Book Review: Shattered Ties by K.A. Robinson

Shattered Ties by K.A. Robinson.

Release Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: K.A. Robinson Publishing LLC
Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary:
With a former supermodel mother and a rock-and-roll legend father, Emma Preston has the best of everything. Nothing is as perfect as it seems though. After her parents divorce, she’s forced to live with her mother in a private Santa Monica community. Ignoring their parental roles, her mother becomes more focused on climbing the social ladder while her father is off on tour.

Growing up in a trailer park with his mother, Jesse is used to people looking down on him. When his mother begs him to submit an application for a scholarship to one of Santa Monica’s top private schools, he never expects to actually get it. When he does, he is forced to attend school with a bunch of rich kids. He ignores their stares as they judge him for having tattoos and a less than impressive car. As long as he has his surfboard and the guys at the tattoo shop, he knows he can make it through.

When Jesse shows up on the first day of school, Emma can’t help but be intrigued. Her mother would never approve of Emma talking to someone so poor, but she doesn’t care because something about Jesse draws her to him.

Jesse tries to hate Emma, but he discovers that he can’t resist her. Forced to hide their relationship from Emma’s mother and everyone else around them, things start to fall apart. When Jesse’s friend, Ally, decides to interfere, things go from bad to worse.

Can they survive their first love? Or will they be left with nothing more than shattered ties?

Disclosure: I was sent this book as part of a book tour. I am in no ways compensated for this review, and all thoughts are my own.

The Review:
It’s tried and true story of a ‘bad’ boy and a ‘good’ girl falling for each other, but it really works, and puts a refreshing twist on the story. Jesse is a boy from the other side of the tracks, significantly less wealthy than his school-mates, after getting accepted to an exclusive private school on scholarship. Emma is a sweet girl, the daughter of a superficial wealth and status obsessed supermodel, and a rock-and-roll musician. I really liked these two characters, they felt real, and they were interesting to read. I quickly became invested in them, and their story which is so much more than the stereotypical trope fest that these books can grow up to be.

I’m not normally one of the mixed narrative story telling, but here it works. We get both Jesse’s and Emma’s views and thoughts, and experience through their eyes what’s happening around them. The story itself has a nice pace, blending romance and real life issues together. The characters and the world go together really nicely as well–transporting the reader back to high school, complete with the social aspect and ‘it’s all about who hangs out with who’ aspect of the scene. There are a couple of characters that I didn’t like, and they added the drama/angst necessary for a few things to continue on with the plot.

The ending is nice, leaving the book open for it’s partner which comes next year. Some people would consider it a cliff-hanger, but I feel that it’s a nice, soft opening for the next book, which I will be picking up because I’m entirely too invested in this story. It’s a great first love, coming of age new adult story, and I highly recommend it.

Purchase Shattered Ties:
Amazon
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
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Book Review: Pinked by JC Mells.

Pinked by J.C. Mells.

Release Date: September 1, 2013
Publisher: Self through Amazon.
Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary:
While Pierce tries to deal with the aftereffects of her new and “unpierced” self, Lucas relives the week leading up to that fateful night when he was forced into doing the one thing he vowed he never would – inflict his disease on another human being.

As if he didn’t hate himself enough already.

As she attempts to come to terms with the new her – the Pierce that is stronger, faster and less reliant on her former “dependencies” – she begins to settle into an unfamiliar, yet longed for, “normal” life with her new found circle of family and friends.

Pierce is finally able to do what her maker never was – embrace, accept and thrive from what she has become.

It is tricky negotiating the relentless pull of the mate bond between them when one is still traumatized by memories of childhood sexual abuse and the other point blank refuses to acknowledge (out loud at least) that there is a mate bond at all.

With Pierce’s not-so-subtle help, Lucas comes face to face with the fact that maybe it’s time for him to start coming to terms with this “affliction” too.

But it is not going to be easy.

Especially when they come into contact with another pack for the first time.

The Review:
I didn’t think it possible for me to like a book this year more than Pierced. Seriously, that book didn’t just hit all my buttons, it did this:

I swear that is probably the last time I’ll use a gif in a review, but don’t hold your breath.

Pinked..Pinked did something for me that blew me away. Lucas is a strong narrator, and I didn’t mind the rehashing of the last few chapters of Pierced. It was neat to get a different perspective, especially his, considering everything that happened. This book goes even further than Pierced did, and introduces the world of the wolves properly. I like J.C. Mells’ take on the werewolves, and their culture, especially when it comes to female wolves. It’s something that I hadn’t seen before, and it again, just pushed a button for me that lit up a happy spot in my reading brain.

The tone of this book is a little different than Pierced and Escaped. With Pinked, you get to see Pierce really come into being around people. Growing to not only accept the wolf that’s inside of her, but the people around her, and the fact that she likes the sense of normalcy. Her world has expanded from just her and Mia to encompass Lucas and the others. There is beautiful, subtle character development. She changes in ways that she didn’t think were possible, and while there are bumps along the way–she grows, and I might even dare to say she’s healing. And it is a beautiful thing. I like her relationship with Lucas; I like the slow build, the way that it’s tentative and flawed like she is. I love that it evolves with the two characters. These two learn the horrible things that life and fate dealt them, and yet they don’t give up on each other.

I like the introduction of the new characters, and I love the shades of grey that a couple characters have. Mells’ cast is well rounded, diverse– both in ethnicity and sexuality, but also in the range that the characters carry. There were some impressive plot bombs dropped in this book, and one thing that I do like about Pierced and Pinked is that while most of the threads get wrapped up, there’s a little piece left that creates interest in the next chapter in this story. I’m eagerly anticipating the next release in this series. Seriously, the last paragraph of this book made me gape open mouthed at my kindle while the dog whined at me, concerned.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and this series has filled a hole in my reading world that I didn’t know existed. It’s a series I think everyone should read, but it does deal with some seriously heavy issues, so I understand that not everyone can read it.

My Thoughts on Pierced and Escaped Pierced Escaped

Goodreads: Pinked
Purchase Pinked: Amazon

Book Review: Hyperbole and a Half [….] By Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem and other things that happened By Allie Brosh

Release Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Touchstone

The Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it; but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Pictures
Words
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

picadillypink

I loved this. It’s a quick, entertaining read from the mind of Allie Brosh. I love her blog, Hyperbole and a Half, and when I found out she was coming out with a book I might have stalked my bookstore a little too enthusiastically. I sat down and read it this morning before heading out for an event, and I just–if you like the blog, you’ll love this. It’s a blend of old stories, including two of my favorite stories (God of Cake and Dog’s Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving), and brand new ones. If you’ve been on Tumblr/facebook within the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen the Motivation one. The illustrations are on par with the ones on her blog, and her unique story telling voice really shines in this book.

Frankly, if you like reading stories that will either move you to laughter, or make you uncomfortable with how closely you can relate to them, you’d enjoy this. I’m in love with the blog, and to be honest, I’m really happy that I got the book. It’s got a nice home on my bookshelf and I can read it whenever I want.

Book Review: Adorned by Georgeann Swiger


Adorned by Georgeann Swiger
Release Date November 4, 2013
Publisher: Entranced Publishing, Rush Imprint

Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif (4.5 rounded up to five

The Summary:

When seventeen-year-old Anya finds out she’s actually an angel being trained to protect humanity, she discovers that becoming an angel has nothing to do with wings and haloes. For Anya, becoming an angel has to do with death—her death.

Micah, the angelic soldier ordered to protect her until she transitions from human to angel, promises her death will be a glorious experience as long as she follows his rules. But getting Anya through this life and to the next isn’t as simple as Micah expects. His job becomes even more difficult after he unwittingly performs a miracle that exposes Anya’s hidden angelic light.

With her secret out, Hell’s legions begin targeting her. Unfortunately, Hell’s minions are the least of Micah’s worries. He’s more concerned about the forbidden human emotions he’s developed toward Anya. Even more troubling, is she seems to love him too. And giving in to those feelings, could mean dire consequences for them both.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Adorned for review purposes by the pr unit of the publishing house. I am not affiliated with Entranced Publishing and I am not receiving compensation. All thoughts are my own.

The Review:

If you’re looking for something a little unexpected and a lot different in the YA world, pick this book up. It’s a great start to what’s looking to be a promising series. It took me a couple times to get past the first chapter, I haven’t read a lot of first person/present tense books, but don’t let that deter you. This story sucked me in so quickly, and I really grew to love Anya. She’s a great character who finds that the life she’s had, isn’t what she expected. The story itself is a set up for her to become a protector of humanity. The catch being her death. Enter Micah, the heavenly solider who is to aid her transition from the mortal coil to something greater. I really love the interaction between Micah and Anya, it’s believable and sets up for some really amazing chemistry. I like their scenes together, and I like what’s started to take form between them.

I like this take on angels and the ever present struggle between good vs. evil and humanity caught in the middle. It’s a great read, and one that I really recommend. It sets up the series well, the characters are believable with great chemistry. Sam and Celeste were great characters, and all around, I really liked this book. So when you get the chance, pick this up. You won’t regret it.

Purchase Adorned:

Amazon
B&N
Kobo

Connect with Georgeann
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Book Review: Reunion (Wunder #2) by A.R. Von

Reunion (Wunder #2) by A.R. Von
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Self through Amazon.

Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: Wunder’s life has been far from perfect, being part Zombie in a world devastated by the plague of the walking dead. Still, she knew there was something special awaiting her, someone out there who could change everything and she did find him. Pete is everything she dreamed of and more, as she discovers passion and fulfillment for the first time in her life.

Now her life turns into a journey of discoveries. Secrets from the past come full circle and her world is changed forever. In the coming chaos, can she keep her new found happiness and the man of her dreams?

The Review: I’ve been a fan of Wunder since I read the first chapter. I thought it was an interesting world, and something that could very well be expanded upon. The erotica was a different touch, but something that was well written and done properly. I read part 0.5 and wanted even more. I sat down right after I purchased Wunder #2, and read it and really had the series connect and click for me. Part two has a different pace than the other parts of the Wunder-verse, and I think it’s here that we really get to see the extent of A.R’s writing abilities. I’m a fan of her work, but Wunder #2 made me really love it even more.

There’s character development, and even more world expansion. I really love how Wunder has grown, and how she’s slowly starting to find her place. Pete gets a little lost in the shuffle, and his reaction is not only believable, but it’s done really well. This series was already atypical for the zombie genre, but what AR is doing, is creating something really substantial and frankly, something I really like. I want more, as the Wunder releases are short, Wunder #2 is a bit longer, but it still leaves me wanting for more, (which is why I can’t get into too much detail about it, as I don’t want to give anything away). I want more. And I want more Tank. Because everyone needs a Tank.

Purchase the Wunder series available all together: Wunder on Amazon

Connect with A.R. Von: Blog
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Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis.

Release Date:September 24, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

The Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

The Review:
I am in love with this book. I finished it in a matter of hours, and it’s still just pulling me in. I want to sit down and read it all over again. Not A Drop to Drink is a really interesting take on a YA post-apocalyptic world. Lynn is a great character, who can and does stand on her own. She’s grown up in a harsh world, where the water supply is strictly controlled by the cities. Raised by her mother, she lives on a piece of land that has a pond. She and her mother defend this land, and live off of it, doing okay for themselves. Lynn continues to grow as the story progresses, suffering loss and coping with it. She has little knowledge of the world outside of what her mother has taught her, and her world expands and grows, she changes along with it.

I really loved the writing in this book. It’s fast paced without being rushed, there are a few points that I would have liked to see expanded, but for the most part the pace is great. The description of the world, and how it’s changed, and the people in it are stellar. It’s the kind of writing that transports you to the setting. You’re there with Lynn and the others, going through what they go through. What I love most about Lynn as a character, and this is something shaped by her world, is she’s a badass simply because she has to be. She hunts, defends herself, and kills without question, because she has to. Otherwise she’ll die. The side characters were really great too. Stebbs was really well written, and I love the mentor/pseudo-father figure he provided. I actually liked Eli and the relationship that he and Lynn were building. It was a cute breath of fresh air, and I really appreciate that Eli didn’t push Lynn into anything at all.

My only complaint about this, is the last few chapters progress really quickly. I appreciate the epilogue and the further development of Lynn and her relationship with Lacey–I just wish there was more to it rather than a large time jump. I would have loved to see how things changed after the last chapter. Overall though, this book blew me away. It’s amazingly written, and just one that I want to throw at people and tell them to read it.

Let’s talk more! Tell me about a book that stood out in particular genre-wise for you. Have you read Not a Drop to Drink? If so we can talk about it more too!

Classic Book review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly

Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary
Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

The Review:
My copy of this actually came from my high school. My younger brother brought it home to read (which he didn’t) and didn’t return it to the school. It wasn’t on my reading list when I was in high school, and it shuffled around on the bookcases in the house until I decided that I was going to read the book. I didn’t. I just kept shuffling it around and around bookcases, until a couple of months ago when it got placed at the top of my TBR pile. I don’t think I ever paid too much attention to it due to Frankenstein not being one of those old Hollywood monsters that I felt a connection to.

“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein)

Can we just talk about that quote for a moment and the brevity that it holds? The absence of fear can create both terrifying and wonderful things, and I think this quote contributes to Shelley’s overall message with this book quite nicely.

I really fell in love with this book, and I’m planning on re-reading it every October now. It’s spooky and terrifying, not because of the monster, but because of the man who created the creature. Frankenstein is a character that will stick with me for a very long time. This isn’t a simple book by any stretch of the imagination. It plays on so many themes and the balance between light and dark, good and evil and the characters that don’t fit neatly into any of these boxes. As a reader I like to have a clear antagonist and a clear protagonist, but with this book the creature and Frankenstein walk the line and cross it several times.

Overall I really loved this book. The narration style isn’t something I’m entirely used to, but I think it worked well. The writing is beautiful, and the characters, the myth, the story, and the warnings within the story are something that will continue to hold the test of time. And frankly, I’m kind of upset that Mr. Covich didn’t assign this to be read in a classroom setting. The discussions with my honor’s or AP English class would have been golden.