Wednesday, December 31, 2014

November Book Haul

Happy New Year's! I'll be posting my video of Top 14 of 2014 soon! Probably film it tomorrow. I've been very busy on my break with Christmas and my birthday, but I'm trying.:) Hope your holidays were fabulous! See ya soon.:D


Friday, December 19, 2014

Trilogy Wrap Up: Divergent Edition



Trilogy Wrap-Up

DIVERGENT TRILOGY BY VERONICA ROTH
If you are interested in my whole Divergent review experience, you can find my review here. I’m incredibly behind on reviews and I read the last two books in this trilogy in March and figured I’d kill two birds with one stone and just finally write my reviews. Obviously this contains spoilers for the previous books in the trilogy and there’s just no getting around that.

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Second in the Divergent trilogy

3.5 stars (originally 4.5 stars)

Insurgent follows Tris on her journey after the battle concluded in Divergent between Dauntless-controlled people on Abnegation. Tris struggles to forgive herself for causing a close friend’s death while also facing being virtually factionless. As Tris, Four, and the rest of the gang take refuge with Amity things start to slowly fall apart and they meet the Factionless. Secrets of Four’s past are revealed and Chicago is preparing for war. I originally gave this book 4.5 stars, but since it’s been ten months since I’ve read Insurgent I’ve had a lot of time to think about this trilogy’s conclusion and it’s middle book. Insurgent is surprisingly no longer my least favorite novel. If you asked me months which book in this trilogy was the worst I would’ve shouted Insurgent because I thought it was boring, slow, and uneventful (I still read it in a little over a week despite that). After a lot of thinking I’ve come to realize Insurgent isn’t the worse book in this trilogy, but it is certainly not very good either.


Insurgent is bogged down with a lot of pointless drama and action. The constant bickering between Tris and Four was frustrating and I wanted to rip my hair out more than once.



The big reveal of why the factions and this dystopian Chicago were created was lame and unfulfilling. Plus it was a cliffhanger reveal which for me didn’t give it bonus points like some cliffhangers manage to do. This cliffhanger only infuriated me. It was completely pointless to be included at the END of the novel. The last five pages were this huge reveal and I wanted to screa 


Also the Amity and Factionless compounds were boring. Amity is a snoozefest and while I love the idea of experiencing a new faction life style apart from the ones we were previously introduced to in Divergent, this faction lacked. It was a good idea that was poorly executed. The Factionless compound was just meh for me. I didn’t care for the inclusion of these people because they were just as bad as Erudite. I don’t understand why Roth wants everyone to seem so power hungry. Maybe it has something to do with being genetically impure, but really I don’t give two shits anymore.




The main female character is Tris. Tris, you are…

Tris, I loved you in Divergent. I struggled with her character growth a bit, but I overall appreciated who she became by the end of that novel. All that went right out the train. Get it? Cause the Dauntless jump out of trains. I thought it was funny. Tris was frustrating, selfish, and childish in this novel. Her thought process irked me and she kept egging on fights with Four. I mean it was unnecessary. I lost a lot of respect for Tris in this novel.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 6.5

The main male character is Four or Tobias. I’m not sure what to call him anymore, so I’ll just stick to Four. My love for Tobias (LOL there went the whole only using Four thing) varied throughout Insurgent. There were times when my inner fangirl was strong. My heart was singing when he was in the scene and I wanted to swoon, but then he would annoy the crap out of me. This love-hate feeling toward Tobias had me very confused. I wanted to love him and at times I had no problem loving him. At others he made me want to scream.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 8

The Villain- Well, the main villain plot was slightly wrapped up only to introduce about seventy more villains. I’m so done with Roth right now. Writing a review for this novel has really started to piss me off.


Villain Scale: 6

The characters in this novel were all entertaining and they would make me laugh. Of course, Roth has to kill off at least five characters in one novel and she called off a few new ones introduced that I really liked.


Character Scale: 7.5

I’m so frustrated with Insurgent. I want to rate it four stars, but I can’t. I wanted to love this book, but there are too many problems with for me to do that. I’ve only become angry writing this review and my blood pressure is rising a bit. I think that’s all I should say about Insurgent because I WILL RAGE for Allegiant.


Cover Thoughts: I love this cover. It’s so… Amity. Which says something because this book is far from peaceful Tris’s constant hormonal arguing and fighting whether to have sex with Tobias or not. Or the fact that there’s a war about to start. This book cover is ironic.


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Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The third and final book in the Divergent trilogy (Should I even consider this a book, thought?)

1 star (I originally rated this book five stars because I was sad this trilogy was over and wanted more, but now I don’t give a shit I’m fricking angry.)

Instead of being my normally brilliant self (LOL I should just stop) and creating my own synopsis for this novel, I’ve decided to use the Goodreads synopsis because this will help me rage because I have a lot of rage for this novel that I’ve kept bottled up, but I can’t keep it inside anymore. There will obviously be spoilers and cursing because RAGE.


What if your whole world was a lie?
Well, Tris your whole life was a lie. All of a sudden you find out the whole faction system was created by scientists as a huge science research project. People are born either genetically pure or impure. The impure genes have led to war and chaos, but there are few people with pure genes. Tris is one of these people labeled as Divergents- genetically pure.

You know what else is a lie was- that this was a good trilogy. This trilogy turned crap. I was lied to. This trilogy was supposed to be amazing and great, but instead all I got was crap marketed as a stunning conclusion and a groundbreaking dystopian trilogy.



What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
Tris has a lot of revelations in this novel. She realizes she wants to do the do with Tobias. Tobias realizes he loves Tris 5ever. Tris wants to leave Chicago to found out what lies beyond the compound. Tobias realizes his mother may not be so bad. Tris realizes her brother is a dick, but then realizes she forgives him. Tobias realizes that he isn’t genetically pure like Tris and just exhibits the symptoms. Tris realizes she is invincible- even to a death serum. Tris realizes that her dumbass has been shot by a doctor in the science research facility and takes a bullet for her dickheaded brother- leading her to fucking die. Tobias realizes Tris is fucking dead. Tobias realizes he rules Chicago now and decides to get over his fear of heights and spread Tris’s ashes on the zip line.

I realize Veronica Roth is a cop out and this trilogy is shit. Divergent is the only book worth reading. Fuck Allegiant. I’m hundred percent done trying to make up excuses that this trilogy has a good conclusion because it doesn’t. How can you make Tris survive a death serum, but kill her off with a bullet? I’m sorry Roth, but your logical fails and I’m not going to try to make excuses for this shit book because I’m done.


What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
I’ve lost my love and loyalty for this trilogy after ten months. I don’t care anymore and I wouldn’t recommend this trilogy. ONLY READ DIVERGENT! It is the only thing worth reading.


You wanna know why there’s a fricken wave on the cover? The cover doesn’t fit any of the faction themed symbols. My theory is the publishers wanted to remind me every time I look at Allegiant’s cover I wanted to burst into tears. Not because Tris died. No because this could’ve-been-great trilogy turned to complete SHIT.


Another thing that really bothers me is this whole genetic impurity and purity crap. Like what? What does any of this mean? All I got from the explanations was info-dump, bigger info-dump, mound of info-dump, and look-a-trash-lot-sized info-dump. I’m not satisfied with Roth’s explanation for things because they make no sense. There is no sense in this genetically pure and impure crap. Wanna know why? Because there will always be good and bad people. There will always be people who fight for what they believe in and people who tear other people down. There will never be a perfect utopian society where everyone has a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, and a dog, lives in the suburbs, and is morally acceptable. That is not how humanity works. I don’t understand why Roth decided to use genetics and combine it with good and evil. I do understand that Roth’s attempt at being a different kind of dystopian only fueled in pissing me off.



The main female character is Tris. Tris, you have made me pissed. I’m so done with your bullshit. I don’t care anymore. I wanted you to survive because you should’ve survived. Instead you got a copped out hero-send-off. I’m disappointed in your characterization and was it was left off. I do appreciate you finally coming to terms with all your sorrows and sins. Sadly it was for nothing. Believe it or not: I am sad Tris died because it wasn’t the death she deserved.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 6

The main male character is Tobias. Tobias, you sound a lot like Tris in POVs. That’s not a good thing. I should love you, Tobias. I fell so hard in Divergent, was lukewarm in Insurgent, but now I dislike you. I completely dislike Tobias. I feel ashamed to say that now, but I dislike Tobias in Allegiant. So I’m just going to pretend like Tobias-Allegiant never happened.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 5

The Villain- Once again, Roth introduced about twenty more villains before dealing with one. The drama was concluded though.


Villain Scale: 4

Uriah… *cries* I’m unsatisfied with these characters. I read somewhere that Roth that in the future Christina and Tobias get together after the epilogue.

Roth just keeps digging a deeper hole for herself.


Character Scale: 7

I’m left angry, empty, and unsure of this trilogy. This should’ve been a great trilogy. It could’ve been, but I see so many flaws and I had so many issues with it. I’m just angry. I don’t know if I’ll read any of Roths other works, but hopefully I do one day decide to give her another shot. Until then I’m out.



Cover Thoughts: I like the cover. I’ve already expressed deeper thoughts about it above.

What are your thoughts on this trilogy? Did you get as angry as I am? Let's discuss down below!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Night of Pan by Gail Strickland

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Night of Pan by Gail Strickland

First in the Oracle of Delphi trilogy

3.5 stars

Thaleia is supposed to marry a man she doesn’t wish to marry. She runs away in the middle of night after being taken by the priests for her ritual in preparation for her marriage. She finds herself in the mountains and meeting a satyr, the god Pan. From there on Thaleia’s life is completely uprooted and she learns that she is an important part in saving Greece. I’m surprised by this one. I started it on a whim because my copy on my computer was about to expire but I wasn’t expecting to like it very much. In fact, I thought I would DNF it quickly and move on. That wasn’t the case at all and I’m happy it wasn’t. The atmosphere of this novel is adventurous. Thaleia is always up to no good and it makes Night of Pan a fast-paced novel. I do think that there was too much going on in chapters and in the plot overwhelm. This book is tiny (254 pages) and there was no down time, which isn’t a bad thing, but the constant surprises and info-dumping gave me a headache.


I love the Greek mythology in this novel. It’s very heavy. In fact, this whole novel is just Greek mythology. There are gods present, but it’s not god heavy like most mythology YA reads. It’s an overall plus for me and it was what made reading Night of Pan enjoyable.


The main female character is Thaleia. I like Thaleia. She’s mischievous, strong, and smart. I really like her character, but my biggest problem with her is that she has four or five prophecies surrounding her greatness and all that jazz. Nobody is that special. Special snowflake in Greek times.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 7.5

The main male character is no one because embrace the Oracle life. You belong to the Gods and don’t need no man.


Swoon Worthy Scale: ----

The Villain- There’s a war; a big war that is solved quickly and is a little disappointing. It was over too quickly and didn’t feel authentic.


Villain Scale: 5

I was incredibly annoyed by Sophia, Thaleia’s best friend. She wasn’t a very good friend and she betrayed her only to be forgiven. They didn’t even fight over the betrayal, it was just brushed under the rug and that really bothered me.


Character Scale: 4

This is very entertaining. It’s good fun. I didn’t like how it ended though. Cliffhangers in unnecessary places are annoying. I’m not sure if I’ll read the sequels, but I’m glad I read Night of Pan. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a quick read or in the mood for authentic mythology.


Cover Thoughts: I like the roses and the girl reminds me of Medusa, but I’m not really sure if that was supposed to be the point.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Video Review Batch #1

I've decided to compile a bunch of books I've read and make a review mash-up of them. So here are five of the books I've read not recently, but a while back.



 

Some of these I've written reviews for and some I haven't (most likely I haven't) but here are the links to reviews I've written for these books if you're interested. Hopefully those reviews will be up soon, but I don't have a lot of time so I haven't written too much.
Jackaby by William Ritter
Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts?

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

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The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

4 stars

I’ve always thought that the best way to go into a Suma novel is to know almost nothing about it. When I went into Imaginary Girls all I knew was that the cover was gorgeous and that the main protagonists were sisters. I went into 17 & Gone only knowing that the main character was trying to crack the case of a missing girl and then becoming obsessed with several other missing cases. I went into The Walls Around Us only knowing it was written by Suma. I didn’t even read the summary and I think all I need to say about Suma’s work is…

But since I’m reviewer and I’ve been slacking on reviews ‘cause I’m absolutely horrible and have decided to get a social life, I’ll actually articulate my thoughts on this novel without using just one gif.

If you are curious what this book is about… then the briefest summary I can give you without spoiling the major plot is that Ori and Violet were best friends… until something went wrong and one of them ended up with Amber in a place she never expected to be. That’s literally all you need to know. I don’t want to spoil anything because not going into this book with any knowledge was what had me turning the page and biting my nails in anticipation for the reveal. I consider Suma to be one of the best YA authors I’ve read. She has an entrancing style that I just breeze through and find myself easily lost in.


This book opens up in a really weird way. Don’t let the beginning trip you up, though. It has a purpose… a purpose I wasn’t expecting Suma to use. Also this book is set in Canada. I don’t read very many Canadian settings, but this one was interesting. This book is simply put a “typical Suma”. This sounds weird for someone who hasn’t read any of her works before, but all of her elements are there. Lyrical writing, dark atmosphere, haunting characters, and the ability to leave me in chills once I close to book (or my PDF file). I did find this to be Suma’s most suspenseful novel so far. The only thoughts going through my head while reading were, “What’s going to happen?” “What’s the secret/ twist?” “Where’s this going?”


We have two POVs, which is very different from Suma’s usual style, but then again I’ve noticed that she never sticks to a particular writing POV in her novels. They always vary.


The main female characters in this one are Amber, Violet, and Ori. Amber is my spirit animal for books. I can totally see Suma’s love for books and the library in Amber’s character.
"Our private taste books showed a hint of our secret selves, and sometimes I was the only one who got to see those secrets."
This quote was during a prison break. Amber had the chance to break out and run free, but she went to the library… her library. I don’t know if I liked her character though. She was enamored with Ori too much. It kind of creeped me out. Then there’s Violet who has become THE ballerina. She’s off to bigger and better things soon, but first she must visit Ori. I once again find myself loathing a Suma character. She reminded me a lot of a character is Suma’s debut novel (that I won’t mention because it’s a spoiler) with her manipulative mindset and psychopathic tendencies. She was also incredibly obsessed with Ori. Obsessed to the point where I was waiting for her to be like “P.S. I love Ori as more than a friend/ sister and that’s why I hated your bae.” Alas, that didn’t happen because Violet is just Violet. Then there’s Ori. She reminds of the same character that Violet reminds me of. It’s so weird, but she’s has her ability to make people fall for her on-sight. The thing I like about Ori is she doesn’t use people’s love and admiration against them. She’s a genuinely good person to the people in the novel.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: Amber- 7 Violet- 5 Ori- 8

The main male character is… I just think I should point out that there is never really a main Romeo in her novels, which is something I truly love and admire about her novels. A good writer is a writer who can make me love the characters without there being a love story. (But Ori did have a bae. He seemed to love her and it was adorable in the scene I’m thinking of.)


Swoon Worthy Scale: Omitted

The Villain-

I like to think of Suma as an evil puppeteer stringing us along in her writing because fun times for her while making us squirm, plus there was a bloodbath.

Villain Scale: 8

The girls of the prison were integral in the story. I love how Suma was able to weave in their personalities without it being annoying to the flow of the story.


Character Scale: 7

I love the incorporation of ballet and prison life. Two very parallel things, but it somehow worked very well.


This book left me feeling haunted. Oh, puns! The content is one of Suma’s darker ones- taking on the theme of retribution and punishment. The twist at the end was very strange, but justice was served. Definitely not Suma’s strongest work, but still enjoyable. I highly recommend this for Suma fans or anyone curious about all the hype around her.


“Some actions remove words entirely from your vocabulary.”

Cover Thoughts: I love the cover all on its own. It’s is absolutely beautiful, but since I’ve read this I can actually appreciate it’s symbolism and the beauty of it (also the horror).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

September and October Book Haul

I'm still alive I promise! I'll be around a little bit more in the next months. Hopefully if everything goes according to plan the week of Thanksgiving I will be posting my Harry Potter series review.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Catch Up Reviews

Sorry, I haven't been around lately. School is kicking my butt, my obsession with American Horror Story also meant that I didn't want to check e-mails or be social. The last few weekends have been very hectic, but I have a five day weekend and you'll probably see me again this weekend. I leave you with three book reviews. Two I hated, one I loved. All very different from each other.

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Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Prequel to the Covenant series

4.5 stars

Alexandria and her mother have lived with mortals for three years. Three years away from her home and trying to forget her duty to protect demigods. After horrifying events lead Alex to Miami she finds herself on the run from daimons, the very things she’s been trained to kill. On the run from daimons and trying to find her way back to the place she escaped from- the Covenant- things are about to get crazy for Alex. The thing I love about JLA is that her writing is always fun. She’s snarky and entertaining. I always find myself loving the heroine and swooning for the hero. Being that this story is only 62 pages and I was already starting to feel this way, I’d say that Armentrout is amazing. I know that a lot of people don’t like this series because it’s a “rip-off” of Vampire Academy. I love VA and I see the similarities, but it doesn’t seem all that much the same now. Keep in mind that Obsidian was also said to be a rip-off of Twilight with aliens. If you’ve read more than one book, then you know that this because completely irrelevant as the story progresses. I’m sure the same thing will happen with this series.


For a short story, I thought Alex was great and this Seth guy sounds great. I already have Half-Blood and hope to get to it soon because JLA never disappoints.


Cover Thoughts: This cover is gorgeous. It’s not particularly different, but it is a good cover and I like it a lot.

This book can be read free online here.


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Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose

1 star

Undaunted Courage chronicles the story of Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition, Thomas Jefferson’s dream of America’s expansion, and the events leading up to and after the expedition. Well, this is a nonfiction novel so I can’t pick apart characters or plots. That’s probably my biggest problem with Undaunted Courage it offers no great excitement besides that Indian battle. I read 50 full pages and then decided the easiest way to get through and enjoy this book was to skim through. I read the first sentence of every paragraph and if it pertained to my project I would read the full paragraph. I didn’t enjoy this novel in the least. It was boring, endless and it left me miserable and unsatisfied. I did learn a few things from this book surprisingly (I didn’t know Lewis killed himself and was pretty shocked by that), but I didn’t feel anything besides boredom and the feeling of impatience while reading. Nonfiction like this just isn’t my forte.


There were many maps and pictures inside this novel. They were greatly detailed and offered a lot to the expedition.


Cover Thoughts: It’s a great painting, but it doesn’t appeal to me.


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Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly by P.T. Jones
DNF-1.5 stars

Mary doesn’t know what to think when she’s at a lame birthday party with her lame overly religious family when a boy floats up a tree and into the sky. She doesn’t know what to do when her brother starts to float to and other kids. The prospect of this novel is different and cute. I thought I would enjoy it. Sadly I didn’t. I DNFed 91 pages in. I have enough back story on this novel to say that this novel isn’t for me. The writing is painfully childish and uninteresting. The book is chalked full of bad pop culture references. This novel tries to be cool, but instead of me enjoying the references, I found myself annoyed with the author for trying so hard to appeal to younger readers.


Mary was a character who I couldn’t connect to. She had some funny lines, but she was telling me her life instead of showing it to me. I can’t stand characters like that. Mary was just one of the reasons why this book didn’t work for me.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2
The “love interest” I was introduced to was a flop. I’m not sure if he was meant to be a love interest or a crush, but regardless I wasn’t interested.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 1
The Villain- I’m not really sure where this story is going, but that weird man was unsettling. I’ll give the book that.

Villain Scale: 2.5
Mary’s friends and family were present in comparison to most YA and MG novels, but I didn’t feel a family bond or a close friendship bond.

Character Scale: 2
This book was just unsatisfying and I’m sure I continued to read further instead of DNFing, I would’ve just hated it more.

Cover Thoughts: Hands reaching… I’ve never seen that used before.
Thank you, Netgalley and ChiTeen for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read any of these? Let me know down below!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Devil and Her Love Song by Miyoshi Tomori





I'm sorry I've been absent and not very active in the community, but junior year is kicking my butt. On the bright side hopefully within the next couple of weeks I'll get back to blogging. I also haven't been reading a lot because I've discovered American Horror Story and I think that show is life. Seriously if you haven't watched it yet, you need to. I watched Murder House in two days, Asylum in four, and I'm half way through Coven. It's amazing. I'm so excited for Freak Show. Anyway I'll try to stop by and start writing and filming more videos. I miss my blog, but life is busy.


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A Devil and Her Love Song by Miyoshi Tomori

First Volume

3 stars

Maria has just transferred from a Catholic school and she seems to have a knack for reading people. This doesn’t win over her classmates, but Yusuke and Shin seem to want to be her friend. This is a pretty disappointing manga. It’s nothing great and it lacks in comparison to other realistic shoujo manga I’ve read. I went in thinking that this would be a paranormal manga. I was wrong! This is very much contemporary and while that isn’t a bad thing, I feel like A Devil and Her Love Song was poorly executed. There were times when the tone was very dark and then would randomly throw in light undertones and completely stop focusing on the original plot point of the chapter. It was very annoying and I found myself becoming less invested in the characters as I continued to read, but I may continue with the manga series all because there was a cliffhanger.


The art is quite beautiful. While the light and dark plot changes bugged me, art wise it was beautiful to look at. The art is simple and not very different from most popular shoujo mangas, but it was still aesthetically pleasing.


Cover Thoughts: I love the cover. It was why I bought the volume in the first place. It just has this badass vibe to it. Sadly the book is not as badass.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Jackaby by William Ritter

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Jackaby William Ritter

2.5 stars

Abigail Rook has just arrived in New England. She isn’t supposed to be there, but she can’t contain her wanderlust attitude and hope for adventure. She meets R.F. Jackaby at a bar in an odd encounter and finds herself working for him as an assistant to his investigations. Jackaby isn’t like other investigators though, he sees things that aren’t really there- or at least seem like they wouldn’t be. As a series of gruesome murders begins to occur Jackaby and Abigail must uncover who the vicious killer is before it’s too late. I was so excited for this one. The cover is gorgeous. I was really intrigued by all what this novel had to offer, but everything just fell flat. Jackaby is novel that is mediocre. There’s no other way to describe this novel. It’s simple in plot, writing style, characterization, as well as suspense build up. If it wasn’t for the interesting crime scene visits or the remaining fifty pages, I would’ve gladly DNFed this novel. I expected quite a lot out of Jackaby and was disappointed. I do have to commend Ritter for the usage of paranormal and fantasy lore. It was very entertaining at times, but at others it was randomly thrown into a scene and just seemed like information overkill. The easiest way to describe this novel is odd. That sometimes is a great thing, if done correctly. Sadly, Jackaby lacked in the departments necessary to make an odd novel entertaining and fun to breeze through.


The main female character is Abigail. I have nothing to say about her. She was a heroine, but she was also more of a cardboard cutout than character. I feel that besides her want to be adventurous, I know nothing about her. I didn’t connect to her. She has zero personality. I just didn’t connect to her at all.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3

The main male character is Jackaby. Jackaby and Abigail have no romantic relationship, which is kind of nice. It makes their partnership strictly businesslike and not all lovey-dovey. Jackaby does have more characterization than Abigail. He seems slightly more solid, but still not really a solid enough character for me to form any thorough opinion on liking or disliking him.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 3.5

The Villain- I did like the lore behind this villain. It was very different from what I usually read, but still not a solid enough characterization or buildup of lore to qualify as anything other than me scratching my head and asking if that’s it.



Villain Scale: 4

The side characters are all very entertaining. There’s a banshee, an old assistant turned duck, a ghost, a homeless woman who isn’t as crazy as she seems, a werewolf, and a crabby police chief. It’s very entertaining, but also some of these characters felt like fillers to add in random information that wasn’t necessary to the investigation or novel.


Character Scale: 4.5

Jackaby is mediocrity at its finest. I’m extremely disappointed in this one, but that doesn’t mean that somebody else won’t like it. I recommend this to fans of paranormal mystery. I don’t recommend this to fans of Sherlock because that would feel like a bit of a letdown to go into thinking this is Sherlock with Supernatural combined.


Cover Thoughts: The cover is absolutely gorgeous. I just love the colors, the fading effect, and how classy it looks. It’s a beautiful cover. If I loved this book I probably would’ve bought it to show off on my shelf for the cover alone.

Thank you, Netgalley and Algonquin Young Readers for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth

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The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth

4.5 stars

Devin has always lived on a farm and when his grandfather dies he knows it’s his time to go into the city. What Devin finds in the city is a world of poverty. The rich are the ones living in houses, drinking water, and eating. The homeless are children and people who can’t afford to live nicely. Devin meets a girl on the streets and they become fast friends. Rumors of a home where homeless children go to be adopted are whispered amongst the homeless, but Kit says they are just stories. Until they aren’t. Devin is offered to go to the home and he’s taking Kit with him. Not everything is what it seems in the home. Horrible things are being done to the children and there is no escape. I’ve never read The Giver or Among the Hidden, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I was highly impressed by this novel. I hit a lot of sour reads through Netgalley and even more mediocre ones. I always get so excited when I find books that are genuinely fantastic on there. This is one of those books! I was very thrown off at first. It is an odd book from the beginning. This is a dystopian novel. It doesn’t seem like one but it is. I like the feel of that in writing. I know the world is horrible, but it feels like today’s current world only in the behind the scenes. Our world is wreaked with poverty whether we want to acknowledge it or not. In that sense, this novel heightens the form of poverty to no middle class. You are either rich or homeless. There’s no in between.


Dystopians can always seem predictable. There’s your basic regime government of supposed utopian society gone downhill. There’s a revolution in the underground waiting to break free that the main character discovers and leads. Your basic romance that can sometimes just be absolutely gut-wrenching (I’m looking at you Suzanne Collins). Dystopians have a basic set up, but The One Safe Place goes against your basic backdrop. We have absolutely no interaction with the government and there is no revolution. We do meet someone who in a way governs the orphans, but is in no means the government. There’s no takedown per say, but there is a conclusion that leaves hope for the characters. There is also no romance, just a strong friendship that could be more in the future. I loved all these differences. It’s refreshing. It made me enjoy this book. I went from apprehensive to absolutely thrilled.


The main male character is Devin. It’s interesting to be thrown into a dystopian where the main character hasn’t grown up in this environment. His family has lived on a farm as a way to escape this world. As Devin journeys into this world we feel the same confusion and questions about this world that Devin has. It was an interesting perspective and I really enjoyed it. Devin also has synesthesia. I have never read a book with a character that has this disability, but I have quite a few on my TBR list. I thought it was a very interesting take for Devin, but I don’t feel like it was fully touched on or even touched in the proper way. I’m not sure though since this is my first time reading about or even really getting knowledge on it.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 7.5

The main female character is Kit. There’s no romantic connection between Kit and Devin. It was hinted at as a possibility, but when you are fighting for your life it’s put on the back burner for these characters. This is something I really enjoyed. It doesn’t have to be all about romance and it was refreshing for it to be put on hold to let the plot be the main focal point of this novel. I didn’t particularly like Kit though. She could be very na├»ve about things and as well as annoying. I understand her reasoning though.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 6.5

The Villain- That twist?! The problem that orphans face in this utopian home is that they all go into a Dream. The Dream was not what I was expecting at all. I was completely blown away by the actual thought behind the Dream. It was just so cool.


Villain Scale: 8

I loved the orphans. They were such a colorful cast of characters. How could I not smile at the simple jokes? Also the pig was just such a fun touch to the novel.


Character Scale: 8

I’m highly impressed with The One Safe Place. It’s very different from current dystopians and worth the read. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a dystopian that is different from Divergent or The Hunger Games.


Cover Thoughts: I really like the cover. It’s simplistic, but it’s not amazing. I just really like the simplicity of it.

Thank you, Netgalley and Algonquin Young Readers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer of Reading: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

I had to read four books this summer for AP English. This is the first book I read this summer and I decided to finally review it.:)



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East of Eden by John Steinbeck

4.5 stars

East of Eden focuses on the lives of the Trasks and the Hamiltons. The Trasks have lived a life of brothers plagued to play out like Cain and Abel. The Hamiltons are a quaint, poor family in the Salinas Valley. That’s the best description of this book without giving anything away. Believe me; you don’t want to be spoiled for this book. This book is my favorite classic. I hold classics in a different regard to books published long ago (In Cold Blood is a classic and it’s a big favorite of mine, but it’s nonfiction so I hold it on a different standard). As a fictional classic, East of Eden is superb. Steinbeck is the classic writer of a good drama. This book is insanely dramatic. Yes, it’s lengthy. Are there a lot of unnecessary descriptions? Sure, but most of them have something relevant to the plot. Everything Steinbeck writes means something. I enjoyed every minute of this novel. It’s whirlwind ride of deception, psychos, bad brothers, and secrets. I have so much to praise and talk about but I don’t want to spoil anything or give too much away of the brilliance of Steinbeck’s characters.


A Breakdown of Characters:
There are so many characters in this novel and each of them are connected in some huge way to another. We have the main family line which starts with Adam. His mother killed herself when he was a baby and his father instantly remarried and fathered another son named Charles. Adam loved his brother, but Charles hated him because their father loved Adam more. This is a reference to Cain and Abel as their father being God because he is a high authority to them. Then we are introduced to a quaint but very poor family of Irish descent in the Salinas Valley. They seem to hold no point to the main story but later Adam meets Samuel Hamilton and they become fast friends. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with Samuel? He’s an awesome guy with good beliefs and has great perceptions of reality that he loves to discuss. Then we are introduced to Cathy. Cathy is the original psycho. She’s absolutely insane. Manipulative, deceitful, spiteful, and calculating; Cathy always has a plan and she wants money. Cathy somehow finds her way with the Trask brothers. Adam instantly falls for Cathy and she wraps him around her finger. They get married, but she sneaks into Charles’s bed. Then Cathy finds out she’s pregnant. Then chaos ensues. Whore houses are introduced, the Hamiltons slowly self-destruct, and Adam’s twin boys are pitted against each other constantly. My favorite characters of this novel were Lee, Samuel, Cathy, Adam, Caleb, and Abra. I love Lee because he shows the stereotypes towards Chinese people and also provides great philosophies and is a great second father to the boys. Samuel as I said before also is philosophical, but he’s a great father, inventor, friend, and person. Cathy is a horrible person, but I love how psychotic and crazy she is. I just love it. She made this novel for me. Without Cathy this novel wouldn’t have been nearly as fantastic. Adam is great because he offers a look at the war, homeless life, brokenhearted-ness, fatherhood without a mother to help, and a man with ideas that don’t seem to work. I love Caleb. He could be cruel to Aron, but he was also just a great character. I adored him and I can’t help but ship him with Abra. Abra is a little girl that Aron and Caleb met as children. Aron instantly falls for her and she likes him a lot more than Caleb. As they grow up though she begins to realize that Aron doesn’t see her, but what he wants her to be. Much like his father saw Cathy. It’s man’s greatest downfall to see things in a way completely different from the way they are.


Character Scale:10

I don’t think I have to spell this out for anyone, but people don’t seem to realize the most obvious comparison to Cain and Abel. The characters all have a C or A name: Cain and Abel, Charles and Adam, or Caleb and Aron. I just thought it was really cool of Steinbeck to be so straightforward with him saying this is who I’m allusioning.


I just really loved East of Eden. It’s a great literary piece, but it’s also a great drama. I highly recommend this if you love stories with plots, psychos, and philosophy.


Cover Thoughts: I love my cover of East of Eden. It’s how I pictured the Salinas Valley to look and I think the art is just beautiful. 


Have you read East of Eden? What are your thoughts on it? Let's rave about Cathy's insanity below!:D

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Book Haul!

Here's my August book haul! Lots of books to be excited about. I'll be posting a review tomorrow, but enjoy this video for now.:)

Have you read or own any of these books? Let me know what you think of them!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

If I Stay Movie Review

My life has been pretty hectic at the moment and you won't be seeing me as often. I've been in school for two weeks now (I think). It goes by so fast. Anyway, I haven't even finished the book I've been reading (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) so that's my main priority. I'm going to try and post on the weekends, but sometimes it may not happen. I did get to see If I Stay when it came out Friday. Here are my thoughts:
 


What are your thoughts on the book? The movie? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

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Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

First in the Hopeless duology

4 stars

Sky has never felt anything when it comes to boys. She makes out with them, but never feels anything. She just looks at her ceiling and counts the stars. Then she meets Dean Holder. Dean has a reputation, but he also makes her feel for the first time in her life. As she struggles to keep him at a distance, she also knows that she wants nothing more. Memories are starting to resurface. Memories of events that are strange and make Sky feel even more disconnected from her life. Why is this happening? What does Dean have to do with it? I don’t know what prompted me to finally look through my Kindle library and open up Hopeless, but I’m glad I did. I honestly expected to hate this novel. It seemed like another one of those NA novels weighed down by tropes and a book I would probably regret reading. This isn’t the case. I’m happy I read this novel because it made me really enjoy a new NA author. I plan on reading Hooover’s works and experiencing some better NA.


"You can’t get mad at a real ending. Some of them are ugly. It’s the fake happily ever afters that should piss you off.”

The thing is Hopeless does have a lot of tropes. There’s slut shaming (mildly), the bad boy trope, and the tragic past of the heroine. I also have found a new trope I call the I’m-in-high-school-but-this-is-NA. I don’t understand why this is considered NA because it feels like a YA except there are some explicit scenes. It reminds me of Bully. I’m not sure if it’s NA or mature YA. Genre categorizing problems.


The main female character is Sky. Sky annoys me for a good portion of this novel. Sometimes I loved her character and other times I hated her. She was constantly acting as if her past was horrible. You make out with a lot of guys, so what? That doesn’t define you. Who cares if Dean only likes you because of rumors? If that’s what you think then just don’t obsess over him all the time.
"Not everything is going to go my way and not everyone gets a happily ever after. Life is real and sometimes it’s ugly and you just have to learn how to cope.”
I disliked her a lot for a while, but while she was a character I didn’t like all the time she was also a character I became invested in. I wanted to know what happened next in her life. I cared. That’s why she’s a good character. I hated her but wanted to know where her life took her.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 7

The main male character is Dean. Dean is a dickhead. Dean the dickhead. He annoys me to know end. Almost this whole novel I wanted to hit him in the face. He has multiple personalities. At one point he likes Sky and wants her around and the next he hates her and needs some space. I don’t have time for these mood swings and stupidity.

"Because I want your first kiss to be the best first kiss in the history of first kisses.”
I do hate Dean sometimes, but I also like him. I liked him a good bit at certain parts. He was sweet and he cared. Then the ending happened. This is going to be a spoiler, so don’t click on the tag unless you really want to be spoiled. How can he just get away with murder? I don’t get that at all! It really pisses me off and if the novel wouldn’t have ended on that note maybe I would’ve felt differently about him overall.



Swoon Worthy Scale: 6

The Villain- Gosh, I want to talk about this. So the whole villain section is spoilers. Sorry! SPOILERS start now! Basically my favorite part of the whole novel was how I couldn’t decide who the true villain was. Was it Karen or Sky’s father? I figured Karen was Sky’s aunt from the time she was mentioned in a certain flashback. I knew she took Sky and I kind of hated her for it. Then I read about poor Sky. She was so tiny and so little. I was truly sickened and for once in a NA I wanted to truly hug the main character. Sky has every right to be disconnected from her peers and just feel lost. She had it tough and I understand completely why blocking the memories would be her way of coping at such a young age. Sky’s father is a character I hate. Human beings like him sicken me and I felt queasy when the confrontation occurred. I do understand Karen and I’m glad she took Sky because Sky would’ve been more broken and she deserved to be a happy child. Karen gave that to her.
SPOILERS ARE OVER!
"Because those bad things aren’t you. They are just bad things that happen to you.”

Villain Scale: 9

My favorite character of the whole novel is Six. She’s a great friend. She sends texts that make her friend smile and keep her going. She cares about her friend and protects her when push comes to shove. The sad thing is she is only present for 23% of the novel and it sucks. Sky also makes friends with a gay kid at school. His name is Breckin. I liked him well enough, but I do get tired of the gay best friend trope. It is overused, but Breckin is funny. So I’ll forgive him. I also liked Dean’s sister. It made the title a lot sweeter. (view spoiler) I really wish Leslie wouldn’t have turned out to have a different life the way she did because I think her being reunited with Sky would’ve changed a lot.

Character Scale: 8

"I’ll probably get knocked down a few more times before this life is through with me, but I can guarantee you I’ll never stay on the ground.”
This novel is good. It has problems, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend it mostly for fans of NA or a new reader into the genre. I feel like if I read this at any other time I may not have enjoyed it as much, but I did like it a lot. So, four stars do seem just.


Cover Thoughts: I love the cover. I love the sky and how it doesn’t just represent Sky but an important scene later in the book. It’s definitely one of the better NA covers I’ve seen.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lux Reviews: Opal and Origin

In celebration of my copy of Opposition coming in tomorrow I finally got to reviewing these two amazing books that I read months ago.

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Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Third book in the Lux series

5 bajillion stars

Katy and Daemon’s relationship is stronger, but Katy is still reeling from the death she caused. Dee can’t forgive and their relationship is on the rocks. Not only that, but Dawson is alive. He will do anything to get Bethany back. Katy and Daemon will help him no matter what the costs.
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That fricking ending wasn’t fair, JLA. I read Origin already (but I still had to wait to get my hands on that book so the pain was real). This was one of my last books of 2013. Hooray for the old year! I told you my reviews were behind. Anyway, I love the Lux series. It’s one of my favorite series. I think it has a great storyline, characters, and the cliffhangers are killer. My favorite thing about this series is the comedy. It’s seems odd because this series can really kill my soul, but it can always make me laugh. (Much like my relationship with Supernatural.)

The main female character is Katy. I love Katy. She’s such a kick-ass character. She’s a book blogger. Hello, this is my life. I understand the blogging life and I fangirl over books so hard. She did kind of annoy me in this one, though. Her constant push-pull relationship with Daemon irritated me. She’s a fighter though. A strong one and I really commend her for it.
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Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 10

The main male character is Daemon Black.
“Can we just take a moment to appreciate how hot Daemon Black is? I swear I melt whenever he pulls his charms.”- My first Opal status update (12/20/13)
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Daemon Black is perfection. I know a lot of people hate him, but I don’t hate him. I’m obsessed with Daemon Black.

Swoon Worthy Scale: can’t compute request


The Villain- FUCK YOU, BLAKE. Will, the Daedalus , and so many things.


Villain Scale: 9

I missed the old Dee so badly. It really saddened me. She was one of my favorite characters and it was so sad seeing her new character development. I do like Andrew. I think he’s a good guy and he’s cool. Ash is slightly more bearable, but not really.


Character Scale: 9

There were a lot of shocks in this book, especially the ending, which killed me. Highly recommend this series if you’re not already obsessed.


Cover Thoughts: I do like this cover. It’s not an amazing cover, but it is a good cover for this series.

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Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Fourth book in the Origin series

5 kittens stars

There is no way to avoid spoilers in this review for previous books ESPECIALLY Opal!
Daemon is going to do whatever it takes to get Katy back. His brother understands his need, but his family is worried about Daemon’s train of thought and how he will risk anything including his life. For Daemon, life without Katy is no life at all and he will get her back. Or he will die trying. There are secrets the Luxen are keeping. Who’s the bad guys and who will ultimately destroy the world? Luxen? Daedalus? Mankind? Arum? Or something entirely new? JLA Is one of the best writers in paranormal fiction. Her Lux novels are fun, fast-paced, action packed, and they always have the worst cliffhangers. While the cliffhangers are torturous, her writing totally makes waiting a year or a few months till the next book worth it. I personally have been waiting since January and I have already preorder Opposition and I’m finally ready to finish this series. This is a great series. It only gets better with each book. The romance is stronger, the writing is stronger. There’s more action, suspense, as well as twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting. This is my favorite Lux novel! It’s the strongest and it was just so good. After the ending of Opal, I was broken, but this book while ending on a cliffhanger wasn’t nearly as devastating.


Not only is there Katy’s awesome POV, but Daemon gets his POV too! I’m noticing a trend in YA now. Richelle Mead doing her fourth book with multiple POV, JLA with this one, and Allegiant was alternating as well. I think it’s a new trend. I’m not opposed to it at all, because Origin did a great job with the alternating POV between Daemon and Katy. I never felt like the POVs clashed or were hard to tell apart. They flowed and it flowed perfectly. The suspense was captivating and I think that’s what made Origin so suspenseful. The alternating POVs left me feeling like I needed to keep reading. I couldn’t put this down because I had to find out where this story would go.


The main female character is Katy. It’s no surprise that Katy is one of my favorite YA heroines. She’s strong, confident, well-spoken, and a lover of books. Katy in Origin is very different from Katy in the earlier novels. She’s a lot more broken and she has every right to be. My heart really ached for her. She missed her mom. She didn’t know what would happen in a strange place like Daedalus. But she’s not broken the whole entire novel. Katy is no Bella. She may be without Daemon, but she doesn’t mope about. She does what she has to survive in this environment. I really enjoyed her characterization in Origin. It was fantastically done and can I just say that Katy definitely knows how to fight. There’s no doubt about it.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 10

The main male character is Daemon. I love Daemon. I love him in these books, but Origin really made me love him more. Daemon has come such a long way since Obsidian. Not only do we see his strengths play out, but he truly loves Katy and it was adorable. I felt all the feels when they were together and it was just so good. So good! THE MARRIAGE! *pterodactyl screech*


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Swoon Worthy Scale: *ovaries explode*

The Villain- AHHHHH! I so didn’t see that one coming. This one was just good. Great plot twist! JLA knows how to hook-line-and-sink-us. Never can trust anyone in this series.


Villain Scale: 9

Dee and Andrew and Ash and so many other cool characters are back. Dawson and Beth are just so adorable. Archer, Luc, and Paris are also pretty awesome. We’ve met Luc before and it’s awesome to see him again. I love the addition of Archer. I see Dee+Archer in future. I hope. Archer’s character is that something new mentioned at the beginning in my plot summary. Pretty interesting concept. Similar to Twilight, but alien mutants are way better.


Character Scale: 10

Also people die. A lot of people die. Prepare to cry because I totally did. There’s also a pretty epic battle scene. I’m so excited for Opposition! (P.S. It hasn’t come out yet, but since I don’t know when this review will go up, it may have already come out.)
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I met JLA. She’s awesome. Just saying.

Cover Thoughts: I’m kind of sad it wasn’t a Katy-Daemon cover like the first three, but I do get the whole Daemon by his self thing. Also, hey look, Nevada. I wonder if that plays a part in a battle or something.;)


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

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My review for Burn for Burn can be read with the link if you are intrigued, but don't want minor spoilers.

Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Second in the Burn for Burn trilogy

4.5 stars

Fire with Fire picks up exactly where Burn for Burn left off. Lillia, Kat, and Mary are back. They have a new plan. This time Lillia will have Reeve fall in love with her. He’s been chasing her for years so what better way to finally screw him and Reenie up. Reenie is worse than before and she’s ready to rule to the school and take Lillia down. Mary has it worse than everyone because something just isn’t quite right. Homecoming showed her that something inside of her wasn’t quite right. Some things just have to be fought back with fire. I’ve created a monster. I read Burn for Burn free on PulseIt and then bought the book for my sister as a Christmas present. She then bought the sequel and told me I had to read it. This was my second read book of the year and one of the most torturous endings. I HATE cliffhangers! My sister was so proud of herself for making me scream at her in rage. I read this in January and the final book has still yet to come out. Do you feel my pain? If not, at least my sister is with me to feel it. We can wallow together.


The main female characters are Lillia, Kat, and Mary. This book is told in alternate POV. Unlike the last book where Lillia was my least favorite, all these girls became my favorite. I liked them all. I mean Lillia’s whole romance with Reeve made this story for me. It was deception at its finest and when it turned to something more I loved it. Kat was a pretty strong character in this one and I loved her conflict with college as well as her feelings for Alex. Mary is still the character I sympathize the most. Her life is just heartbreaking.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: Lillia-9 Kat-9 Mary-9

The main male characters include Reeve and Alex. Reeve is the biggest jerk in the world, but I still like him. I actually really started to like him in this one. Alex isn’t as bad, but I’m not the biggest fan of him. He chases after Lillia too much when it’s obvious she doesn’t want him. He’s borderline stalker at times.


Swoon Worthy Scale: Reeve- 8 Alex- 7

The Villain- OMG! You will not believe who dies in this one. Just thought I’d drop that by. You looked, didn’t you? Feel intrigued?


Villain Scale: 8

That’s basically all the characters in this trilogy. Besides Mary’s aunt, who seems crazy but I’m not really sure about. I suspect she’ll talk a lot more about this discovery in the final book.


Character Scale: 9


The wait is just so hard. It is worth it though. Deception and revenge are just so fun to read about it.


Cover Thoughts: I love the old covers. The coloring was gorgeous and so pretty. The new ones not so much.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cover Reveal: Night Sky

I actually don't participate in cover reveals, but since the publicist was kind enough to send me a copy of the novel as well as information for the cover reveal I've decided to post this. Even though it's a lot later than intended.

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Title: Night Sky
Authors: Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal)
Book Cover: Attached
Author Photo: Attached

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Skylar Reid is thrown into a strange world when she discovers that she has unique telekinetic and telepathic powers.  After Sasha, the child she babysits, is kidnapped and believed to be murdered, Sky and her best friend Calvin are approached by Dana, a mysterious girl who has super-abilities similar to Sky’s.  With the help of Dana and her sidekick Milo, the four teens embark on a quest to discover who killed Sasha, and to bring the killers to justice.

With Dana as Skylar’s surly and life-toughened mentor, Sky attempts to harness her powers to aid them in their quest. Complicating an already complex relationship with the older girl, Sky starts to fall for the dangerously handsome and enigmatic Milo – and begins to suspect that the attraction is mutual. But then Sky realizes that Sasha might still be alive, and the unlikely foursome’s mission becomes one of search and rescue, pitting the heroic teens against a very deadly enemy.

Biography:

Suzanne Brockman, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, has won 2 RITA awards, numerous RT Reviewers’ Choice, and RWA’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year three years running. She has written over 50 books, and is widely recognized as a “superstar of romantic suspense” (USA Today). Suzanne and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann, have been creative partners, on and off, for many years. Their first project was an impromptu musical duet, when then-six-month-old Melanie surprised and delighted Suz by matching her pitch and singing back to her. Suzanne splits her time between Florida and Massachusetts while Mel lives in Sarasota, Florida. NIGHT SKY is Mel’s debut and Suzanne’s 55th book. Visit Suzanne at www.SuzanneBrockmann.com.