Book Review: Bold by Julia Swift and Andrew Landis.


Title: Bold
Authors: Julia Swift and Andrew Landis.
Published: October 16th 2013
Publisher: Createspace.

Rating: Did not finish.

Synopsis:
Sasha, a shy, 15-year-old girl who hides from the world, almost dies in a car crash and vows that if she survives, she will be bold and live life to the fullest. Her newfound courage is tested when she meets Will, who just moved to her Air Force desert town after his journalist father’s disappearance. Will is fascinated by Sasha’s brush with and secret knowledge of death.
Sasha and Will push each other to take chances and break out of their sheltered suburban world. But will they discover there is a difference between being bold and being stupid before they put themselves, or someone else, in danger?

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Bold has an interesting premise, though it contradicts itself. Sasha who makes a promise to be bold after nearly dying, takes pride in hiding in the shadows and remaining on the fringes. Everything changes of course, when Will (the new boy in town) enters the picture. I could have gotten past that. However, the writing in this book is more akin to a screen play. Lots of visual imagery, a lot of cut scenes, and more exposition than anything. The story switches narration, which I would be okay with, except that it switches every two to three pages.

One thing that made me want to stop reading was the response to a background character responding to Will’s crying (also, who in the world rubs hot sauce in their eyes to induce crying? That’s dangerous). The trucker nearly throws Will into the dumpster because he “Wanted to give him something to cry about […] Crying boys lead to gay men.” I’m not certain where young men crying suddenly changes their sexuality. I understand that the authors wanted to create a background character like that—but not necessary. It really stuck out to me and hit a chord. Another instance and what made me put the book down, is after a chapter or two of flirting, Will and Sasha decide to go hiking. Will (in his narrative portion) has a mental soliloquy about how his dates normally go and the fact that “Sasha meeting him at the trail head is strange. He hopes this doesn’t put him in the FRIEND ZONE” That phrase along made me rage that I didn’t want to finish the book. I flipped through it, and there’s instances where Will is controlling, off putting and worried that Sasha is sneaking around on him. Also, I don’t normally mention this in reviews, but it really bothers me. The couple on the book look so much older than high school–more like college age. It’s slightly off putting considering the age range of the main characters.

Overall pinkdnf Rampant sexism and rapid switch narration made this book really hard for me to swallow.

I was sent this book free for review purposes. I am not being compensated or influenced in any way.

Book Review: Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz


Title: Teeth
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Published: January 1st 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
Be careful what you believe in.

Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house.

Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.

picadillypink I am really conflicted when it comes to this book. I really like a lot of aspects of it, and then there are a few things that just drive me absolutely crazy about it. I’m going to start with the things that I did like about it. I really love the character of Rudy and how he changes through the novel. He cares so deeply for his little brother, and the sacrifice that comes with caring for a sick relative really shines through–as does the guilt of wanting to have some sort of life outside of being a caretaker. His interactions with the other characters is amazing. I love the slow burn between him and Diana and how their relationship changes, becomes something that neither of them are ready for. Despite that I think the real ‘relationship’ is between him and Teeth. What he does for Teeth in the last third of the book and how he helps him speaks so much about the way Rudy operates and the base intentions of his actions.

Speaking of, Teeth is a really interesting character. I haven’t come across anything quite like him in the books I’ve read. I guessed his origin pretty quickly, though how he came to be is quite possibly one of the weirdest conception stories in the world. I love the friendship that they build and I felt for the little one-sided romantic feelings that Teeth had toward Rudy. I think that he and Rudy play similar roles: misunderstood, protector, wanting more for themselves. Unfortunately things don’t always work out nicely. Teeth suffers in this book and there are some rather disturbing ideas (though never explicitly shown, there is mention of rape and forced oral sex). Which brings me to one of the major things I had a problem with.

I don’t like non-consensual sex as a plot device. And while it’s not explicitly shown, it’s implied through dialogue and some imagery between Teeth and a couple of the fishermen. I don’t know where it fits in, and I think the story would have been just the same without the sexual violence. I also feel that the book could have been longer. I want to know more about the world, the island and why certain things work the way that they do.

Overall pink5 amazing characters and relationships make this story.

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.

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Adorned by Georgeann Swiger


Title: Adorned (Book I in the Trinity of Souls series)
Author: Georgeann Swiger
Publisher: Entranced Publishing, Rush Imprint
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Length: 80,000 words
Release Date: November 4, 2013

Blurb:
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.

Add it on Goodreads: Adorned

Excerpt:
Micah sits in the chair at the head of the table. He lowers his head and mouths something under his breath before snatching the fork from the table.

“What happened to you?” I ask. “Did you change your mind about running away?”

“I didn’t run away.”

When he lifts meatloaf to his mouth, I pull his plate toward me. “I’m tired of waiting for you to tell me what’s going on.”

He swallows. “I’m from the Triad.”

“Is that a foster home?”

“What’s a foster home?” He tastes his mashed potatoes.. “Aren’t you going to eat anything?”

“I’m not hungry. Just tell me what’s going on.”

After he chugs his iced tea, he gets up and squats in front of me, balancing on his toes. No emotion crosses his face. The odd vibration in the room sends a tremor over my skin. Something’s off.

When Micah finally speaks, his voice is flat and emotionless. “I am an angel of the Lord, and your new guardian, here to escort you into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

I stare at him until the truth dawns on me. Micah’s crazy. How did I not see it to begin with? No sane person would be running around naked in a thunderstorm. That old Simon guy was probably with some mental asylum. He should have put Micah in a straightjacket when he had the chance. Now I’m locked in the dining room with a big strong psycho.

“Aren’t you going to say anything?” The scar in his Micah’s eyebrow deepens when he tilts his head to the side to study me. “When you enter the Kingdom you’ll become an angel.” He seems at ease, like a serial killer waiting to strike. “I intend to make your human death the most wonderful experience of your life.”

“My…human death?” Even though my voice cracks, I manage to force myself to smile. I glance at the locked doors and slowly scoot my chair away from the table.

He touches my knee. “I’m happy to tell you, you won’t be stuck here much longer.”

When I think enough distance is between us, I use all my strength to shove him down and run for the door.

When I look over my shoulder, Micah gets to his feet, glaring at me.

“Stay away from me!” My trembling hand can’t get the key to cooperate. I keep trying to get the key in the lock, but it slips out of my sweaty fingers and drops to the floor. I pound on the door.

“Aunt Celeste!” I scream.

When I look back, Micah sits at the table, flicking his finger on the butter knife, making it spin it like an airplane propeller. His lips form a tight line. He slams his hand on the table, causing the butter knife to fall to the floor. “Sit. Down. Anya.”

“Aunt Celeste, help me!”

About the author

Georgeann Swiger earned her degree in journalism from West Virginia University, and then spent five years as an anchor/reporter at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, WV. After having children, she left television news to be a stay at home mom. During that time, she discovered creative writing was more fun than writing about real life tragedy. Imagining interesting characters and having them come to life on the page is now her passion. When she’s not writing, she works as a substitute teacher. She lives in Reedsville, West Virginia with her husband, two kids, a beagle dog and a temperamental cat who tries to rule the house.

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Don’t forget to come back tomorrow and check out my review of Adorned and the link to a giveaway, and another excerpt from this great new release.

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!

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern.
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday
The Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

The Review: I fell in love with this book, and I wasn’t certain I was going to. I’ve had it sitting on my shelf for nearly a year now, and I’ve started and re-started it countless times. I sat down yesterday and powered through it in one go, and I have to say I’m hooked. I love the world that Morgenstern has created. It’s lush, full of description and really really beautiful. At times I felt that it was real, tangible and the setting and the world that this story takes place in caught a hold of me.

I really enjoyed this book. There were just a couple things that caused me to shake my head. The random lapse into second person narrative. This is not something I’m fond of at all, and probably one of the reasons why I kept starting/stopping this novel. The insta-love aspect is also something I’m not fond of, but it didn’t distract me too much. The promised fierce competition was a touch anti-climatic, but again, I don’t mind too much.

Honestly, I can see where people have issues with this book, and the amount of just polar opposite reviews makes me laugh. The time jumping, the point of view changes and the sheer amount of prose can be a lot for some to handle. It really did take me a while to read this, and since I did start and stop so many times that when I did finally sit down to read it, I had to start over. I think this is a book that needs more than one read through. There’s so much going on, and so many layers that it’s almost impossible to catch everything the first time through.

Plus, the writer in me goes bananas when I realize that she wrote this as a NaNoWriMo piece. Clearly it’s been edited and reworked, but I just love being able to read it like this.

Purchase The Night Circus Wherever books are sold. I bought my copy at Target.

Have you read The Night Circus? How did you feel about it? Let’s talk about this book.

Review: Elixir Bound by Katie L. Carroll.

Elixir Bound By Katie L. Carroll.
Release Date: August 31, 2012
Publisher: MuseItUp Publication.
Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary:Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this to read and review. I am not influenced or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.

The Review: Elixir Bound introduces a lush fantasy world and some really interesting characters. I had a hard time connecting with Katora at first, finding her a bit too whiny and indecisive, but as the book goes on and the story progresses she starts to grow and change. The group accompanying her on her quest to retrieve the flowers is made up of family and the very attractive son of a magical mapmaker. Katora and Hirsten have great chemistry and their relationship unfolds slowly, in fact Katora refuses to acknowledge her own feelings for the boy until after the quest is over.

This is a high fantasy book, the world has humanoid creatures, and other beings that are less than humanoid. Magic is a way of life, used in the healing elixirs that Katora’s family produces, the magic in the map-maker’s craft. The map is one of my favorite things in this story. The map makers have the ability to attach memories to various locations and they play out like movie scenes for those who view the map. Magic is also used as a weapon used by the antagonists who are trying to stall Katora and her group from getting to the flowers.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a quick well written high fantasy book. High fantasy isn’t normally something I’m drawn to, but in the case of Elixir Bound I didn’t mind it. The story is really well written with a great ‘voice’ as a main character. The romance is cute and doesn’t distract from the main story. I’d recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a good introduction to high fantasy in the YA genre.

Purchase Elixir Bound on: Amazon