Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cover Reveal: Untamed by Victoria Green and Jinsey Reese

(Untamed, #1)
Authors: Victoria Green & Jinsey Reese
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance (Novella Series)
Expected Publication: April 2014 by Turning Leaves Press

Rich, beautiful, and wild, Reagan McKinley has everything she needs...but nothing that she wants. That is, until she spends one hot night in the arms of sexy, unbridled Dare Wilde.
She's a girl trapped in a rigid world she desperately wants to escape, and he's an untamed artist with an attitude, hell-bent on freeing her—body, mind, and soul. But Reagan's life is not her own, and Dare is not welcome in it. She can't include him in her carefully-controlled, extremely public lifestyle...and yet she cannot give him up.
Will a shared passion for art—and, increasingly, each other—be enough to keep them together? Or will it be the thing that ultimately tears them apart?
It's hot. It's sexy.
And it's coming April 2014.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review: Every Shattered Thing by Elora Nicole Ramirez

Every Shattered Thing
By: Elora Nicole Ramirez
Pub. Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Self
Pages: 288
Source: Author

Stephanie fights reality every day. The voices inside, the ones declaring her worth, deem her broken, used and dirty. She is an object. A toy. Something to be tossed aside when bored. Who will believe her if she whispers the truth about her wrecking ball of a family? Eventually, her secret explodes and the person who means the most to her knows just how shattered she is and why she's so afraid. But rescue is closer than she realizes. Hidden in plain sight, her horror hasn’t been ignored by everyone. Racing against the truth of what she faces, forces are joining together and developing a plan to free her from the hell in her own backyard. And while she’s at her lowest point, she’s hit with the beauty of love at any cost - redemption in the face of ruin. Will it be enough?
 I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author and Ink Slinger PR for the review copy.

Every Shattered Thing is a beautifully written, devastating story about what happens behind closed doors. Stephanie keeps to herself, but she has friends and a boyfriend. But nobody knows how horrible and scary her life really is. Not only are her parents extremely abusive, but her dad also pimps her out to make money. Her voice was so realistic and it was heartbreaking to read her experiences. I felt her pain and loneliness and it just killed me.

For some reason, I thought this book was about a girl who was sold into sexual slavery and living in the United States, but it was even worse when I found out it was her parents causing her this pain. It's absolutely amazing to me that there are people in the world that would do these horrible things to their children. Stephanie was such a wonderful character. Even at her lowest points, when she was so broken, you didn't know if she could continue, she was strong and brave. She wouldn't allow her father to break her soul and I respected her so much for this.

Every Shattered Thing is definitely a dark read, but so worth it. The writing was beautiful, even though the subject matter was painful. Elora Nicole Ramirez definitely has become an author that I will always read!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

Mark of the Dragonfly
By: Jaleigh Johnson
Pub. Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 400
Source: Netgalley

Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields.

The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home.

The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect--everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible.

Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Random House Children's Publishing and Netgalley.

I really liked this one. It was a quick read that I think will be perfect for Middle Grade students. It's not as childish, like a lot of other middle grade reads, so I think The Mark of the Dragonfly will appeal to many different pre teens and teenagers.

Orphan Piper earns a living by salvaging objects and selling them. Things are tough, but everything changes when she is trapped in a meteor storm and finds an injured girl. She takes Anna home and wants to help her. Anna doesn't remember anything about her life, but when Piper sees a tattoo on Anna'a arms she realizes that Anna is from the Dragonfly territories.  My favorite thing about this story was the friendship between Piper and Anna. It was so real. They were both so young and just trying to survive. All of the characters in the story were really fleshed out. I liked all of them!

I enjoyed the world that Johnson created. Part fantasy, part steampunk, I think all the different types of genres will appeal to many people. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Blog Tour~ Review: Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

Liv, Forever
By: Amy Talkington
Pub. Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Soho Teen
Pages: 280
Source: Edelweiss approval for blog tour

When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want.

Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride.

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.
 I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Edelweiss and Soho Teen for the review copy.

I am always on the hunt for a good ghost story, so I was really excited when I heard about Liv, Forever. Overall, I enjoyed the story, it really had everything you could want in a ghost story. Cute boys, creepy boarding school, secret organizations, and of course, lots of ghosts!

Liv can't believe her luck when she gets a scholarship to Wickman Hall, one of the most prestigious high schools in the country. But after a few weeks of being there, she is murdered. She has no idea why or why her spirit is still around. All she knows is that there are other ghosts hanging around the school as well. Her friend Gabe can see the ghosts, so he is the first person she goes to solve the mystery surrounding her death and the other girls death. Between Gabe, Liv and the guy Liv likes, Malcolm, they will do whatever they have to do before anything else happens and before another innocent person is killed.

While I wasn't really a fan of the connection between Liv and Gabe or Liv and Malcolm, I really loved the connection between the three of them, especially of Gabe and Malcolm being "enemies", but having to work together for a girl. I actually really loved watching their friendship develop.

There were a lot of twists in Liv, Forever that I didn't see coming. I also enjoyed reading about all of the others ghosts and figuring out how they were linked and why they all died. The ending was bittersweet, but overall a really good and quick read!

Release Day Launch: Reclaiming the Sand by A. Meredith Walters~ Review and Giveaway

Reclaiming the Sand
By: A. Meredith Walters
Pub. Date: March 17, 2014
Publisher: Self
Source: ARC provided by Author

Bully and victim.
Tormenter and tormented.
Villain and hero.

Ellie McCallum was a bully. No connection to anyone or anything. A sad and lonely existence for a young woman who had come to expect nothing more for herself. Her only happiness coming from making others miserable.

Particularly Freaky Flynn.

Flynn Hendrick lived a life completely disconnected even as he struggled to become something more than that boy with Asperger's. He was taunted and teased, bearing the brunt of systematic and calculated cruelty, ultimately culminating in a catastrophic turn of events that brought Ellie and Flynn’s worlds crashing down.

But then Flynn and Ellie grew up.

And moved on.

Until years later when their paths unexpectedly cross again and the bully and the freak are face to face once more.

When labels come to define you, finding yourself feels impossible. Particularly for two people disconnected from the world who inexplicably find a connection in each other.

And out of the wreckage of their tragic beginnings, an unlikely love story unfolds.

But a painful past doesn’t always want to let go. And old wounds are never truly healed…and sometimes the further you try to run from yourself the closer you come to who you really are.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author and Ink Slinger PR for providing it.

I don't think I have read a book before where one of the main characters had Aspergers. It was so real and so raw to read the chapters from Flynn's POV. He doesn't really understand feelings, but at the same time, he is so sweet and so good and just so forgiving. Especially when it came to Ellie, one of his tormentors from high school. My heart broke for what he went through, but he was so resilient and strong. It was just amazing to me to read his chapters. I ended up yearning for them. Ellie was also an interesting character. She grew up in foster care, and is basically a cold, heartless person. But as you get to know her more, you realize that she is the way she is because of the way she grew up. Despite not thinking she is good enough, she still wants to better her situation. I loved how patient and kind she was when it came to Flynn. In high school she did some pretty messed up things to him, and while Flynn has forgiven her, I don't know if Ellie will ever forgive herself for what happened. These two shared a wonderful connection.

The writing was so perfect. From the prologue I was completely hooked. You can tell how much research the author did on Asperger's to really get Flynn's voice perfect. Reclaiming the Sand is so beautifully written and I couldn't have asked for a better book to read. I highly recommend this one.

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Faking Normal
By: Courtney C. Stevens
Pub. Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 323
Source: Edelweiss

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Edelweiss and Harper Teen.

I knew that I had to read Faking Normal as soon as I read the synopsis and when I saw it on edelweiss, I jumped at the chance to read it early. It's one of the stories that stays with you long after you finish reading it and I couldn't get the characters of Alexi and Bodee out of my head!  They were both so beautifully written, and it was hard not to fall in love with either of them or this story.

Faking Normal starts off at the funeral of Bodee's mom, and even though he and Alexi aren't friends, she was there for him when he had no one else. After her parents take him in, the two of them form the most beautiful bond. She helped him deal with his mothers death while he helped her face the secrets she has been holding in for years. I loved watching there connection grow from friendship to something so much more.

There was something about Bodee that got to me. He never spoke, unless he was around Alexi, and every time he said something, my heart broke a little more for the pain he was holding in and dealing with alone. I am so excited to read the prequel short story, The Blue-Haired Boy, told exclusively in Bodee's POV. I am so interested to get in the head of this sad and complicated character.

Faking Normal is one of those books that will break your heart but you will love every single moment of it. This is Courtney C. Stevens debut novel and you wouldn't even believe it! She has such an amazing talent and I can not wait to read what she has in store for us next! It's only the beginning of the year and Faking Normal has become a 2014 favorite! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting

Clipped Wings
(Clipped Wings # 1)
By: Helena Hunting
Pub. Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 400
Source: Edelweiss

An emotional love story that follows the touch-and-go relationship of Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.

As Hayden and Tenley navigate their newfound but slightly unstable relationship, they want to trust each other, but Hayden is hiding a dark and shameful past that he doesn't ever want Tenley to find out about. And Tenley has secrets of her own that could make Hayden run away forever. When Tenley asks Hayden to put a beautifully elaborate tattoo across her back, the two form what they thought was an unshakeable bond. But when Tenley's past shows up on her doorstep, will Hayden stand by her side...or run?
 I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Edelweiss and Gallery Books for the review copy.

I've heard really good things about Clipped Wings and was really happy when I saw a review copy on edelweiss. Unfortunately, I only just liked it. I didn't love it like I was hoping I would. Hayden and Tenley were two broken characters, and while their pasts were completely different then anything I was expecting or seen before, I still thought their stories were so out there, which kept me from fully enjoying the story.

It's a been a month since Tenley survived the worst thing that someone can go through. I understand she was trying to deal with it as best as she could, but I felt her emotions were just so unrealistic for what happened to her, especially because it's only been a month! While trying to pick up the pieces of her life, she meets Hayden, the nephew of her boss. I really didn't like Hayden at all. I found him to be really annoying. But he was very sweet when it came to Tenley. The two of them had many sweet and tender moments together. Because of my problems with the main characters, I couldn't actually form any connection with them, which caused me to not enjoy the story as much.

About a quarter into the book, the story really started to drag on for me. I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again with nothing new happening. Then a totally creepy cop plot line gets added it, and the whole book was just lost to me. I also felt that the whole ending/cliffhanger was just stupid. I just really don't understand Tenley. It's hard to say why without giving anything away, but I just felt she was being so ridiculous.

Overall, I wasn't a huge fan of Clipped Wings. There was too much drama for my taste. But because of that, I think it will also be a perfect book for others! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Maybe Someday
By: Colleen Hoover
Pub. Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 320
Source: ARC from publisher

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance—and the enchanting music that inspires one young woman to put her life back together.

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one. 
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Atria books.

From the moment I started Maybe Someday, I knew that I was going to love it. I have been a huge fan of Colleen Hoover since her self publishing days, and this book was no exception. Her writing is so captivating, that you have no choice but to keep reading no matter what else you are supposed to be doing. Her characters are so realistic and relatable, and I fell in love with both Sydney and Ridge. I finished this book about a month ago, and I am STILL thinking about it. I can't wait to have some free time so I can re read it!

The story starts with Sydney finding out her boyfriend and best friend have been sleeping together. With no where else to go, her neighbor Ridge, who she doesn't know very well except for their nightly guitar and song writing moments from different porches, offers to let her sleep at his place. The story then backtracks two weeks to see how the two of them met. Just the way Hoover started the beginning of the book was different and original, and I was completely hooked!

While I have loved every single one of Hoover's characters, I can easily say the Sydney and Ridge are my absolute favorites. I don't think it can get any better then these two. They are both so sweet, kind and have the most believable and real connection. They were also both extremely funny. There were so many times I found myself laughing hysterically, it's a good thing I wasn't reading this book in public or I would have been completely embarrassed.

What also made this book extremely special was the fact that Sydney and Ridge wrote music together. Sydney wrote the lyrics and Ridge wrote the music for it. I loved reading the amazing lyrics that they came up with together. In real life, the lyrics and music were written by the amazing and talented Griffin Peterson. I have not been able to stop listening to all the songs, and I highly recommend listening to the music as you read the sections in the book. This brought so much to the story.

Maybe Someday is one of my favorite books of 2014 and actually, I think it's probably one of my favorite books of all time. There was just something so amazing and wonderful about this story. From the plot, to the characters, and to the music, this story is not to be missed! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary
By: Julie Murphy
Pub. Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 336
Source: Edelweiss

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you? 

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most? 
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you HarperCollins and Edelweiss.

Side Effects May Vary was one of my most anticipated books of 2014 so I was so excited when I saw it on edelweiss. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. That isn't to say it's a bad book. It is a very good book, I was just hoping to love it, instead of just like it.

The story, told in the point of views of both Alice and her best friend (whose also madly in love with her), Harvey also switches back from the present ("Now") to when Alice finds out she has cancer, or more specifically, acute lymphocytic leukemia ("Then"). I loved this idea! I thought the back and forth added so much to the story.

When Alice finds out she has cancer, she 1. becomes friends with Harvey again and 2. decides to get back at the people who wronged her. I really disliked Alice. Someone in the book said it perfectly, it's hard to feel bad for her because she is basically a horrible person. The way she treated Harvey was disgusting. Harvey was there for her through the worst parts of having cancer,  but after she found out she was in remission, she went back to treating him horribly. I can't like or respect someone who acts like that. Harvey was such a good person, but I couldn't really like him either. He needed to grow a backbone. My dislike for the two main characters is what made it hard to truly love this book.

I did love the premise of the story though! There were some fun and hilarious parts, which I really enjoyed. But in the end, I was left unsatisfied. I really hated how it ended. I get what the author was trying to do, I just wish it was done differently.

Overall, I did like the story. There were some good parts, I was just hoping for a lot more. I would recommend others read it though. Just because it didn't work completely for me, doesn't mean someone else won't love it! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

White Hot Kiss
(The Dark Elements # 1)
By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Pub. Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 384
Source: Netgalley

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world. 
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin Teen.

My friends know that I really am not a fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout's books. The ones that I have read, I thought were just bad. But still, I decided to read White Hot Kiss. I am always looking for a good gargoyle story, and I have not found many I actually like. I am so glad that I read this book! I loved it so much. The writing was perfect and kept me interested the whole time, and I loved the main characters, Layla, Zayne and Roth, and I also loved the supporting characters, especially Stacey and Sam.

Layla is a very interesting character. Her mother is a demon and her father in a gargoyle, so she is a little bit of both. Since she was raised by the Warden (gargoyles), she likes to believe she is more good then bad. Wardens are protectors, and she wants to be like that too, but she also has cravings for human souls, which she does her best to resist. Her whole life has been black and white, Wardens=good, demons=bad, but this thinking changes when she meets Roth, an upper level demon. She starts to see those shades of grey. As she starts to spend more time with Roth, she learns about her biological family, the family that raised her and why demons are after her.

OMG, I loved Layla and Roth together. Their connection was so hot! Roth is one of my favorite guys in YA. He was so sexy, but also sweet, especially for a demon. Zayne and Layla's connection felt more brother/sister to me, so it was always weird when things started to get a little heated. I am definitely team Roth!

The story ended on an amazing cliffhanger and I can't wait for the next book, Stone Cold Touch. I can now officially say that I am a fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway: Four Years Later by Monica Murphy

Four Years Later
(One Week Girlfriend # 4)
By: Monica Murphy
Pub. Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley

Over. That about sums up everything in my life. Suspended from my college football team and forced to cut back my hours at The District bar because of my crappy grades, I can’t keep turning to my sister, Fable, and her pro-football playing husband, Drew, to bail me out. I just can’t seem to find my own way. Weed and sex are irresistible temptations—and it’s messed up that I secretly hand over money to our junkie mom. A tutor is the last thing I want right now—until I get a look at her.

Chelsea is not my type at all. She’s smart and totally shy. I’m pretty sure she’s even a virgin. But when she gives me the once over with those piercing blue eyes, I’m really over. But in a different way. I won’t deny her ass is killer, but it’s her brain and the way she seems to crave love—like no one’s ever given her any—that make me want her more than any girl I’ve ever met. But what would someone as seemingly together as her ever see in a screwed up guy like me?
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley, Random House and Ink Slinger PR.

I am a huge fan of this series and while I am sad to see it end, I couldn't wait to read Owen's story. When I first met him in One Week Girlfriend, I knew he was going to be an interesting character. Owen has been through so much in his short life, and his personality is so realistic. He is flawed, he drinks and smokes, but he wants to be a good person. Despite his past with his mother, he loves her and wants to be a good son. He also wants his sister and brother in law to be proud of him. Chelsea is the perfect fit for him. She is his opposite in every way, but brings out the best in him. They had a wonderful connection and I loved these together. She is also dealing with family issues, but they were both so reserved in telling each other their problems.

I loved watching these two form a relationship. Owen was so sweet and sexy with Chelsea, and never rushed her to do anything that she didn't want to do. But Chelsea wasn't the only important relationship in his life. I loved how much Fable and Drew was a part of his life. He's always looked up to both of them. I wished that there were more moments between Owen and Drew though. I think their relationship is one of the most important ones Owen has, so I would have liked to really see them together, not just with Fable or through text messages. Owen and his mom have a sick relationship. I can completely understand why Owen would participate, but I can't get over how disgusting his mother is. I felt so bad for Owen. He felt the only way he could have any sort of relationship with his mother is if he paid for her drugs, but he also knew that deep down, his mother never really love him.

Monica Murphy has such a wonderful talent for making her characters feel so real and realistic. I'm excited to see what her next series will be about!

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: Half Bad by Sally Green

(Half Life Trilogy # 1)
By: Sally Green
Pub. Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pages: 416
Source: Netgalley

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.
I received this galley in exchange for honest review. Thank you Penguin and Netgalley.

This book was very different than anything I have ever read before. Half Bad starts with young Nathan locked up in a cage. He is chained, beaten and starved and neither the reader nor Nathan knows why. Through flashbacks we lean why and how Nathan is in his current condition. Nathan broke my heart. Born to a white witch mother and a black witch father, everyone hates him for being a half blood. He wants to be good, but he has an older sister that treats him horribly and the kids at school never leave him alone. He is very close to his brother and grandmother though. I loved how sweet his brother was to him. It was definitely a nice change of pace for Nathan, having someone care about him. Nathan was a very interesting character. He's been through so much in his short life, but he is still full of love. He also wants to know his father, despite his father being a murderer. The inner struggles of Nathan was fascinating to read.

The first half of the book, where we read about the cage and his life before the cage was amazing. The writing was fast paced and I was not able to put the book down. I needed to know what was going to happen next. The second half dragged on for me though. I stopped caring about Nathan and what he was trying to accomplish. I think if the book was 100 pages less, I wouldn't have anything negative to say, but it was just the same thing over and over again. Nathan had to go here and talk to this person, then he had to go here and talk to this person. Basically, I was just bored at the end, which caused me to drop my rating.

Despite having a slow ending, I still very much enjoyed Half Bad and I am interested to see where this story goes from here. 

3.5 stars rounded up to 4. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Mini Reviews: Toxic by Rachel Van Dyken and Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine

(Ruin # 2)
By: Rachel Van Dyken
Pub. Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Self
Pages: 200
Source: Author

Everyone has a secret...

Gabe Hyde is on borrowed time. He's been hiding his identity for over four years-hidden from the world that used to adore him--obsess over him--driven to the edge of insanity by one poor choice.

But that one choice, altered the course of his life forever.

Pretending isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when pretending means hiding your real self from the people that care about you the most. But if anyone ever discovered the truth it wouldn't just be his life at risk--but hers.

Saylor doesn't hate men.
Just Gabe.
Only Gabe.

He's a reckless, happy-go-lucky, silver spoon fed pain in her ass. Everything about him makes her more and more confused. Unfortunately they both donate time at the same Group Home. If she wasn't afraid of flunking, she'd be long gone. She hates that she's attracted to him almost as much as he hates that he's attracted to her--and she can tell, especially since their first encounter ended up making her knees so weak she couldn't form coherent sentences for weeks afterwards. But the closer she gets to him, the more confused she becomes. He isn't who he says he is, and he's hiding something big.

What happen when two worlds collide? Two worlds that never should have met in the first place? Some secrets are too big to be hidden forever--the only question? Will his destroy everyone he loves? Or finally bring about the redemption he's been craving for the past four years?

Everyone has a secret...What's yours?
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author and Ink Slinger PR.

When I first requested this title, I didn't realize that it was the second book in the series, the first book being about Gabe's best friend, Wes. I don't think I lost out on anything by not reading the first book. I understood what was going on and I enjoyed all of the characters. Gabe is holding in a lot of secrets. Between what his father wants from him, who exactly Princess was and even what his real hair color is! I am surprised this guy was able to hold everything together. There were plenty of times I thought he would just completely lose it. I really loved Gabe. He was so broken and sweet and I thought the relationship he had with Saylor was so much fun! But the relationship he had with Princess broke my heart. When I actually found out how Princess fit into Gabe's life, my heart completely broke for the two of them. I really enjoyed this story, and I look forward to getting myself a copy of the first book and reading it! 

Best Kind of Broken
(Finding Fate # 1)
By: Chelsea Fine
Pub. Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley

Pixie and Levi haven't spoken in nearly a year when they find themselves working―and living―at the same inn in the middle of nowhere. Once upon a time, they were childhood friends. But that was before everything went to hell. And now things are... awkward.

All they want to do is avoid each other, and their past, for as long as possible. But now that they're forced to share a bathroom, and therefore a shower, keeping their distance from one another becomes less difficult than keeping their hands off each other. Welcome to the hallway of awkward tension and sexual frustration, folks. Get comfy. It’s going to be a long summer.
 I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing.

I love Chelsea Fine. She is one of my favorite authors so I was very excited to find out she was writing a New Adult novel. Best Kind of Broken was so wonderful and I am so glad that I read it. It was just the kind of New Adult story that I would expect from Fine. It was sad, but it was also so much fun! Pixie, Levi and Charity were best friends growing up, but that all changed last year when Charity, Levi's sister, was killed in a car accident. This ended the friendship, and freshly blossoming relationship between Levi and Pixie and the two haven't spoken since that night. But now they are both working and living together in Pixie's aunts Bed & Breakfast and tensions are high. They act like they hate each other but the connection that they share proves otherwise. They were both broken and dealing with what happened, but I wish they could have been honest with each other a lot sooner in the story. I felt that they kept going back and forth so many times, I started to get bored with it. But it was so amazing when they were finally honest with their feelings! I really enjoyed this one and excited for the next book in the series!

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