Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Reads: The Case of The Blue Violet by Robin Stevens!!

Hello there guys!

Today I have only a lil novella up for review because I couldn't get myself to write a review for I'll Give You The Sun that I finished at 3 am... hopefully I'll have it up tomorrow!

But I found out about this delightful novella on my favourite Middle Grade series, The Wells& Wong Mystery Series, and I read it and loved it, so it is my Friday Reads!


The Case of the Blue Violet: A Murder Most Unladylike Mini MysteryThe Case of the Blue Violet: A Murder Most Unladylike Mini Mystery by Robin  Stevens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Another delightful story from Robin Stevens and the Deepdean girls! Of course I wish it would have been longer, but I wouldn't mind having a lil story like this one once a month in the wait in between the full length books!

This one was written by Daisy instead of Hazel as usual, and our Daisy might be frightfully clever, but she doesn't have the same eye for describing setting or characters as Hazel does! ;) It was a rather cute and short case and I cannot believe after all the whodunit books I've read, I'm still so little observant! I guessed the case quite later than the Detectives, as soon as a certain telegram was received, but still... too late! *shakes head*

Very excited also about the small sampler for the next Wells & Wong Agency case! Next month! Soon, but not soon enough!



View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little Release Blitz!!






Hello there guys!! Today I'm very pleased to take part of the week long blitz & release week celebration for Banished by Kimberley Griffinths Little!




Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little
(Forbidden #2)
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
She thought she’d lost everything . . .
After spending months traveling the harsh, unforgiving Mesopotamian desert, Jayden reunites with a broken, injured Kadesh. Although everyone was convinced the violent and unpredictable Horeb, Jayden’s betrothed, killed the handsome prince, Jayden knew in her heart that her love was alive and safe. But their reunion is short-lived, as they learn Horeb is on their trail and determined to take back the girl he has claimed. Soon, the two star-crossed lovers are on the run toward Sariba, Kadesh’s homeland, where, as heir to the Kingdom, he plans to make Jayden his princess.

But the trek to Sariba is fraught with heartache and danger. After narrowly escaping being stoned to death for a crime she didn’t commit, and learning that her sister has disappeared, Jayden’s only solace is her love for Kadesh. But even he is keeping secrets from her . . . secrets that will change everything.

This gorgeous and enchanting sequel to Forbidden, is full of love, danger, and heated passion that will leave readers breathless.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23385196-banished?ac=1&from_search=1



Sequel to:



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18889290-forbidden



Booklist Review:

“This sequel to Forbidden (2014) picks up with desert girl Jayden, distraught that the young man she loves, Kadesh, might have died. But, of course, he hasn’t. Scarred and missing an eye, yes, but he’s escaped the clutches of Horeb, Jayden’s malicious betrothed. Traveling bravely through the desert, Jayden finds him. But that perilous trip is only the first of the dangers to come. Gathering an army, Kadesh is determined to return to his faraway home, where the valuable frankincense grows, and introduce Jayden as his future bride. First, however, they must face betrayal, danger, and a waiting evil. Jayden achieves almost superhero status here, moving from adventure to adventure—not even a near-death stoning can stop her. Little’s descriptions of the landscape are evocative in both desolation and in beauty. Just as good is her pacing, which gets the blood pumping for both characters and readers. Far more than a bridge book, this will heighten anticipation for a no-doubt exciting conclusion.


drastically-changed2


EXCERPT:

A dirty, callused hand slapped down over my mouth and the stale breath of a man hissed in my ear. “Don’t move or I’ll slit your pretty, little neck.”

I clawed at the stranger’s cloak, trying to push him off, but he was too heavy. A moment later, I realized my ankles were tied together. I couldn’t run, couldn’t even move. Shrieks gurgled in my throat as if I was drowning, his hand cutting off my air.

Only one day into my journey to find Kadesh and I was already dead.

The sharp tip of a blade pressed against my neck, and I whimpered.

“Give me the frankincense of the stranger we killed.” The man’s foul breath dragged across my face. He was referring to Kadesh, the boy I loved, who’d been murdered by Horeb, the prince of my tribe.

With myself as a witness, I’d watched Horeb plunge his sword into Kadesh and then order his soldiers to drag his body off.

Shock flooded me when I realized who my attacker was. I wrenched his fingers away from my mouth and with a raw voice, said, “Gad? What are you doing lurking about the cliffs of Mari?”

This man was a childhood friend of Horeb’s and one of my own tribesmen. His body pressed against mine, and I writhed in disgust.

There was only one reason Gad was in the foothills of Mari, far from the oasis of Tadmur where my tribe camped for the summer. He was a member of Horeb’s army.

Horeb, my betrothed. The man who’d attacked and scarred me. Blackmailed me for the murder of his father to hide the fact that he’d killed his own father so he could steal the tribal crown.




About the author:

When I was a kid I read a book a day, scribbled stories, and dreamed about having my very own book on the library shelf. I grew up in San Francisco, but now live in an adobe house on the banks of the Rio Grande with my husband and sons. I think I've drunk so much Land of Enchantment water that some of that ancient magic got into my blood and now spurts out my pencil--I mean ergonomic keyboard. I adore anything old and musty with a secret story to tell.

I'm the author of 10 award-winning middle-grade and Young Adult novels with Scholastic and Harpercollins and I make way too many cookies when I'm writing - and I've got the best book trailers in the universe - for reals! Check them out here: www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com. Please find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Youtube.

Awards: Southwest Book Award, Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel, Whitney Award Finalist and Association of Mormon Letters of Art Award, Bank Street College Best Books of 2011, 2013, and 2015, a Crystal Kite Finalist, and New Mexico Book Award Finalist.






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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Starflight by Melissa Landers Release Day Blitz!!

Hiya guys!! Today I'm super happy to be part of the Release Day Blitz for Starflight by Melissa Landers! The moment Melissa said it was Firefly inspired I was sold, and I cannot wait until I get my hands on my own copy!

Now I leave you guys with Melissa!:


Hey there, booklovers!


I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce the release of STARFLIGHT, the first in a brand new sci-fi series from Disney-Hyperion. I originally pitched this story to my editor as “Overboard” (one of my favorite romantic comedies) meets “Firefly” (an amazing show that was tragically cancelled after one season). STARFLIGHT follows the misadventures of Solara Brooks, a penniless felon who indentures herself to her high school nemesis, Doran Spaulding, in exchange for passage to a new world. But when Doran’s memory is temporarily erased, Solara convinces him their roles are reversed—that she’s the master and he’s the servant—and leads him onto a renegade spaceship, where intergalactic shenanigans ensue. STARFLIGHT is very different in tone from the Alienated trilogy, but the story is still filled with all the things I love: humor, heart, and adventure.




https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21793182-starflight



What do reviewers have to say?


“Get ready for blast-off! Action-packed and utterly addictive, nobody writes like Melissa Landers. A smart, satisfying romance set in a vividly detailed world, Starflight was just plain fun!” –New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman


“Teens will be bracing themselves during the swashbuckling action scenes. A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly.” –School Library Journal


“A lively tale of romance, space pirates, conspiracy, and made (as opposed to genetic) families.” –Booklist



If you like your sci-fi adventure served with a side of romance, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of STARFLIGHT today. It’s now available in stores and online.



GIVEAWAY


To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a STARFLIGHT swag pack, complete with custom nail wraps, bookmarks, and a mini poster! The giveaway is open internationally. Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!



Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” 

For more information or just to say hello, visit www.melissa-landers.com.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mark These Books Monday: We'll Never Be Apart & Discover Ruta Sepetys sampler!!

Hello there guys!!

*waves* *yawns*

Today is a Monday off work, even if it's because I worked night shift on Sunday! But hey, I've slept a bit in the morning and I don't have plans beyond sorting some books, doing some chores around the house and start my buddy read of Carry On with Mel!

For this week's Mark These Books Monday I have two more reviews that shall count towards my Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge, both backlogged eARCs from Netgalley that should help me remain with my ratio at 80% or more!




Discover Ruta SepetysDiscover Ruta Sepetys by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I got this sampler for both Between Shades of Grey and Salt to the Sea from Netgalley because I've heard many things about Ruta Sepetys' books and all of them good, so I wanted to check the writing for myself and see if they are my kind of books.

And well, the answer is yes, they are my kind of books for sure! I only got a few chapters of each book and I already was turning pages fast, completely engaged and very much drawn into the stories of those I had just barely met! The characters voices felt so very real and the writing is simply fantastic, drawing you into the story and keeping a hold of you!

Now I need to get me both Between Shades of Grey and Salt to the Sea ASAP!!

View all my reviews



We'll Never Be ApartWe'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


We'll Never Be Apart was a book that I requested last year because it sounded very intriguing, it was a debut book and I wanted to read a bit more contemporary. For some reason or other I couldn't get to it before release date and then it joined the ranks of my poor backlogged eARCs.

I read most of the book last Friday during night shift, and that means both that I had a rather good shift and that the book was a fast and engaging read! The book would have got a higher rating if I wouldn't have suspected so early what the twist at the end of the book was. I'm not saying it was super obvious, because there was not just one thing to point out that might have given it away...

The book is told from Alice's POV while she's at a mental health institution and also by her journal entries and memories. Alice is a complex and intriguing character and discovering her past anew and her reflections on it were also quite fascinating.

The way the author wrote the tension and the fear and trepidation that Alice felt was fantastic and the pacing was also done very well. The book makes you want to turn pages and find out more about what might have happened, about who Jason really was, what happened that night and how Alice can get better.

I wasn't too keen on the possibility of a romance when we first met Chase, but I have to say it was done so well and it really didn't bother me as much as I would have thought at first. Chase was more than what he might have seemed at first, and his character development was done really well.

All in all, it was a very engaging book, even if the epilogue did change things around a bit again, and although I had guessed the twist, the book managed to keep my interest! 3 to 3.5 stars to an intriguing debut!

View all my reviews

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday Pages: The Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy!!!

Hey there guys! *waves*

As the last reviews for January I'm having a series that I binge read on Monday last week! It was my day off and I was supposed to buddy read The Deal with my friend Alyssa from The Eater of Books. And that we did, we both read it and loved it, but for some reason I ended up binging the rest of the series till 6 am! O_o
Thank goodness for working the 3 to 10 pm shift and being able to sleep in till noon!

So this week's Saturday Pages is all about mini reviews for all three of the books! Now I'm impatiently awaiting the next book to come, because for once a series of companion books ended in what could be considered if not a cliffhanger, at least quite the shocker!


The Deal (Off-Campus, #1)The Deal by Elle Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Loved this one! I don't usually read a lot of NA, probably the last NA I read were Ann Aguirre's 2B series (that I loved) but I decided to buddy read this one with my friend Alyssa from The Eater of Books and boy did I love it!!

This book was full of humour, some real life issues that are dealt with but don't become the center of the book and don't make for unbearable drama and angst. The characters deal with the issues, work on them and live with them, but the book is not about getting over said issues/bad things. They appear because they're part of the character's life but they go on and live and thrive. Big kudos for the positive message there.

We get alternating POV chapters between Hannah and Garrett and boy how much did I love these two! I adored how Hannah was both confident and strong but had her insecurities and vulnerabilities that she worked at dealing with. And Garrett, oh dear... that guy! He's cocky and confident but also so focused on his sport and on what he wants to accomplish! He's more than just a stereotypical jock from the beginning, and the more we get to know him, the more I liked him!

I don't know a whole lot about hockey, but this book really made me want to start watching the game and managed to explain enough about the going-ons in the team and game without being boring.

The romance was simply fantastic, from dislike, to platonic friendship to a chemistry that's off the charts and all with low angst, even when the conflict arises near the end of the book. And even more when on the moment of possible drama and confrontation... you end up laughing your arse off because of the fantastic humour!

I laughed, out loud and a lot reading this book, I giggled, I cackled, I swooned and I fanned myself. I seriously loved it to bits and want to re-read it soon. Also, I want a Garrett of my own... too bad we have no hockey over here that I know of! 5 well deserved stars for the kind of NA I'd love to read more!



The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2)The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


As soon as I finished reading The Deal I needed to read this one, and seeing how it was on sale, I JUST HAD TO GRAB IT AND READ IT!

I really liked Logan as Garrett's best friend and although I was a bit unhappy and wary about certain developments and Logan's feelings by the end of The Deal, I trusted the author wouldn't go on the high on drama and angst route and she didn't disappoint.

Logan is not in the best place emotionally at the beginning of the book and his family situation isn't helping with how unhappy he feels about things. He's quite the player, inside and out of the ice rink, and now he's feeling unhappy and restless about it. And he ends up making the "mistake" the title refers to. Mostly being an arsehole and not seeing what's in front of him!

Just like The Deal was, this one is told in dual POV, Logan's and Grace's and I loved them both. I understood and felt for Logan, but wanted to seriously slap him silly on the first few chapters (that's actually what on second thought costed this one a half star and for me to drop the rating) but then when he was determined to win Grace back no matter what? Oh boy, he was beyond adorable!!

Grace is a fantastic character! At first she's a bit unsure of her place on campus and who she is, but after facing Logan's issues and her best friend's... well, she finds herself putting herself first and finding that she can be assertive and strong. Her parents are fantastic and I loved how crazy but awesome her mum was. I loved how she started doing things for herself but still gave Logan a chance at working hard to prove himself.

Another fantastic example of humour and low angst NA, with fantastic chemistry, many laughing moments, some serious ones and quite a few "oh dear" *fans self* moments too! Hockey players do really have a certain something! 4.5 to 4 stars to this one!



The Score (Off-Campus, #3)The Score by Elle Kennedy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Given that I was not a big fan of Dean in the previous book and that at the start of this one I really disliked him and he irritated me to know end with his attitude, I'm surprised but how much I ended up liking him by the end of it! How did that happen??

This book is like the previous ones told in dual POV, Dean's and Allie's. We already know them both from previous books (or at least we thought so!). Allie is Hannah's best friend and I really liked these two as best friends, always being there for each other when they needed it. And because of that support and helping between them, Allie gets herself into quite an unexpected situation, right after breaking up with her long term boyfriend.

Dean... well, Dean is quite different from what I expected him to be. He's a massive player and what we see of him in the beginning reaaaally ticked me off. And the way he continued to go after Allie was both irritating and somewhat alluring. Confusing? Contradictory? Hell yeah! I could understand Allie's mixed feelings because I was having them myself to a point!

The chemistry between these two is OFF THE CHARTS and I really loved seeing a different side of Dean and seeing Allie asserting what she wants to do with her life. I must say that the ending was a bit more angsty and Dean disappointed me a lil bit, because he failed Allie in ways I wouldn't have expected him so, although things get sorted and fixed with work and in an adult manner, not too fairy tale like.

The biggest surprise was the bomb thrown at the very end of the book, that left me making all the grabby hands at the next book and Trucker's story!! Very much deserved 4 stars for this one, proving that I can like NA and quite a LOT at that!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Reads: ARC Reviews of Into The Dim & The Girl From Everywhere!!

Hiya there guys!

Friday is here! And with it sleeping in the morning because I work night shift tonight. I'm hoping for a bit of a quiet shift so I can get some reading done while the patients are sleeping!

For this week's Friday Reads I have two eARCs that count towards my Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge and that are two time travel YA books and 2016 debuts, so they do count towards my 2016 Debut Author Challenge goal! Time travelling for the win today it seems! ;)







Into the DimInto the Dim by Janet B.  Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I'm a big fan of historical fiction and after reading & watching Outlander now I'm also a big fan of time travel that focuses more on the historical bits of where you land than the science mechanics of the traveling itself.

Into The Dim combines a bit of both, there's a bit of mixed science explanation of how you time travel and there's a lot of finding yourself in a different time and having to adapt to it and making the best of what the circumstances throw at you.

Hope, our main character, is grieving the loss of her mother, and battling her phobias and even her photographic memory from overwhelming her. And once she thinks things cannot get more difficult and it's trying to adapt to the new situation, she gets a real game changer thrown at her. And her reaction and responses made a lot of sense. After a lifetime of being told one thing, even certain proof can be hard to swallow & digest, even more when it means that your loved ones have lied to you all along.

Her interactions with a certain boy that she meets are more than a lil suspect to me, but given her upbringing, being homeschooled and quite closeted, it didn't seem as far fetched that she wouldn't suspect it as much as I did. And frankly I can understand the allure of the guy, even if the "stalker" vibes at first should have been a bit of a no-no!

My favourite part of the book had to be once our dear Hope and rest of the gang find themselves in the time of Eleanor of Aquitania and have to execute a rescue plan where nothing goes as it should, full of unexpected hurdles but also unexpected allies. You can see that the author did her work on researching the era and we get so many winks at historical events to come! I already liked Eleanor of Aquitania, but now? Now I'd like to claim her as my patronus! So much love for such a strong woman and how she did what she could given the time she lived in!

Family feuds, friendships destroyed by jealousy, unexpected revelations that throw what we thought we know for a spin and that could have quite intriguing repercusions on books to come, some really swoony moments and a character with changing loyalties except for one and that makes some maybe questionable choices but nonetheless understandable... Combine all that with a great sense of pacing and gripping writing and you've got yourself a book that cannot stop reading until the very end!

Thank goodness for the lack of real cliffhanger though! I mean, the ending is sad and heartbreaking but it's reasonable and very much the closing of a chapter, but not a real cliffhanger. Still, it definitely leaves you wanting more and making grabby hands at the sequel! Very much deserved 4.5 stars to this fantastic debut!

View all my reviews






The Girl From EverywhereThe Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What a magnificent debut!

The Girl From Everywhere is one of those 2016 debuts I was so very excited for and it has not disappointed!

Nix's story is more complex than what you'd think at first, but at the same way it's also simpler. It is at its core the story of a girl and her father growing apart and finding a way to reach common ground again. Their circumstances being quite complex and unusual, but the problems being lack of communication and grief clouding judgement, those are not so extraordinary.

The world building for this book was simply outstanding... the mythology and the time travel is done in such a fantastic and simple and at the same time complex way! Things are happening because something happened in the past but that is caused my something happening right now? Quite an interesting take on causality and even if there are few rules to this time travelling via map, the ones that exist are absolute. Every bit and detail woven into the narrative is done in such a way that you are reminded of this being a fantasy story but making you wish so very hard that it could happen!

The writing also compliments the world building, because it's extremely visual and gripping! Never a moment to be bored, no matter if you're sailing to the border, taking a small tour of the island and being awed by sacred waterfalls or trying to avoid the Hawaian version of Dance of the Death. You want to be on board the Temperance and you want to see all the sights and visit all the places!

I must warn of the presence of a love triangle, surprisingly it didn't bother me as much as I was expecting, although I feel bad some one of the parts of the triangle, and the resolution is not as definitive as it could have been... I wasn't all that bothered, and I sort of understood Nix's motivations, feelings and doubts. I might have prefered if it wouldn't have been there, BUT... well, it didn't take from my enjoyment of the book or how captivated I was so...

Even if I felt like taking a half star off because of the love triangle, there's a dragon and a puppy and that means it gets extra half star too, so it all evens out. I'm not sure if it's a 4.5 or a full 5 stars, but this is one book I see myself re-reading, I'm hoping for more stories about the Temperance crew and their adventures and more mythology to absolutely love and enjoy!

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: Vicious & Midnight Marked (ARC review)!!

Hello there guys!!

Since last week I totally failed at posting reviews, I'm adding an extra day of review posting this week, and since I love alliterations, I'm calling it Thursday Thoughts!

As my extra reviews of the week, I'm pairing today two adult books, one that has been in my TBR pile since either early last year or late 2014, so it will count towards my Rock My TBR Challenge and that I buddy read with my friend LaLa from LaLa in the Library.

And the other one is an eARC I got approved for on NetGalley that releases in March BUT since it's the next book in one of my favourite Urban Fantasy series ever... I just HAD to read it! It counts towards my Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge and contributes to keeping my ratio at 80%!





Vicious (Vicious, #1)Vicious by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


My first book for #RockMyTBR challenge! And I'm sort of kicking myself for not reading it before. As soon as I read ADSOM, I needed to read anything else Victoria had written, and so I bought this one, but it ended up being packed up in a box way too soon (moving time) but I finally got it out in time to buddy read it with my friend LaLa!

I love how very grey all the characters are, and how unsure you are while reading if everything is part of the plan or not. The first part of the book is told mostly on Victor's POV, and you aren't entirely sure if it's a very sucessful antihero story, an even more successfully done "now I feel bad for the villain dammit" or if it's something in between. Then we see a few more POVs and on the second half we also get Eli's POV, and then things change a bit. You start wondering if the usual labels of villain and hero or even antihero can be applied to either of these two, and how you alternatively keep on switching your allegiance from one to the other.

I think I very much ended up siding with Victor but fuck if I know if he's the hero, the villain or the antihero, and I have to wonder what that says about my moral code... I mean, it's not that I approve about his tactics or his motivations or lack of empathy, but I very much prefer him to Eli so... I dunno? Damn Victoria Schwab making me root for a guy that is the lesser evil? I don't even know!

We keep on switching between present and past, between Victor's revenge plans and the how and somewhat the why Eli and Victor became who they are or even "what" they are now. A lil bit of science, a lil bit of philosophy and a lot of food for thought about powers, responsability, what defines who we are or how we even define ourselves. The ending was quite a twist and once again left me wondering if it had all been planned in advance or if it was as it was only because of the character's change in choices that couldn't be planned... or could they? Seriously, so much that I'm not sure if it's fate or a brilliant strike of planning!

Thankfully, I read the book knowing that there is a sequel, and I'm so very highly and impatiently awaiting! 4 to 4.5 stars to this one!

View all my reviews





Midnight Marked (Chicagoland Vampires, #12)Midnight Marked by Chloe Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Oh, how I loved this one! Chicagoland Vampires is one of 3 adult urban fantasy series that I'm utterly in love with, and that is still going strong and onto book 12 with Midnight Marked. This is the kinda series that I preorder the book as soon as it becomes available on Amazon, and that I usually start reading as soon as it downloads to my Kindle at midnight.

It's a bit mind-blowing to think that only a year has passed between the first book and this one being the twelfth, because SO MUCH STUFF KEEPS ON HAPPENING! These guys can't even go to a damned baseball game without encountering a dead body and finding themselves knee-deep in another crisis!

The cast is extensive because we've met quite a varied group of supernaturals of a type or another, and a few humans too. I love having the Pack back in the picture, along with our favourite vampires from Cadogan house, our resident sorcerers and the best grandfather on that side of the Atlantic.

Merit is a great main character and I like how she's grown so much since she was turned and how she continues to be both resilient, kick arse and vulnerable all at once! She's very much in love with Ethan, Master and alpha male, but she does NOT fail to call him on his bullshit and challenge him when it needs to be done.

Ethan, also known as Darth Sullivan, is alpha male 100% and changes cannot come too easily for a 400 year old vampire, but I like that he is beginning to adapt, even though he still seems uncapable of a proper apology and instead we get what Mallory calls "alphology". He deserved a bit of a smack in the head for failing at being Master and losing his head going all alpha, but nothing that can't be forgiven.

Merit & Mallory's friendship continues to be a joy to read about, and I love how after all that happened, their friendship was tested and strenghtened. I loved seeing them going on double dates, even if they usually end interrupted rudely by murder more often than not.

We get a few interesting answers when it comes to questions unanswered from book 1, and so proving that you never know when something will come back to play a part on what's to come. We also get a few more mentions of a certain prophecy that I hope we'll get more answers to soon, maybe next book?

The ending after the final confrontation with the bad guy seemed a bit... I dunno, cheap? But of course opens up for what might come in the next book(s) and I wonder how things will play up. On the other hand, I'm extremely please with the final surprise in the book and I'm still squeeing about it!!

Only thing that must be noted is how every book seems to be a love letter to Chicago, Chloe Neill never fails to make me want to visit all the places talked about in the books! Is there a Chicagoland Vampires tour yet? There needs to be! Very much deserved 4 stars for this one! When is the next one coming out!?! Waiting a whole year is gonna kill me!!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Now And Again by Jennifer Ellision Blog Tour: Review & Interview!!


Hello there guys!!

Happy Tuesday! Today I'm super happy to be part of the Blog Tour for Now And Again by Jennifer Ellision, hosted and organized by the wonderful ladies of Pen & Muse Press (thank you Jolene, you're a dear!).

I'll have Jennifer over for a super quick interview as well as my own review of the book, and don't miss out on the giveaway at the end of the post, so you can win your own copy of the book!

But before all that, a lil more info about the book!


Now And Again by Jennifer Ellision

 Unemployed. Broke. Maid of Honor.

All (unfortunately) words that describe Em Hayes.

Without any job leads in San Francisco, Em caves to her mother’s promise of free rent and returns home. Her best friend, Nikki, couldn’t be more thrilled. Em’s degree in Event Management is gathering dust, and what better way to put it to use than planning Nikki’s wedding?

There’s just one flaw in that plan: Cole Connors. The girls’ former roommate. And part of the reason Em hasn’t been back since college graduation.

Em’s never been able to forget Cole—or how close they were before she pushed him aside and ran for the hills. Cole’s never forgotten Em either— but in the past two years, she hasn’t given him much choice but to try.

And, according to Nikki, there’s no better pair to plan the wedding of her dreams.

Em’s usually good at squashing messy feelings, but being around Cole again brings them all rushing to the surface.

And this time, she’s not sure she wants to run.



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23008175-now-and-again






Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit.

Jennifer is the author of the YA fantasy series, Threats of Sky and Sea, as well as the New Adult contemporary novel, Now and Again.







Review


I'm not the most avid contemporary reader, and even less if we're talking about contemporary NA, but I have been getting myself to read more contemporaries since last year and I'm happy to report that for the most part, it's been a pleasant surprise after another.

I really love Jennifer Ellision's fantasy series, so giving her contemporary NA a try was a no brainer for me, and as with her fantasy books, she hooked me up from page one!

Em is coming back home and she's none too happy about it, since she run away all the way to the opposite side of the US as soon as she graduated college. And now that she's back, she has to face everything that she run away from.

The book is told in dual POV, Em's and Cole's, and also switches chapters between the NOW of Em coming back to Florida in time for her best friend's engagement party & wedding planning and the THEN of college times so we learn about the past that shaped Em's flight response.

Cole's POV was easier to read than Em's, and he felt quite genuinely a male POV, even when he was jumping off a window to avoid facing a girl he had just broken up with (again?) (sort of?)... He was more upfront and open with his feelings and tried his best to be honest with Em at all times.

Em's POV was harder to read because she was so closed up and refused time and again to face the past and her feelings. She's very much still avoiding everyone that means something for her and continues to ignore her feelings about the past and those rekindled in the present too. But as hard as she was to read at times, it was also very rewarding to see her grow and finally accept that the answer is not running away from pain or help or love.

Alternating the timelines worked great since it helped us understand both Em and Cole better, and I really enjoyed seeing their friendship develop in the past as well as see when & how things changed. I really liked Nikki being the common thread (and friend) that connected them both with the present and the past and the friendship. Nikki was also a lovely character, a great balance to Em's closed up nature.

I must confess to want a bit more after the ending, maybe an epilogue of sorts? It is the perfect resolution for the story told, but I really wanted to see a bit more of what comes next! Despite my need for a lil extra pages, I absolutely enjoyed this one, so 4 very well deserved stars to this contemporary NA!


Interview

Hello Jen! Welcome to my lil corner of the blogosphere!

Hi Pili! Thank you for having me! It’s an honor to be here. ^_^

I consider myself a big fan of your fantasy series (cannot wait for book 3!) and was quite surprised when I saw the book you were writing next was a contemporary (that despite contemporary not being my fave genre, I've loved too!). How did the contemporary bug bite you? Anything in particular that inspired you to switch genres?

Buckle in for a long answer, haha. Now and Again was actually the first book I ever wrote, though the published book is very different from what the first drafts looked like. It was my first NaNoWriMo project, my first project that wasn’t fanfiction, and it has its roots in a short piece I wrote for one of my Creative Writing workshop classes in college.

But 1) My female main character, Em was really a tough nut to crack. I couldn’t figure out why she pulled away from Cole (her love interest and the male main character) so much when I knew that she wanted him. And 2) I didn’t have the practiced skill to turn the book into something that I felt was worthwhile. I reluctantly shelved it and spent a couple of years reading more than I ever had before, writing a little fanfiction to remind me what I loved about writing, and starting what would become my first published book, the YA fantasy Threats of Sky and Sea.

Flash-forward to me cleaning out my closet one day and coming across the binder that housed the bare bones of Now and Again. Somewhat afraid of how bad it would be, I read everything I’d
written all those years ago and I realized that I finally knew what made Em tick. And I knew I had to tell her story, so I started the book all over again.

I really enjoyed having the dual POVs on the book. Did you plan it that way from the start? Who was your favourite character to write? Cole or Em?

Oooo, this is tough. Cole’s voice came through for me a lot clearer, so sometimes he was my favorite just because he was much easier. He was a relief to write after the struggle that was Em.

But, there’s something to be said for the challenge of Em. She was never easy to write, but once I understood what made her tick, I connected with her on a level that I really haven’t ever connected with a character before. Em isn’t really cold—she just uses it to hide a vulnerability. She doesn’t hate love or commitment—the idea of letting someone have the power to hurt her just terrifies her. And if I’m honest, those are things I completely understand.

So, I guess I have to go with Em. She’s my girl. ^_^;

The changing timeline from now to then worked great for the book, giving us lil tidbits here and teasing us to discover more. Was it always planned like that?

For the most part, yes! I definitely knew that I wanted to tell both the story of “Now” and the story of “Then.” I toyed briefly with the idea of making it a bit more linear in structure--making the big chunk of “Then” come before the big chunk of “Now”-- instead of a chapter here and there interspersed throughout. But I didn’t even attempt it. It just didn’t feel right.

Thank you so much for being here Jen! 

Thank you again for having me!





Giveaway

Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win 1 of 3 e-copies of Now And Again!!