Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Reads: ARC Review of The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen!!

For this week's Friday Reads I'm sharing a review of yet another great gem discovered courtesy of Twitter and read courtesy of Strange Chemistry on NetGalley!

It is part of my 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge, which I think it's the one I'm doing better at so far!

The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex WayfareThe Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being auto approved for Strange Chemistry titles is something I'm extremely happy about! So far all the books I've read published by them have been fantastic, and this one was no exception. The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare sounded extremely interesting and unique, and it did deliver on that promise!

I read this book in one sitting, while working a rather quiet night shift at the hospital, and this book is quite a page turner mixing the regular issues of a teenager that keeps herself on the sidelines with the much more higher stakes of the main plotline. I will be trying my best to keep this review as spoiler free as possible!

Alex is regular seventeen year old, except that she isn't. She's been having this "hallucinations" since she was a child and that has made her lead a rather reclusive kind of life. She doesn't really have friends, she's considered a freak by most of her classmates and her family seem to tiptoe around her issues too. But there's more to all those "hallucinations" than even her newest shrink is ready to accept.

She has a wonderfully loving family, not without issues, since both her parents work ceaselessly to try and find a cure for one of Alex's sisters, Audrey. They live with their grandparents who help take care of the girls while the parents work. I feel the family was done great, you could see the relationships and the deep care between all members and you could understand that it could be a pressure point for Alex.

Then, after an specially vivid and long "hallucination" that leaves Alex injured and shaken, she finds herself an ally that tells her the truth about herself, and that the "hallucinations" are anything but! Porter tries to explain to Alex how her gift works and why it is even more special on her. Alex doesn't take it too well, no surprises here, even if the explanation matches what she suspected but didn't want to voice out loud.

I never felt like there was a dull moment in this book, from all the glimpses at the past that read like we were there, to all the world building, character development and even throwing us some curve balls in the shape of unexpected revelations! There's quite a bit of misinformation, lack of trust and the not-unusual "witholding information to protect you" and there's a time when Alex doesn't even know who she can trust anymore.

There's time travel (of a sort) with interesting villains, a rather flawed but amazing heroine that does a lot of messing up and a lot of growing up, a great cast of secondary characters and an ending that leaves many questions unanswered but doesn't leave us having with a heartbreaking cliffhanger!

The romance was there, sometimes present in a more straightforward way and others in a quite more confusing one, but it never overtook the plot, even if sometimes Alex did mop around a wee bit much. But given what her situation was, I think some pinning and heartbreak was more than understandable!

Cannot wait for the next book in this series, a very solid 4 to 4.5 stars!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #31!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

What book am I is-it-here-yet awaiting this week? The Nightmare Dilemma by Mindee Arnett!

Goodreads Summary:

"The thrilling new fantastical mystery series from YA author Mindee Arnett continues in The Nightmare Dilemma.

Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that’s easier asked than done. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies.  

To make matters worse, Dusty’s ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart. As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. And there’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined."

Why am I eagerly awaiting The Nightmare Dilemma? I loved Mindee's debut, The Nightmare Affair and I thought it was such a fun and refreshing read! I cannot wait to read more of Dusty's adventures and after reading online (thank you, Tor Teen!) the first two chapters... I cannot wait to read more!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mark This Book Monday: Cress!!

This week's Mark This Book Monday was once again, one of those very awaited books in an ongoing series, but not the final book. It's also part of my list for the Dystopian Reading Challenge 2014!

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)Cress by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not the biggest fan of retellings but when they come on the shape of science fiction/dystopian books and they're done the way Marissa Meyer does them... I just adore them!

I fell in love with the concept and the stories of The Lunar Chronicles when I read Cinder and was very much reinforced on it after reading Scarlet, and now reading Cress... well, this is just an absolute favourite series of mine!

Every book in this series introduces us to a new character or set of characters and this time we are meeting a new version of Rapuntzel. A girl that is brilliant and a hacker and lives isolated in a satellite. She has been helping Cinder before, and she can be a big asset to the team of cyborg Lunar heir, genetically modified Lunar super soldier gone rogue, French girl, charming pirate Captain and more human than robot ship.

Action starts pretty soon and not only that, everything goes not quite as planned, so the team gets split apart all of them in some sort of mortal danger or another. For me, Cress didn't really have many if any dull moments, though I must say I was counting down the pages till everyone could be reunited! It's pretty full of action, character development and some unexpected revelations. By the second half of the book, Cinder has decided to stop running and take the initiative, so they make a crazy plan and go for it!

There are quite a few emotional moments here, and the way Cress is crushing on Thorne is quite adorable. We also discover Thorne is neither as bad as he thinks he is (and most people would think too, I must confess there was a moment when I also thought the worst of him and then it seemed that he was being thoughtful and considerate and wanted to help our dear Iko!) nor as good as Cress has made him seem in her mind. It was something different seeing their relationship evolve and I'm really looking forward to see how it progresses in the next book! Scarlet and Wolf are separated and they don't get as much time in this book, but Scarlet has an encounter with Winter, and it was bizarre, puzzling and very intriguing! Wolf was behaving quite oddly and moody, but some of his behaviours were a bit like those of a dog that has lost his owner, and that is sort of fitting.

Cress was a fantastic read, with plenty of twists, action, new developments and that leaves us really looking forward impatiently for the next book! Can't wait for Winter now! Very much deserved 5 stars!

View all my reviews

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Reads: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan!!

For this week's Friday Reads I have a book that Octavia from Read Sleep Repeat recommended so highly that I preordered it as soon as I read her review for it and after reading some other very positive reviews, I was sure I was gonna love it.

After some debate about whether or not it is a dystopian, I think it is dystopian enough to be added to my 2014 Dystopian Reading Challenge.

Uninvited (Uninvited, #1)Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first found out about this book I knew it had all the markings of a book I'd like and despite being called "a mix between The Scarlet Letter and Minority Report" it made me think more of Gattaca because of the way your genes determine your life. But it was after reading some truly amazing review and having a blogging friend that I had to preorder it that I did just that. And boy, am I glad that I did!

This is my first Sophie Jordan book and I'm quite sure it won't be the last, since I will be preordering the sequel of Uninvited as soon as it is available!

Uninvited is a story that it's extremely scary on how plausible and real it seems. I was alternatively angry and heartbroken for Davy and all of those treated like criminals without more reason than a gene that can be correlated to being a violent criminal.

Davy was always a golden girl, full of talent and that had a wonderful sheltered life till her life is turned completely upside down when her test for the HTS gene comes back positive. She gets "Uninvited" from her exclusive school and her future no longer exists as it once did. She gets treated like a criminal already and no longer seem to have allowed any rights, it's like she stopped being human all of sudden. It reminded me a bit of how the Nazi started the segregation and degradation of the Jews, making them less than human.

Fear is a powerful tool for those looking to grab power and if you pair with the fact that human beings when scared resort very easily into herd mentality and "us" versus "them" overly simplifying and taking any route that we're told is safe and will solve the issue... Uninvited is a fantastic book per se, with a great story, very good characters, action and twists, but what it excells at is providing food for thought.

Davy is character that has to change so much during this book, she has a lot of growing up to do, and she has to discover she really is, not what she is told she is. She needs to toughen up, she needs to be stronger and she needs to learn to trust her instincts and not let others dictate her choices, even if she's pushed and beaten both physically and mentally all the time. She has friends and she has help, she has Sean, but she still needs to learn to stand on her own two feet and despite how Sean helps her, he still isn't the safe or easy choice either.

The romance was developed slowly, with learning to trust each other and finding someone that gets to understand the position you're in, even if that means being a liability to each other.

The books ends with the story unfinished but at the right spot for an impass for our characters to find a way to move forward. I was very happy that this one didn't have a cliffhanger!

4.5 to 5 stars for this one. Great book to read and even better to make you think!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #30!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

What book am I not-so-patiently waiting for this week? Let The Storm Break by Shannon Messenger!

Goodreads Summary:

"Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.

With the Gale Force weakened by recent attacks, and the power of four collapsing, Vane and Audra are forced to make a choice: keep trusting the failing winds, or turn to the people who’ve betrayed them before. But even if they survive the storms sent to destroy them, will they have anything left to hold on to?"


Why am I eagerly awaiting Let The Storm Break? I was so happy to discover and love the first book in the Sky Fall series, Let The Sky Fall, and after that ending... well I just cannot wait to see what Shannon Messenger has in store for us in this sequel! I'm hoping the ending of this one won't be a heart crushing cliffhanger, but somehow... I'm afraid it will be!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of Grim, an anthology of fairy tales retellings!

Trying to keep in good shape with my NetGalley ratio and with my 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge I'm having for my second Mark This Book Monday entry another review for an ARC of a book that I got through NetGalley, a big thank you to the kind people at Harlequin Teen that approve my requests despite me being in Spain! Thank you!

GrimGrim by Christine   Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fantastic collection of short stories, all versions in each of the different authors very own voice of classical Grim fairy tales.

I'm no expert on Grim tales, and I probably only know of the better known, and maybe not even the original Grim brothers' versions, since most of the versions that we read for kids (and I'm not talking about the Disney ones) are not as gruesome as the originals were.

I couldn't identify all the tales in this anthology but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy those stories as they were, even if I was left wondering what tale was the inspiration behind it.

Others I'm pretty sure I guessed what book it was behind it, even if some were easier to identify than others, since some authors took a bit more liberties than others with the story.

Most of the stories are set in either actual times or even the future, though some are set in the past too and others have a certain sense of timelessness about it.

The two versions of Beauty & the Beast, one by Sarah Rees Brennan and the other by Tessa Gratton are probably my faves from the entire anthology. SRB's one because it was hilarious and so different from what you might expect after how dark the stories usually are. And the one by Tessa Gratton was simply fantastic, dark and twisted and a joy to read.

The version of Bluebeard by Rachel Hawkins and The Twelfth Girl by Malinda Lo were another two I could guess and that I loved, as well as the version of Hansel & Gretel by Kimberly Derting were ones I could identify easily and really liked the way they were changed.

From the ones that I couldn't identify that I really liked as they were are the stories by Myra McEntire, Saundra Mitchell  (even though this is a tough one to read, as it deals with incest) and Jon Skovron.

The rest weren't bad, but not as memorable as those I've mentioned above. Some were too similar to the original story and others didn't stay in my mind as much.

All in all a very enjoyable collection of stories and very well deserving of 4 stars.

View all my reviews

Mark This Book Monday: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi!!!

Starting this week's Mark This Book Monday I have another one of the very awaited books for this year, and one that I devoured on release day! I have waited a bit longer to post the review since I wasn't sure the review could be entirely spoiler free!

Since it's also the final book in a dystopian trilogy, it's also part of my Dystopian Reading Challenge 2014 hosted at Blog Of Erised!

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ignite Me was yet another extremely anticipated book, and it being again the final book in a trilogy, it was even more eagerly awaited.

The thing about Ignite Me is that after all the emotional distress I went through after Unravel Me and then reading Fracture Me... I was scared, really scared about my emotional well being with this one.

I have to say, I'm not sure I will be able to keep this review spoiler free completely, so please, please, please... if you haven't read the book yet or haven't started the series yet (what are you waiting for, really!?) do continue to read on at your own risk.

Ignite Me is not a book full of action, it does have some action and it does keep the dystopian elements there, but Ignite Me is mostly the culmination of Juliette's journey of self discovery and self acceptance and as such, is one hell of a brilliant read! I absolutely love seeing how Juliette's voice has been changing and evolving during the three books, and how in here she learns to not depend on others' acceptance of who she is, and she learns how to take charge of herself as a whole, with her powers, her past, present and future! My favourite quote that reflects how much I love this book and its message there it's: "I am enough, and I will always be".

Something else Ignite Me is very heavy on is the resolution of the love triangle, and I'm surprised that despite it all, and since Destroy Me, I haven't been annoyed about the love triangle, and I have been quite invested in it, after Unravel Me I was a Team Warner convert, even more after reading Fracture Me, and this one just cemented it without an inch of a doubt. Adam irritated me in Fracture Me, and in Ignite Me there were times I just wanted to punch him! The way his character was going made me almost hate him for a while, but I'm glad that he eventually stopped being the douchest of all douches.

I was also very happy that despite how much the romance took over this book, it was done in such a fantastic way! Juliette needed time to find herself, to learn how to train, how to be deal with the mess that was around her and somehow Warner managed to be there for her even if it was killing him! And the chemistry between these two... wow, off the charts! Tahereh Mafi does know how to make scenes that make you fan yourself!

One character that everyone loves in these books and even more in this one is Kenji, and I just have to agree! I adored Kenji to bits! He was there for Juliette, helping her, telling her off when he thought she needed it, making her laugh and being her best friend and allowing her to be his best friend too, because Kenji really needed someone to talk to after the horrible fall of Omega Point and the aftermath of it all. I loved the interactions of Kenji with Warner, and how they seemed to be able to not just be civil to each other (and given their past that was quite an achievement) but also to build up some sort of camaraderie and mutual respect after a while.

The final confrontation and high bout of action is at the very end of the book, but trust me... it doesn't mean that anything that lead to it was boring at all! There was so much going emotionally, that you are charged and ready to kick arse and find out what happens. I was not once bored during the book, though I must confess I wondered what kind of confrontation and resolution we'd get with what was left of the book. The fact is that ending is conclusive, but it's also left open enough for us to figure out whatever kind of future we want for the characters now. And I am okay with it.

With the emotional journey this book was and with how happy it made me with Juliette's attitude in the end and of course, how the love triangle was resolved, I cannot help but give this one 5 stars and maybe a few more! Emotionally this book is absolutely flawless, and so it's the brilliant and so visual and compelling writing! Just...  READ IT!

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Rockstar Book Tours: Cover reveal for The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter!

Today is the day! The cover of Gena Showalter's THE QUEEN OF ZOMBIE HEARTS is here! We're so excited to be able to share this with you as it joins an already stunning set! Ready to see it? Not quite yet lets take a look a the first two covers in the series!

First there was ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND...


Now get ready to EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT!!!





Chronicles website
On-sale date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Add it to your TBR!  Goodreads

Pre-order your copy! AmazonBarnes
& Noble


  Official book description:

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice
"Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the
next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until
Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack,
killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more
dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control
the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the
woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their
relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or
killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her
own life for those she loves.

About Gena:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, the Angels of the Dark, the Lords of the Underworld, and the Otherworld Assassins series.  In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, and have been translated in multiple languages.  She lives in Oklahoma with her family and menagerie of dogs, and truly believes love conquers all.

Giveaway Details:

1 complete set of The White Rabbit Chronicles (first 2 sent
as soon as the giveaway is over and the winner will get the first hardcover of
book 3 when it's available!) US/Canada Only

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Reads: Into The Still Blue by Veronica Rossi!!

For this week's Friday Reads and also Valentine's Day, I have a book with one of my favourite romances, with a couple that won't let even the Aether get between them! This is also one of those final books in a trilogy that I was dying to get my hands on this year and that luckily didn't disappoint!

It is also part of my 2014 Dystopian Reading Challenge books!

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After becoming a fan of this trilogy after reading Under The Never Sky and falling even more in love with it with Through The Ever Night, I was a bit worried about the final book. You love something so much and you are hoping you won't be let down and at the same time you really need to know what happens in the end!

Into The Still Blue was a brilliant book and after a few days after I finished it, I'm still not sure how to talk about all that happen and all that I felt without spoiling anything, but I will try my best. What I have to warn about is very probable spoilers for the two previous books.

This book has action and very unexpected twists but what it really excells at is at the character development. I love seeing how Aria and Perry grow both as individuals and as a couple, how they learn to deal with their issues, how they learn to communicate better and to understand each other better. Reading Roar is such a painful experience, you can feel his grief, his anger and how broken he feels. We get some new and truly unexpected characters that add even more to the emotional mix.

The title in itself is a big clue of what happens in this book, but it cannot give you a hint at the pain and suffering and the emotional journeys the characters go through. There's fighting, there's betrayal, there are twists and Sable proves once again that he's a guy that's delirious with power and a very dangerous villain. There's a lot of issues that we can apply to any time and period, like mistrust between different people and the need to find a way to get past prejudices and work together. The need to leave all you know behind and start anew and how fear can make you unreasonable or reckless.

Another thing that made extremely happy was how there was this amazing friendship between Roar and Aria that was just that, an amazing friendship that helped both of them and even Perry to deal with all the heartbreak and tough moments they have to confront. I was also happy to see Brooke and Aria mending bridges, they might never get to be best friends, but who knows they're both strong characters and they sure can relate to each other.

I have to warn you, if you are truly invested in this characters and series you will have a case of all the feels when you reach the final part of the book. The ending is quite open and leave us to figure out what we want for our characters but giving us enough closure to be happy about it!

5 stars for this one, and a big thank you to Veronica Rossi for this amazing dystopian full of fantastic characters!

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Xpresso Book Tours Blog Tour for Reaper's Rhythm by Clare Davidson!

Hey there everyone! Today I'm taking part in the Blog Tour for Reaper's Rhythm by Clare Davidson , organized by Xpresso Book Tours!

I will be sharing my review of book 2, Broken Bargain & a Blog Tour wide giveaway, so click HERE for the full tour schedule! But before that, let's get you some more information about book 1 and 2 & author, shall we?

 Reaper's Rhythm by Clare Davidson

When everyone thinks your sister committed suicide, it’s hard to prove she was murdered.

Kim is unable to accept Charley’s sudden death. Crippled by an unnatural amnesia, her questions are met with wall after wall. As she doubts her sanity, she realises her investigation is putting those around her in danger.

The only person who seems to know anything is Matthew, an elusive stranger who would rather vanish than talk. Despite his friendly smile, Kim isn’t sure she can trust him. But if she wants to protect her family from further danger, Kim must work with Matthew to discover how Charley died – before it’s too late

Goodreads | Amazon

Broken Bargain by Clare Davidson

When you know magic is real, complacency is not an option.

It’s a new school year and ten months since Kim’s sister died. She wants to forget about magic, rebuild her life and start fresh. But it’s not easy when she has to lie to everyone: her family, best friend, Sophie, and secretive new guy, AJ.

But when Sophie’s grandmother falls ill, Kim can’t help but notice the parallels to Charley’s death. Convinced she’s the only one who can help, Kim sets out to discover what’s really wrong with Sophie’s grandmother.

Goodreads | Amazon

About the Author:

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter and a cranky grey cat, called Ash. Clare juggles family life with writing, teaching and a variety of fibre craft hobbies.

My Review for Broken Bargain

Broken Bargain starts after a few months have passed since the events of Reaper's Rhythm, and Kim is trying to go on with a normal life, even if the weight of the secrets she keeps from everyone are heavier than she expected at the beginning. Her mother protectiveness is also getting heavier with the start of the new school year, fearing Kim will succumb to the stress that was the "official" reason of Charley's "suicide".

Kim grows in this book, and although she's still very much the typical teenager, feeling smothered by her parents and running away from having any sort of conversation with them. Her voice felt so genuinely true, and even though I felt like smacking her on occasion, she always sounded very real. Be it with her interactions with her best friend, her parents or AJ. AJ was a bit of an odd character at first, but once we discover the reasons for his behaviour, it started making more sense. 

Their relationship is a very sweet one, with a few very serious conversations that are quite welcome, talking about issues instead of simply focusing on the swoony scenes. 

The world building in this book shows us that there's more than the black and white of the Shamari and the Baneem as opposing sides, but there are also greys, and we're eventually more defined by our choices and actions than our origins.

With action and quite a few unexpected twists this book was a satisfying enough read, despite the very genuine teenager voice of Kim getting on my nerves on occasion. 3 to 3.5 stars for this one.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #29!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

What book am I biting my nails waiting for release day this week? The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski!

Goodreads Summary:

"Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart."

Why am I eagerly awaiting The Winner's Curse? Well, look at that cover and tell if it's not instant cover lust!? Then add to it some of my blogging friends completely flailing about its awesomeness (I'm looking at you Octavia, Kristen and Carina!!) and then reading the first 5 chapters for free on my Kindle app... Well, this is a book I NEED! I cannot wait till my preordered hardcover welcomes me home when I return from my time in India!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Solving For Ex by LeighAnn Kopans!!

Hi there everyone!!

Today I'm extremely happy to take part on the blog tour for Solving For Ex by LeighAnn Kopans! I'm even more excited about today since it's release day!

I'm gonna be sharing my review and also a blog tour giveaway, but first let me introduce you to LeighAnn and this amazing contemporary book!

Solving For Ex by LeighAnn Kopans
Publication date: February 11th 2014
Genres: YA, Romance, Contemporary


1 crush on your best friend +
1 gorgeous, scheming new girl +
1 Mathletics competition =
1 big mess


Ashley Price doesn’t have much in life after being bullied so hard she had to leave her old school to live with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. But the camera she borrowed from her best friend and secret crush Brendan, and her off the charts math abilities, make things a lot more bearable. Plus, since Brendan is the captain, making the school Mathletes team should be easy.

But when gorgeous new girl Sofia rolls in and steals Brendan, Ashley's place on the team, and her fragile foothold on the Mansfield Park Prep social totem pole, it’s on. Sofia is everything Ashley left her old school to escape. The only thing Ashley didn’t count on is Sofia’s sexy twin brother Vincent.

Vincent is not only the hottest boy in school, he’s charming, sweet, and he’s got his eye on Ashley. He’s also not taking no for an answer. There's no real reason Ashley shouldn't like Vincent, but with the
battle lines being drawn between her and Sofia, Ashley’s not sure which side he’s on. Or which side she wants him to be on.

She does know Sofia is trouble with a capital T, and she’s determined to make Brendan see it.

SOLVING FOR EX is a YA contemporary romance that remixes Mansfield Park as Clueless meets Mean Girls in a crazy mix of high school society, mathletic competition, and teenage romance.

 About the author:

Raised on comic books and classic novels, Leigh Ann developed an early love of science fiction and literature. As an adult, she rediscovered her love for not only reading, but also writing the types of fiction that enchanted her as a teen. Her debut novel, ONE, is about a girl with only half a superpower, the boy who makes her fly, and her struggle to make herself whole.

GoodreadsTwitter Facebook | Wattpad | Website |Blog 

My review

I got an ARC of Solving For Ex from the author herself and I have to thank LeighAnn Kopans for both writing this book and letting me read it in advance!

Solving For Ex is a contemporary retelling of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. I was so blown away by this story and of how much I absolutely enjoyed it, so much I stayed up very very late (or maybe even early?) reading till I finished the book! Yeah, I read this one in one sitting!

I'm not usually a big fan of contemporary books, but that doesn't mean I don't absolutely love and devour some now and then, but they tend to be rare events (The S-Word, Eleonor & Park, This Song Will Save Your Life, Fangirl). I usually dislike high school settings in books, some cliches are too much for me, and I have very little patience for the "oh-I-wish-I-was-popular" kinda storyline. I will be trying to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible and will try not to ramble too much, but the more I love a book, the less coherent my reviews get!

Solving For Ex has a high school setting and it's the story of Ashley, a girl that was bullied so much on her previous school that she had to move to her aunt & uncle's house to change schools and try to recover from her depression. She meets Brendan, they become best friends, he helps her out of the horrible place she was in and she falls for him. She is looking forward to starting her new school year at Mansfield High, with Brendan as her friend (at least) and joining the Mathletes team. But all things change when Sofia and Vincent arrive at school. Sofia seems to be ready to take everything from Ashley, Brendan and Mathletes included but it seems that Vincent is very interested in her, in a way that Brendan never seemed to be.

The story line will remind you of the original if you've read it, but it's been updated so well, using such real situations and such important issues as bullying, cheating and pressuring girls for sex. The characters are well fleshed out, and I was rooting for Ashley from page 1, her love for photography totally won me over! I was Team Brendan from page one, even if I felt like smack him badly on occasion. Vincent had that swoony bits here and there, but somehow I didn't like him as much, he didn't feel as genuine, but it was a great character to bring conflict too. Sofia, she was the most cliched of the characters, the perfect popular girl with a mean strike that never got no for an answer but will find that things won't be easy for her always.

The writing was fantastic, I have never been a fan of maths and the author made me interested and involved with the Mathletes and their training and competition. I loved the little notes included at the end of every chapter, with all the geeky math little messages!

I already knew I liked LeighAnn Kopans after reading One and Two, but after this book, I know I will read anything and everything she writes, no matter whan genre!

Very well deserved 4.5 stars, a highly recommended book for those who love contemporaries, retellings and even for those who don't!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Mark This Book Monday: Days of Blood And Starlight!!!

For this Mark This Book Monday I'm finally reviewing another book for my 2014 Series Challenge and this one is a sequel that doesn't suffer from middle book syndrome at all! It manages to surprise, stun and break your heart a bit more with each page!

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After finishing Daughter of Smoke and Bone and having to deal with that ending, I just had to start reading this one immediately! I had to stop after the first few chapters though, because it was so hard to read! Such heartbreak both on Karou's and Akiva's sides!

I will try my best to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, but you really shouldn't read it if you still haven't read the first book!

Karou finally knows who she was and it's learning to be both her blue haired self and who she was before, now that all her memories are back. It has destroyed her as much as it has made her whole and she has vowed to commit herself to do Brimstone's work to rebuild the army of the Chimaera to be able to fight back the Seraphim after being almost wiped out.

Akiva has decided to fight towards making sure the war will stop, to make sure a better future without hate and war can be possible, even if he doesn't seem to have any possibility of hope for himself. He starts slowly but keeps on finding ways to stop the slaughter, even if it's in small ways at first.

This was a very dark and very heartwrenching book, so much that despite not wanting to put it down, I had to take a break because I was getting so heartbroken page after page!

Karou is such an amazing character and she undergoes such a journey again in here, from heartbroken and full of pain and resentment and anger and fear to a much more assertive, strong and decided to make any sacrifices necessary to save those she love and to stop the war and murdering.

Thankfully we have Zuzanna and Mik to add some sense of wonder and magic in the darkness and some sense of strenght and to remind Karou of what and why she's fighting for!

The ending is quite tough and quite full of unexpect surprises and twists but it does leave us with a little bit of hope. I'm just too stunned and looking forward to the next book. It doesn't end with an awful gruelling cliffhanger, but it does leave us with a big looming menace, but Karou is left in a position where at least it seems that she'll be ready to fight!

5 stars or more to this one!

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Mark This Book Monday: Mini reviews for Stolen by Erin Bowman and The Guard by Kiera Cass!

I'm starting this week's Mark This Book Monday with a pair of novellas. I am quite fond of novellas because, if done well, novellas can be quite satisfactory and quick reads when you want to read a complete story but are feeling restless enough that you don't want to read a full lenght book!

These two are part of two dystopian series that I'm quite keen on, so reading these help you tide till the next book! Since they are dystopians they'll count towards my Dystopian Reading Challenge 2014 once I read another 3 novellas, to count as one book!

Stolen (Taken, #0.5)Stolen by Erin Bowman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stolen is chronologically happening before Taken, but somehow I think it'd make more sense to read it after reading Taken. Mostly because at the end we get a peek at events happening in Taken and it'd be better to go at those un-spoiled. Beware if you haven't read Taken, cause I might refer to some spoilery happenings in this review.

Stolen is Bree's story in her home, Saltwater. We discover a different Bree from the one we met in Taken, but this was before she was "snatched" and we learn about so many events that shaped her and made her who she is. I wasn't the biggest fan of Bree in Taken, but after reading this, she has become a firm favourite character for me. Bree doesn't have it easy in Saltwater, survival is tough maybe a lil tougher than in Claysoot even, but life is also shaped by the Snatchings and the ones taken away and those who are left behind.

I don't want to talk about all the story much cause I think it's best if you just read enjoy discovering a new and different Bree. One that is already brave and cares for those she considers family, one that is tough but continues getting tougher but also one that isn't that afraid of what's to come, and one that learns how to hope there will be something more after the Snatching.

We also get a sneak peek at Frozen at the end of Stolen and that made me excited again to finally get to read it! And I'm also pretty sure I will love reading about Bree much more than I would have before!

4 stars for a novella that gave us a better perspective into Bree and also helped us see the world in Taken with better perspective.

The Guard (The Selection #2.5)The Guard by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Guard is a small novella with Aspen's POV during The Elite. Somehow I feel we knew Aspen better and so this novella has a lil less impact than The Prince. We also know more about the world and the royal family per se, so we don't get as many interesting revelations towards the story.

Still, this is a necessary novella cause it brings balance in POVs, since we already had Maxon's. It was nice to get a different look at the events happening at the palace from someone who only cares about America and sees her as she was before and is discovering how she grows and loves her for it. Still, this novella needs to be read after reading The Elite, cause there are some gaps in the story that can only be understood if you already know the events happening there.

All in all, 3 to 3.5 stars for this one.

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Showcase Sunday #25!!

Showcase Sunday is a weekly feature hosted by Vicky of Books, Biscuits, and Tea where all book lovers can share with others what bookish goodness we got this week, be it purchased (physical or eBook), won, gifted or for review!

This is gonna be my last Showcase Sunday for a lil while, since I'm leaving for India on Tuesday to spend some time with the bf and I won't be blogging as much while over there, though I am scheduling plenty of posts for those weeks, reviews and WoWs!

This was an extremely good book mail week! I got quite a few awesome books, some preorders, others purchased, was also approved for a sequel I was eaerly awaiting on NetGalley and I also got some super awesome swag!

Purchased (via Kindle app)

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Stolen by Erin Bowman

The Guard by Kiera Cass

Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell

Purchased (via The Book Depository)

Alienated by Melissa Landers

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

For Review (via NetGalley)

Thanks a lot for the approvals Flux books and Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot books!

Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton

Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon

Downloaded for review (via Edelweiss)

Dark Days by Kate Ormand

I also got some amazing swag won in giveaways! Michelle Krys sent me the signed bookplate and bookmarks that I won on Fiction The New Reality's New Year New Books giveaway. And I also won some amazing Splintered signed swag on Lili Lost in a Book's swag giveaway! Thanks a lot Michelle (and Jayne for organizing the giveaway!) and Lili!!

What all did you guys get this week? I bet a few of you also got Ignite Me & Cress, didn't you? ;)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Reads: Avalon by Mindee Arnett!!

And my next and final Friday Reads for this week is one of those extremely awaited books for this year and one that didn't disappoint at all! This is one that is not part of any of my challenges (except my Goodreads one, of course) but was one that I read just because I really wanted to, I read it just for me!

Avalon (Avalon, #1)Avalon by Mindee Arnett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Avalon was in my list of highly awaited books of the year because it's science fiction, it was inspired by Firefly (one of my fave geeky shows) and it's written by Mindee Arnett and I love her (she's geeky and all around awesome!).

I had to wait for a wait for my preordered copy for a week to arrive (postal services!) and I have to thank Sam from Realm of Fiction cause I won my copy on a giveaway on her blog!

I had read Proxy, the prequel novella, so I had already met Jeth and the crew and had also got a peek at the first chapter of Avalon. And it was just a tiny peek at what we find in this one. I will try my best to share my love and excitement for this book and avoid spoilers as much as possible.

The book starts with the Malleus Shades working on an assignment for Hammer and it doesn't go to well, but instead of all hell breaking loose because of it they are assigned a new and even more mysterious mission. That mission takes them to a remote area of the galaxy, a Bermuda triangle of sorts, where they have to find a ship with valuable contents and no survivors and that's where all the complications start!

Jeth is a very believable character, he's a teenager that deals with a lot of responsability and pressure but still he's a guy that misses an adult in his life that he could rely on. Lizzie is adorable, a genius and a whirlwind, Celeste, Shady and Flynn... fantastic crew of guys! I kept on comparing them with the Firefly crew and what Mindee wrote so well was the interactions between them, they really feel like family!

There's plenty of action and tension and meeting new characters that you aren't sure you can trust. The plot was very engaging and with quite a few twists and revelations that I didn't expect and that were quite game changers, even when things seem to be slowing down. Jeth keeps getting curve balls thrown at him and he keeps trying to do his best to stay ahead and protect those he loves. He keeps on fighting for his freedom and Avalon and even so, he's still a teenager with hormones, so there was a bit of romance there. Not much, not plot driving and definitely more spark of attraction between two teenagers than an "undying love declaration" kind.

This is a perfect piece of science fiction, full of technology, great characters, unexpected twists, high stakes and thankfully without an awful cliffhanger. The story has a sense of closure but with plenty of threads pending to be really looking forward for the next and final book in the series!

Very well deserved 4.5 starts!

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Friday Reads: ARC Review of Enders by Lissa Price!

This week's Friday Reads is a book that is part of two of my challenges, the 2014 Dystopian Reading Challenge and the 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge!

I was approved for Enders via NetGalley so thanks a lot to the people of Random House Children's!

Enders (Starters, #2)Enders by Lissa Price

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enders was the second book in what I think it's a duology. I was approved for this one via NetGalley, thank you Random House Children's!

It was quite great being able to read Starters and Enders back to back, and even though this series didn't blow my mind, it was an interesting dystopian!

I will be trying to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, but there might be spoilers for Starters.

Enders starts very much where Starters left us, with Callie having a reprieve and getting what she wanted for her brother, but not feeling entirely safe. Since she was modified for Prime Destinations, apparently she can be accessed remotely by the Old Man, and that makes her life full of uncertainity.

Callie finds herself constantly on the run trying to find a way to get rid of her chip and to avoid being controlled. She meets some unlikely allies and things start getting more interesting with every turn of the page. Callie and her allies start growing and trying to find a way to fight back and recover their lives and find away to get rid of their chips.

We get some old characters returning and some new ones that you aren't really sure if you should trust, but that add some unexpected twists to the story, the plot and even the romance.

If there's one thing Enders does very well is on keeping you on your toes, with surprises and twists that you really don't see coming! You're not very sure of who is going to betray you and who is really the bad guy until the very end, where Callie is forced on a showdown to protect herself and the ones she love.

The ending was quite satisfying and gave us enough closure along with an open enough ending to maybe add something more to the series down the line... maybe not a third book but a novella. But even if there isn't more, it's a complete story as it is. 3.5 stars for this one.

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