now lies with his younger brother,Jonathan.

No matter the price, Jonathan will not abandon Daniel. But does he have the strength and courage to save his brother?Can he overcome the temptations that consumed Daniel or will he become a victim as well? The scar upon his chest is the key to who he must become.

Contrasting the valiant qualities of the Beloved with the vicious intent of the demons, Rogue inextricably weaves real-life battles of the Union and Confederate armies with the mystical wars between demons and the Beloved.


My Thoughts:

Rogue wasn't for me; that was the most disappointing to realize as I neared to the end of the story. There had been so many positive reviews for Minyard's novel. Unfortunately, I cannot be one. During the beginning chapters I was hooked. Finally, after so long, a historical novel had my full attention, mixing with paranormal or spiritual (however you wish to describe the demons and the Beloved).

After awhile that reasoning couldn't keep me going at my usual pace. It took me a few weeks to finish Rogue because I lost feelings for the characters; I was no longer sympathetic, happy, angry, etc. with anyone involved. I trudged on because I couldn't leave a book unread.


My Rating: 2.5

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

My first Top Ten post! This week is: top ten authors i own the most books from. Now I have a whole lot of books and they came from many different authors; so much so that I don't really have ten authors I own the most from cx But here goes:

P.C. Cast and her daughter- I own almost the whole House of Night. I know not everyone likes them but I'm just too close to completing to the series!

Simone Elkeles- I love, love, love Elkeles! I have the Perfect Chemistry series, How to Ruin series, Leaving Paradise, and an arc of Wild Cards thanks to a blog giveaway(once again, thank you!) ^^/

Natsumi Ando- Kitchen Princess mangaaaaaa hah. I have three of the four omnibus

L J Smith- only the vampire diaries v.v Haven't read them in years x:

Rachel Ren`ee Russell- Just the Dork Diaries. I wanna complete the collection cx

Rachel Caine- I only have the Morganville vampires volume 1 and 2. I haven't even read them yet ^^'

Sarah Dessen and Alyssa Noel tie at three- I've read soooo many Dessen books; I'm surprise I only have three. Noel's books I kinda like c:

And the rest of these amazing people tie at two:

Katie McGarry- Pushing the Limit 1 and 2

Jerry Spinelli- Star Girl series (seriously, read these!)

Lauren Myracle- ttyl and l8r g8tor (I need the middle book ._.)

Kim Askew and Amy Helmes- the first two books in the Twisted Lit series (I really want the third!)

Ema Toyama- The first two manga books of Pixie Pop (again, the thirddd lol)

And last, but not least, Laurie Halse Anderson- Winter girls and Speak. I love this chica, too!

That's my list, what's yours??

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Stacking The Sounds

Ahhh, it's been forever! Things have just gotten so crazy with this new phone of mine. Swear, ridiculous v.v Now that I have things settled with it be prepared for future Stacking the Sounds posts c;

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pieces of Olivia Blitz - Excerpt and Giveaway










Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West
(Charleston Haven #1)
Published by: Intermix (Penguin)
Publication date: July 15th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Olivia Warren used to be a normal girl with a bright future.
But on one fated night, everything changed.

Hiding the scars of her past up her sleeves, Olivia transfers her enrollment from Columbia University to The College of Charleston, determined to pursue her own dreams for the first time in her life.

She intends to allow herself a bit of alone time to heal… that is, until she meets Preston.

Preston is best friends with her roommate, completely hot, and off-limits. But the chemistry between them is instantaneous—and as the pair begins to spend more time with one another, their feelings for each other build into something undeniable, something powerful enough to heal Olivia’s deepest scars.

Olivia tries to put her own past behind her and trust Preston, but she discovers that his past might be more present than she ever bargained for…



Excerpt:


“What’s in the box?”
I glanced down at the box like it was poison in my hand. “Rose gave me homework.”
“Oh yeah? What is it?”
“I don’t know. I’m afraid to look.” I closed my eyes slowly, hating the pathetic girl I was becoming
in front of him, but somehow with Preston, I didn’t feel that natural urge to cover up my fears and insecurities. I could be myself around him, because I knew he would see through the lie. Like he already knew what I would say even before I thought of my response.
Preston reached out and took the box from my hand, tucking it under his arm. “Come on. I’ll drive you back to Liberty.”
“What about London?” The words were out so quickly that I didn’t have time to register what they suggested.
Preston stuttered, clearly taken off guard. “Uh, what about her?” He cocked an eyebrow at me, his lips angling up a fraction of an inch. But that was enough. He knew what the question meant. Damn it!
“I don’t know. She seemed . . . uncomfortable. You know, on Thursday.” God. Was he drunk at the party? Maybe he didn’t remember what happened. Or maybe he didn’t think the way we were, pressed together, his palms cupping my face, was unusual or intimate.
“Oh, right. She’s fine.”
My eyes narrowed. He was being intentionally shady, which meant they were still doing whatever it was he did with girls. I felt my resolve falter at the thought and peered behind me to see Rose giving me two thumbs up. I closed my eyes and shook my head, defeated. “Fine. I’ll ride in your damn truck.”
Preston grinned and started to reply, but then his gaze travelled past me to Rose’s office, his eyebrows shooting up. “Is that your therapist?”
I walked around him toward his truck. “Yes.”
“She’s waving at me.”
I sighed. Of course she was. Thank you, Rose. If I ever speak to you again, I’m going to turn you into one of those ghosts you love. “Are we going or not?”
I slipped into the truck, waiting as Preston stopped outside his door to see if Rose was still
watching him. He raised his hand to wave, and I buried my face in my hands. I was going to need heavier medication to survive this humiliation. Damn Rose and her deliberateness. I knew she just wanted me to trust other people, to step outside my “safe zone,” but we were going to have to talk about her methods.
Preston finally slid in beside me and passed over the box. “It’s light.”
“What is?”
“The box,” he said, nodding toward it. “Have you guessed what’s inside?”
“No. But I’m pretty sure I know what it has to do with.” I pictured things from my bedroom or items from each of my friends or newspaper clippings about the fire.
He eyed the box. “I’m betting it’s empty. She seems a little out there. Maybe she’s messing with you.”
“I’m not that lucky.”
“Then, I bet it’s . . .” He tapped his long index fingers against the steering wheel, drawing my attention over, making me remember the feel of them against my skin. “Fake spiders.”
“What? She isn’t going to give me a box of fake spiders. Who does that? That’s stupid.”
Preston laughed. “Okay then, you take a guess.”
I shook my head. “I don’t know.”
“Try.”
“I can’t. I don’t know.”
“God, stop being such a girl and take a damn guess.”
“Testy! And I take offense. I’m not being a girl.”
“Then put your money where your mouth is and guess. Make it a good one.”
I shook my head again, but this time I was smiling. “Fine. I bet the box is full of worms, the squishy kind with glitter in them.”
“What brand? Because if we’re talking Strike King, then maybe I’ll just . . .” He reached for the box and I swatted his hand away, laughing.
“Hey! Find your own crazy box.”
Preston grasped my hand as I was swatting his away, his fingers gliding over my knuckles then fingertips before he released. Suddenly, the air in the truck felt thick, the space between us small. I swallowed hard, wishing I could ask him what was happening between us, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear his answer. For now, I felt safe in the dream world, where I could imagine Preston wanting me without having to risk my heart. I knew I would eventually have to date again, feel again, but for now I’d rather play out the dream, which I guessed was exactly what Rose had meant by her stupid safe zone.
We reached Liberty and said goodbye, all the while my heart jumping in my chest, begging me to stay a little longer. I could avoid reality. I could pretend. But I couldn’t deny the truth to myself any longer.
I had fallen for Preston Riggs.




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AUTHOR BIO:
Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/Intermix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

Connect with Melissa at www.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West. And for sneak peeks at upcoming works, prizes, and more, join The RES Spies at Mel's Madhouse: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheRESspies.









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*written up on July 15; published on July 15